“Necessary Secrets”

Necessary Secrets: National Security, the Media, and the Rule of Law, available from Amazon and other fine book stores.

“Illuminating, extremely intelligent, learned, engaging, and important. This is a truly great book—the best account ever of the relationship between the press and the government concerning the protection and disclosure of national-security secrets, one that is centrally relevant to manifold national-security debates today.”

– Jack Goldsmith
Henry L. Shattuck Professor of Law, Harvard University,
author of The Terror Presidency

“A serious work for a serious issue. Schoenfeld illuminates the complex history and the even more complicated present of America’s struggle to balance security and free expression.”

– General Michael V. Hayden
Director, Central Intelligence Agency (2006-2009)
Director, National Security Agency (1999-2005)

About Necessary Secrets:

Leaking”—the unauthorized disclosure of classified  information—is a well-established part of the U.S. government’s normal functioning. Gabriel Schoenfeld examines history and legal precedent to argue that leaks of highly sensitive national-security secrets have reached hitherto unthinkable extremes, with dangerous potential for post-9/11 America. He starts with the New York Times’s recent decision to reveal the existence of National Security Agency programs created under the Bush administration. He then steps back to the Founding Fathers’ intense preoccupation with secrecy. In his survey of U.S. history, Schoenfeld discovers a growing rift between a press that sees itself as the heroic force promoting the public’s “right to know” and a government that needs to safeguard information vital to the effective conduct of foreign policy. A masterful contribution to our understanding of the First Amendment, Necessary Secrets marshals the historical evidence that leaks of highly classified government information not only endanger the public but, in some extraordinary circumstances, merit legal prosecution of those who publish them.

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