21 Harv. C.R.-C.L. L. Rev. 349 (1986)
Curtiss-Wright Comes Home: Executive Power and National Security Secrecy

handle is hein.journals/hcrcl21 and id is 363 raw text is: CURTISS-WRIGHT COMES HOME: EXECUTIVE
POWER AND NATIONAL SECURITY SECRECY
Harold Edgar*
Benno C. Schmidt, Jr.**
Introduction
Collectively we face no greater challenge than maintaining
sensible perspectives on national security issues. Central to this
task is the need to achieve a tolerable balance between secrecy
and openness in public debate on such issues. There are real
threats to our nation, and we would be foolish to ignore them;
history teaches that no culture is guaranteed survival. Yet, how
to respond to such threats must be profoundly controversial.
The virtue of liberal society is that it values highly the realization
of private preferences; the sacrifice of those desires to attain
another's vision of collective security will never be the path
chosen by unanimous vote. There will be constant debate. What
is worth securing? How real is the threat? How best may the
threat be countered? What are the consequences of miscalcu-
lation? Each link in the chain is braided with uncertainties, as
we venture ultimate stakes at imponderable odds.
The basic structures-communal, political, often even ar-
chitectural-of every society have been shaped by a concern
for collective security. Page through The Federalist, our greatest
political tract, and note the priority in argument that Hamilton,
Madison and Jay gave to claims that only union could reduce
the risks of foreign war and influence. The first twenty-nine
essays sound mainly that theme in one key or another. War and
* Julius Silver Professor of Law, Science, and Technology, Columbia University.
A.B. Harvard 1964; LL.B. Columbia 1967.
** Harlan Fiske Stone Professor of Constitutional Law, Columbia University. A.B.
Yale 1963; LL.B. Yale 1966. I am grateful to the Markle Foundation for support of my
work on problems of freedom of the press.
Thanks to Henry Monaghan, Vince Blasi, Lori Damrosch, and Peter Strauss for
valuable comments, and to Nersa Miller and Lisa Peterson for a lot of late night typing.

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