I love Huey Emmerich as a character. I don’t love the man himself. In fact, I’m open to the idea that Venom Snake should have executed him on the spot at his trial. But I love what Hideo Kojima did with Huey in Metal Gear Solid V.
Throughout MGS1, MGS2, and MGS4, Hal Emmerich (AKA Otacon) was a bright light amidst a whole lot of grim-dark characterization. Otacon wasn’t a perfect man, but he was a hell of a lot kinder and more benevolent than almost anyone else in the series at that point, including the ostensibly heroic Solid Snake. At the very least, Otacon was one of the few characters who lacked the physical and emotional capability to snap someone else’s neck at a moment’s notice, and thus naturally engendered some form of sympathy from the audience. Add on some healthy doses of intelligence, ingenuity, humility, and even humor, and Otacon ended up becoming something of an underrated fan favorite character in a series packed to the brim with colorful personalities.
However, in MGSV Kojima cleverly twisted the nature of Huey Emmerich. Kojima used the popular preconceptions of who an Emmerich is and how he’s supposed act to create a sort of narrative trap for players. In many ways, Kojima pulls the same trick with Huey Emmerich that he does with Big Boss, where the character’s legend both within and outside of the game is used to obfuscate the true nature of the man. In Emmerich’s case, the positive legacy of Otacon is used to initially trick players into sympathizing with Huey. The two men may look and sound nearly identical, but they are radically different individuals on an emotional and ethical level.
While Otacon strives to use his intellect and scientific passion to make the world a better place, Huey is… possibly a murderous, conniving, pathological liar. Or at least that is what Huey is accused of at his trial near the end of MGSV.
I must admit that I was pro-Huey for most of the game. I figured Kaz was being a raging nut-job as usual, and scapegoating a helpless, paralyzed sad sack like Huey was typical of a man so blinded by a desire for revenge. It wasn’t until the evidence was laid out at the trial that I thought Kaz might actually be on to something. Maybe it was just my affection for Otacon that lead me to trust a man who somehow had the unique capabilities to do lots of horrible things and seemed to chronically be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Yet I still can’t say for certain that Huey is guilty. There is a lot of evidence lined up against him, but the vast majority of it is circumstantial, with arguably only a single “smoking gun” to be found on one of his (admittedly abundant) charges. Maybe Huey is an absolutely horrible person who uses his sympathetic and familiar demeanor to cloak his crimes. Or maybe Huey is just an odd-ball who doesn’t fit into the testosterone-fueled world of private warfare, and is being unfairly targeted by angry, disaffected soldiers desperate to find an outlet for their rage.
Huey does get a trial in MGSV, but it can hardly be called objective. So I want to give Huey another trial. I will list Huey’s charges and provide evidence-based arguments for and against each count.
The Charges against Huey Emmerich
- Huey assisted Skull Face and XOF in ambushing Mother Base and destroying Militairses Sans Frontieres (MSF)
- Huey voluntarily designed Metal Gear Sahelanthropus for Skull Face
- Huey murdered Dr. Strangelove
- Huey assisted Eli and his subordinates in reconstructing and stealing Metal Gear Sahelanthropus from Diamond Dogs
- Huey altered the wolbachia present in Diamond Dogs personnel so as to trigger a second English vocal cord parasite outbreak on Mother Base
Charge 1 – Huey assisted Skull Face and XOF in ambushing Mother Base and destroying Militairses Sans Frontieres (MSF)
The Case for Guilty:
Skull Face launched his ambush to destroy MSF on the night of a planned United Nations nuclear weapons inspection of Mother Base. Since MSF actually did have weapons, Big Boss ordered Mother Base to hide its nuke and other illicit defensive capabilities, including Metal Gear Zeke, under water where they could neither be seen by the UN nor used for security purposes. Meanwhile, Big Boss was deployed to Camp Omega to rescue Chico and reacquire Paz. Thus, Mother Base’s guard was down and XOF had a perfect opportunity to assault the base.
