Is America Necessary? Conservative, Liberal, & Socialist Perspectives of United States Political Institutions

By Henry Etzkowitz; Peter Schwab | Go to book overview

4 The secret police
The basic questions this chapter will address are:
1. Does the United States have a secret police?
2. Who are they?
3. What are the functions of the American secret police?
4. Is the secret police under the control of any force in American society? Or does it act independently?
5. Is it necessary for the well-being of the United States as a democratic republic to have a secret police establishment?

These questions represent the major issues which the authors in this chapter argue from explicit and implicit conservative, liberal, and socialist principles.

Conservatives hold that there should be a secret police establishment but they prefer to call it the Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. These are the only agencies that they would include under their definition of "secret police." According to conservatives, a secret police is necessary if the United States is to be protected from its enemies abroad who are using against us secret police tactics that must be countered with similar and better strategies. Further, the CIA should operate within the territory of the United States insofar as it is necessary to carry out successfully its foreign missions. Foreign agents in the United States and Americans in contact with them must be followed closely and neutralized.

The CIA and FBI must be allowed to act in secrecy. Any attempt by the public or other government agencies to publicize FBI/ CIA activities is harmful to the security of the United States. If this secrecy is violated the very completion of their mission becomes impossible. The breaching of secrecy and the raising of too many questions will impair the operation of these agencies. Conservatives hold that the FBI and CIA must be given the power to police their own operations. If other agencies attempt to correct abuses there is the danger that there will be further losses in secrecy. Too much of a loss in secrecy could, in their view, make both the CIA and FBI unviable. In a dangerous and violent world the CIA and FBI are seen as integral and positive institutions necessary for the maintenance of American security. The successful functioning of the American political system is dependent upon a respected, smooth- running, powerful, and publically supported secret police establishment.

Liberals believe that a secret police should exist but should be maintained in a far more restricted format. They hold that the CIA should be only an information gathering agency, and that the FBI should be merely an investigatory agency. Clandestine operations, engaged in by both agencies, should be prohibited. Liberals believe in the use of espionage to obtain information but not in undertaking actions which shape or eliminate foreign governments.

The CIA and FBI are viewed by liberals as evils necessary for the protection of the United States. These agencies are not instruments for

-133-

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Is America Necessary? Conservative, Liberal, & Socialist Perspectives of United States Political Institutions
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Preface ix
  • Contents xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Part One 15
  • 1 - Where Do I Stand? 17
  • Conservative 21
  • Conclusion 28
  • Socialist 44
  • Notes 46
  • Part Two 57
  • 2 - The Presidency 61
  • Conservative 67
  • Socialist 79
  • Notes 85
  • 3 - The Pentagon 101
  • Conservative 107
  • Socialist 117
  • 4 - The Secret Police 133
  • Conservative 139
  • Socialist 152
  • Notes 160
  • Part Three 167
  • 5 - Elite Clubs and Associations 169
  • Conservative 173
  • Notes 184
  • Notes 192
  • 6 - Multinational Corporations 209
  • Conservative 213
  • Socialist 221
  • Notes 244
  • 7 - Organized Crime 257
  • Conservative 259
  • Socialist 264
  • Part Four 283
  • 8 - Congress 285
  • Conservative 289
  • Socialist 296
  • Notes 303
  • 9 - The Courts 315
  • Conservative 319
  • Socialist 330
  • Notes 337
  • 10 - Regulatory Agencies 347
  • Conservative 349
  • Socialist 361
  • Notes 369
  • Political Parties 385
  • Conservative 387
  • Liberal 396
  • Conclusion 410
  • 12 - Academia 413
  • Conservative 416
  • References 427
  • Notes 434
  • Part Five 449
  • 13 - The Media 451
  • Conservative 453
  • Liberal 467
  • Notes 474
  • 14 - Banks 483
  • Conservative The Great Banking Retreat. 485
  • Socialist 489
  • Notes 497
  • 15 - Unions 511
  • Conservative 513
  • Notes 519
  • A Critical Issue 537
  • 16 - The Economic Crisis 539
  • Conservative 542
  • Socialist 544
  • Notes 550
  • Part Seven 557
  • 17 - Political Programs 567
  • Louis Banks. the Mission Of Our Business Society. 568
  • Ralph Nader and Donald Ross. Toward an Initiatory Democracy. 576
  • Stanley Aronowitz. On Organization: A Good Party Is Hard to Find. 581
  • Mass Parties and Reformism 587
  • Notes 596
  • Fred R. Harris. Up With Those Who'Re Down. 602
  • Part Eight 613
  • Appendix 621
  • Note 644
  • Index 649
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