Reuel Gerecht’s article “Spooky Sex: Inside the Randy Culture of the CIA” explores the history of sex in the CIA and why American culture is quick to condemn and punish the romantic infidelity of CIA officers.
Before we down more generals, before we unleash the FBI on more clandestine romances, we should remember the long, humdrum history of infidelity and espionage—and leave the punishment of wayward operatives to their husbands or wives. Case officers aren’t saints. For their sakes, and ours, don’t try to make them, or the civilians who oversee them, into moral paragons.
Fidelity to one’s spouse and one’s country are dissimilar; Gerecht’s essay makes an important distinction that betraying one’s partner does not inevitably lead to betraying one’s country.