Jim Woolsey
fmr. Director of Central Intelligence (CIA)
02:07

Democracy and the Rule of Law

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Jim Woolsey talks about the need to develop democracy and the rule of law across beyond the Western world.

Jim Woolsey

The Honorable James Woolsey is the Chairman of Paladin's Strategic Advisory Group. He is a partner at Booz Allen Hamilton and from 1993 to 1995 was the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).  He endorsed Senator John McCain for president and served as one of McCain's foreign policy advisors.  In his government service, his law practice, and his service on corporate boards, Mr. Woolsey has focused on the practical application of innovative technology and on the legal and managerial requirements that are necessary to accomplish this. During the last two decades, he has served on the boards of fourteen companies; almost all have been significantly involved in using high technology to improve security as well as provide other benefits to private and public sector consumers. He was an early member of the board of directors of Yurie Systems, Inc., a provider of ATM access technology and equipment and access concentrators, which, in 1997, was named by Business Week as the fastest-growing corporation in the U.S. As Under Secretary of the Navy, as a member of the President's Blue Ribbon Commission on Defense Management (Packard Commission), the Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the U.S. (Rumsfeld Commission, 1998) and as Director of Central Intelligence, Mr. Woolsey has been identified with promoting technological innovation in the interest of improving security.

Mr. Woolsey received his B.A. Degree from Stanford University (With Great Distinction, Phi Beta Kappa), and a M.A. Degree from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and an L.L.B. Degree from Yale Law School, where he was Managing Editor of the Yale Law Journal.

Transcript

Jim Woolsey: I guess I would say that I still think the spread of the rule of law and democracy, probably in that order because states like Bahrain who do a pretty good rule of the law that aren’t democracies yet, are pretty stable places. If there is some way people can feel confident that the U.S. can continue what it has done successfully with our allies since from 1945 up to very recently, to spread the rule of law in democracy into the parts of the world like central Asia and the Arab world, which don’t really . . . and parts of Africa that don’t have it now, that would be a huge contribution. I think we’ll be able to do that a lot faster and a lot better if we break oil’s role as a strategic commodity, because it’s that link between dictatorship or autocracy on the one hand, and living on economic rent that is a big part of the problem. Bernard Lewis says of course there should be no taxation without representation, but everybody needs to understand that there’s no representation without taxation. Saudi Arabia doesn’t have a legislature. It doesn’t need one. It doesn’t need to tax anybody. It uses oil. So without a legislature, without needing a legislature, autocracies tend not to set them up. (Laughter) They leave well enough alone and rule. And it’s that single man or single group rule unconstrained that leads to the problems we’re having with Putin, and Chavez, and … and the rest. Democracies aren’t perfect. They make mistakes. They can fall apart and disintegrate into dictatorships like Germany did in 1933. Nothing is for sure, but on the whole they don’t fight each other. They fight dictatorships.

Recorded on: 7/6/2007 


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