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Fair Play: The Moral Dilemmas of Spying

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Fair Play: The Moral Dilemmas of Spying Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Book News Annotation:

As a general rule, says Olson (intelligence and national security, Texas A&M U.), the politicos tell the spies just to get the goods and be quiet about how they got them. He believes this attitude is unhelpful, and is not how the US should be conducting itself. He argues that deciding what is acceptable moral behavior in any operational situation is too heavy a burden to be placed on individual officers or even their supervisors or other senior officials, and that clear guidelines should be debated and established by a body answerable to the public.
Annotation 2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Book News Annotation:

As a general rule, says Olson (intelligence and national security, Texas A&M U.), the politicos tell the spies just to get the goods and be quiet about how they got them. He believes this attitude is unhelpful, and is not how the US should be conducting itself. He argues that deciding what is acceptable moral behavior in any operational situation is too heavy a burden to be placed on individual officers or even their supervisors or other senior officials, and that clear guidelines should be debated and established by a body answerable to the public. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

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?

Synopsis:

In the high-stakes world of spying, do the ends justify the means?

Product Details

ISBN:
9781574889499
Author:
Olson, James M
Publisher:
Potomac Books
Author:
Olson, James M.
Subject:
General
Subject:
Espionage
Subject:
Intelligence service
Subject:
Political Freedom & Security - Terrorism
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Political Freedom & Security - Intelligence
Subject:
Politics - General
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20061031
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
291
Dimensions:
8.94x6.42x1.11 in. 1.30 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Politics » Covert Government and Conspiracy Theory
History and Social Science » Politics » General

Fair Play: The Moral Dilemmas of Spying Used Hardcover
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Product details 291 pages Potomac Books - English 9781574889499 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , 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?
"Synopsis" by , In the high-stakes world of spying, do the ends justify the means?
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