Introductory Remarks: Michael B. Mukasey, 81st United States Attorney General
Necessary Secrets: National Security, the Media, and the Rule of Law is political scientist Gabriel Schoenfeld’s controversial study of the press's role in publishing leaks of sensitive national-security information.
When disclosing government secrets, the press frequently invokes the “public’s right to know.” But in doing so, the press is thereby trampling on another right, one rarely spoken about let alone defended: the “public’s right not to know.” For when it comes to certain sensitive subjects in the realm of national defense, the American people have voluntarily chosen to keep themselves uninformed about what their elected government does in their name. The reason why is obvious: the vital secrets that the public learns, America’s adversaries learn as well. The Manhattan Institute is pleased to host Mr. Schoenfeld for a discussion of secrecy in our open society.