Monday, February 04, 2019

Truest statement of the week

This past week I was reminded of the story of poor Wen Ho Lee. He’s the Taiwanese-American scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory who was framed by the FBI and our government as being the spy responsible for stealing our most sensitive nuclear secrets and giving them to China.
That happened in 1999. 
As a reporter for CBS News at the time, I’d just broken the story that China had obtained the design plans for our W88 thermonuclear warhead. But I knew from my inside sources that the government had no viable suspect.
Much to my surprise, after I broke the news and the New York Times and others followed suit, the government suddenly announced it had a suspect: Wen Ho Lee. Again, I knew from my sources that Lee was being used as a scapegoat so that the government could say it had gotten its man. Lee was even put in solitary confinement in prison while he awaited trial.
Soon, I broke the outrageous news that the FBI had lied about Lee’s polygraph results. FBI agents had claimed he failed when he actually passed the lie detector test with flying colors. I had obtained copies of the polygraph itself as proof. (Come to think of it, this was my first brush with the notion that any FBI agents would falsify evidence, lie or frame someone.)
The judge in the case ultimately released Lee and admonished the FBI. There were congressional investigations into the FBI’s conduct — my reporting was cited — and President Clinton apologized to Lee; Lee sued the big players in the national news media, which paid settlements. (CBS alone was not sued because I knew better than to name Lee as a legitimate suspect.)
Today, I can find no record of punishment for the FBI agents who falsified Lee’s polygraph.

 Sharyl Attkisson, "Guilty until proven innocent' is a dangerous bylaw" (THE HILL).

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