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National Security, Leaks and Freedom of the Press – The Pentagon Papers Fifty Years On - Oxford Scholarship Online
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National Security, Leaks and Freedom of the Press: The Pentagon Papers Fifty Years On

Geoffrey Stone and Lee Bollinger


The United States Supreme Court made a landmark decision in the Pentagon Papers case in 1971, concerning how government should balance its legitimate need to conduct its operations—especially those related to national security—in secret, with the public’s right and responsibility to know what its government is doing. The Pentagon Papers decision, though, left many important questions still unresolved and the circumstances that undergirded the system initiated by the decision have changed fundamentally in recent decades. Difficult problems call for a range of different perspectives. In this boo ... More

Keywords: Pentagon Papers, national security, leaks, freedom of the press, freedom of speech, First Amendment, government secrecy, classification, FOIA, whistleblowers

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2021 Print ISBN-13: 9780197519387
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2021 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780197519387.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Geoffrey Stone, editor
Professor of Law, University of Chicago

Lee Bollinger, editor
President, Columbia University

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The Pentagon Papers Framework, Fifty Years Later

Allison Aviki, Jonathan Cedarbaum, Rebecca Lee, Jessica Lutkenhaus, Seth P. Waxman, and Paul R. Q. Wolfson

Part One The National Security Perspective

1 Fighting for Balance

Avril Haines

2 Crafting a New Compact in the Public Interest

Keith B. Alexander and Jamil N. Jaffer

4 Reform and Renewal

Lisa O. Monaco

Part Two The Journalist Perspective

7 Let’s Be Practical

Stephen J. Adler and Bruce D. Brown*

10 Covering the Cyberwars

David E. Sanger

Part Three The Academic Perspective

11 Outlawing Leaks

David A. Strauss

14 Information Is Power

Mary-Rose Papandrea

15 Who Said What to Whom

Cass R. Sunstein*

16 Leaks in the Age of Trump

Louis Michael Seidman