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Old May 24 2013, 11:18 AM   #40
Re: The Romulans as "Space Romans"

Who is a freedom fighter and who is a terrorist? How do you answer that age old question?
My answer is of no particular interest. In different systems, different parties provide the answer; say, in a representative system, people voted into power answer the question, and if the voters don't like the answer, they vote these people out.

Yet this discussion is about secret polices - and the fact that they don't care what the answer is. They have one of their very own, and they are not obligated to tell us what it is. That's the very point of having them in the first place.

But do you evidence that the CIA kills US citizens on US soil? The point of a secret police group is to promote terror among the population so they don't oppose the country's regime, is that atmosphere of terror present in the US? Disappearing usually is killing and unless the CIA create the atmosphere of terror among the general public, they are not really a secret police organization.
The organization runs prison camps operating outside the boundaries of the law, imprisoning US citizens among others, and the end result may well be execution - so yes, I'd say all the above criteria are well met.

Okay, then what is Canada's secret police organization, what is France's? Or any other democratic country I can name?
That's a matter of googling, and you can do it yourself. Ours is called Supo for short, literally "Protection Police". Hardly worth having torture chambers in our little paradise of mere five million, but Supo is still participating in the currently fashionable outsourcing of torture, predominantly by cooperating with the more bloodlusty services internationally.

You have not provided much in the solid examples, just rather vague incrimination.
Stating generally accepted facts hardly calls for more.

Let me ask you this, do you think the CIA will personal kill you if you criticize the government? If not, then they really an effective secret police organization are they?
Even the Okhrana wouldn't have bothered to come all this way to kill me for writing an article against the Czar. Crushing of dissent in detail isn't an effective way to curb it. You have to go the TNG "Justice" way and terrorize in small, affordable amounts...

That aside, I don't think you or I have any reason to doubt that the CIA does travel abroad killing people without a trial.

Because having a group that operates almost solely on the internaionall stage doesn't create the atmosphere of terror that most secret police groups wish to inspire in their local population?
Just about everything done on the international stage after 9/11 (the 2001 event, not the 1973 one where CIA actually directly participated) has been done to create an atmosphere of terror, and very well at that. CIA plays a central role in that. Efficient trumps traditional.

To go back to star Trek, would those people at the restaurant in Romulus have been afraid to defy the government, if the Tal'Shiar operated mostly outside of Romulus.
"Outside" is too difficult to define in an interstellar empire...

...But I guess the answer has to be yes. After all, Tal'Shiar controls the military when it wishes, and thus no doubt also controls any forces operating within the Star Empire.

Look at the CIA's bizarre failed attempts to kill Castro, those plans are so silly, I don't find the CIA scary, they seem rather incompetent.
Well, so is Tal'Shiar. This isn't much consolation for those who actually do get tortured and killed by the organizations.

Except a lot of people would say that Democracy needs rules in place to protect people's rights.
Sure. And since morals change, these rules change as well. At some point, it might well be that rules would be created to protect the right to own slaves again.

The very point of democracy is to create a dynamic rather than static system, one where the people can punish the leaders for wrong decisions by bloodless means; the soft punishment of removing them from office is ideal as it can be easily accepted by the leaders, too. Static laws that prevent the creation of new laws are a major antithesis to democracy. Which is why even constitutions can be rewritten by democratic means, in most systems going by that name anyway.

Timo Saloniemi
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