- Spring 2011-2012
Secrecy, Accountability & the National Security State
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. Beginning with the traditional rubric of "government versus press," the course maps an increasingly fragmented information marketplace. We will apply competing legal and philosophical models to real-world cases of unauthorized disclosure. Among the subjects: weapons of mass destruction, the "war on terror," domestic surveillance, torture and Wikileaks.
Sample reading list:
Necessary Secrets; National Security, the Media
Daniel Patrick Moynihan,
Geoffrey R. Stone,
Top Secret; When Our Government Keeps Us in the Dark
Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency
Dana Priest and William Arkin,
Top Secret America
Power and Contraint: The Accountable Presidency After 9/11
Weekly readings will include news and scholarly articles, legal briefs and book chapters. Students are expected to think hard about those readings before arriving in seminar. Two days before each seminar, with a view to promoting substantive engagement in class, each student will submit a succinct written response to the readings in 800 to 1,000 words. A final paper of 5,000 to 8,000 words will demonstrate mastery of our subject in a case study of the student's choice.
Paper in lieu of Final - 50%
Papers - 25%
Precept Participation - 25%
Not Open to Freshmen.
Class number: 42906