Rolls Of Secret Police In A Totalitarian Government

1226 words - 5 pages

Many people don’t know there was such a thing as secret police, therefor people are uninformed of the rolls they have. There are many different roles that the secret police have that able them to control citizens. Although there are many roles that the secret police of a totalitarian government have, their main role is having the power to act outside of legal restraints. Instead of enforcing the rule of law, secret police organizations are specifically expected to operate beyond and above the law. Acts of terror and intimidation such as kidnapping, interrogation, torture, internal exile, forced disappearance, and assassination were not uncommon and were in fact very popular (Berman, Ilan para 1&2).
Secret police forces operate entirely or partially in secrecy. Almost all of their operations are concealed and hidden from the general public. Sometimes they are also hidden from the government except for the top executive officials. Even though most operations are hidden from the citizens they still in fact know the laws and the consequences that come along with breaking those laws. The consequences for breaking laws in this type of government can be cruel and looked at as unreal in this day and age (“The Secret Police”).
Most of the time citizens in a totalitarian government are so feared by these consequences that going about daily life is difficult. Secret police have the power to watch and control anything a person would do. All conversations over a phone could be recorded for the force to listen to, any mail that was sent out could be opened and read by anyone that was part of the government, and your home could be searched at any given time (“The Secret Police”). If a person was a part of this type of government, there was not any privacy. Here in the United States it seems unreal to have a government that had that type of power over citizens.
Secret Police is established by national governments to maintain political and social control. Generally, secret police has operated independently. Many examples were the Nazi Gestapo, the Russian KGB, and the East German Stasi. These groups had similar roles as other secret police forces. These roles include arrest, imprisonment, torture, and execution of political enemies and intimidation of potential opposition members. Secret police not only have the traditional police authority to arrest and detain, but in some cases, they are given unsupervised control of the length of imprisonment given for a certain punishment. The approach of investigation used by the secret police let build up so much power that they usually operate with little or no practical restraint. Forces have organizations that use internal spies to find protest leaders and they also find agents to provoke political opponents to perform illegal acts against the government (Berman, Ilan para3&4). These forces were more similar to Hitler’s Nazis’ and a little different from the secret police forces that withheld from showing the public...

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