Despite not technically being a member of MSF’s leadership, Huey took the initiative to invite the UN to inspect Mother Base for nuclear weapons against the explicit plans of Big Boss and Kaz. Why was Huey so enthusiastic about this plan? After all, he’s a weapon development specialist, not a commander or diplomat. This sort of matter shouldn’t concern him at all, let alone be under his discretion.
Conveniently, while Big Boss was deployed to Camp Omega and Kaz was on mission support-duty in a helicopter, Huey was left to make preparations for the UN inspection on Mother Base. Perhaps if a competent military commander were in Huey’s position, he could have noticed XOF’s incoming attack or mounted some sort of defense, but instead mighty MSF was swiftly destroyed.
Despite being on the base at the time of the attack, and Mother Base literally being sunk into the ocean, Huey somehow managed to survive. Huey is a wheel chair-bound paraplegic! How exactly did he wheel his ass off a sinking platform in the middle of the ocean while under fire from XOF commandos unless he was in on the operation?
Another mysterious convenience for Huey – Dr. Strangelove (who everyone knows Huey was in love with) left Mother Base on the eve of the attack. She would not only go on to work for Cipher on Zero’s AIs, but also for Skull Face with Huey on Sahelanthropus. Perhaps she was part of whatever deal Huey made with Skull Face. Or maybe she had no idea about the deal, but Huey somehow made her leave anyway.
Huey must have made a deal with Skull Face prior to Ground Zeroes. They concocted this plan to create an opening for XOF’s assault knowing full well that Big Boss would be sent to capture Paz, who would be rigged with a bomb to ensure Big Boss’s death, and that Huey would be left in charge of a defenseless Mother Base. After the ambush, Huey then proceeded to work for Skull Face for nine years. He’s given enormous funds and resources to work on Metal Gear Sahelanthropus, a dream project for tech-head like Huey.
The Case for Innocent:
Where’s the motive? Huey was rescued by Big Boss and co. during Peace Walker and was welcomed into MSF’s ranks. He served MSF loyally, building Metal Gear Zeke and running its weapons development department. The fact that Big Boss and Kaz let Huey get away with requesting the UN weapon inspection without their permission indicates that Huey was apparently valued within MSF, if not a de facto high ranking member within the organization by Ground Zeroes. And keep in mind that Huey lost Metal Gear Zeke, one of his greatest creations, in the destruction of MSF.
Huey pushed the UN inspection because he genuinely thought it would benefit MSF. The organization was under immense international scrutiny after Peace Walker, so what better way to demonstrate MSF’s innocence than by inviting the international community to perform an inspection? Huey didn’t even want MSF to get a nuke in the first place! He may be a scientist, but he still has ideals and aspirations.
If Huey truly doesn’t care about anything besides making cool weapons, then why not do so for MSF? After all, it was a fast-growing organization that valued his work. It may not have been a super power, but it was well-funded enough to build endless platforms in the ocean and its very own metal gear. Huey would have plenty of respect and resources working for MSF, and whatever problems he might have with the organization, Kaz, or Big Boss, it couldn’t have been bad enough for Huey to want to kill them all and work for a monster like Skull Face.
Although this will be discussed more in Charge 2, Huey didn’t appear to be a willing employee of Skull Face after Ground Zeroes. He was a prisoner, likely scooped up by Skull Face after MSF’s destruction due to his Metal Gear expertise. Therefore we can’t attribute his long-term employment as evidence of collusion.
Is Huey really so murderous and conniving as to participate in such a horrible operation? Sure, he might stretch the truth from time to time to protect himself, but could this meek scientist really embark on a plan to help murder hundreds of his comrades? That seems more than a little extreme, even by Metal Gear standards.
Charge 2 – Huey voluntarily designed Metal Gear Sahelanthropus for Skull Face
The Case for Guilty:
It is an undeniable fact that Huey designed and built Sahelanthropus for Skull Face. The real question is whether he did it willingly (for whatever reason) or if he was coerced.
