Intelligence and the Political

Intelligence and the Political

How should be the relationship between intelligence agencies and the journalists, scholars and public intellectuals? Before we answer this question we must underline the deep difference between taking on intelligence as an occupation and using intelligence as an instrument.

Intelligence as an occupation has its own set of rules, procedures and ethics. One can become an intelligence agent by consenting to these sets of rules, procedures and ethics. This approach is coherent in itself. However, if one attempts to understand life, the political, the social and anticipate the future according to these sets of ethics without taking intelligence as an occupation, one stands in danger of making grave errors at each step. These grave errors can range from the accuracy of the intelligence used to the severe harm one might cause with this approach. What is the harm? The complete destruction of the political. 

It is unavoidable that journalism and research oriented towards the intelligence world should create a codependent relationship after a while, not unlike substance dependency. The biggest damage these codependent parties and structures can do, as mentioned above, is their unethical contribution to the destruction of the political. What does it mean to destroy the political? The political can only exist on the transparency plane. The minute one gets involved in a world full of secrets and unknowns, one begins to destroy the political, because nothing one says or claims can be verified. 

The world is evaluated heavily from the security perspective. Security is one of the most important instruments of the political. However, security is not the target of the political, but only an instrument.

The intelligence world in which security is transformed into a target is obliged to dwell between paranoia and naiveté. The most ordinary events can give rise to paranoia and most serious developments can be conceived naively. Ordinary events from the perspective of the political have a special name and place from the perspective of security. In a security world the first criticism received is perceived as another piece of intelligence and the first obstacle faced another operation. 

The actors who act as Sattelite intelligence agencies that are turned into document addicts severe their ties with the political completely after a while. Their world makes sense only to the extent of documents that come before them.

The actual meaning of the document in front of them, its accuracy or the methods through which it was obtained have already become simple details for these satellite intelligence agencies. Since the political is destroyed, the only way to exist becomes through those documents. This is also the only way for them to mark their difference. It is not possible for them to be different or original in any other way. 

In fact, they are so blinded in this security world that sometimes they discover what the public has already known for months from the documents in front of them. Sometimes they create a commotion on an issue intellectuals have discussed and resolved months before only because they recently saw it on a document.

The intellectuals who think and write in the arduous world of the political which demands a lot of attention can only feel sorry for these document dependents. The intellectuals are also aware that the onus of protecting the integrity of the political is on them, because the only insurance against the bankruptcy of human intelligence, ethics and contemplation is the protection of the political.