Breaking Laws of God and Men: When is this allowed for Intelligence Professionals? Cover Image

Breaking Laws of God and Men: When is this allowed for Intelligence Professionals?
Breaking Laws of God and Men: When is this allowed for Intelligence Professionals?

Author(s): Michael ANDREGG
Subject(s): Law, Constitution, Jurisprudence, Security and defense, Military policy, Penal Policy
Published by: Editura Militară
Keywords: Intelligence; professionals; laws; torture; just war; prisoners;

Summary/Abstract: Attorneys and philosophers have presented detailed answers to the question of when it is permissible to break laws, some of which begin and end with the word “never.” Others answer “always” if reasons of state are compelling. To compound confusion, governments often write special laws for their “spies” and other “intelligence professionals”. Some of these laws are publicly known, but others are classified, like a significant fraction of US NSDD’s (National Security Decision Directives) and NSPD’s (National Security Presidential Directives). So what is forbidden for ordinary citizens may be legally “OK” for intelligence professionals, but citizens cannot tell because some of the laws are secret laws administered by secret courts like the FISA court in the USA. This situation can easily degenerate into simple codes: like “Do anything you need to accomplish your mission, but do not get caught” which has been noted by several CIA veterans. That noted, the CIA may be among the more restrained intelligence agencies in the world, because it is besieged by lawyers who have some actual laws to work with, unlike the secret services of some other countries. A real professional in the field of intelligence will never behave as a barbarian and will avoid torturing prisoners, for the sake of the national security’s future.

  • Issue Year: 2014
  • Issue No: 3-4
  • Page Range: 49-59
  • Page Count: 11
  • Language: English