Decline of The Superspies

In the shadowy world of cloak-and-dagger spy operations, tiny Israel for years ranked as a world-class player. Agents of MOSSAD, the country's equivalent of the CIA, electrified the world in 1960 by capturing Nazi War Criminal Adolf Eichmann and spiriting him out of Argentina under the noses of authorities. The intelligence network cast by MOSSAD and Shin Bet, Israel's FBI, was so exhaustive in the Middle East that Washington often relied on it for information and analysis. Even when the objectives of Israel's spooks were debatable, their methods virtually defined professionalism and supersecrecy.

Recently, however, Israel's vaunted state-security apparatus seems to...