Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Welcome to the Police State

A tale of two decisions (or, how the FBI gets you to confess) (PsychSound by Steve Bergstein) First the FBI forces a confession then the courts cover up the details. Welcome to the new America.

An airline pilot left a radio in a hotel room before 9/11. An Egyptian National stayed in that same room on 9/11. The FBI found the radio, and they went after the Egyptian ultimately threatening his family (in Egypt) with torture, until he confessed.

Then of course the airline pilot shows up looking for his radio, proving what the Egyptian said at the beginning - he was innocent.

The courts ruled he could sue - the FBI can't go around forcing people to confess. (How often does that happen I wonder. Is Hoover still alive, or just haunting the FBI?) The original decision featured the details of which FBI agent did this, and how. But the FBI (I assume) complained saying that info is classified. Of course in the day of the internet, you can't put the genie back in the bottle. The original decision is available.

So what do you think of this New America, the America in which the FBI coerces confessions, and the courts cover up the details? I don't think I care for it too much. Welcome to the global War on Terror™. Between the WoT and the War on (some) Drugs, the Constitution should be just about finished.

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