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Security Breach

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Forty years ago, when I worked as legal counsel for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, we occasionally pulled all-nighters reconciling the House and Senate versions of a bill. Inevitably, we haggled over the wording, each side trying to preserve the language that would please our respective bosses. One evening, as we were toiling over a bill that contained provisions on foreign aid, human rights, and arms sales of keen interest to the State Department and the Pentagon, I set off through the warrenlike offices of the Rayburn Building in search of coffee. Opening the wrong door, I was surprised to find a State Department lawyer sitting at a desk, in front of a typewriter. He should have been at home, in bed, but here he was, typing away, writing language that he was quietly slipping to the House staffers, who presented it as their own.

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