The role of intelligence agencies within a democracy

I recently stumbled across this excel­lent art­icle in the Trin­id­ad Express, of all places.  It appears that the state of Trin­id­ad and Tobago is in the throes of debat­ing the legit­im­ate role of intel­li­gence agen­cies with­in a democracy.

Alana Wheel­er, a Ful­bright Schol­ar with a Mas­ters degree in Nation­al Secur­ity Stud­ies, con­trib­utes a clear and well-argued art­icle that gets to the heart of these issues; what is “nation­al secur­ity” and what is the best way to pro­tect a nation’s integ­rity with­in a leg­al, pro­por­tion­ate and demo­crat­ic framework?

If the demo­crat­ic move­ments with­in coun­tries like Tunisia, Egypt and Libya are allowed to coalesce organ­ic­ally and unhindered, no doubt this also be a key issue for their new con­sti­tu­tions — espe­cially after dec­ades of repres­sion and fear meted out by bru­tal securocrats.

So why the hell can­’t we have such an informed debate about these issues in the “mature demo­cra­cies” of UK or the USA?

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