Claim of privilege: the unmasking of a landmark Supreme Court case

Book Cover
Average Rating
HarperCollins Publishers,
Pub. Date:

In the tradition of A Civil Action and Gideon's Trumpet, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Barry Siegel unfolds the shocking true story behind the Supreme Court case that forever changed the balance of power in America.

On October 6, 1948, a trio of civilian engineers joined a U.S. Air Force crew on a B-29 Superfortress, whose mission was to test secret navigational equipment. Shortly after takeoff the plane crashed, killing all three engineers and six others. In June 1949, the widows of the engineers filed suit against the government. What had happened to their men? they asked. Why had these civilians been aboard an Air Force plane in the first place?

But the Air Force, at the dawn of the Cold War, refused to hand over the accident reports and witness statements, claiming the documents contained classified information that would threaten national security. The case made its way up to the Supreme Court, which in 1953 sided with the Air Force in United States v. Reynolds. This landmark decision formally recognized the "state secrets" privilege, a legal precedent that has since been used to conceal conduct, withhold documents, block troublesome litigation, and, most recently, detain terror suspects without due-process protections.

Even with the case closed, the families of those who died in the crash never stopped wondering what had happened in that B-29. They finally had their answer a half century later: In 2000 they learned that the government was now making available the top-secret information the families had sought long ago, in vain. The documents, it turned out, contained no national security secrets but rather a shocking chronicle of negligence.

Equal parts history, legal drama, and exposé, Claim of Privilege tells the story of this shameful incident, its impact on our nation, and a courageous fight to right a wrong from the past. Placing the story within the context of the time, Siegel draws clear connections between the apocalyptic fears of the early Cold War years and post-9/11 America—and shows the dangerous consequences of this historic cover-up: the violation of civil liberties and the abuse of constitutional protections. By evoking the past, Claim of Privilege illuminates the present. Here is a mesmerizing narrative that indicts what our government is willing to do in the name of national security.

More Details
Also in this Series
More Like This
Reviews from GoodReads
Loading GoodReads Reviews.
Staff View

Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 8f991e73-1d04-35a3-30b8-402b4674b056
full_title claim of privilege the unmasking of a landmark supreme court case
author siegel barry
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2017-08-14 05:04:27AM

Solr Details

_version_ 1576421400575475712
accelerated_reader_point_value 0
accelerated_reader_reading_level 0
auth_author2 Rachlis, Kit.
author Siegel, Barry.
author-letter Siegel, Barry.
author2 Rachlis, Kit.
author2-role Rachlis, Kit.
author_additional Barry Siegel, Kit Rachlis.
author_display Siegel, Barry
availability_toggle_arlington Available Now, Entire Collection
available_at_arlington Central
callnumber_sort_arlington 342.7306 SIEGE
collection_arlington Adult Nonfiction
date_added 2011-01-26T05:00:00Z
days_since_added 2400
detailed_location_arlington Central Adult Nonfiction
format_arlington Book
format_boost 10
format_category_arlington Books
grouping_category book
id 8f991e73-1d04-35a3-30b8-402b4674b056
isbn 9780060777029
item_details ils:.b13032525|.i13493516|Central Adult Nonfiction|342.7306 SIEGE|||1|false|false|||||On Shelf|Sep 08, 2015|can||
itype_arlington Hardback
language English
language_boost 10
language_boost_es 1
lexile_score -1
lib_boost_arlington 50
literary_form Non Fiction
literary_form_full Non Fiction
local_callnumber_arlington 342.7306 SIEGE
local_callnumber_exact_arlington 342.7306 SIEGE
local_callnumber_left_arlington 342.7306 SIEGE
local_days_since_added_arlington 2400
num_holdings 1
oclc (OCoLC)179806887
owning_library_arlington Arlington Public Library, Aurora Hills, Central, Cherrydale, Columbia Pike, Connection Crystal City, Detention Center, Glencarlyn, Local History, Plaza, Shirlington, Westover
owning_location_arlington Central
physical xi, 284 p. ; 24 cm.
popularity 2
primary_isbn 9780060777029
publishDate 2008
publishDateSort 2008
publisher HarperCollins Publishers,
rating 2.5
rating_facet oneStar, twoStar
record_details ils:.b13032525|Book|Books||English|HarperCollins Publishers,|2008.|xi, 284 p. ; 24 cm.
recordtype grouped_work
scope_has_related_records a, arlington, c, d, g, h, o, p, s, u, v, w
scoping_details_arlington ils:.b13032525|.i13493516|On Shelf|On Shelf|false|true|true|false|false|true|999|||
subject_facet Executive privilege (Government information) -- United States, Government liability -- United States, Liability for aircraft accidents -- United States, National security -- Law and legislation -- United States, Official secrets -- United States
target_audience Adult
target_audience_full Adult
title Claim of privilege : the unmasking of a landmark Supreme Court case
title_display Claim of privilege : the unmasking of a landmark Supreme Court case
title_full Claim of privilege : the unmasking of a landmark Supreme Court case / Barry Siegel, Kit Rachlis
title_short Claim of privilege :
title_sort claim of privilege the unmasking of a landmark supreme court case
title_sub the unmasking of a landmark Supreme Court case