Essay: When Secrecy Meets Democracy

Can Americans do anything in secret anymore? You are a Russian or an Israeli or an Iranian. Tomorrow you are approached by an American agent to help his cause in a secret operation. Do you accept the offer? Not unless you have a lot of life insurance and a craving for publicity.

The arms-for-Iran turned into cash-for-the-contras scandal is just beginning to unravel. One sure consequence of that unraveling will be an endless series of disclosures -- names, dates, places, faces -- that will make it very unsafe to be an American agent. For some Americans that will mean the end...

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