Necessary Secrets by Gabriel Schoenfeld
National Security, the Media, and the Rule of Law

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Synopsis

An intensely controversial scrutiny of American democracy’s fundamental tension between the competing imperatives of security and openness.


“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 merit legal prosecution.
 

About Gabriel Schoenfeld

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Gabriel Schoenfeld is a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C. and a resident scholar at the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, New Jersey. His essays on national security and modern history have appeared in leading publications including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, the Weekly Standard, the New Republic, the Atlantic, the National Interest, and Commentary, where he was senior editor from 1994 to 2008. Schoenfeld holds a PhD in political science from Harvard University.
 
Published May 24, 2010 by W. W. Norton & Company. 323 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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A Hudson Institute scholar examines the enduring tension between the government's need to preserve certain secrets and the role of a free press.

Jan 04 2011 | Read Full Review of Necessary Secrets: National S...

The New York Times

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An inquiry into the costs and benefits of publishing government secrets.

May 28 2010 | Read Full Review of Necessary Secrets: National S...

The Wall Street Journal

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The government claims a right to hide certain facts. The public—and the press—claims a right to know them.

Jun 04 2010 | Read Full Review of Necessary Secrets: National S...

The Washington Post

But Schoenfeld clearly wants a well-known news organization like the New York Times and its journalists, to which he is obviously antipathetic, to be prosecuted to create what lawyers call a chilling effect on the rest of the American news media, persuading them to abdicate their right and respon...

May 16 2010 | Read Full Review of Necessary Secrets: National S...

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