Corrections/Police Intelligence the Moral, Legal Research Paper

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[. . .] This is yet another reason why the United States should abstain from the use of assassination as a tool of statecraft.

The United States has experienced far too many assassinations and therefore, far too many traumas, due to the use of assassinations of public figures with political prowess. The United States, neither any other country, really has the right to inflict that kind of trauma upon another country, another culture, and another collective memory. There are many kinds of warfare, including biological, chemical, military, and psychological. One could argue that the use of assassination as a tool of statecraft is the use of psychological warfare, which inflicts wounds and traumas that are diverse and unpredictable. There are rules of engagement and there are strategies too dangerous to use. The effects of assassination on a culture or society are not entirely predictable, yet that they will cause great and long lasting damage is certain.

We live in an unfair world. We live in a world where the waging of war is somewhat common, normal, and even expected.[footnoteRef:3] In the 21st century, great changes to global society, partially due to great strides in technology have changed the world's stage, altering the lead players and supporting characters. In other words, we live in a world where the balance of power is shifting and the new leaders have not yet fully emerged, nor have the old leaders fallen to the wayside. There will be times when governments disagree. World powers have their own versions of intelligence agencies, meaning, espionage is a reality. Black or covert operations are a reality as well. There are many ways for the United States to influence the world and to enact the changes the government perceives are in its best interests. [3: Wightman, 2003, 54. ]

There may be temptation to resort to assassinations for desired results, but as the paper clearly argues, this is not a strategy that should be used as a tool of statecraft by the United States. It is a strategy that continually shows that it does not work; assassination as used by the United States is not an exact science. The success rate is so low that to call it a science would be a misassessment itself. Assassinations do not work. The results are highly unpredictable, often leading to a number of unintended and uncontrollable results that do not often work in favor of the country making the assassination -- for the purposes of this paper, that country would be the United States.[footnoteRef:4] Assassinations by the United States are formally banned and have been illegal since the Ford administration. A number of assassinations were made prior, during and after his presidency. Enough suspicion and/or evidence of United States government participation in assassinations surfaced to the point where the president himself had to formally declare assassination to be illegal, something which should have been implied or given. [4: Soderblom, 2004, ]

Whether the members of the government personally agree with the policy is irrelevant. For the sake of maintaining America's reputation and hegemonic superpowerdom, as well as being illegal, assassination should be not be used by the United States. The wounds inflicted upon the masses because of an assassination are tremendous. That kind of power should not be used to inflict traumas on others. The United States has seen its share of assassinations and traumas as a result. Assassination is not a power that is exercised with precision or with success. It is a demonstration of some of the worst forms of power. Its use does not reflect well upon the United States. In short, it is not a method to use to solve political problems, nor to end or resolve conflicts.


Bazan, E.B. 2002. Assassination Ban and E.O. 12333: A Brief Summary. CRS Report for Congress, Congressional Research Service Web, Library of Congress.

Grossenbacher, R. 1993. Assassination in modern America: Political participation through a gun barrel? Western Michigan University: Kalamazoo, MI.

Johnson, F. 1903. Famous Assassinations of History: From Philip of Macedon, 336 B.C. To Alexandria of Servia, AD 1903. A.C. McClurg & Co.: Chicago.

Padover, S.K. 1943. Patterns of Assassination in Occupied Territory. The Public Opinion Quarterly, 7(4), 680 -- 693, Oxford University Press.

Pages, M. 2007. The Image of the Assassins in Medieval European Texts. University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Soderblom, J.D. 2004. Time to Kill? State Sponsored Assassination and International Law. World International Community Experts,

Wightman, J.A. 2003. Assassination… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Corrections/Police Intelligence the Moral, Legal.  (2012, November 26).  Retrieved January 28, 2020, from

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"Corrections/Police Intelligence the Moral, Legal."  26 November 2012.  Web.  28 January 2020. <>.

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"Corrections/Police Intelligence the Moral, Legal."  November 26, 2012.  Accessed January 28, 2020.