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FBI Coerced Confession Deemed "Classified"

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the united-states-of-embarrassment dept.

The Courts 456

Steve Bergstein is one of several who have blogged about a recent court ruling that reads like most any bestselling crime novel. Apparently, when the court originally posted their decision (complete with backstory) it detailed how a coerced confession was obtained by the FBI from Abdallah Higazy in relation to the 9/11 attacks. The details, however, were later removed and deemed "classified". "As I read the opinion I realized it was a 44 page epic, too long for me to print out. I blogged about the opinion while I read it online and then posted the blog as I ate lunch. Then something strange happened: a few minutes after I posted the blog, the opinion vanished from the Court of Appeals website! [...] The next day, the Court of Appeals reissued the Higazy opinion. With a redaction. The court simply omitted from the revised decision facts about how the FBI agent extracted the false confession from Higazy. For some reason, this information is classified."

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456 comments

Ha! (5, Insightful)

LightWing (1131011) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074091)

If by "classified" they mean mean "stuff that makes us look bad". Gotta love politics and public image. Perhaps Bush taught them a few too many unwholesome lessons of corruption?

Re:Ha! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21074101)

Wow, first post got a dig at Bush. I'm proud of you guys. Really.

Re:Ha! (-1, Flamebait)

anagama (611277) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074255)

Wow -- how surprising. First troll is a bushie.

Re:Ha! (-1, Offtopic)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074329)

Yes and some dipwad with mod points blew his modding wad on moderating an AC. Waste.

Re:Ha! (3, Insightful)

The Ultimate Fartkno (756456) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074263)

Considering the job he's doing these days, I think any post lacking the words "retarded," "epic fail," "witheringly stupid," "colossally dishonest," or "amoral, greedy cocksuckers" hardly counts as a "dig."

Re:Ha! (2, Insightful)

cHiphead (17854) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074787)

You really have to ask is that post Flamebait, or Insightful?

Cheers.

Re:Ha! (5, Insightful)

LightWing (1131011) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074427)

Luck of the draw, my friend. Anyway, anyone with more than two firing brain cells should realize Bush has been the worst thing for this country, surpassing even Nixon. And yes this is relevant, since Bush is part of the reason such 'authorities' are able to abuse the privacy of US citizens with little regard to consequences (except where public image itself is concerned). So yes, I have to say that such activities make me more than a little uncomfortable.

Re:Ha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21074595)

Bush in part of the reason only because he occupies the Office of the President.

If you think that abuse at the hands of the FBI begins and ends with him, you haven't been paying attention [zpub.com] .

Even-handed coverage... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21074245)

So when is this guy gonna start blogging about what happens to American soldiers captured alive by Islamists?

Re:Even-handed coverage... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21074305)

When does that happen in America? Oh yea, they invaded another country to put themselves in that situation,

Re:Even-handed coverage... (1)

ShaneThePain (929627) | more than 5 years ago | (#21075111)

You're a fucking traitor.

Re:Even-handed coverage... (3, Insightful)

clambake (37702) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074321)

So when is this guy gonna start blogging about what happens to American soldiers captured alive by Islamists?

I think what you meant to ask was, "When is the U.S. government going to start classifying and redacting stories of what happens to American soldiers caught alive by Islamists?"

Re:Even-handed coverage... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21075145)

This blog highlights the effects that our executive branch is having on our Right to confront our own government's behavior.

It is important because it shows a concerted effort to keep secret the systematic and despicable actions of people in our agencies, who act on our behalf, using ineffectual techniques that have yielded injustice. No good comes from protecting incompetence.

If you want to obfuscate or redirect the conversation... too bad!

Re:Even-handed coverage... (4, Insightful)

clodney (778910) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074465)

And why would you say that is relevant? We can't control what happens to soldiers once they are captured. We do control what happens to people we capture, and the laws are fairly explicit and used to be viewed as quite clear cut.

The fact that American soldiers can be tortured or killed is not sufficient cause to threaten to torture and kill the families of terrorism *suspects*.

And of course in this case, the FBI had to admit that this guy was innocent all along.

Or perhaps you think that the people who do torture or kill our soldiers will see how we are mistreating our own prisoners and be moved to change their behavior?

Re:Even-handed coverage... (5, Insightful)

Zeinfeld (263942) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074499)

So when is this guy gonna start blogging about what happens to American soldiers captured alive by Islamists?

That is entirely the point. If you talk to any member of the JAG corps about torture they will tell you that the reason the US did not permit its troops to torture others is that it is the only way that the US could protect its own troops.

Of course there are always enemies that do not respect the rules of war, that is why the Nurenberg trials were held.

Te Abu Graihb photographs and more importantly the conspicuous decision not to hold anyone in the chain of command accountable for them has demonstrated that the US does torture. And as a result US servicemen who are captured by Jihadis can expect to be treated as brutally as the Abu Graihb photographs.

More importantly the US has conceeded the moral case in the war on terror. It is the same mistake made by the British at the start of the IRA terrorist campaign. Internment without trial did nothing to stop the violence and the future leadership of the IRA emerged from the internees. Gerry Adams wrote his famous series of monographs under the name 'Brownie' which developed the Ballot-Bomb strategy.

