Should a government tell its citizens what it is doing secretly on their behalf to keep them safe, when it might end up harming them too? Strangely it is a question still rarely asked in the debate over national security in the United States, eleven years into its long War on Terror. Might, for instance, Barack Obama’s pseudo-secret drone campaign in Pakistan and Yemen be dangerously radicalising the families of fallen civilians even while eradicating the immediate threat of plots to attack Americans in their offices and homes?
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'Thirkell was a product of her time and her class. For her there are no sacred cows, barring those that win ribbons at the Barchester Agricultural.'
The novelist Angela Thirkell is due a revival, says Patricia T O'Conner (£).
'Only in Britain, perhaps, could spy chiefs – conventionally viewed as masters of subterfuge – be so highly regarded as ethical guides.'
In this month's Bookends, @AdamCSDouglas looks at the curious life of Henry Labouchere: a friend of Bram Stoker, 'loose cannon', and architect of the law that outlawed homosexual activity in Britain.