Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Porter Goss Quote & my commentary

"An enemy that's working in an amorphous network that doesn't have to worry about a bunch of regulations, chain of command, rule of law or anything else has got a huge advantage over a stultified, slow-moving bureaucratic, by-the-book" organization, Goss argued. "So we have to, within the law and within all the requirements of our professional ethics in this profession, develop agility. And that means putting a lot of judgment in the hands of individuals overseas."- Porter Goss

Interesting argument here. Basically he's saying that the most important things that America represents - the very foundations of our philosophy -are a liability in his business (of protecting America). Namely, the rule of law and civilized discourse. I wonder why he thinks that throwing all that away will produce faster (or any) results. It seems like that's not the kind of guy that I want in charge of our intelligence programs or making any kind of decisions about MY safety. I love this guy - we should put our nations securty into the hands of people (non-american strangers with their own agendas) overseas who can be more agile...thats his plan?
It brings up the following question:Which is the most productive and meaningful way to defend ourselves against terrorism?
1) Catch people we suspect are involved in terrorism (the culture of fear). Use methods (savory or unsavory) to convince them to turn in the other people who they say are involved in terrorism.
2) Kill people we suspect are involved in terrorism (the culture of fear).
3) Threaten ALL people that there will be dire consequences if they become involved in terrorism (the culture of fear) or associate with anyone we suspect of being involved in terrorism.
4) Find out what circumstances arise where anyone would want to/be convinced to become involved in terrorism (the culture of fear). Focus on changing those situations (even if it costs our national pride) so that people will not be drawn to a culture of fear. 
Idea:  As we all know, hope is the antithesis of fear. So I guess we would need to bring a culture of hope to those who don't have it. As it turns out, that's what makes America such a great experiment - hope. Also hope is the only real motivation for anyone to do anything productive (like dismantle a terrorist organization). Following my logic, then, the only way to get people whom we suspect to be part of a culture of fear to give us any reliable information about dismantling that culture would be to offer them some kind of hope. Again, not sure how one would do that, but I know (we all know) there's go to be a way. Fear is a weapon of the weak, chaotic, and petty - not of the strong, civilized and progressive. I do not agree with any anti-terrorist policy (or, for that matter, any policy - public or private) that uses fear as a means to an end.

No comments: