First Principles 1975-1996

"It is at all times necessary, and more particularly so during the progress of a revolution and until right ideas confirm themselves by habit, that we frequently refresh our patriotism by reference to First Principles."

Thomas Paine

Dissertation on First Principles of Government, July 1795

The periodical First Principles: National Security & Civil Liberties is a unique historical resource.  Published by CNSS from 1976 to 1996, it provides a comprehensive review of the controversies following the Church Committee’s 1975 report on FBI and CIA abuses through the Iran/Contra scandal and the enactment of the 1996 Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act.  It provides a recap and analysis of, and commentary on, all the national security and civil liberties issues of those years.  Following the September 11 attacks, defense of civil liberties reemerged as a crucial policy front, and the issues discussed in the pages of First Principles provide historical and legal background for today's controversies. 


To browse First Principles chronologically, please see the Chronological Index.

To browse First Principles by subject, please see the Subject Index