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It is a means of ensuring that our foreign policy reflects the genuine national security interests of the United States. Policy-makers, and those who under our form of government are entitled to affect policymakers' decisions, must receive relevant information. Justice Brennan opined:
[T]he First Amendment embodies more than a commitment to free expression and communicative interchange for their own sakes; it has a structural role to play in securing and fostering our republican system of self-government . . . . Implicit in this structural role is not only “the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open” ... but the antecedent assumption that valuable public debate—as well as other civic behavior-must be informed. The structural model links the First Amendment to that process of communication necessary for a democracy to survive, and thus entails solicitude not only for communication itself, but for the indispensable conditions of meaningful communication.219
The victim of the foreign secret police force is not simply its individual “target” but rather the entire body politic. National security consists of the safety of the individuals composing the state. In the United States, the law places the individual before the state; its guarantees of individual liberty, particularly free expression, are not viewed as simply another set of values to balance against others in pursuit of national security. One cannot properly weigh the “good of the state” against the good of any individual, for the scales almost invariably tilt toward the collective entity. The interest of one individual versus another individual, or of one state interest versus another state interest, are properly comparable.
But these truths are quickly forgotten against a backdrop of geopolitical games where, on boards in policymakers’ minds, one anthropomorphic state befriends another, betrays another, or bedevils another. The point is too easily lost that the “state” is no more than a mental construct, an aggregate of individual interests, and that United States foreign policy is conducted for the purpose of preserving the primacy of the individual over the state. 220 To foresake that priority
219. Richmond Newspapers, Inc., v. Virginia, 448 U.S. 555, 587–88 (1980) (Brennan, J., concurring). 220. As the Supreme Court said in United States v. Robel, 389 U.S. 258 (1967):
[T]his concept of “national defense” cannot be deemed an end in itself, justifying any exercise of legislative power designed to promote such a goal. Implicit in the term “national defense” is the notion of defending those values and ideals which set this Nation apart .... It would be ironic if, in the name of national defense, we would sanction the subversion of one of those liberties—freedom of association—which makes the defense of
the Nation worthwhile. Id. at 264.