Personal and academic blog. Explores the borderlands between rhetoric, politics and intelligence.


MI6 and ethos

It is a difficult question: Should we change our rhetorical profile so as to be able to adress people whom we normally have no credibility with?

The question is pressing when considering strategic communication in the war against terrorism as well as more operational intelligence works. Today the The Observer can reveal that MI6 had plans for doing 'black propaganda' as to infiltrate extremist islamists on the internet. This of course raises a cry of protest from the political world - as the norm is that we as democratic citizens should always be behind our words and not manipulate etc. - a standard that is then transferred to our democratic institutions, like the intelligence services.

My dissertation touches on this dilemma and so does my essay in Journal of Diplomatic Language. My solution is to a large extend that we should focus much more on the individual level of description and further the mastery of communication. But as the MI6 case show, this will not resolve the basic dilemma without being followed up by a clear intent from our politicians.


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