FBI and the media have a history of falsely accusing suspects

Sheryl Attkisson:
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.

Since Lee, there have been many other cases, big and small, where we in the news media jumped to conclusions and failed to maintain the proper skepticism of prevailing narratives.

Hapless security guard Richard Jewell was fingered by law enforcement and, consequently, by the news media for the Atlanta Olympic Games bombing in 1996. It turns out he actually had been a hero attempting to move people away from a suspicious backpack before it exploded. The media coverage hounded him and destroyed his life.

Unlucky Steven Hatfill also was destroyed after being wrongly blamed by the FBI for a rash of deadly anthrax letters in 2001. Many in the news media blindly accepted the FBI’s background insistences that Hatfill was guilty. I briefly reported on the story for CBS, filling in for the regular correspondent on the beat, and personally spoke to Hatfill and his attorney on the phone. After examining the available evidence, I carefully avoided implying Hatfill was guilty. Ultimately, the Justice Department used $4.6 million of our tax dollars to settle a defamation lawsuit filed by Hatfill.

In 2014, white police officer Darren Wilson was summarily destroyed in the press after he shot and killed a suspect who happened to be black: Michael Brown. The media jumped on the unsupported narrative that Wilson had executed Brown for being black, as he stood with his hands raised, begging, “Don’t shoot.” That inflammatory notion started riots and movements. Some in the media even raised their hands in symbolic support of Brown in a horrific racial crime that — as it turned out — never happened. Today, I’ll bet a lot of people probably aren’t aware that an Obama Justice Department investigation ultimately determined the entire “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” scenario was likely fabricated, and that the shooting by Wilson was justified.

It’s as if we can’t learn our lessons even when they stare us in the face, year after year.

More recently, there’s Covington Catholic.
I think the Mueller investigation and the Russian collusion hoax will ultimately be added to this list of the falsely accused and the media who pushed the false narratives. 

It is surprising that some on the left are still pushing the Covington Catholic story despite getting the bulk of the story wrong.  They accused the kids of attempting to intimidate people of their protected class when the attempted intimidation was actually going the other way.  They never seem to ask why a guy would approach a bunch of kids beating a war drum in their faces.  They missed the insults and intimidation by a bunch of racists blacks at the same event.


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