I learned a little about the origin of the states secret privilege today

Just finished this book about the CIA, written a by a career employee.

The most interesting part to me was at the end of the book, when he explained the origin of the “state secrets” privilege that gets used so often these days.

It started when a bomber crashed in 1948 and killed a few civilian contractors on board, and their families sued the government.

The government said they couldn’t release details about the plane or the flight without revealing classified information.

Lower courts rejected this and ordered the government to cough up the data. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the government and created the idea of the state secret privilege.

Plot twist: 50 years later, the daughter of one of the contractors used a FOIA request to get the data.

The reports had no secure information. The plane crashed because of garden-variety incompetence.

The state secret privilege was BORN out of a desire to cover up embarrassing information.