Intelligence Intervention in the Politics of Democratic States

The United States, Israel, and Britain

By (author) Uri Bar-Joseph

Paperback - £28.95

Publication date:

15 April 1995

Length of book:

412 pages


Penn State University Press

ISBN-13: 9780271025759

This book studies intelligence intervention in politics in the modern democratic state. In theory, intelligence work should be objective, autonomous, and free of political influence; at its best, it should be guided solely by the professional ethic of intelligence. In reality, however, unavoidable political pressures, as well as bureaucratic and personal interests, can and often do influence the conduct of intelligence work. In tracing and explaining the effects of these pressures and interests on the behavior of intelligence organizations and individuals, Uri Bar-Joseph analyzes four cases of intelligence intervention in politics: the 1961 Bay of Pigs episode; the 1954 Israeli "Unfortunate Business Affair"; the 1920 British "Henry Wilson Affair"; and the 1924 “Zinoviev Letter Affair."

“Uri Bar-Joseph has written a fascinating and well-researched book that explores what can happen when secret intelligence services in democratic societies violate their charters and allow political zeal to overcome professional duties. His case studies alone are worth the price of the book—they explore a wealth of new material—and his section on theory should be welcome to any serious student of strategic intelligence.”

—Arthur S. Hulnick, Boston University