As a result many US politicians who should have known better supported the IRA even as they were murdering civilians in the UK. People like Rudy Giuliani were attending IRA fundraisers right up to 9/11. Giuliani even gave Gerry Adams a 'humanitarian award' on behalf of NYC and expressed the hope that he would force Clinton to speak to Adams even without the renunciation of violence that Clinton demanded. A few months later Adams and Co blew up a shopping mall.

In the days after 9/11 everything changed. It was no longer hip to support the IRA. Rudy attended a NORAID fundraiser immediately after 9/11 but only after the IRA agreed the money would go to the 9/11 victims. After that US funding for NORAID disappeared entirely and the IRA finally accepted the demands that they had long resisted to disarm.

The reason the IRA had to pack it in was precisely because they had finaly lost the moral case that had been carelessly handed to them in the opening years of the troubles.

The model that HMG followed in defeating the IRA was to copy the West German authorities strategy for dealling with the Baader-Meinhof gang. The Germans refused to treat the RAF as political prisoners, they were always treated as common criminals.

Re:Even-handed coverage... (2, Interesting)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074867)

And as a result US servicemen who are captured by Jihadis can expect to be treated as brutally as the Abu Graihb photographs.
No.

Long before those photographs were published many US soldiers expected to be tortured if they were captured. During some of the higher level Marine SERE training that was pretty well drilled into our heads. And if it wasn't, those of us on the ground in Somalia, watching video of our captured brothers, figured it out.

So no, I don't think the photos were any kind of deciding factor for anyone.

Re:Even-handed coverage... (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#21075303)

Long before those photographs were published many US soldiers expected to be tortured if they were captured.

I agree with you entirely.

During some of the higher level Marine SERE training that was pretty well drilled into our heads.

Its scary part of military training is to provide you with the information and preparation you need. And the another part is to provide dehumanize your enemies, so you don't hesitate to pull the trigger when its time, so that you never question whether or not your fighting for the right side.

I wouldn't put it past our military to spread misinformation to its troops. Other militaries have done this.

Not that I'm saying this is misinformation; I'm sure in this case it wouldn't have been. But on some level you almost have to question what you hear because you are being told what they think you need to know to get the job done. And that is not necessarily the truth.

Re:Even-handed coverage... (1)

Deadplant (212273) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074633)

So when is this guy gonna start blogging about what happens to American soldiers captured alive by Islamists?
Ya, and just this morning the local paper was going on and on about how this one woman was kidnapped and murdered in my home town.

Don't they know that women are being kidnapped and murdered in other countries too? I mean jeez! why don't they write about that instead?

/sarcasm

Re:Even-handed coverage... (5, Insightful)

jythie (914043) | more than 5 years ago | (#21075219)

Ah, the "other people do bad things, so our government should be able to do whatever it likes!' argument.

Even if it isn't as bad as what the Islamics do, I don't think that the US government holding that behavior up as something to do it'self is a good thing. We are supposed to be FIGHTING this behavior, not emulating it.

Can't Have It Two Ways (5, Insightful)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074299)

If by "classified" they mean mean "stuff that makes us look bad". Gotta love politics and public image. Perhaps Bush taught them a few too many unwholesome lessons of corruption?

You know, this story is appalling, for several reasons: 1. Some information gets classified, that probably shouldn't be, and the fact that 2. The horse is out of the barn and shows that data, once posted, is impossible to recall, and then they further heighten interest in it by classifying it and raising a stink about it. Their actions have almost ensured world-wide dissemination.

What is worse is that their reaction to this will mostly likely make reasonable public access to information, rulings, testimony, almost impossible to get to.

On a side note, and dealing with my subject line: Guys, you can't have it both ways. Reading /. and listening to Air America, George Bush is either an evil genius able to mastermind these great conspiracies, or, he's dumb as a rock. How about not inserting him into the situation at all. It would serve not to marginalize the discussion and keep blame where it needs to be, the beureaucrats that make these decisions.

Re:Can't Have It Two Ways (3, Insightful)

Surt (22457) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074555)

The most commonly held opinion is that bush is seriously corrupt and of below average intelligence. He's not a complete idiot, and he does know how to manipulate people.

Cheney, on the other hand, is widely well regarded as an evil mastermind. An absolute genius of our generation. Unfortunately, he seems to be bent on destroying american democracy.

Re:Can't Have It Two Ways (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21074561)

George Bush is either an evil genius able to mastermind these great conspiracies, or, he's dumb as a rock.
How smart do you have to be to realize that you should hide the evidence? Honestly, the complexity of this scheme is not all that impressive -- the average kindergartener can figure out how to lie his way out of trouble. In any case, the "Bush is dumb" crowd generally attributes the more complex thinking to Cheney and other advisors.

Re:Can't Have It Two Ways (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21074585)

You can be dumb as a rock and still be brainwashed to believe everything the conservative hawks in this country spew out. Go visit some of the red states in the deep south and you'll find plenty of people in that category.

Now combine that stupidity with a family full of oil wealth, plenty of evil congressmen (esp during his first term), Rumsfield, Cheney, and other evil advisors, and you get our president.

