Defamation is easy. Australia has any number of good defamation lawyers who will ‘legal’ a manuscript if you pay them enough. But if your manuscript threatens to transgress the National Secrets Act, you are on much shakier ground. Axis of Deceit, Andrew Wilkie’s ‘story of the intelligence officer who risked all to tell the truth about WMD and Iraq’, was always going to be hot. Our investigations didn’t turn up a single Melbourne lawyer who could advise us if we had crossed the line, so we asked David Wright-Neville, a Monash academic and ex-spook (like Wilkie, he had been an analyst at the Office of National Assessments, Australia’s peak intelligence agency), to check the manuscript. He read it thoughtfully and suggested chopping a dozen or so offending passages, which was acceptable to both Wilkie and Black Inc.