It’s difficult to gage Huey’s motives, but one thing is for certain: he loves building machines. He practically drools when revealing Battle Gear to Venom and when Sahelanthropus gets brought to Mother Base. He’s a tech head who seems to perpetually risk his life every day to work with a bunch of blood thirsty mercenaries in the middle nowhere just so he can build another war machine. Working for MSF was probably nice, but there is no organization out there with better funding and greater ambitions than Cipher. Huey was even permitted to use Cipher’s resources to build his very own mechanical legs. While it’s possible that Huey was eventually frightened by Skull Face’s plans, that doesn’t mean he didn’t embrace the opportunity to work on a dream project with limitless funding for nine years.
For a specific example of Huey’s crazed obsession for robot building, look no further than the treatment of his own son. Huey willingly used his infant child to test Sahelanthropus’s piloting capacities. This is quite a dangerous thing to do even under ideal circumstances, but to willingly do so while being employed/enslaved by a monster like Skull Face with an untested prototype is madness.
And nine years is a really long time to be a prisoner. Could he really not escape at any point? So maybe Huey couldn’t build himself some sort of weaponized exoskeleton to escape like Iron Man, but still, it’s hard to believe that Huey was coerced into working for Skull Face for all that time. Was there really no way to escape? No one else in the world could rescue a disgruntled military technology genius? Friends? Family? Other military organizations? It didn’t seem that hard for Venom Snake to do it.
Besides Huey’s engineering ambitions, he had another obvious motivation for working with Skull Face: a reunion with his crush, Dr. Strangelove. Everyone knew Huey was helplessly in love with her. We don’t know exactly what sort of dealings might have gone down between Huey and Skull Face, but we can infer that Skull Face offered to bring Strangelove on board to incentivize Huey. After all, Dr. Strangelove worked for Cipher before Skull Face took over for Zero (she built the AIs to simulate Zero’s will), so it can be reasonably expected that Skull Face would transfer her to work on Sahelanthropus.
An even more devious hypothesis is that Huey helped Skull Face because he knew he could ask Skull Face to requisition (voluntarily or not) Strangelove for the sake of his AI research.
It’s true that Huey eventually asked Diamond Dogs to rescue him from Cipher, but maybe that’s just because Huey knew the Sahelanthropus project was close to completion, and given his insight into Skull Face’s nature, Huey thought he was in danger. But that doesn’t mean that the vast majority of Huey’s work with Cipher wasn’t voluntary.
The Case for Innocent:
Huey never voluntarily worked for Skull Face. He was kept as a slave for nine years and forced to work on Sahelanthropus under the threat of physical torture, his own death, and the death of loved ones.
The best piece of evidence for Huey’s case is that he himself asked to be rescued from Skull Face. It simply doesn’t make sense that Huey would want to leave Cipher if his work on Sahelanthropus had been voluntary. Even if Huey was close to finishing Sahelanthropus, it doesn’t make much sense for Skull Face to dispose of such a valuable asset who could be used to work on future projects. Besides, by the time Huey was rescued it was quite clear that he wasn’t being kept in the loop by Skull Face. Huey had no idea that Skull Face had figured out a way to pilot Sahelanthropus without either an AI or human pilot. By solving this part of Sahelnthropus’s design on his own, Skull Face had essentially eliminated any further use for Huey at Cipher, and would surely kill him soon, like any other prisoner who had out lived his usefulness.
When Venom Snake first sees Huey in Afghanistan he is being mistreated. Skull Face gleefully beats Huey and cripples him by breaking his mechanical legs. Then he leaves Huey locked in a warehouse under guard, clearly aware of Huey’s intentions to escape Cipher. Again, this is hardly the conduct of a voluntarily work relationship.
But what if all of this was just the result of short term developments in the relationship between Huey and Cipher?
Based on what we know about Skull Face, it is doubtlessly within the range of his cruelty to enslave a man like Huey indefinitely. Sure, Skull Face might allow Huey to develop his own pair of mechanical legs for the sake of mobility and work efficiency, but a nihilist like Skull Face would have no qualms about threatening and/or torturing subjects into submission.
