Sunday, June 06, 2004
Intelligence collection, as traditionally practiced, means stealing secrets. As such, it often entails a calculated and deliberate violation of foreign or international laws. This extra-legal dimension of intelligence is highlighted by new legislation introduced in the Senate, which is intended to help preserve it against the encroachment of international law.
Within the Central Intelligence Agency, "hundreds of employees on a daily basis are directed to break extremely serious laws in countries around the world in the face of frequently sophisticated efforts by foreign governments to catch them," according to a 1996 House Intelligence Committee report.
"A safe estimate is that several hundred times every day (easily 100,000 times a year) [intelligence] officers engage in highly illegal activities (according to foreign law)...." (IC21: Intelligence Community in the 21st Century, p. 205).