NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

America's Openness Leaves It Vulnerable To Spies

June 23, 2000

Security experts say safety and national security are constantly jeopardized by the openness of American society. Time after time, spies have uncovered valuable secrets.

  • Spies have been discovered in every agency involved in U.S. national security -- as well as in every branch of the armed services except the Coast Guard.
  • At least one member of Congress is known to have been a spy -- and many major defense contractors have been penetrated.
  • Since 1975 alone, there have been more than 75 noteworthy spy cases.
  • During the late 1980s, about 50 countries were known to be trying, and sometimes succeeding, in stealing secrets -- including such allies as France and Israel.

Going back in history, spies have existed at the very top echelons of the federal government. At one point during his tenure as President Truman's secretary of the Treasury, there was no one in Henry Morganthau's immediate entourage who wasn't a Soviet spy. And had Henry Wallace, not Truman, become president upon Roosevelt's death, he might have appointed Lawrence Duggan, a Soviet agent, as secretary of State.

Source: Paul Redmond (former head of CIA's counterintelligence), "America Pays the Price of Openness," Wall Street Journal, June 23, 2000.


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