Tuesday, August 28, 2007

On the Dangers of Privatized Intelligence

James Carroll, whose father founded the Defense Intelligence Agency, has written an alarming essay about the dangers of "Outsourcing intelligence." Here's a quote:

The Bush administration has replaced officials with contractors throughout government, outsourcing run amok. But Bush did not begin this. Since Ronald Reagan, conservatives have preached the doctrine that the nation's basic needs can best be met by private enterprise. The profit motive trumps any public ideal. Consequently, government has been in slow motion collapse, with the ineptitudes of Iraq as final proof of its untrustworthiness.

But what the antigovernment movement missed is that attacks on the public sector equal assaults on the public. When the high calling of public service yields to the highest bid, the corruption is total: the heart of government -- the military -- becomes mercenary; the mind of the military -- intelligence -- becomes privatized. Citizenship itself is universally gutted, yet another source of our malaise.

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