Yesterday, Geoffrey Stone delivered a Chicago's Best Ideas talk with the title of "Government Secrecy v. Freedom of the Press." A packed house heard Geof discuss the law involved in when national security considerations trump (or should trump) the press's right to publish information, and even when they trump the right of individual citizens to bring such information to light. Listen to the talk to hear him explain why what looks like a balancing test isn't always a balancing test and why this talk is about so much more than the Pentagon Papers.
After the New York Times disclosed that President Bush had secretly authorized the National Security Agency to intercept international electronic communications, the Attorney General, other members of the Bush administration, and several members of Congress suggested that the United States might criminally prosecute the New York Times for publishing classified national security information. In what circumstances, may the United State constitutionally prosecute public officials, reporters, and publishers for the disclosure and dissemination of classified information?