Cite as: 536 U. S. 403 (2002)
Opinion of the Court
Harbury makes three specific allegations of such Government deception, all involving State Department officials, while Bamaca was still alive. First, she says she contacted several unnamed State Department officials in March 1993 to express concerns about her husband, who, according to an eyewitness, was still alive. Id., at 29 (¶¶ 50, 55). They "promised to look into the matter and to assist her," ibid., but they neither gave her nor made public any information about Bamaca, though CIA reports from as early as May 1993 confirmed he was still alive. Id., at 30 (¶¶ 56-59). Second, in August 1993, Marilyn McAfee, then Ambassador to Guatemala, advised Harbury to submit a written report to the effect that remains found in a grave purported to be her husband's were not in fact his, as Harbury promptly did. Id., at 30-31 (¶¶ 60-63). Although McAfee promised that she would "investigate the matter immediately[,] report her findings," and keep Harbury "properly informed regarding her husband's situation," ibid. (¶ 62), she gave Harbury no information, id., at 31 (¶ 64). Third, in September 1993 (the same month that the Government learned Bamaca was dead, ibid. (¶ 66)), Harbury engaged in a week-long hunger strike in Guatemala City to focus public attention on her husband's plight, but the State Department told her nothing, id., at 31-32 (¶¶ 64-68).
According to Harbury's allegations, the Government's deceptions and omissions continued and intensified after Bamaca was killed. From October 1993 until March 1995, officials of the State Department and National Security Council (NSC) repeatedly met and communicated with Harbury, id., at 32 (¶¶ 70-71), 34 (¶¶ 80, 83), 35 (¶ 86), conveying the impression that they knew nothing for sure but were seeking "concrete information" about her husband and would keep her informed, id., at 33 (¶ 75). At one point, in November 1994, National Security Adviser Anthony Lake told Harbury that the Government had " 'scraped the bottom of the barrel' " to no avail in seeking information about her husband,
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