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During the Supreme Court’s oral arguments in the case on Wednesday, the nine justices pressed Brian Fletcher, the US government’s lawyer, on why this “public knowledge” should still be treated like a secret. The answer, he said, was that the US had given its word to Poland to keep the information confidential.If it had been a domestic US case the calculus might be different, he said, but this involved a diplomatic agreement – and it was in US national security interests to honour its promises.

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