There is a limit to how much secrecy a democracy can stand. Let’s start with the obvious: A democracy needs intelligence agencies. It needs to know what’s happening in the world — and understand the plans of allies and enemies — to keep the nation prepared and secure. If intelligence work is going to be effective, much of it has to be done in secret. “National security” is not merely an excuse for keeping intelligence activity under wraps: often, the only way to protect our collective well-being is to pursue many national security activities, including intelligence-gathering, in the dark.