Ethics, Intelligence, and Security

The Torture-endangered Society

January 18, 2006

Steven Miles is a professor of medicine and bioethics at the University of Minnesota. His forthcoming book, which has the working title Oath Betrayed: Military Medicine and the War on Terror, stemmed from his attempt to learn why the U.S. medical staff in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay did not report or intervene to stop […]

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Engineers and Existentialists: How Critical Infrastructure Protection Turns Security Professionals into Philosophers

January 6, 2006

Engineers and Existentialists: How Critical Infrastructure Protection Turns Security Professionals into Philosophers by Richard Thieme Published in the Infragard Journal (Winter 2006) A discussion of critical infrastructure protection in the larger context of public/private partnerships would seem to be a simple matter. I imagine that many security professionals, if they studied philosophy at all, did […]

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High Time for Torture

December 20, 2005

Torture is all the rage these days, getting plenty of ink in the liberal press, as if it’s something new. It’s not. We have been torturing one another for centuries. Our intelligence professionals have perfected the means and the methods and have created opportunities for learning how to do it right. Torture, from beating, lacerating, […]

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An Old Hand Reflects on More Than Judith Miller

July 14, 2005

So this morning we are told they could not find a bunk for Judith Miller, the New York Times reporter jailed for keeping her sources confidential, and she had to sleep on the floor of her cell. Meanwhile Richard Scrushy of HealthSouth Corporation returned to luxurious surroundings after being acquitted on all counts in his […]

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Torture and Truth America, Abu Ghraib, and the War on Terror by Mark Danner

May 12, 2005

Torture and Truth America, Abu Ghraib, and the War on Terror including the torture photographs and the major documents and reports by Mark Danner New York Review Books New York: November 2004 579 pp $19.95 by Richard Thieme That title – and subtitle and sub-subtitle – suggest what is valuable about this book and what […]

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The Secret War: Inside the Hidden Worldwide Struggle Between America and Its Enemies by George Friedman

April 19, 2005

The Secret War: Inside the Hidden Worldwide Struggle Between America and Its Enemies by George Friedman Reviewed by Richard Thieme The Hunting of the Snark The truth may indeed set us free, but if there is one lesson to be learned from reading George Friedman’s The Secret War: Inside the Hidden Worldwide Struggle Between America […]

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I Was a Victim of the KGB

March 16, 2005

S. Eugene Poteat, President of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) is no fool. A senior CIA official for thirty years, now retired, Poteat was a scientific intelligence officer and program manager for special reconnaissance systems for the U-2, SR-71, and other reconnaissance vehicles. He received the CIA’s Medal of Merit and the NRO’s […]

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Persons of Conscience and the Laws of Robotics

March 12, 2005

Persons of Conscience and the Laws of Robotics by Richard Thieme The Three Laws of Robotics I have been listening a lot lately to persons of conscience. What do I mean by “persons of conscience?” Let’s take a cue from Jeffrey Wigand. Wigand, made famous by the film The Insider, is the man who called […]

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Gary Webb is Dead

December 13, 2004

The San Jose Mercury News reports that “Gary Webb, a former Mercury News investigative reporter, author and legislative staffer who ignited a firestorm with his controversial stories, died Friday in an apparent suicide in his suburban Sacramento home. He was 49.” I was heartsick. Just knowing that Webb was alive was enough to keep me […]

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Break, Memory

July 11, 2004

The story was subsequently accepted by Timber Creek Review but then not printed because it had appeared in some form somewhere, and it was reprinted by Bewildering Stories and included in their “best of” quarterly collection. I wrote this story not long after a good friend, Clint Brooks, who had a distingished career with the […]

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