Ethical and Moral Issues in Intelligence

Ethics resonates with the principles that guide human beings in doing what is right or what is wrong. The perception of the ethical platform is defined by the individual inner feelings, commonly known as the conscious or by the social group interpretations. The principles govern the morality and the set of acceptable code of conduct. Moral has the same notion with ethics. Both terms are used to define the accepted standards in behavior (Dobrin, 2002). Intelligence refers to the ability to comprehend, analyze and draw complex solutions from challenges. Intelligence is vital, especially when forecasting the probable happenings.

CIA is an agency which is independent in the government of the United States of America. The agency has the mandates of coordination and collecting intelligence. There are other functions of the agency that resonate with the counterintelligence activities overseas with the aim of protecting the national interest. The agency is headed by the director of Central Intelligence. The supervision is merited to the responsibilities of the National Security Council President (Thoreau, 2011). Ethics and moral standings have been an issue of debate in the intelligence operations.

Change has created the need of establishing the ‘just intelligence’ (Thoreau, 2011). This is not based on the classical literature in philosophy.  Just intelligence coincides with the statements of President Hoover secretary of the state Henry L. Stimson in the nineteen twenty nine, when he shut down the World War One cryptanalysis activities. He continued to assert that it is not just for gentlemen reading the mails of other gentlemen. He argued that the intelligence authorities could end human life in the national interest protection. This was not right considering that the method applied to gather the information is immoral and unethical.

There is a need of developing various channels of addressing ethical deals in the intelligence community (MacKinnon, 2010). The military ethics has a theory in place that resonates with ‘just war’ (Thoreau, 2011). There is a need for the intelligence bodies in maintaining healthy relationships with the community. Intelligence has for many years been involved with tricks applications, deceptions, spies, invasion of privacy, traps, traitors and denial of human right and usage of double agents. All these modalities have problems defining the ethical and moral perspectives applied. The moral and ethical concerns have given rise to a definite professional code of ethics in many organizations.

Recruitment of intelligence officers considers good virtues. This is based on tenacity, description and loyalty (Thoreau, 2011). The main ethical and moral challenge emerges when the officers in recruitment are taught how to lie, plunder, steal tactics, deceive and entitled to perform dirty acts that are against the moral and ethical standards. This makes the moral and ethical training  take a questionable pattern. Section four hundred and twenty one Acts of 1982 indicates the intelligence identities contravening with the ethical and moral standards in the intelligence bodies.

The collection of the data in humans requires exploitation and manipulation (Dobrin, 2002). Intelligence agencies use tricks, blackmail and other tools that are immoral and unethical. There are instances where the intelligence units have compromised witnesses. This is risky, considering the breach of the national interests. The intelligence bodies make sure that they apply the mind control perspective in gathering relevant and timely information.

There are number of questionable ethical and moral issues in the intelligence agencies. Namely; in convert actions, assassination cases, analysis of collected reports, oversight of the stakeholders and the media infringement. Determining what is right and what is wrong in the intelligence industry is complex. People will always have different opinions depending on the focused area of interest (Dobrin, 2002).  Deontological ethics relates to the doing the right thing not considering the end result. This enables the establishment of things done to morally consider the initial motives of the intent. Considering an example reflecting on good a Samaritan driven by the intent of doing well, the same from the intelligence perspective is altering the crime scene. This interferes with the interpretation of moral and ethical angles considering intelligence avenues. Teleological ethics considers the end results (Thoreau, 2011). There have been conflicts in the Deontological and Teleological ethics. The intelligence agencies have the mandates of balancing between the two principles.

It is vital noting that ethical and moral acts are not after benefits. Moral and ethical principles should be appreciated by the intelligence officers in the administration of their duties (Dobrin, 2002). This will enhance the relationships between the intelligence officers and the community, enabling the free flow of information to the intelligence officers.

Intelligence officers should always act in a way that values the human dignity. This includes the immediate neighbor and the intelligence agencies officers. This is essential in developing a sense of trust and responsibility. The law protecting the citizens should be obeyed by both the intelligence agencies and the community. This is essential in identifying that there are barriers that govern the conducts and actions of human beings (MacKinnon, 2010). Intelligence agencies must follow the professional code of ethics put in place and administered in the form of a promise and oath. People bind themselves responsible for the virtues, moral standings and in ethical aspects.  Oaths are critical in reminding individuals about the expected code of conduct in the society. People constantly act in sound judgment, honesty, reliability, initiative, modesty and in utmost sensitivity. Intelligence activities surround the enforcement of the law in place (Thoreau, 2011).

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