Re:Can't Have It Two Ways (1)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074613)


Speaking of "widely disseminated" does anyone have a torrent? I would very much like to read this.

Re:Can't Have It Two Ways (4, Informative)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074751)

Another post [slashdot.org] details a couple links:

Here's the unredacted opinion [law.com] and here's the redacted opinion [uscourts.gov] .

Re:Can't Have It Two Ways (1)

MiniMike (234881) | more than 5 years ago | (#21075031)

I thought I read that Bush is dumb in the morning, but a genius at night. I may not be remembering that correctly, anyone have the link?

Re:Can't Have It Two Ways (4, Insightful)

neo (4625) | more than 5 years ago | (#21075225)

Guys, you can't have it both ways. Reading /. and listening to Air America, George Bush is either an evil genius able to mastermind these great conspiracies, or, he's dumb as a rock.

Ah, you've fallen into his trap.

You see while GW is pretty much incapable of mustering the intelligence of the average 9th grader he does excel at one aspect of business and politics. He delegates extremely well. Not only that, but when the person he delegates something to messes up, he takes the blame and protects his people, thus insulating his delegation from public scrutiny.

In every situation, he makes no decisions. He brings in an expert to do that. You want evil genius? Hired. But if said evil genius is not there speaking into his ear, when you talk to GW you get the ninth grader.

I hope that explains it for you, because this is waaaay off topic.

Re:Can't Have It Two Ways (1)

domatic (1128127) | more than 5 years ago | (#21075311)

I suspect "plausible deniability" wasn't in the lexicon when this [trumanlibrary.org] once sat on a President's desk.

Re:Ha! (3, Insightful)

clambake (37702) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074353)

If by "classified" they mean mean "stuff that makes us look bad".

If my "stuff that makes us look bad" you mean "stuff that shows we *are* bad".

Re:Ha! (3, Insightful)

Nezer (92629) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074367)

Perhaps Bush taught them a few too many unwholesome lessons of corruption?
The FBI was unwholesomely corrupt long before either Bush became president. Bush might actively promote and allow corruption to happen, but to imply that Bush is responsible for corruption in the FBI is laughable. Bush might be as corrupt (or even more) than Nixon but, if anything, the FBI taught Bush lessons in unwholesome corruption. After all, they have been at it a LOT longer than Bush has!

Re:Ha! (2, Insightful)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074471)

Indeed. The FBI was corrupt from day one. Anyone that's done just a bit of digging in historical accounts can tell you that.

Re:Ha! (0, Redundant)

darjen (879890) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074531)

Yep... is anyone really surprised by this? And they wonder why more people don't vote in this country. Crap like this is why I am a non-voting anarchist. As far as I can tell, this only makes my position look better. Too bad we can't vote the FBI out of a job. The rule of law means absolutely nothing to these people. Nor does basic human rights/treatment. I suspect this is only the tip of an iceberg. Of course, that is only my long jaded self talking.

Re:Ha! (3, Interesting)

Ravensfire (209905) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074381)

Bush?

Do you REALLY think this just started with Bush? Or just this century?

All that's happened recently is it's now harder to hide things, and easier to leak anonymously. Politician hiding information they don't like is far, far older.

Bush didn't teach them shit about corruption - see J. Edgar Hoover.

-- Ravensfire

Re:Ha! (3, Informative)

tiny69 (34486) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074959)

The Executive Order that starts the entire process that determines what can and cannot be classified states:

Sec. 1.7. Classification Prohibitions and Limitations.

(a) In no case shall information be classified in order to:

(1) conceal violations of law, inefficiency, or administrative error;

(2) prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency;

http://www.archives.gov/isoo/policy-documents/eo-12958-amendment.html#1.7 [archives.gov]

My guess is that some Original Classification Authority (OCA) signed off on a Security Classification Guide that states interrogation techniques used by the FBI are classified.

Transcript of removed text (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21075065)

Here is the full transcript of the removed text as of the original statement http://howappealing.law.com/HigazyVsTempleton05-4148-cv_opnWithdrawn.pdf [law.com] :

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.

Re:Ha! (1)

Mike Buddha (10734) | more than 5 years ago | (#21075075)

Actually, it usually means "stuff that would be dangerous to allow some elements in the world to know." Tinfoil hat crew loves assuming that anything secret is just stuff that the government doesn't want us to know. Get off your high horse. Nobody in the government or otherwise, cares whether or not some angry student knows what this guy had to say in his testimony. Despite what you read on the conspiracy web sites, your penchant for reading subversive materials isn't really a threat to "The New World Order".

so, what were they? (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074105)

What were the portions that were taken out? Details, not generalities.

Re:so, what were they? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21074129)

They were on the post, but now they are gone. They were also classified as confidential.

Re:so, what were they? (5, Informative)

fizzywhistle (1111353) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074149)

its in the article:

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.

Re:so, what were they? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21074341)

OK slashdot, make a million copies of the original [law.com] .

That Knock (1)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074361)

What were the portions that were taken out? Details, not generalities.

That knock on the door is the FBI wanting to know why you want to know, and why you didn't RTFA?

Sure. (-1, Troll)

Newer Guy (520108) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074119)

They "Classified" it so no one can see their unlawful activities and call them on it. How perfect! Break the law and then "Classify" the proof of the crime.

Sounds like they learned it from George Bush.

Re:Sure. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21074801)

Sounds like they learned it from George Bush.

The Federal Investigations Bureau (er, I mean, Federal Bureau of Investigations) is part of the executive branch of government. So actually George Bush is their boss.

Considering the clusterfuck that was FEMA in Katrina, I'd say now is a really good time to be a criminal.

I had a run-in with the FBI, DEA and local police all at once last summer (note to self: never give a ride to a prostitute). They thought (and may have been right) that the girls were buying drugs, as the cop informed me that the house I was parked in front of was a drug dealer.

So instead of arresting the dealer, they're trying to bust the people who visit. It turned out that one of the 2 girls I was giving a ride to had a crack pipe in her purse. They could have busted her for the pipe, but apparently theere were two teams of cops in a competition to see who could bust the largest number of drug users and doing the paperwork for a bust over the pipe would have made that team lose the competetion. So they made her break the pipe and sent us on our way after pointing guns at us, searching my car without warrant, arrest, or permission, searching me (not fun having a gay cop's hand on your balls), and searching the girls' purses.

Your tax dollars at work.

-mcgrew [kuro5hin.org]
(part two of the linked story) [kuro5hin.org]

Secure Your Valuables (4, Funny)

Squiffy (242681) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074181)

I see some confiscations in this blogger's future.

This isn't Russia, is it Danny? (1)

neo-mkrey (948389) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074213)

regards to Caddyshack

Crazy idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21074267)

Just wondering:
Wouldn't that false confession be covered by copyright laws? Isn't the detainee/suspect owner of this copyright?

Here are the two opinions. (5, Informative)

sed quid in infernos (1167989) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074271)

Here's the unredacted opinion [law.com] and here's the redacted opinion [uscourts.gov] .

Re:Here are the two opinions. (1)

FleaPlus (6935) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074951)

Hm... anyone want to try posting a diff of the text here?

Re:Here are the two opinions. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21075197)

Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted!
Reason: Please use less whitespace.

Re:Here are the two opinions. (5, Funny)

roystgnr (4015) | more than 5 years ago | (#21075095)

"Dude, you can't take something off the Internet.. that's like trying to take pee out of a swimming pool." - Joe, NewsRadio

That's right, folks: you're being protected from the terrorists by people whose understanding of the modern world has yet to surpass that of 1990s sitcom writers.

Re:Here are the two opinions. (4, Insightful)

Chapter80 (926879) | more than 5 years ago | (#21075287)

This is a perfect example of the Streisand effect. [wikipedia.org] Note how much attention gets drawn to the two or three paragraphs (or pages?) that were redacted. Through censorship, something that's not of interest to very many people suddenly becomes much more interesting!

Intentionally allowing the bad guys to go free. (5, Insightful)

clambake (37702) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074283)

Imagine the radio really did belong to a terrorist... By coercing a confession from this guy, the FBI basically would be letting the *actual* terrorist go free and clear. If this doesn't make sense to you, imagine the case of a rapist on the loose. Imagine that every time a woman was raped, the police chose from a hat and arrested and tried a random person. Would that make your wife safer on the streets alone at night? Having a random guy in jail while the real rapist is still out on the hunt? What's more, thinking that the rapist is in jail, she might be MORE inclined to enter into riskier situations.

This kind of "law enforcement" actually makes us LESS safe than simply doing nothing at all. Is the FBI *really* staffed by living, thinking humans? How could they possibly do this kind of thing and not be incredibly ashamed of themselves!?

Re:Intentionally allowing the bad guys to go free. (-1, Offtopic)

Estanislao Martnez (203477) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074505)

Imagine that every time a woman was raped, the police chose from a hat and arrested and tried a random person.

Yeah, and imagine they always picked a black guy, and then always judged and executed him the same day, in front of a cheering crowd who would somewhat prefer lynching him, but is OK with the proceedings as they are.

Would that make your wife safer on the streets alone at night? Having a random guy in jail while the real rapist is still out on the hunt?

Ground control to clambake: rape by strangers in dark alleys at night only accounts for a minority of rapes. Most rape is acquaintance rape. Please stop using the dark alley scenario as the stereotypical, representative rape case; it perpetuates the myth that "nice" guys don't rape, a myth that's very convenient for said "nice" guys.

Re:Intentionally allowing the bad guys to go free. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21075233)

Wtf are you talking about? You've missed the point of the parent completely or don't care about the point. Use a different analogy if you like, but don't try and ridicule the parent because of some agenda that you'd like to push. The point remains: Coerce a confession from an innocent person, and the real criminal goes free. Not too hard to grasp right?

Plot to Fahrenheit 451 (1)

InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074525)

"By coercing a confession from this guy, the FBI basically would be letting the *actual* terrorist go free and clear. If this doesn't make sense to you, imagine the case of a rapist on the loose. Imagine that every time a woman was raped, the police chose from a hat and arrested and tried a random person. Would that make your wife safer on the streets alone at night? Having a random guy in jail while the real rapist is still out on the hunt? What's more, thinking that the rapist is in jail, she might be MORE inclined to enter into riskier situations."

This is basically what happened in Fahrenheit 451. The police were trying to catch the main character, with thousands of people watching the chase live on TV. When the police realized they wouldn't find him, they went into their public files to find someone else eccentric to catch, just to give the audience some closure (and to maintain their "perfect record" appearance).

Re:Intentionally allowing the bad guys to go free. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21074643)

And that's if there *was* an outsider attacker at all.

If its hot, get it local... (5, Insightful)

jordandeamattson (261036) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074295)

This is a perfect example of why I always, always, always get a local copy of anything I find hot and interesting. Court decisions are also always in PDF. Just download the puppy and hold onto it.

If it is a web page, and you have the full Acrobat, then use the web capture facility to get a copy of it and store it away.

The web is wonderful. But it has more opportunities to be "corrected" than the Soviet Union did during the Stalin's purges of the 30s and 40s.

Yours,

Jordan

Re:If its hot, get it local... (1)

raguirre (986049) | more than 5 years ago | (#21075089)

The web is wonderful. But it has more opportunities to be "corrected" than the Soviet Union did during the Stalin's purges of the 30s and 40s.

Actually, in Soviet Union the web "corrected" YOU!

Scary and stupid (3, Insightful)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074297)

I thought we were meant to be the good guys that don't do this kind of thing. We should do the right thing even if it is harder otherwise what are we fighting for?

How can you rely on a confession extracted by force anyway? At least I know I'd say/admit to anything to just stop having my fingernails pulled out with pliers or whatever.

Re:Scary and stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21074609)

Lieing by LEA to get confessions happens on a regular basis. Typically they have a little more common sense than to cross the line.

There is no evidence of any crime, only the existance of a radio which with a little investigative effort could have been resolved without resorting to torture threats.

A confession agreed to out of duress is not valid in court

The government thinking they can keep their methods secret when used against criminals who sure as hell can and do talk about their experiences is Nieve at best. When weighed against the harm this type of secrecy poses to society it becomes dangerous.

Governments rely on stupid behaviors of criminals more than anything else... most of the useful information is already in the public domain or can be reasonably assumed based on the US becoming a nation of protectionist chicken shits.

Re:Scary and stupid (1)

youthoftoday (975074) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074655)

mod parent funny

Re:Scary and stupid (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074833)

why? it isn't funny and I didn't intend it to be.

Re:Scary and stupid (1)

youthoftoday (975074) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074955)

Sorry, I thought you were being sarcastic.

So why do you think that "we were meant to be the good guys that don't do this kind of thing" (I'm guessing you're from the US correct me if I'm wrong). Surely every shred of evidence in living memory and beyond points to the exact opposite?

Re:Scary and stupid (5, Insightful)

Crash Culligan (227354) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074915)

JustNiz: I thought we were meant to be the good guys that don't do this kind of thing.

Ideally, we are. In reality, thinking that we're the good guys is a lot easier and more profitable than living up to the expectation.

Confession - the Mother of Evidence (4, Insightful)

mi (197448) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074301)

This is why a confession should never be trusted on its own — without other evidence. Nor is it really trusted on its own by the courts in free countries, such as ours — as evidenced by this very case.

They may have coerced an admission from him, that it was his device, but without details on where he got it, and how he used it, that admission is quite worthless even if he were scared for his family's life enough to not backpaddle from the addmission in court... I'm quite proud, that he was not sufficiently scared, though...

And, finally, we only know the details of the coercion from one side. The FBI agent, according to the article, merely "did not contest" the fact of coercion. That's not an admission of guilt by any measure...

Re:Confession - the Mother of Evidence (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074913)

This is why a confession should never be trusted on its own -- without other evidence. Nor is it really trusted on its own by the courts in free countries, such as ours -- as evidenced by this very case.

I would have a wager that if you give me duct tape, a pair of pliers, a "victim", and an official government sanction that says I can do anything I'd like and won't get into any trouble as long as he lives long enough for a secret trial that I can make him confess to any crime you need him to confess too even if it happened before he was born or even if the crime never happened.

Now, it would be of course obviously that I had to remove most of his finger nails and if he lasted past that, I might have to go for his teeth and then crushing his fingers with the pliers (which is why people love water boarding and electrocution... same difference... just slower and less permanent damage other than psychological) but anyone will confess with enough torture.

You can hold out for maybe a few days, but you will go delusional because the body brain chemistry breaks down under stress no matter what and you loose grip of reality. At that point you simply start saying yes to any question you think they want you to say yes too even if it was a complete lie. When people ask for names, you'll give them everyone you know including your pets in hopes that they'll stop.

Re:Confession - the Mother of Evidence (3, Interesting)

schwaang (667808) | more than 5 years ago | (#21075263)

This kind of thing is why the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice [ccfaj.org] made recommendations to reduce wrongful convictions including:
- mandatory recording of confessions made while in custody of law enforcement
- corroboration of jailhouse informant testimony
- standards for eyewitness identification procedures

The Commission is made up of law enforcement, prosecutors and defense attorneys. Their recommendations were embodied in three California Senate bills (SB511, SB609, SB756) and were passed by the Senate.

Governor Schwarzenneger vetoed all three bills. About the bill requiring the recording of confessions he said: "This bill would place unnecessary restrictions on police investigators."

Data Schmata (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21074417)

To Whom It May Concern:
    Coerced false data? Whatever. It's better than NO data at all.

Sincerely,
    Bush

P.S. terrorism terrorism 9/11 WMD terrorism

Your rights where? (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074441)

Don't we have a Politics section for stuff like this?

Re:Your rights where? (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 5 years ago | (#21075281)

It's about the FBI pulling Ministry of Truth revisionism on online court records. YRO actually is an appropriate category. Your right to know.

In Defense of Bush (sorta) (5, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074473)

For all of the bashing the left does about Bush, what is more telling is that Bush didn't really create the modern government that is capable of doing this. Everyone has had a hand in this. A police state machine is a police state machine, all the time, not just when a "good guy" is driving it. Stop attacking Bush, and start looking at the machine!

Had there been no secretive FBI, no secretive CIA, no emphasis on the Federal power from the get go, none of this could have happened. Everyone looks at Bush / Cheney as if he were the mastermind of some vast conspiracy, when the practical matter is that we have had almost 75 years of a massive federal government on a wartime footing, just waiting for the next enemy to arrive. These agents don't need orders to torture people or to kill perceived enemies. They have been waiting to do this their whole lives. They need orders NOT TO, and they really need to be not employed at all.

Instead, what the left wing is arguing for is a banana republic type of government - rule by personality, when instead, the best lesson to learn is that the government is the problem, and the solution to ensure our freedom is to deconstruct the government from the get go. If we could only put the "good guy" in charge of the police state, everything will be ok. Except that, we will still have a police state.

Look at the facts. What Democrats opposed passage of the full 9/11 commission recommendations - essentially turn the USA into a police state. What Democrat has offered to repeal USA PATRIOT? What Democrat has volunteered to narrow the scope of CIA and FBI? There will be more Federal terror, not less, before this unfortunate behavior winds its course. We have to learn to discipline ourselves as voters - that, every time we panic and ask our government to protect us - we are really just empowering a bunch of thugs to enslave us.

Re:In Defense of Bush (sorta) (5, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074721)

For all of the bashing the left does about Bush, what is more telling is that Bush didn't really create the modern government that is capable of doing this. Everyone has had a hand in this. A police state machine is a police state machine, all the time, not just when a "good guy" is driving it. Stop attacking Bush, and start looking at the machine!
I'm not from the left, and I think Bush has earned a damned big boat load of bashing. What previous politicians left undone, Bush found ways to break the law and complete.

The machine is not broken, the Constitution remains to this day a framework that is viable, and valid. It is the men in government that torture its meanings, and pervert the rule of law. So, YES, Bush does need bashing, impeached, and a couple of other things. It is directly under his rule that a 'war' was invented, the war on terror, so that he could press the powers of wartime to further oppress the American public. I do not post AC, and I urge anyone that is disturbed by the way things have been going in American politics and government lately to stand and be counted. There is but one candidate for 2008 that dares utter the word Constitution, never mind abide by it.

You sir, you shall not defend Bush, for doing so is to say it's okay what he has done, and what has been done to My rights in his name. I say it is NOT right. I protest, both what he has done and what you are NOW doing to my rights by being passive and accepting and nearly forgiving him. The captain sinks with the ship, and if you think Bush deserves to slip away in a life raft, you are very mistaken.

Re:In Defense of Bush (sorta) (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 5 years ago | (#21075097)

I don't think the OP was defending Bush. He was just pointing out that Bush didn't start this police state. Under Bush, this nation has sunk to new lows, but it started sinking long before he got into office. Electing a new tyrant with a "D" in front of her (or his) name isn't the answer. Even electing a President who doesn't wipe his (or her) ass with the Constitution is only part of the solution. We also need a Congress that stands up for what is right.

Re:In Defense of Bush (sorta) (2, Interesting)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#21075127)

The machine is not broken, the Constitution remains to this day a framework that is viable, and valid. It is the men in government that torture its meanings, and pervert the rule of law.

Yes, it is broke. The Constitution is great, but nobody listens to it. It's supposed to be a grant of powers to the government, not an enumeration of rights of the people, so, from the get go, we've lost all of our natural rights without even firing a shot. A number of federal agencies and rules are, essentially, unconstitutional.

We are on a wartime footing, and have been since World War II. We have either armies, spies or federal agents all working in parts of the world we shouldn't even care to about to fight some enemy that I don't even care about. It seems like, any more, all we do is go around the world, looking to pick fights.

Enough already. We can be brave enough to choose peace. Note, that I'm not saying -disarm-. But I do think its time to bring our little empire to a close, as, its mere existence is corroding our national soul.

Besides, I don't think a nation of 300 million gun owners needs to have that much of a government to really protect it. We Americans know how to shoot well enough on our own. Let's get the heck out of NATO and all of these other military alliances, have American troops only on American soil, and start acting like a normal country for a change.

Re:In Defense of Bush (sorta) (2, Insightful)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 5 years ago | (#21075289)

I think what the GP is trying to say---and if it's not, it's what I'm saying---is that Bush doesn't matter so much: the broad powers granted to the central government long ago are what have brought us to this point; and if you have your way, and Bush is impeached and removed from office, and whatever can be undone is undone, then what? Problems that pre-existed his presidency are still here, and they are endless in number and variety. Do you honestly believe, with the continuing trend of increasing power exercised by the Federal Government, that this present We the People are likely to elect responsible organs of government?

I wish I were at home right now and had access to my copy of The Road to Serfdom, because that's what this discussion has compelled me to want to re-read, for this is the form in which American fascism (as opposed to the German fascism discussed therein) will appear; we are not there yet, but unless we elect representatives willing to decrease the powers our government can wield, and unless we change for the better those fundamental aspects of government which the Constitution does not specify, then no matter what action is taken with respect to George W. Bush, the subsequent executives and executive actions are likely to be much worse.

Re:In Defense of Bush (sorta) (1)

frazamatazzle (783144) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074723)

I couldn't agree more. Pinko lefty peaceniks have always been the strongest advocates of limited human rights and torture. Bravo good sir for alerting us to the root of all evil!

Re:In Defense of Bush (sorta) (1)

Water (19121) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074731)

Would that be Senator Russ Feingold?

Re:In Defense of Bush (sorta) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21074761)

Yep Cheney (who has been planning for this takeover for ~30 years) really is a closet leftie - damn those lefties to hell and get the righties back! As for the leftie talking heads on in the librul meja Fox News etc!

Re:In Defense of Bush (sorta) (-1, Offtopic)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074777)

Uh oh, a rational semi-positive thought about Bush that hasn't been downmodded to death. I wonder if it's too late to buy "Hell-Freezing Over" Insurance.

Re:In Defense of Bush (sorta) (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21074849)

You apparently haven't been around very long - during the clinton years I received daily rants from conservatives about Janet Reno's jack-booted thugs, etc. Much of the (often incorrect) info came from Rush Limbaugh and other mouthpieces on the far right.

Now where is all this outrage? Where did all those concerned with reigning in federal government go? The answer is apparently, that they really don't mind a federal government that strong-arms its population - they merely mind if it isn't being used to forward their social agenda.

As far as this being a problem of the left - look one step further: if the population hadn't rewarded the republicans for their war on everyone in two elections, and if the population hadn't been cowed into silence when the "patriot" faction demanded that intelligent discourse was treason then we wouldn't have this problem. The administration was aided and abetted by a population that wanted war and revenge and wanted dissenters punished. And it got exactly what it deserved.

Re:In Defense of Bush (sorta) (1, Offtopic)

afabbro (33948) | more than 5 years ago | (#21075033)

Instead, what the left wing is arguing for is a banana republic type of government

If the left ever gained absolute power in this country, we'd all be in concentration camps, guarded by soldiers wearing armbands with peace insignias, with Joan Baez droning 24x7 from the public address.

Re:In Defense of Bush (sorta) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21075059)

These agents don't need orders to torture people or to kill perceived enemies.

Question is whether this is legal or not resp. how torture is actually - legally - defined. Just google for the Yoo/Gonzales torture memos and you'll find that the current administration substantially contributed to loosening the definition of torture and throw US constitutional rights (habeas corpus) overboard. Everybody in the world knows that btw., seems that only US citizens still live in a dream world. Anybody considering the US being evil was never more right than now. Again, thanks to the current administration.

Re:In Defense of Bush (sorta) (1)

someone1234 (830754) | more than 5 years ago | (#21075307)

Ok, i'm not quite well informed in US politics, but when was the last time (before Bush), that the president pardoned someone already convicted in a government conspiracy. (the Plame story).

Amateurs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21074485)

I pity the FBI of 2007. In my worldline, they just use TSS [gnu.org] to protect classified information.

Forget guys in black suits showing up at your door; that just scares people and makes them want to revolt. Quietly, with the least amount off disturbance possible, information is erased. Those who are really persistent at this kind of thing (create an automated bot to spam now-classified information) are just 100% TSSed. After they can't collect their paycheck, use their bank, pay their taxes, pay their bills, access their music collection for a few days/weeks/months, they give in, they always do.

Trusted Computing, what a brilliant idea.

The reason is obvious... (3, Interesting)

jc42 (318812) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074491)

It reminds me of the Jim Morin cartoon [gocomics.com] last week. That was about another case of "national security" being used to suppress information that was embarrassing to the government, but the basic idea is the same.

There's lots of historic evidence now that official secrecy in the US (and all other governments) rarely has anything to do with "national security". The primary reason for secrecy has always been to prevent a government's own citizens from knowing about the inner workings of their own government.

