By Sajad Abedi
Why is Sydney Bristow in the television show “Alias” the worst spy in history? She is always getting herself arrested. Why is she arrested? Because it’s good for action. She flees the guards. Video cameras record their image. She turns on motion detectors, whenever she tries to penetrate computer networks; the intruder detection and tracking systems get her image. She is wary and reckless in everything she does.
You do not want to be Sydney at all. You want to be bad guys who always seem to arrest her. This part of this TV show is close to the truth. Well, even super spyware can stop it. Security and protection concerns are now very numerous in our lives. The events that took place in Iran in July and June 1999 and then the 2009 sedition largely affected the security-information security concerns. Although these are important things that the government needs to address, there are also more important issues faced by individuals and organizations. Every day we face threats that can lead to financial or physical harm. Although these are not related to terrorism, they have a direct impact on our lives. When security devices turn up, we have to be ubiquitous in our everyday lives. But we always expect the government to take measures for the safety of the nation. In our personal and business lives, we need to see protection all over the place. Most of what you need is available at almost no cost. You just have to recognize and use it.
The key concept is to accept responsibility for yourself and your organization. I’ve heard that a lot of people and companies are trying to blame for something like a computer hack by saying that the hacker should be a computer genius. When you look at those kinds of casings, you quickly find that the victims have not even done the slightest precaution. To protect yourself, you must know your strengths and weaknesses. I personally do not like to hear excuse after excuse. Yes, there may be thousands of reasons for problems, but I do not care. I really do not want to hear the excuse of the government that why breaking a light bulb has caused the electricity to be cut off and thousands of people fall in the dark or why we cannot properly monitor a ship or aircraft. I would like to see a government confirming that there is a problem, and therefore proper countermeasures must be applied.
American presidents all asked themselves about the CIA when they arrived at the White House, “What should we do with it?” Often they underestimated the CIA’s analysis. These analyzes describe a complex world and they said the process of events was ambiguous.
The White House never praised such literature. The White House often preferred analyzes that were within the framework of its political intentions. On the other hand, the White House has been increasingly inclined to publicly disclose some of the information collected by the services, due to the persistent desire to attract people from their big decisions.
Instead, presidents were heavily pushed by the secret power that the CIA possessed. The covert activities, as a “third way” between war and diplomacy, attracted them. All of them have implemented programs in secret to stealthily influence the process. All of them were trying to keep their apps in use. Despite the scandals, the political and diplomatic problems caused by secret activities, none of them questioned the necessity and effectiveness of this instrument in foreign policy.
These covert measures began to expand slightly in the 1950s, at a time when the CIA’s invincible myth was formed. CIA officers, who found such actions as a source of prominence and privilege, did everything to cultivate them. This myth derives from a special cultural signifier: Americans as a nation have a very positive image. America considers itself to be a nation that succeeds; it is a winner who challenges ahead of them through its will and technology. The CIA is responsible for this sweeping spirit in Washington.
The slogan of the CIA has long been: “The agency can do it.” Therefore, the opponents of power would not be taken into consideration because the United States needed shadow warriors to protect the country from the Soviet threat, without anyone having much to know about it. This era of trust ended in the process of deconstruction and after disclosure of the “internal” spy activities of the CIA. So the great age of complexity began, which brought fantasies and other conspiracy theories. The CIA takes ugly signs into a dangerous, rogue and out-of-control organization. But Robert Gates states: “The CIA is nothing more than a presidential organization. Every time this organization has faced trouble, it was due to the mission that the president ordered.”
Any case, this is the image of America in a world that has suffered the most pain thanks to this country. The fact that the United States has an agency like the CIA is necessarily a double-edged razor.
The press and the Congress, in spite of the fundamental belief in the effectiveness of the CIA, served as two powerful watchdogs to oversee the agency in the service of the president. The dynamics of American democracy, as well as the strong attachment to the constitution and individual freedoms, have made the CIA the “most transparent” intelligence service in the world. The contradiction is that the Americans know more about the secret activities (activities that are definitely the most secret and sensitive activities) to the judge its total performance. They know perhaps even more than the overall performance of other institutions, including the State Department or the Ministry of Health.
The September 11th attacks shook the sense of security and invincibility that the United States has always enjoyed. Since then, US soil is no longer a haven, and the attack had the same effect as Pearl Harbor. The outcomes of the Iraq War are being added to the most fundamental reorganization in the US intelligence community since about sixty years ago. Information services acquire new authority, many other services are formed, and some of the old networks are weakened or even destroyed. The need to focus more on the powers of information services is felt.
These changes went so far as the United States as creating a CIA over the previous organization. The new goal is to give Americans a unique look at the services. The new organization will focus it analyzes on the analysis. That’s why we can bet that in the future the CIA’s growing inability to anticipate important events. On the other hand, because of the new reformation of the new head of the American intelligence apparatus, and the CIA has become the agency responsible for all the secret activities, it can be assumed that the CIA will (slightly) head over the next few years will be kept.
The tension between interventionism and the previous doctrine of isolationism has led Americans to redefine the intelligence system as the “last line of defense”. In some respects, this device is the beginning and end of its power; and since the CIA has seen its strength in its mission of being as close as possible to American enemies, that’s why today it still maintains this precious position.
The CIA actually has an almost inescapable position in the imagination as well as in the American political system. The organization gives all its actors the confidence that someone, something, America is intertwined with international affairs, and its influence on the four corners of the world shines.
Sajad Abedi is a Resident Research Fellow at the National Security and Defense Think Tank. He obtained his Ph. D. degree in National Security from the National Defense University, Islamic Republic of Iran. His research interests pertain to Arab-Israeli studies, Cyber Security studies and National Security.