U.S. Navy Asserts ‘State Secrets’ in Sonar Case
March 21, 2007 — By Kristin Roberts, Reuters
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Navy Tuesday said it had asserted the “state secrets” privilege in a lawsuit by environmental groups, a move to keep the military from being forced to disclose classified information about the use of sonar believed to injure whales and other animals.
Navy Secretary Donald Winter, in a court filing submitted Monday, said disclosure of the information requested by plaintiffs “could reasonably be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to national security.”
The state secrets privilege, if upheld, renders information unavailable for litigation. It can be challenged, although the federal government often succeeds in asserting the protection.
“It can be challenged and we intend to challenge it,” said Joel Reynolds, senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, the group that brought the lawsuit.
See also here.
Fossil whale found in Italian vineyard: here.