The value of this controversial book about the CIA is not so much the secrets it reveals, as the questions it forces Americans to ask about the role of a secret agency in an open society.
The authors have produced a sustained attack on covert activities abroad -- and at home. They believe the secret agency should be more open, more accountable to Congress, less concerned with overthrowing foreign governments and more with collecting intelligence.
The CIA waged a closed courtroom battle to block publication, amid warnings that the national interest would be endangered if the proceedings -- or the book -- reached the public. Recent court decisions have declassified many previously CIA-deleted passages, wh ich now appear in this paperback edition.