Secrecy, Accountability and the National Security State (SPI 384)

Barton D. Gellman

National security secrecy presents a conflict of core values: self-government and self-defense. We need information to hold our leaders accountable, but if we know our enemies know too. This course explores that dilemma and the complex relationships that resolve it. We will apply competing legal and philosophical models to real-world cases of unauthorized disclosure. Class discussion will be enriched by visiting government officials, journalists and lawyers. Among the subjects: weapons of mass destruction, Pentagon Papers, domestic surveillance and Wikileaks.