Privilege or excuse?
the State Secret Privilege is an evidentiary rule, when it’s applied to a case it calls for an exclusion of evidence on the grounds that said evidence may expose or harm US security.
First, the government must provide an affidavit, which is usually easily obtainable, they then present the court with the affidavit and state that this official condones these actions (dismissal of evidence) and highly advises the courts to drop the evidence. When this motion is granted any evidence pertaining to the privilege is completely removed from the litigation. Although, when an affidavit is presented in this situation it is almost always passed, weather the prosecutors or judges believe in it or not.
The creation of the state secret privilege was sad and peculiar. In 1948, a secret test flight was conducted over Waycross, Georgia, the aircraft was a B-29 military bomber that was upgraded with classified electronic equipment. Onboard were nine crew members and four civilian observers, six of the nine crewman and three of the four civilian observers were killed when a fire occurred in one of the engines. After the incident, widows of the fallen service men and civilians filed a suit with the government for answers and compensation. The lawsuit lead nowhere however, the US government stated that sensitive information was at stake and the disclosure of evidence was inherently dangerous. I don’t believe this for a second, I don’t believe that informing the distraught widows compromises military secrets.
If the government held this test flight with civilian observers on board, then how classified was the information on the aircraft? It seems absurd that they would let civilians on board but then act like the information is so secretive that their direct cause of death and other key evidence shouldn’t be acknowledged.
In recent times the state secret privilege has been used numerous times, one case is that of Notra Trulock. Trulock was an official of the department of energy (DOE) in the early 2000’s, in 2002 he launched a defamation suit against Wen Ho Lee, who also worked for the DOE, for allegedly stealing “sensitive nuclear weapons documents” (-Trulock V. Lee and the United States of America, opinion section/per curiam, page 2) from the United States government. The president at the time, George bush, stated that national security was at risk if Trulock continued the case with Lee, leading to the dismissal of the case. Later, the FBI director of the time, Louis Freeh, was the center of a new case that claimed he falsely invoked the state secrets privilege, and effectively interfered with the previous case. The sheer lunacy that surrounds these two cases truly boggles the mind, the fact that these cases touch upon overt treason and lead nowhere is horrifying to say the least. to think that our government, the protectors of freedom, would turn a blind eye to someone who steals the planets most funded military secrets used to be that of fairy tail and conspiracy, but is now a little known fact.
Another instance of the state secret privilege is that of Sibel Edmonds, where the privilege was used twice. The case is started by achknologing I. factual background, which states,
-I. Factual Background, Sibel Edmonds V. United States Department of Justice, july 6th, 2004
“Although much of the information concerning the plaintiff’s employment history with the FBI is classified and therefore will not be referenced in this opinion, 3 the plaintiff contends that between December 2001 and March 2002, while employed by the FBI, she reported a number of alleged acts of misconduct to the FBI. 4 Compl.  P 15. On February 7, 2002, the plaintiff states that she wrote a letter to the Acting Assistant Supervisory Agent in Charge (“ASAC”) detailing her “concerns about security and management problems in the language department and requesting that prompt corrective action be taken.” [*4] Id. P 17. During the following week on February 13, 2002, the plaintiff states that she wrote a letter to an Executive Assistant Director for the FBI, “notifying him of [her] serious security concerns which potentially put Plaintiff’s personal safety and the safety of her family at risk.” Id. P 20. The plaintiff then met with a Deputy Assistant Director for the FBI on March 7, 2002, to discuss her reports of misconduct. Id. P 22. That same day, the plaintiff filed complaints with the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility (“OPR”) and the Department of Justice’s Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) detailing her “allegations of serious security breaches and misconduct.” Id. P 23. The plaintiff’s employment with the FBI was terminated on March 22, 2002, id. P 24, and a letter was sent to the plaintiff on April 2, 2002, explaining that her contract was ‘terminated completely for the Government’s convenience.’ Id. P 25.”.
This is sickening (let alone the rest of the document), a member of the FBI who feared for her and her families lives was fired because she saw issues with the FBI’s security, But trust me it gets even worse. The first privilege was invoked to prevent Edmonds from testifying that the united states had foreknown that Al-Qaeda planned to use airliners to attack the US trade center in September 11th, 2001. This invokement of the privilege undermined the efforts of six hundred 9/11 victims’ families who sought to sew the Saudi government. The second time the privilege was used in relation to Sibel Edmonds was in her personal lawsuit against the government for firing her. They used the privilege, dropped any pretaining evidence, labled her a whistle blower, and ended the case.
It is sad to see patriots being pushed aside, especially in cases like Edmonds where she worked for the government and truly believed that her and her department (the FBI) were serving for the greater good, only to realize that as soon as an issue arised she was the first to get the metaphorical shaft. When I was young there wasn’t anything more important to me than my country, I wanted to grow up and become a member of the police or the military and help the world; but sadly dreams such as those are shadows of the past. In current days the government no longer looks like a becon of hope, but a bastion of dogs; where you are greeted with open arms but thrown to the hounds as soon as your fears come to fruition.
Sibel Edmonds V. The Department of Justice (July 6th, 2004)
Notra Truelock III V. Wen Ho Lee and United States of America (feb 28th, 2003)
United States V. Reynolds ET AL. (oct 21st, 1952)