Alliance Linking Leaders in Education and the Services (ALLIES)

National Security and Civil Liberties Program

This program is an opportunity for students to experience and understand the fundamental relationship between civil rights and national security concerns. Closely allied with ALLIES, it brings together students from the Tufts campus and from the US military academies to address controversial issues such as Guantanamo, warrantless wiretaps, and the extent of Executive Privilege.

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A World of (wiki)Leaks:

Secrecy and Access in a Democratic Society

Saturday, April 2, 2010

Tufts University—001 Braker Hall



1300-1315 | Opening Remarks: Chelsea Brown, National Security and Civil Liberties Program Co-Chair


1315-1500 | Panel 1: The Fourth Estate: Media Accountability and Government Transparency

1500-1645 | Panel 2: Freedom of Information and the National Security Apparatus


1645-1700 | Concluding Remarks: Katherine Monson, National Security and Civil Liberties Program Co-chair



The Fourth Estate:

Media Accountability and Government Transparency


The “Fourth Estate” is a term coined in the 18th century to communicate the importance of an emergent independent press. Today, it encapsulates wide range of media outlets—TV, radio, newspapers, etc.—that operate in democracies all over the world. A free press continues to be considered so integral to a democratic society as to constitute a de facto “fourth branch” of government because it serves as an effective two-way conduit of information and opinion between citizens and their representatives. Yet conflict arises when information is deemed too sensitive to exist in the public sphere. 


This panel will explore the status of the “Fourth Estate” in light of the controversy generated by the publication of classified government documents. Panelists will be asked to consider the media’s role in revealing, analyzing and communicating security policies and decisions. How does media’s responsibility to inform measure up to the government’s responsibility to protect?  Has Wikileaks gone too far or not far enough in forcing government transparency? Who may be held accountable if leaks of information endanger American lives?




David Sanger is the Chief Washington Correspondent for The New York Times.  Sanger has been writing for the Times for over 26 years, covering foreign policy, globalization, nuclear proliferation, and the presidency. He has been a member of two teams that won the Pulitzer Prize and has been awarded numerous honors for national security and foreign policy coverage. His first book, The Inheritance: The World Obama Confronts and the Challenges to American Power (Harmony, 2009), was a bestseller.


Ben Wizner is the Litigation Director of the American Civil Liberties Union National Security Project. He has litigated numerous cases involving post-9/11 civil liberties violations, including lawsuits challenging the CIA’s “extraordinary rendition” program, lawsuits challenging unlawful airport security policies, and, most recently, a suit challenging the government’s authority to use lethal force against U.S. citizens without due process. He has written widely on issues relating to detention, military commissions, state secrets, and accountability for torture. He has also appeared regularly in the media, testified before Congress, and traveled several times to Guantánamo Bay to monitor military commission trials.


Vaughan Smith is a news pioneer who founded the Frontline Club in London in 2003 as an institution to champion independent journalism and promote better understanding of international news and its coverage. During the 1990s, Smith worked as an award-winning independent cameraman and video news journalist covering wars and conflict in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechnya, Kosovo and elsewhere. During that time, he also ran Frontline Television News, an agency set up to represent the interests of young journalists who wanted to push the envelope of their profession. Smith has recently been making headlines for giving refuge to Julian Assange, the founder of whistle-blowing website Wikileaks, first at the Frontline Club and then at his country house.


John Taylor “Ike” Williams joined Stern Shapiro Weissberg & Garin in 2010 as Of Counsel.   His practice emphasizes intellectual property and First Amendment litigation and the creation, production, and licensing of intellectual property, particularly in the areas of publishing, film, television, and new media. He is the co-author, with E. Gabriel Perle and Mark Fischer, of the widely used Perle & Williams on Publishing Law.  He was a member of the National Endowment for the Arts Literary Panel for many years and served as the Chair of the Boston Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Co-Chair of the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts.


Freedom of Information and the National Security Apparatus


The collective body of institutions charged with protecting the United States from danger, damage, or loss is referred to as the national security apparatus.  These institutions have long operated with a certain degree of secrecy in order to protect intelligence sources, enhance candid communication, and maintain a strategic advantage.  The post 9/11 security environment has pressured this arrangement as the need to enhance sharing of intelligence between organizations has changed standards for access to confidential materials.  The vulnerabilities that result from these competing priorities are complicated further by the demands of operating in a liberal democracy, which demands government transparency and accountability.  


The panel will explore the relationship between secrecy and security, investigating how access to information is controlled and regulated.  Panelists will be asked to consider how a balance can be struck between the seemingly contrary goals of protecting national security and maintaining government accountability and transparency.




Nate Jones is the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Coordinator at the National Security Archive, an independent non-governmental research institute and library located at The George Washington University. He oversees the thousands of FOIA and Mandatory Declassification Review (MDR) requests and hundreds of FOIA and MDR appeals that the Archive submits each year. He acts as liaison between Archive analysts and government FOIA officers and serves as the Archive’s FOIA counselor to the public. He is also the editor of the Archive's blog and manages its social media. He was coauthor of the Archive's 2010 FOIA Audit, Sunshine and Shadows: The Clear Obama Message for Freedom of Information Meets Mixes Results.



COL Bentley Nettles is a qualified Information Operations Officer (IO), Functional Area 30.  In the Information Operations arena, COL Nettles has served as the IO Team Chief for Field Information Support Teams deployed in support of CJTF 180 as part of Operation Enduring Freedom (2003-2004) and III Corps in support Operation Iraqi Freedom (2005-2005). COL Nettles is a qualified JAG Officer who has served in Bosnia as the Operational Law Officer for SFOR 7 (2000) and the American Representative on the International Claims Tribunal in Sarajevo.  As a JAG Officer, COL Nettles has served as the Chief of the Criminal Law Division, 49th Armored Division; Administrative Law Officer for the 49th Theater Information Operations Group; and the Staff Judge Advocate for the 36th Infantry Division.


John E. Holloway provides technical/operational advice to the Director of the Integrated

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Support (IIS) Directorate within the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, Networks and Information Integration (NII). He is responsible for keeping the Director of IIS informed on issues concerning information sharing of the Departments’ international contingency and stabilization operations policy as it pertains to the Sea Services. He is also the Directorates’ LNO for PACOM and works closely with SOUTHCOM. Holloway is the Directorate’s interface with the UN OCHA Civ-Mil and Emergency Response Sectors. He tracks all natural and man-made disasters that the DoD responds to (Haiti, Indonesia, Libya, Japan). Mr. Holloway retired from the U.S. Navy in 1988 as a Cryptologic Technician (Radio) Chief Petty Office after 20 years of service. While on active duty, Mr. Holloway was active in special operations in Okinawa and Vietnam. While serving three tours at the National Security Agency, Mr. Holloway was a senior analyst within the National SIGINT Operations Center Maritime Watch as well as a Surveillance and Warning Supervisor within the National Security Agency’s Special Support Activity, where he received numerous classified Letters of Commendation for Presidential Support and for both overt and covert operations.


Benjamin Paganelli (Lt Col [ret] USAF) is a partner and senior consultant with Viable International Applications (VIA) Unlimited, a research and consulting firm focused on success in the international community.  In 2004 Paganelli attended the NATO Planning School and began his assignment as the chief air planner to NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), Afghanistan and in the same role for the development of NATO’s first rapid response force (NRF).   Paganelli joined the faculty of the United States Air Force Academy in 2007 and was named an Assistant Professor of Political Science in 2009.  He is a combat veteran of Operations Northern Watch, Southern Watch, Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, and ISAF.



Past Events:

Download the March 21-23, 2007 program