Ronald Bailey: Abolish the Intelligence-Industrial Complex

A modest proposal for doing away with the intelligence agencies that violate our privacy.



In 1991, Senator Daniel P. Moynihan (D-N.Y.) introduced The End the Cold War Act that would have abolished the Central Intelligence Agency and transferred all of its functions to the Department of State. The Act declared that "the creation of the Central Intelligence Agency as a separate entity during the Cold War undermined the role of the Department of State as the primary agency of the United States Government formulating and conducting foreign policy and providing information to the President concerning the state of world affairs."

Moynihan's proposal to abolish the CIA was chiefly motivated by the fact that the agency whose primary task had been to monitor and evaluate America's number one enemy, the Soviet Union had utterly failed at its main task.  "The defining failure of the CIA was their inability to predict the collapse of the Soviet Union," he declared. Since then the list of massive CIA failures and missteps has grown much longer and the case for abolishing it and its sister agency, the NSA, has grown stronger, according to Ronald Bailey.

Given their massive records of incompetence and the inherent threat of secret government to undermine the liberty of citizens, both the CIA and the NSA should be abolished. As Moynihan urged nearly 25 years ago the State Department would be tasked with collecting political intelligence and the Defense Department would monitor foreign military enemies. It is often claimed that we live in a dangerous world, but it is not at all clear that the CIA and NSA have made it a less menacing place, writes Bailey.