"An intensely controversial scrutiny of American democracy's fundamental tension between the competing imperatives of security and openness. "Leaking"--the unauthorized disclosure of classified information--is a well-established part of the U.S. government's normal functioning. Gabriel Schoenfeld examines history and legal precedent to argue that leaks of highly sensitive national-security secrets have reached hitherto unthinkable extremes, with dangerous potential for post-9/11 America. He starts with the New York Times's recent decision to reveal the existence of National Security Agency programs created under the Bush administration. He then steps back to the Founding Fathers' intense preoccupation with secrecy. In his survey of U.S. history, Schoenfeld discovers a growing rift between a press that sees itself as the heroic force promoting the public's "right to know" and a government that needs to safeguard information vital to the effective conduct of foreign policy. A masterful contribution to our understanding of the First Amendment, Necessary Secrets marshals the historical evidence that leaks of highly classified government information not only endanger the public but, in some extraordinary circumstances, merit legal prosecution of those who publish them."