Code Name: Sunshine


William Arkin, who until last month was a military affairs columnist for the Los Angeles Times, is coming out with a new book entitled Code Names, which is claiming to reveal the names and other details of 3,000 ongoing secret government intelligence operations. The Federation of American Scientists' Secrecy News calls it "perhaps the most concentrated act of defiance of official secrecy policies since Howard Morland wrote about 'The H Bomb Secret' in The Progressive in 1979, drawing a government injunction to block publication." From the book's website:

In a perfect world, all of this secrecy would be to protect legitimate secrets from prying foreign eyes. But […]Arkin learned that while most genuine secrets remain secret, other activities labeled as secret are either questionable or remain perfectly in the open. The sheer volume and complexity of these operations ensures that the most politically important remain unreported by the press and shielded from the scrutiny of the American electorate. […]

But Arkin knows where to draw the line. The information in his book will not jeopardize individuals or operations.

I wrote about the Bush Administration's dramatic ramping-up of secrecy in the August issue.