Protecting CIA's Interests: Openness and the Future of the Clandestine Service   [open pdf - 553KB]

"The subject of openness in dealing with intelligence information, sources, and methods has long been controversial. This article and the one that follows provide a point-counterpoint discussion of some of the prominent issues involved. With the collapse of the Soviet Union and abortive efforts to dismember the CIA in the aftermath of the Cold War, the concept of 'openness' gained widespread, uncritical acceptance, and this attitude probably will endure well into the future. In the context of intelligence operations, the concept signifies a compromise between the need of a people in a democratic society to be informed of government operations, and the responsibilities of a secret intelligence organization to defend the security of that society. It would e counterproductive to argue against openness, particularly in the aftermath of the Cold War and recognition that public awareness is one of the strongest pillars of a free society. Nonetheless, as there are legitimate abridgments to the First Amendment, so there have to be abridgments to openness in order to avoid heedless and inappropriate applications of the concept, which threaten the viability of the CIA mission."

Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Center for the Study of Intelligence: https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/index.html
Media Type:
Studies in Intelligence (Winter/Spring 2001), no.10
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