Thursday, July 05, 2007

Where intelligence is needed, they better offer the highest reward

The need for human intelligence

I am a regular viewer of Discovery’s ‘FBI files’. Clearly, crime fighting requires the intelligence of the smartest criminal. Otherwise it can never claim to be effective. In fact, every threat to the foundations of our existence should be treated with equivalent intelligence, at least. But what would stop us from going for the highest intelligence - the smartest minds available - all the way? Nothing, of course. Humanity craves for the utmost intelligence. Our planet roars for it. We are facing some very fundamental challenges to our way of life, not simply in terms of our security but in all aspects of life on Earth.

As a public we are given a peek into the inner workings e.g. of the FBI, and one can take many lessons from it. But how about the inner workings of other public offices? There are countless offices across the globe, in which people are assigned to crucial tasks. For instance, all those employed by the White House, or the staff of the UN Secretary General, people in the Federal Reserve Bank, the people around Russia’s President etcetera. How much do we know of those people and their true qualities?

Scooter Libby

When intelligence is being corrupted

Questions like these may arise especially when instances of incompetence surface in the media. Such instance is the case of Mr. Libby, former Chief of Staff of US Vice-President Cheney, who was found guilty in court of four felonies for lying about his role in the leak of a covert CIA officer's identity. For many it is obvious that Mr. Libby became the scapegoat of far larger misdemeanors of people in and around the Vice-President’s office, including Mr. Cheney himself. But all have been spared, including Mr. Libby himself, who was effectively pardoned by President Bush.

Many consider the current US Administration a synonym to the abuse of power, of intelligence employed against the interest of the people. But it would be a mistake to simply rely on the judicial process to control this and prevent an Administration from gliding further down the scale of corruption.

US Vice-President Cheney

Pay high salaries

The key is that the highest rewards should be given to people who are employed in positions that require their utmost – intellectual – abilities. It is paramount that the best people are attracted to the most critical tasks, whether in the judicial or in the administrative functions. When a new Administration signs in, the people’s representatives should scrutinize its chief employees as much as the salary paid to them. Scrutinize, that is: be sure that the salaries are high enough to effectively prevent these employees from being seduced by the pressures and attractions of the power machine they are working for.


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