Saturday Book Review: Liberty Defined by Ron Paul: Central Intelligence Agency

by wisdomhunt

If I can stomach it, I intend to review Liberty Defined chapter-by-chapter so that you never have to read it.

Intelligence gathering by governments about their enemies and potential enemies is an old practice that will continue as long as governments exist. Such intelligence gathering is a completely separate issue from the secret activities of the CIA that involve assassination, regime change, torture, secret rendition, and rigging foreign elections.

Legitimate intelligence should be a narrowly defined and tightly controlled process. If it isn’t, by its very nature it can get totally out of control with clandestine operations. An all-powerful, all-secret intelligence agency can become a government unto itself.

A government unto itself? Would it really be so terrible to have a secondary government that handles the governing of our overseas puppet states? And still has time to catch kooks in its spare time? How can you not be in favor of that?

Ron Paul’s argument against the CIA seems to boil down to the fact that it involves government. But he can’t escape the fact that, whether it is manipulating Iran’s currency, alerting us to the threat from the numerous WMD’s in Iraqsupporting al-Qaeda in Syria, or drug-running for the Mexican cartels, the CIA does more good works than anyone can keep track of. It is hard to know how many killer bees’ nests the CIA is stirring up just to bring us some honey.

All of these good works, and yet the CIA is a bargain costing taxpayers only $80 billion per year according to Ron Paul. Try to think of one other thing that you could do with $80 billion that would be better than what the CIA does. Impossible.

Previous chapters reviewed:
The Introduction
Austrian Economics

Business Cycle
Campaign Finance Reform
Capital Punishment