2019-01-21T11:37:18+00:00 Assignments

Topic: HLS 6000 DF7 Week 7 Discussion (Comments): Climate, al-Qaeda

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Topic: HLS 6000 DF7 Week 7 Discussion (Comments): Climate, al-Qaeda


Katherine Albers 
Week 7 Discussion
I think that if the concern is with the optics intelligence collection, the best option for an oversight process is civilian oversight. While I don`t necessarily agree, a substantial portion of the population doesn`t trust our government or our law enforcement agencies. Any sort of oversight that does not include civilians will still be seen as untrustworthy. Since intelligence is involved, we would need to create a committee of civilians with the appropriate background. For example, civilians with a background in law enforcement, intelligence, and/or law would make more sense on this committee than would civilians with a background in construction or retail. 
I do think that bin Laden was vital to al Qaeda operations. He was the charismatic figurehead that was able to bring differing personalities together for their common goal. Wright (2011) compares him to a cult leader and I believe that comparison is highly accurate. He was able to convince people that it was their duty to sacrifice their lives to further the cause of radical Islam, but never sacrifice his own life to that same cause. After the bombing of the USS Cole and the the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, there were already indictments against bin Laden, so he was already a known threat. I think that if bin Laden was taken out in any of the possible attacks by the CIA, he would be seen as a martyr by the radicals, but he wouldn`t have been there to organize the attacks on 9/11. I also think that without the 9/11 attacks, al Qaeda may still exist, but radical Islam would not have grown to the point that we see today. 
Wright, Lawrence. (2011). The Looming Tower: al Qaeda and the road to 9/11. New York, NY: Vintage Books. 
Joseph Connor 
discussion 7
First, I think with today`s technological climate, people can no longer assume they have privacy. Cameras are everywhere, not just implemented by state or federal governments, but by numerous private companies as well. Not only that, but with cell phones, people should not expect their conversations to be private any more. I see it daily on the train, people check over each other`s shoulders to see what is captivating their fellow passengers (I do it too). But I digress. As for the oversight process, I would suggest that if surveillance systems are implemented on a large scale, they should be used primarily to assist in surveillance of suspicious activities and those doing the surveillance overseen by higher ups as well as a committee if the footage is ever used in court. I would also suggest the footage be used in order to build cases for crimes committed and restrictions placed so the cameras are only able to be placed in high traffic areas or areas more susceptible to crime or danger. I think today, surveillance footage is already a fairly restricted item when used in court, In addition, if there is a leak, those who are responsible should be issued warning, suspensions and even leave of abscence depending on severity.
2) I think we could make the strong argument bin Laden was key to al-Qaeda`s operational efforts, however maybe not the strategic ones. He held enough sway and power as well as the funds to assist al-Qaeda and make it grow and recruit and carry out the attacks it did. I feel that without his Saudi connections, al-Qaeda would not have been able to spread during the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan and beyond. I think bin Laden had a certain charismatic way, contrary to the book`s opinion. I do not think he was a good strategist, if he was I think things would turned out very differently for his group during its early stages. I also think a contributing factor to his apparent success stems from the lack of care the CIA had for him as well as the majority of the FBI. I believe that had he been killed during the early stages of al-Qaeda, the group may have survived, but a much diminished capacity. I would also say, the stance it took on anti-Americanism and even harming innocent people may not have been as strong, if at all. I think the group would have concentrated its efforts in the Middle East and would not have thought of attacking the US. Which leads me to him lacking strategic skills. He received the American response he dreamed of, however, I would argue he was not terribly effective crushing the US and making it collapse as he dreamed. I think if the US actually perceived him as a strategic threat pre-9/11 they would have killed him.


Responses Name: Institution: Course: Date: Katherine Albers It is agreeable that a civilian oversight would be quite effective with reference to creation and establishment of oversights in intelligence collection. For most of the population, it is common to grow distrusting any efforts of the government to conduct surveillance (Hashim, 2016). As such one of the ways that the efforts can gain trust among the civilians is through direct involvement in such efforts. This means that civilians have to be involved in the committees tha


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