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Ethics in Intelligence

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Ethics in Intelligence-Base Document Release
Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, believes citizens worldwide have a right to know what is happening inside of governments. Now the question is, do they have a right to know or should they have a right to know. Giving citizens access to intelligence information potentially puts the nation at risk and in danger. Citizens should only have access to partial information regarding health care, government laws, etc. CNN Pentagon correspondent Chris Plante wrote an article on Geraldo Rivera allegedly being kicked out of Iraq. According to CNN, the Fox News reporter Geraldo revealed the 101st Airborne Division’s plan in the sand during a live broadcast on live television as to where they were going next. Exposing confidential information to the Nation could have reach targeted countries during the war; giving them heads up and opportunity to strike first on the US. In some cases, Citizens have a right to know what is going on in the government according to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) enacted on July 4, 1966 and taking effect one year later. People are still trying to figure out the ethics in his decision to expose the 101st Airborne’s plan. Rivera, however, provided another live report from Iraq on Fox hours after his expulsion was televised. The Reporter exclaimed he knew nothing about the ordered removal at the time of the second report. However, he has yet to address the ethics in his disclosure.
Reporters typically disclose secrets and information for publicity and ratings from the media. They will always refer to the saying “I am making a living”. This is an immoral act because they are only thinking about themselves and the network or company they. They fail to see they are putting the Nation in danger. Another example would be the report issued by Bill Miller and Michael Isikoff in their 1994 article in the Washington Post “CIA Officer Charged with Selling Secrets” Page A01. Aldrich Hazen Ames and his wife Maria Del Rosario Casa Ames had been paid more than $1.5 million for turning over top secret documents to the Soviet Union and the Russians for approximately two years. The ethics of their actions was simply money. Aldrich and his wife bought a $540,000 home, luxury car, condos and a farm. According to the Los Angeles Times, Ames and his wife are now serving life in prison without possible parole.

Conclusion
The decision of allowing Citizens to have access to Intelligence information should be reviewed in detail. All of the possibilities should be at the forefront for weighing options. Taking into account of what has happened in the past and what could happen, should be a factor in the decision. It is evident that you cannot trust everyone with valuable information. Offering the entire nation the ability to access this information could potentially be worse than the Ames’ cases.

References
Plante, Chris CNN (2003) Military Kicks Geraldo out of Iraq: Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/03/31/sprj.irq.geraldo/

Miller, B. & Isikoff, M. 1994 Washington Post: CIA Officer Charged with Selling Secrets: Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/local/longterm/tours/scandal/ames.htm

United States Department of Justice (2011) Freedom of Information Act: Learn (n.d.) Retrieved from http://www.foia.gov/about.html

Johnston, David (1996) New York Times: FBI Supervisor charged with spying for Russians: Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/1996/12/19/us/fbi-supervisor-charged-with-spying-for-russians.html

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