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Navigating Troubled Waters: How Leaders Can More Effectively Prepare Intelligence Enterprises For The Risks Of Intelligence Efforts In Transparent Societies

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Technical Report

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Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States

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For intelligence officials today, understanding the appropriate bounds of balancing security and liberty interests is more imperative than ever. Intelligence enterprises require the consent of their public stakeholders to be effective running aground of public support threatens significant institutional harms. Leaders can avoid many of these harms if they develop a culture within their organizations that better balances security and liberty interests. This effort can ward off the dangers of a narrative discourse that advocates for prevention at all costs, which leads to harmful extremes of disregarding public concerns over privacy, civil liberties, and the rule of law. This thesis uses a case study to review the social dynamics in the Bush Administration following 911, as a handful of policymakers secretly and unilaterally created and implemented aggressive surveillance programs. Using the social identity perspective, this thesis demonstrates the harms that may befall an organization intent on thwarting all other considerations to prevent a terrorist attack. Ultimately, this thesis provides a model for creating a culture that better balances security and liberty interests, and that ensures a better understanding of how stakeholders view an intelligence enterprises authorities.

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  • Government and Political Science

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