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"Pentagon Papers" attorney to deliver 28th Annual Silha Lecture

October 3, 2013

What: 2013 Silha Lecture
James C. Goodale, author and former New York Times general counsel
When: Wednesday, Oct. 16, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Cowles Auditorium, 301 19th Ave. S., Minneapolis

How far can the government go in its pursuit of those who disclose classified information, like Edward Snowden or Bradley Manning? Should "whistleblowers" be prosecuted for espionage? Can journalists who publish classified material be forced to reveal their confidential sources? How can the public's right to know be balanced against the government's claims of national security?

In his new book, Fighting for the Press: the Inside Story of the Pentagon Papers and Other Battles, James C. Goodale, vice chairman and general counsel of The New York Times during the landmark "Pentagon Papers" litigation in 1971, contends that many of the issues of national security and press freedom that were central to that case remain current today. Since his book was published in 2013, Goodale has been a sought-after commentator and analyst, giving more than 50 television, radio, internet and print interviews. He will explore whether the Obama administration has overstepped its constitutional authority in its efforts to shut down leaks at the 28th Annual Silha Lecture, entitled The Lessons of the Pentagon Papers: Has Obama Learned Them?

The lecture begins at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 16, in the Cowles Auditorium, on the University's West Bank campus. Goodale will take audience questions and sign copies of his book following his presentation. Copies of the book will also be available for purchase.

The Silha Lecture is free and open to the public. No reservations or tickets are required. Parking is available in the 19th and 21st Avenue ramps. Additional information about directions and parking can be found at

The Silha Lecture is sponsored by the Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law.

About James C. Goodale
Called "the father of the reporter's privilege" by the New York Observer, Goodale represented The New York Times in its U.S. Supreme Court cases including Branzburg v. Hayes and New York Times v. Sullivan. He is the author of two other books, The New York Times v. The U.S. and All About Cable, as well as approximately 200 articles that have appeared in a variety of publications ranging from academic journals to popular newspapers and magazines.

A member of the law firm Debevoise & Plimpton LLP since 1980, Goodale has also taught First Amendment and Communications law at Yale, New York University and Fordham Law Schools. In 1972, he established the Communications Law conference for the Practising Law Institute in New York, which has become the preeminent annual gathering for media attorneys and academics to discuss developments in First Amendment law. From 1995-2010, Goodale produced and hosted a New York metropolitan area public television program, "Digital Age," about the effect of digital technology on media, politics and terrorism. He served as chairman of the board of the Committee to Protect Journalists from 1989-1994, which has been instrumental in the release of imprisoned journalists around the world.

About the Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law
The Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law is based at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota. Silha Center activities, including the annual Lecture, are made possible by a generous endowment from the late Otto Silha and his wife, Helen. For further information, please contact the Silha Center at (612) 625 3421 or, or visit

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