France: L'Affaire Ben Barka

The French all but invented the modern police force, under the guiding genius of Joseph Fouché, who served the nation's regimes from the Revolution to the Restoration. He finally retired in 1816, and no French leader since then has been able to disentangle the mysterious, proliferating networks-within-net-works of French security agencies. Today France has no fewer than a dozen, ranging from the trench-coated men from S.D.E.C.E. (Service de Documentation Extérieure et Contre-Espionnage) to the blue-frocked flics. So, when friendly intelligence agents from another country ask French help in getting their man,...