They Don't Need To Lie To Us To Scare Us
By: Mark W Adams

It's one thing when A NASA spokesman said that denying the Associated Press’s request to see a database on safety lapses in U.S. aviation on the grounds that it might scare the public.

It's typical, bureaucrats trying to save face, keeping us in the dark to protect themselves from embarrassment. Wrong as it is, the public's right to know the facts of the situation certainly outweighs the natural human tendency to put themselves in the best light even if it distorts our ability make informed public policy decisions. But it is forgivable, understandable.

But when the usually serious Media Matt says, "Holy Shit!" it's worth paying attention. The Higazy case is neither forgivable nor excusable, especially the court's complicity in the government's cover-up. Sure, it is understandable if you understand that the Rule of Law now means we make up rules as we go along, changing the very nature of common language to fit a new interpretation of the law which now has exactly the opposite effect that the ills it was enacted to aleviate. (Well, they are making their own imperial reality, of course.)

You can decide for yourself exactly what National Security interest justifies this level of secrecy.

Basically, the FBI coerced an innocent man into confessing by threatening his family with torture, eventually the man's innocence became clear and an appeals court ruled in his favor, but the opinion was swiftly pulled off the web.
National Security? Can't give the "enemy" any insight to our torture enhanced in-terror-gation "methods" can we. Folks, this isn't the CIA dealing with an enemy spy or the military pressing an "unlawful combatant," this was a guy who was at the wrong place at the wrong time and wearing the skin and nationality of someone with the wrong color -- and had a suspicious gizmo with him that allegedly could communicate with jets.

The FBI thought they had a 9/11 conspirator in their grasp and in true Jack Bauer like form, were willing to take extraordinary means to extract information. That's not the debate here. We'll leave that for another time. As a wrongfully accused and illegally confined legal resident, he did what you do and sued for false arrest, But by redacting what the FBI did to Higazy, the court is complicit with what so many classification decisions come down to -- covering up an embarrassment. Or at least they attempted to.

The government admit in the basics for purposes of the summar judgment motion, that the confession the FBI obtained was "coerced." And it appears that the Plaintiff, Abdallah Higazy, was not himself subject to torture, but only threatened that his family might be in for a world of hurt back in Egypt. He told the FBI what they wanted to hear, which wasn't the truth. Higazy has not been put under a gag order, or silenced like Valerie Plame, or Sibel Edmonds. So just what, or who is being protected here? Since the original decision has been preserved for all time thanks to the Intertoobz you can read the redacted part of the case under the fold.

Higazy alleges that during the polygraph, Templeton told him that he should cooperate, and explained that if Higazy did not cooperate, the FBI would make his brother “live in scrutiny” and would “make sure that Egyptian security gives [his] family hell.” Templeton later admitted that he knew how the Egyptian security forces operated: “that they had a security service, that their laws are different than ours, that they are probably allowed to do things in that country where they don’t advise people of their rights, they don’t – yeah, probably about torture, sure.”

Higazy later said, "I knew that I couldn't prove my innocence, and I knew that my family was in danger." He explained that "[t]he only thing that went through my head was oh, my God, I am screwed and my family's in danger. If I say this device is mine, I'm screwed and my family is going to be safe. If I say this device is not mine, I’m screwed and my family’s in danger. And Agent Templeton made it quite clear that cooperate had to mean saying something else other than this device is not mine.”

Higazy explained why he feared for his family:

The Egyptian government has very little tolerance for anybody who is —they’re suspicious of being a terrorist. To give you an idea, Saddam’s security force—as they later on were called his henchmen—a lot of them learned their methods and techniques in Egypt; torture, rape, some stuff would be even too sick to . . . . My father is 67. My mother is 61. I have a brother who developed arthritis at 19. He still has it today. When the word ‘torture’ comes at least for my brother, I mean, all they have to do is really just press on one of these knuckles. I couldn’t imagine them doing anything to my sister.

And Higazy added:

[L]et’s just say a lot of people in Egypt would stay away from a family that they know or they believe or even rumored to have anything to do with terrorists and by the same token, some people who actually could be —might try to get to them and somebody might actually make a connection. I wasn’t going to risk that. I wasn’t going to risk that, so I thought to myself what could I say that he would believe. What could I say that’s convincing? And I said okay.

There are two basic questions I have here. Just how many similar episodes don't we know about because the government was entirely successful in it's cover-up? And, Just what kind of people have we become?