cover of book

Domestic Intelligence: Monitoring Dissent in America
by Richard E. Morgan
University of Texas Press, 1980
eISBN: 978-1-4773-0029-9 | Paper: 978-0-292-71529-5
Library of Congress Classification JK468.I6M66
Dewey Decimal Classification 353.0074


The 1970s revealed a number of infamous and sometimes illegal practices used by federal law enforcement agencies to monitor political dissent in the United States. In the aftermath of Watergate the revelation of serious abuses created distrust of virtually all domestic intelligence operations and led to vigorous efforts at reform.

Richard E. Morgan emphasizes the importance of guarding against an overreaction to the disclosures of the mid-1970s. While acknowledging the need for many of the recent reforms that seek to establish accountability, guarantee privacy, and protect dissent, he cautions against limitations on domestic intelligence gathering that could seriously hamper government's ability to prevent crime, particularly terrorism.

Domestic Intelligence has several major objectives: to trace the way in which government agencies became involved with domestic intelligence gathering; to review the controversies and abuses associated with these agencies, especially the FBI, the CIA, and the NSA; to discuss the constitutionality of domestic intelligence collection; to review intelligence reforms adopted; and to suggest additional reforms.

This volume is concerned with the tension between the need to protect privacy and political dissent and the need for the government to protect the community. Morgan concludes that intelligence operations aimed at anticipating criminal activity are necessary in a complex, highly vulnerable society, and that these operations can be conducted responsibly with proper guidelines and oversight mechanisms.

Nearby on shelf for Political institutions and public administration (United States) / United States / Government. Public administration: