OPINIONSrnThe Secrets of Liberalismrnby William R. Hawkinsrn”A secret may be sometimes best kept by keeping the secret of its being a secret.”rn—Henry TaylorrnSecrecy: The American Experiencernby Daniel Patrick MoynihanrnNew Haven: Yale University Press;rn262 pp., $22.50rnIwas reading his new book whenrnDaniel Patrick Moynihan announcedrnthat he would not seek a fourth Senaternterm in 2000. A university professor whornserved in every administration from thatrnof John Kennedy to Gerald Ford, and asrnambassador to India and the United Nationsrnbefore being elected to the UnitedrnStates Senate from New York, Moynihanrncertainly possesses the qualifications tornwrite a book on the history of Americanrnstate secrets. Instead, he offers a shortrnpolemic (his part of the text runs onlyrn168 pages) that wanders all over the map,rnnot just topically but also in point ofrnview.rnThe inspiration for the book is Moynihan’srnformer service on the Senate SelectrnCommittee on Intelligence and hisrnwork as bipartisan co-chair of the Commissionrnon Protecting and ReducingrnCovernment Secrecy; its focus is thernclassification of secrets during the ColdrnWar. Richard Gid Powers, author of No^rnWithout Honor: The History ofAnti-Communismrnin America and several books onrnthe FBI, stresses in his lengthy introduc-rnWilliam R. Hawkins, a former economicsrnprofessor, is Senior Research Analyst forrnU.S. Representative Duncan Hunter (RCA).rnThe views expressed are his own.rndon (59 pages) that Moynihan is an “anti-rncommunist liberal.” What Powersrnmeans is that, while Moynihan deploredrnSoviet totalitarianism and denounced itrnin the strongest terms (especially duringrnhis tenure at the United Nations), as arnliberal he was uncomfortable doing anythingrnmore than talking about it. Thisrnambivalent attitude toward the Sovietrnmenace is most evident in the two mainrnlines of argument that Moynihan advancesrnon behalf of his theme that secrecy,rnby limiting debate over policy to arnsmall number of “cleared” insiders, hasrncaused “some of our greatest politicalrnblunders.”rnIn 1995, Moynihan was instrumentalrnin releasing the Verona intercepts: messagesrnsent by the KGB to its Americanrnagents in the 1940’s and decoded by thernArmy’s Signals Intelligence Service inrn1946. They confirmed that the KGB operatedrnan elaborate espionage ring thatrnincluded Alger Hiss, Julius and EthelrnRosenberg, and other government officialsrnand nuclear scientists. These cablesrnwere never shown to President Trumanrn(whose administration was accused ofrnbeing “soft” on Soviet “fellow travelers”rnwithin its precincts), let alone made public;rnthe Army did not wish that its abilityrnto break Soviet codes be known. Moynihanrndismisses this justification of secrecyrnby claiming that the British traitor KimrnPhilby had already told Moscow that thernUnited States was reading its mail. It isrnnot clear, however, that Philby knew therndetails of the Army’s operation, or thatrnthe Army was aware that its counterespionagerneffort had been compromised (ifrntrue).rnMoynihan’s first point—that, underrngiuse of security, various bureaucraciesrnhorde information and fail to act on whatrnthey know (or to allow others to act) —isrnwell taken (though it should be notedrnthat Hiss, the Rosenbergs, and otherrnspies were discovered and convictedrnwithout the Verona information). However,rnhis second one—that the informationrnshould have been made public —isrnpresented in somewhat naive fashion.rnMoynihan believes that the Verona cablesrnwould have turned the left towardrnanticommunism while undermining thern24/CHRONICLESrnrnrn