Suppression of evidence that would exonerate a defendant in a criminal court case is the most egregious sort of misuse of official secrecy, true, and it's routinely used for things much less important than this. Occasionally, it is actually used to prevent a nation's external enemies to learn something embarrassing. But mostly it's just to keep internal enemies (aka "citizens") from learning things that the government doesn't want you or me (or a judge) to know.

From the redacted opinion (2, Informative)

PartPricer (975066) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074581)

From the redacted opinion:

"This opinion has been redacted because portions of the record are under seal. For the purposes of the summary judgment motion, Templeton did not contest that Higazy's statements were coerced."

Of Course... (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074713)

Of course, we only have your word for this now. How long before you become classified?.

Precisly why government secrecy is bad. (3, Insightful)

WhiteWolf666 (145211) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074811)

Government secrecy will *always* be used to hide incompetence and evil.

There is *no* reason for secrecy within our government. There are *no* reasons for classified material at all. Not any more.

We live in a unipolar world. We are the "strong". There isn't any more reason for us to play cloak and dagger, all we have to do is sit back, have proper, up-front security measures, utilize common sense public surveillance (i.e. patrol officers in problem areas, surveillance inside airports, monitoring of known "bad guy" websites), and we'll be safe.

I cannot, for the life of me, imagine why any of the secrecy provisions pushed forth by the Bush administration contribute to our security.

For that matter, I don't believe that any of the other CIA/FBI "black ops" contribute either. Rendition might make some warhawks in the executive branch feel good, but it is nonsensical that it helps to protect our nation. Better XRAY machines, and locks on cockpit doors protect our nations. Paying our troops more money protects our nation, as would federal marshalls on planes, and a whole bunch of other measures.

But taking our suspected enemies to Libya and beating the crap out of them? What does that accomplish?

Scrapbook Firefox Add-on (0, Offtopic)

Insightfill (554828) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074819)

Scrapbook [mozilla.org] is a neat one that you can install for Firefox to keep a record of every page you visit (on your computer). If you visit a web page and discover that it's different at a later time, you can browse Scrapbook for the old version of the page. The bonus is that it seems to keep the page format and structure intact.

Haha ... SlashKos liberalism panic post (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21074933)

Hahaha... look at you people on this site... its like your personal liberal panic room whenever something happens to a terrorist. How about a post on "9/11 was an inside job"? With all the libtard kooks on this page, it would only make sense. You could spin it as "a slashdot investigative story".

Who would have thought? This site would degenerate into just another liberal troll hole, where they use a Mod system to keep the group-think in tact. Its funny coming here to see the crap they try to run with... 10 years of slashdot! LOL! And its going down the crap hole...

Re:Haha ... SlashKos liberalism panic post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21075047)

Blah blah blah liberal blah blah blah chickens blah blah blah Rush Limbaugh blah blah...

You catch the government with their pants around their ankles and you still get guys like this going "What? His pants are fine!"

Google News question (4, Interesting)

Insightfill (554828) | more than 5 years ago | (#21074983)

OK, a search on Google News on "Higazy" when the story broke showed a whole SIX hits, went down to zero for a while, then went back up to one. Any idea what's going on here?

Re:Google News question (1)

Insightfill (554828) | more than 5 years ago | (#21075113)

Replying to myself; it seems that Google News is now showing over 100 hits for "Higazy", so it appears things are perking up.

Re:Google News question (2, Funny)

EricWright (16803) | more than 5 years ago | (#21075161)

Either Google News hates you, or /. actually has NEWs.

"Results 1 - 10 of about 103 for Higazy"

Re:Google News question (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 5 years ago | (#21075275)

I've got to wonder what you're talking about. When I searched Google News for Higazy, I got over a hundred hits. Abdallah Higazy returned over sixty.

CHris Mattern

They Should Have (-1, Troll)

BECoole (558920) | more than 5 years ago | (#21075107)

given this guy milk and warm cookies instead. Then he'd be their pal for life and tell everything he knows about the other bad guys. This story is such a yawner, I had trouble caring enough to type a response. I just don't care that they made a bad guy hurt, I don't care that they withhold information from the other bad guys either.

Re:They Should Have (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21075169)

You just don't get it, do you? He WASN'T a bad guy and the information that was "classified" was in NO help to any other bad guys out there. It was designed simply to cover up for a nasty little FBI fuck up concerning the use of a buzzword.

If any of my relatives got tortured because some idiot left something in the hotel room they happened to stay in (and, yes, they are Filipino so I do somewhat worry), I'd be pretty ticked off myself.

Redacted part (4, Informative)

InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) | more than 5 years ago | (#21075131)

Here is the redacted part:

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."

If You Are Serious... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21075209)

...about the issue of privacy and such, you'll stop the gratuitous use of tags and terms like Nazi, fascist, etc.

As soon as someone sees this they automatically categorize you as a left wing, rabid, Bush hating, fruitcakes (MoveOn ,Democratic Underground, DailyKOS, etc. Don't expect them to listen to you.

If you want to see the real story of democracy to fascism in the making, just look at Venezuela.

Chavez...president for life, and the ability of their security forces to arrest and hold citizens without cause or charges...codified in law are just a few of the things to come.

Print to PDF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21075221)

Always print something like that to PDF. You can just delete it later if you need to.
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