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Claim Of Privilege By Barry Siegel

Decent Essays

Claim of Privilege by journalist Barry Siegel dives into the centuries-spanning history of the infamous Supreme Court case Reynolds v. United States. The case began as a simple investigation headed by three widows (Patricia Reynolds, Phyllis Brauner, and Betty Palya) who wanted answers regarding the freak Air Force plane crash that killed their husbands (Bob Reynolds, William Brauner, and Al Palya, respectively); however, the Air Force’s reluctance to admit fault caused the case to balloon into a discussion of state secrecy and the necessities of governmental truthfulness. Seeing as Claim of Privilege is a journalistic work, Siegel strays from directly injecting his opinions into the story; however, through clever usage of language and utilization of a carefully-curated list of court cases that highlight the consequences of the power granted by Reynolds v. United States, Siegel is still able to convey to the reader his overall distaste with both the court’s unjustifiable decisions and the behavior of the U.S. government. It is important to first understand the magnitude of the precedent set by Reynolds v. United States before explaining Siegel’s response. The Air Force was completely unwilling to hand over an accident report to the widows, as said report would clearly show that departmental negligence contributed to the plane’s eventual destruction. The Air Force defied motions from both the Pennsylvanian district court and the Third Circuit appeals court, consistently

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