Nation: Security Lapse?

When gloating Iranian students brandished a document purporting to show that two of their American hostages are spies for the CIA, one perplexing question arose: How could such a document be discovered? Prudent security procedures decree that "sensitive" cables 1) should not contain the real names of clandestine operatives; 2) should not be duplicated; 3) should be among the first documents to be destroyed in the event of an attack on the embassy.

In Tehran, none of these procedures seems to have been carried out. Security may simply have become lax, one well-informed observer charges, and top-secret cables may have been widely...

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