AUTHOR SEEKS RELEASE OF GRAND JURY TESTIMONY LEAKED ABOUT THE BATTLE OF MIDWAY

Maryland historian and author Elliot Carlson is one step closer in his fight to release confidential grand jury testimony involving a story published by the Chicago Tribune on June 7, 1942.



The story was written by war Correspondent Stanley Johnston while he was on a navy transport in the Pacific. It was written based off of a decoded message that Johnson discovered revealing America’s knowledge of Japanese fleet movements leading up to the Battle of Midway.

grand jury battle of midway

TBD Devastator torpedo bombers take off from the USS Enterprise during the Battle of Midway

When the story broke President Franklin D. Roosevelt was furious, as he was worried it would reveal to the Japanese that their Naval code had been broken by US intelligence. A grand jury was impaneled to seek criminal charges against Johnston for violating espionage laws. Although Johnston was not indicted, the grand jury testimony was sealed for decades until Elliot Carlson decided to reveal it in his upcoming book.

“I have a manuscript that’s complete but for the last chapter,” he said. “I want it to be finished as soon as possible.” Said Carlson.

grand jury battle of midway

The USS Yorktown lists after being damaged by Japanese carrier planes

Even though WWII has been over for over 70 years, the U.S Justice Department is fighting release of the documents stating that court rules do not allow releasing confidential grand jury records for historical interest.

Fortunately for Carlson, a federal district judge in Chicago has ruled in his favor and on Thursday, a three-judge panel from the 7th U.S. Circuit court of Appeals affirmed the ruling.

The Justice Department can still appeal the decision.



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2 thoughts on “AUTHOR SEEKS RELEASE OF GRAND JURY TESTIMONY LEAKED ABOUT THE BATTLE OF MIDWAY

  • Bill Getz says:

    Where is it written that grand jury deliberations are sacrosanct forever? Answer: only in the minds of bureaucrats who always believe they are superior in judgement than ordinary citizens.

  • Richard Colasanti says:

    Even census records are released after 72 years. We also have laws prohibiting “contracts in perpetuity.” Grand jury proceedings are legal events which effect people’s lives. By attempting to keep them secret “forever,” not only creates a historic “non event,” but gives rise to Snowdens , Wikileaks or even worse, groups such as “Anonymous.”

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