Fair Play: The Moral Dilemmas of Spying / Edition 1

Fair Play: The Moral Dilemmas of Spying / Edition 1

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by James M Olson
     
 

ISBN-10: 1574889494

ISBN-13: 9781574889499

Pub. Date: 10/31/2006

Publisher: Potomac Books


Revolutionary War officer Nathan Hale, one of America’s first spies, said, “Any kind of service necessary to the public good becomes honorable by being necessary.” A statue of Hale stands outside CIA headquarters, and the agency often cites his statement as one of its guiding principles. But who decides what is necessary for the public good, and…  See more details below

Overview


Revolutionary War officer Nathan Hale, one of America’s first spies, said, “Any kind of service necessary to the public good becomes honorable by being necessary.” A statue of Hale stands outside CIA headquarters, and the agency often cites his statement as one of its guiding principles. But who decides what is necessary for the public good, and is it really true that any kind of service is permissible for the public good? These questions are at the heart of James M. Olson’s book, Fair Play: The Moral Dilemmas of Spying. Olson, a veteran of the CIA’s clandestine service, takes readers inside the real world of intelligence to describe the difficult dilemmas that field officers face on an almost daily basis. Far from being a dry theoretical treatise, this fascinating book uses actual intelligence operations to illustrate how murky their moral choices can be. Readers will be surprised to learn that the CIA provides very little guidance on what is, or is not, permissible. Rather than empowering field officers, the author has found that this lack of guidelines actually hampers operations. Olson believes that U.S. intelligence officers need clearer moral guidelines to make correct, quick decisions. Significantly, he believes these guidelines should come from the American public, not from closed-door meetings inside the intelligence community. Fair Play will encourage a broad public debate about the proper moral limits on U.S. intelligence activities.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781574889499
Publisher:
Potomac Books
Publication date:
10/31/2006
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
306
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.30(d)

Table of Contents

Preface     ix
Acknowledgments     xi
Introduction: A Career Under Cover     1
Philosophical and Historical Arguments
Bible     15
Aristotle     17
Cicero     18
St. Thomas Aquinas     20
Machiavelli     22
Kant     24
Realpolitik     25
Utilitarianism     27
Veritatis Splendor     29
U.S. Attitudes Toward Spying     33
Scenarios
Homosexual Blackmail     46
Trojan Horse     49
False Flag     52
Hit Team     57
Torture     61
Kidnapping and Torture by Surrogates     67
Truth Serum     70
Journalism Cover     72
Operational Use of Journalists     77
Human Rights Violators     81
Torture Training     85
Humanitarian Aid Worker Cover     87
Missionary Cover     90
Operational Use of Academics     93
P-Sources     97
Prostitute for Terrorist     101
Child Prostitute     103
Terrorist Act for Bona Fides     105
Election Tampering     109
Seduction and Compromise     112
Romeo Operations     116
Coercive Pitch     120
Feeding a Drug Habit     123
Kidnapping or Killing a Defector     126
Fabricating Evidence     131
L-Devices     135
Insertion Operations     138
Fake Diagnosis     142
Drugging a Foreign Diplomat     145
Press Placements     149
Fabricating Academic Credentials     154
Plagiarizing a Ph.D. Dissertation     157
Exposing Unwitting Person to Risk     160
Kamikaze Dolphins     163
Spying on Americans Overseas     166
Spying on Friends     168
Spying on the United Nations     171
Industrial Espionage     175
Bribing a Foreign Government     179
Tampering with U.S. Mail     182
Protection of Code Breaking     185
Breaking a Promise to an Agent     190
Unauthorized Cover     194
Bogus Websites and Chatrooms     197
Back Doors     199
Biological Attack     203
Forging Documents from Friendly Countries     207
Collateral Damage      210
Foreign Officer Visitors     215
Interrogation     218
Afterword     225
Notes: Spying 101     229
The Essential Intelligence Library     263
Commentators     269
Index     287
About the Author     291

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Fair Play: The Moral Dilemmas of Spying 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Outstanding work that is true to the real ethical issues in intelligence and covert action activities faced today.
jcarterr More than 1 year ago
When I initially ordered this, I was under the impression that it was a kind of hard-hitting ethical treatise on what counterintelligence organizations do on a regular basis. It's not quite that, but it still has some very great qualities. Every chapter is made up of about a dozen people from all walks of life (grad students, for CIA officers, religious men, etc) offering their opinion on what James olson feels are specific plausible situations in counterintelligence operations. After they have their piece, James Olson provides a commentary. While I feel most (not all) of the non-author opinions are kind of lackluster, they do provide a fair perspective on the opinions that one could realistically encounter. The author's comments tend to be much more insightful. While I've never actually been in intelligence, I feel that after reading this book I have a better understanding of how operations generally run and what the practical considerations are. Overall, I feel it's a really good introduction and points you in the right directions to learn more about the topic. However, if you're looking for a very deep discussion on the philosophical and ethical implications of covert operations, this might not be the right book, but it can be one that opens doors to a larger and more in-depth discussion. An excellent starting point!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Avatar910 More than 1 year ago
A well thought-out discussion of the challenges facing the CIA and spys of all nature. The use of the scenario method was brilliant and leaving in the CIA redacted black lines added to the intrigue. Not for everyone (e.g. book clubs) but well worth reading if you interested in a first hand view of the ethical challenges our CIA officers face in today's world.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Besides treating in depth the moral issues of collecting clandestine intelligence (with excellent scenarios), Mr. Olson explains the basics of a number of operational issues -- especially valuable for those not fully familiar with the complexities of field operations. He also provides an excellent bibliography for intelligence issues.