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Wikileaks And The Institutional Framework For National Security Disclosures, Patricia L. Bellia Apr 2012

Wikileaks And The Institutional Framework For National Security Disclosures, Patricia L. Bellia

Journal Articles

WikiLeaks’ successive disclosures of classified U.S. documents throughout 2010 and 2011 invite comparison to publishers’ decisions forty years ago to release portions of the Pentagon Papers, the classified analytic history of U.S. policy in Vietnam. The analogy is a powerful weapon for WikiLeaks’ defenders. The Supreme Court’s decision in the Pentagon Papers case signaled that the task of weighing whether to publicly disclose leaked national security information would fall to publishers, not the executive or the courts, at least in the absence of an exceedingly grave threat of harm.

The lessons of the Pentagon Papers case for WikiLeaks, however, are …


Contextualizing Disclosure's Effects: Wikileaks, Balancing And The First Amendment, Christina E. Wells Jan 2012

Contextualizing Disclosure's Effects: Wikileaks, Balancing And The First Amendment, Christina E. Wells

Faculty Publications

This essay responds to Professor Fenster’s article in the Iowa Law Review, Disclosure’s Effects: WikiLeaks and Transparency, assessing the effects of the recent WikiLeaks disclosures. The essay agrees with many of Professor Fenster’s conclusions regarding the promise and peril of those disclosures, especially his concern regarding the problematic balancing approaches used to assess the likely impact when confidential information is revealed. It specifically elaborates on courts’ current application of the Espionage Act, a criminal law likely to be applied to the WikiLeaks disclosures, and the implications of that deferential application for WikiLeaks, Julian Assange and journalists in general.