Where to start ? I think the key question is:
"What's the difference between an independent person and agent of a secret service ?"
Well, as an INDEPENDENT PERSON you can do anything you want. But in every society there are rules which protect other people from your behavior. The main rules remain almost unchanged during history: You can find them in the Ten Commandments as well as in Chamurabi's codex.
You should not break these rules (but you can). Your behavior is evaluated by other people in the society. The result is your MORALE. If you spend a night with your friend's wife your morale is not very good. But it is better then if you rob a bank. If you murder somebody your morale is very bad. (Please note that even in this case we talk about morale!)
As an independent person (you are the one who decides what you do) you are RESPONSIBLE for your behavior. And because of this you must expect punishment if you break some of the rules.
And what about a secret service agent ?
When you become a secret service agent YOU MUST DO EVERYTHING YOU ARE SAID TO DO. You cannot say "No". You lost your independence. There is nothing important to add. It's just that simple!
What are the consequences ?
Say you (as a secret service agent) get an order to spend a night with your friend's wife, or to rob a bank, or to commit a murder. What effect has it on your morale? NONE: it was not YOUR decision to do it - you HAD to do it, you had no option. But if we cannot decide about your morale from your behavior, then your morale cannot be defined - you have NO MORALE. You lost your morale when you lost your independence. The question "What is the morale of a secret service agent?" is the same nonsense like "What is the color of your wings?"
What about RESPONSIBILITY? Who is responsible when a secret service agent commits murder ? He is not responsible, because he only did what he was ordered to do (1). Responsible is the person (inside secret service) who ordered this murder. But because it is a SECRET service we do not know this person. (Sometimes we even do not know that it was a murder: official investigation says it was an accident or suicide.)
Well: When an independent person commits murder he can get life sentence. When a secret service agent commits murder nothing happens. Is it allowed in the Ten Commandments? Is there any law saying "Secret service agent is allowed to murder."? No. This situation doesn't MAKE SENSE. What's wrong? I suggest we can turn this situation into a situation which makes sense by adding:
"When you enlist into secret service you become a criminal." It means every secret service agent is a criminal even if he did nothing.
Other consequences of enlisting into secret service:
The loss of independence affects also following aspects of life:
TRUTH/LIE: The difference between Truth and Lie is not very important for a secret service agent. His top priority is the order he gets (and must do). When in contact with other people his activity is not "share information", but "manipulate other people by disinformation" (a mixture of truth and lies). There is also a strong relation between Truth and REALITY (the real world). If the Truth is shattered, Reality becomes blurred.
LOVE and FRIENDSHIP are long-term liabilities. How can you love somebody if you can get an order tomorrow to kill a member of his/her family? How can you have a friend, if you can get an order to put a gun in his car that will convict him from murder? Agent is unable of love and friendship. He can simulate them, but you know: it's not the same.
You cannot TRUST an agent because what he tells is disinformation and he has no personal responsibility of what he does.
HUMOR can expose a weakness of a person or a group of persons in a comical way. Humor is a kind of "attack" and must be based on reality (truth). In a society where humor flourishes you must be aware that you can be "attacked" anytime. For somebody who wants to dominate other people humor is a nasty and dangerous thing. Among secret service agents humor is replaced by fun.
Through ART authors bring us human emotions we share with others since the dawn of human history. Emotions which are independent of social position: the same feels somebody who lives in a 10room house and somebody who lives in a slum when they watch "Romeo and Juliet". But why should an agent watch "Romeo and Juliet" if he is unable of love?
Because he gets orders from somebody else his behavior is UNPREDICTABLE. If the orders are strange or contradict each other, his behavior becomes strange or "mad".
What secret service agent enjoys
Well it's POWER to manipulate other people, FUN and SEX. Nothing else. Sometimes Fun and Sex cannot be enjoyed, but Power remains for ever.
Independent person and an agent look same, but they differ a lot. An agent is more like a robot or puppet than a human being.
Who would want such a person as a partner or friend if his identity was not hidden ? And without contact with other people agent looses all he has: his power! Strange and funny thing!
Structure of secret services
is hierarchical. Person on higher level gives orders to persons on lower level. They must obey. Person on lower level cannot influence person on higher level. Individuals on upper level dominate that on lower levels. This leads to a situation when few (maybe even one) persons have full control over millions and can do anything with them. Be sure that "anything" means really ANYTHING!
Relations between secret service and its agents
Secret service passes its agents information and power to manipulate other people, but they remain its "property". You would probably expect some kind of protection, but it is not so: secret service kills its agents without any reason, maybe sometimes just for "fun" or that it fits in the "play" they engaged in. In US this is probably the case of Lee Harvey Oswald, Timothy McVeigh and certainly many less known victims like agents among the 3000 victims of 9/11. Secret services use its agents just like stuff.
Cases when agents are killed seem to be rare now, but, please, note there is no mechanism to limit these cases. (I hope you understand, that HUMAN RIGHTS means nothing to agents.)
Murders, drugs smuggling, robbery and other criminal activity are not "failures of individuals", but integral part of secret services. Every secret service IS a criminal organization.(2) Its criminal activity cannot be eliminated by "reforming" it, but only by canceling it. Its very existence prevents society to become fully democratic.
When secret services start spreading through a society hiring more and more agents the whole society looks less and less free and democratic and has more and more features described as typical for secret service and its agents. The truth and lies (sharply separated) start merging into disinformation, reality is blurred, love is replaced by sex, humor is replaced by fun. Morale and responsibility disappear. Behavior of people becomes strange and unpredictable.
Power structures of the society are the first ones to be affected: Agents elected as representatives of people into democratic institutions (members of parliament, president, judges) are not interested in what people they represent want: their top and only priority is the orders coming from secret service. Society is transformed into dictatorship without any visible abrupt change.
In such a society you cannot trust other people. You cannot trust your wife, your parents, your children. Such a type of society NEVER existed in human history. You had always real, reliable or at least predictable people around you, people who had responsibility for their behavior and certain interest in other people of the community. Society disintegrates into separate individuals without real relationships among them.
(1) Although a slave and an agent are different in many ways, they both lack of independence. I remember seeing a film about an insurrection of slaves on a ship which was transporting them from Africa to US. The court dismissed the accusation because "things" cannot make an insurrection.
(2) ... As Marchetti writes in The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence: The "clandestine mentality" is a mind-set that thrives on secrecy and deception. It encourages professional amorality - the belief that righteous goals can be achieved through the use of unprincipled and normally unacceptable means. Thus, the cult's leaders must tenaciously guard their official actions from public view. To do otherwise would restrict their ability to act independently; it would permit the American people to pass judgment on not only the utility of their policies, but the ethics of those policies as well....
... Describing how an organization might blow up an airplane or a building to kill one or two people, former DEA Agent Mike Levine says: "Once you arrange a death, once you employ one of these organizations that do this sort of thing, it's out of your control."
(David Hoffman: The Oklahoma City Bombing and the Politics of Terror, chapter: A Strategy of Tension)