From “Spy vs. Spy vs. Spy”

By Adam Gopnik
The New Yorker, 9/2/2018

If there is to be a lesson taken from the literature of espionage, it is that the surfaces we see generally have the greatest significance, and the most obvious-seeming truths about other countries’ plans and motives are usually more predictive than the sharpest guesses at hidden ones. A corollary of this truth is that the best way to project power is not to do wrong secretly but to do good openly. How intelligent is national intelligence? Why, exactly as smart as we are. It’s a terrifying thought.

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