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The first study of clandestine operations was initiated 1988 in hopes of learning about the relationship between the President and the intelligence committees of Congress. Stephan F. Knott, an Assistance Professor of Political Science at the Untied States Air Force Academy, picked up this study of clandestine operations. In Knott's recently published book (1996) Secret and Sanctioned, he unveils the reality that not only were clandestine operations in the Cold War recently, been had also been used in times dating back to our Forefathers. Knott's account of covert operations involving some of our most admired leaders (George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln etc.) gives clear evidence that even the most admired respected of our leaders weren't completely honest dealers.
The fact that covert operations were undoubtedly active in the times our Forefathers are illustrated within the realm of Secret and Sanctioned. Knott's main purpose in writing this book was to notify his audience that the age-old tradition of clandestine operations wasn't started with a new generation of politicians, but had been embedded within the political system since the beginning of the American Revolution. Knott worked with several well-educated professors in research of his book, he consulted many different sources such as Professor Dennis Hale, a chairman of the Political Science Department at Boston College and Arthur S. Hulnik a professor of International Relations at Boston College as his resources of information about American intelligence activity.
Stephan F. Knott details several different cases in which covert operations were throughout the years. His first subject was the covert operations, which involved George Washington's plan to capture William the IVth, the heir to the throne of England while had authorized on his stay in the states in March of 1782. Washington had authorized three kidnappings, that of Benedict Arnold, Sir Henry Clinton William the IVth. Washington also used the death penalty without a second thought to get the information needed.
In one plot in the book with the characters John Jay and Alexander Hamilton, statesmen in 1700's, who both made great impact regarding the American Intelligence Capability through their writing and through their actions as influential political leaders. They were both involved in clandestine activities in the government during the time that they had served in the American Revolution. Hamilton worked under Washington taking care of many clandestine operations as Jay took the counterintelligence and espionage activities in New York. John Jay an appointed member of the Committee of Secret Correspondence by the Continental Congress was very happy that he got selected to head up an intelligence network with our "Britain friends." Jay established oversea operations with the French. It was Jay first introduced invisible ink to Silas Deane to use as he traveled through enemy territories with the persona of a merchant from the colonies. Deane used the invisible ink in order to correspond with Jay as he spied on foreign relations. In case of exposure it was important that the letters were written in a way that ensured that only certain person's could decipher the real meanings of each document. Deane's secret mission was to pieces for twenty-five thousand men. The letters that used in order to communicate with one another sounded lie ordinary letters and could only be deciphered by the intended readers. Many letters contained information about the military and what they had supplies as far as the amount of supplies carried on a certain ship. Knott then went on to talk about funding that was relevant for the clandestine activities that had happened during the term of George Washington and thereafter.
Washington set up the Contingency Fund during the Revolutionary War as means of supporting his intelligence operations. It was used primarily for foreign policy making giving the president control of the agreements. This bill was debated with an unknown diplomatic appointment. The House of Representatives wanted to know what Washington was going to spend money on. Washington's side argued that the House only needed to be concerned with whether or not salaries are to be made or not. Some House member were strongly against giving the president so much executive power, so the debate lasted months as the House and the Senate met and decided at last that they would pass the bill but would only give the stipulation of thirty thousand dollars. The president did however have certain limitations. The general appropriation allowed the president to decide where to appoint executive agents while consulting Senate. This decision was brought up Congressman Lee who thought that the president shouldn't be able the president should have to consult another authority. While he argued this point, another congressman by the name of Smith was contradictory toward taking the power away from the president saying that the president needed to be able to exercise his executive power to the fullest. The bill was finally passed in April of 1790 after much debate. The bill gave the president the executive power to act as he chose.
Thomas Jefferson is a great example of use of executive power in clandestine operations. Jefferson was for the belief that the president had the right to autho
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