More specifically, we know that Huey had a child while working under Skull Face, and that the baby was taken away at some point. It could potentially be argued that the baby was sent off to live somewhere safer, but it is far more likely that the child was kidnapped by Skull Face and held as a hostage, as Huey himself claims. Likewise, Huey’s affection for Dr. Strangelove also made her an explicit or implicit hostage for Huey.
Beyond any evidence of coercion, it’s just plain bizarre that Huey would voluntarily work for someone like Skull Face. Whatever problems one might have with Huey, he isn’t as evil as Skull Face. It seems unlikely that Huey would want to murder 5% of the earth’s population with parasites, or create a global nuclear crisis. Sure, Huey might like building robots, but surely even he would realize the dangers of putting such tools in the hands of Cipher.
Charge 3 – Huey murdered Dr. Strangelove
The Case for Guilty:
Of all of the charges brought against Huey, the murder of Dr. Strangelove is the clearest-cut case. The Boss AI’s recording of Dr. Strangelove’s final moments offer a piece of smoking gun evidence as to Huey’s guilt:
“Open this thing! Huey! Damn it Huey! Open it now! Please…Let me out…Kill me…If only I tried to get out sooner…Perhaps I’d have made it. Why didn’t I stop the hatch from closing? Even if it meant losing an arm? Well, I guess I’ll…stay a while.”
It clearly shows that Huey forced Strangelove into the AI core and left her to suffocate. Kaz reasonably suggests that Huey was motivated by Strangelove’s attempts to hide Huey’s son after Huey used him as a test pilot for Sahelanthropus.
Huey’s only defense against the evidence is his claim that Strangelove committed suicide. Well, first Huey claimed Skull Face killed her over a dispute about using an AI to pilot Sahelanthropus, but then he changes his story, as is typical of a man evading the truth.
Of course, there is no apparent motive for Strangelove’s alleged suicide. It would mean leaving her infant son behind, as well as her life’s work. Sure, working under Skull Face couldn’t have been fun, but there was no apparent reason why she would commit suicide at that point, rather than sooner or later. Plus suffocating in a coffin-sized cylinder sounds like an awful way to end one’s life.
The Case for Innocent:
Sometimes it’s helpful to remind ourselves that the vast majority of characters in the Metal Gear universe are really weird. One such common abnormality among them is that nearly every character is a solider in some sense, and trained in the art of combat. We are so used to seeing characters get into crazy gun/knife/super natural power fights that sometimes we might forget that the vast majority of individuals on earth aren’t actually capable of easily killing people. Huey is one such person.
When Ocelot first accuses Huey of killing Strangelove, this is how he responds:
“What? Me? I couldn’t kill her… I wouldn’t! Don’t treat me like one of you. I can’t just kill anyone whenever I feel like it. I’m a normal human being… Me? Kill her? What is wrong with you?
Huey has a point. He’s a scientist, not a soldier. He doesn’t have killer instinct. He doesn’t have the genes, reflexes, or training possessed by men like Venom Snake, Kaz, and Ocelot to “to kill anyone whenever [they] feel like it.” It’s easy to imagine most MGS characters killing someone in a split second, but ordinary people just don’t operate that way.
Ok, so Huey does kill Skull Face (at point blank range with a shot gun). But that’s Skull Face. A genocidal monster who looks like a dinosaur in human form. There’s a big difference between killing a metaphorical Hitler and the love of one’s life.
On top of that, Huey is a pretty scrawny guy, and a paraplegic, even if his mechanical legs ameliorate that issue somewhat. It’s hard to imagine Huey physically restraining Strangelove and then somehow shoving her into the AI core. That’s not only a brutal act, but a physically difficult one to accomplish while Strangelove struggled for her life.
The potential motivations for killing Strangelove offered by Kaz are nothing more than conjecture. Is it really more likely that Huey killed Strangelove after an argument, than that a monster like Skull Face killed Strangelove because she was no longer necessary for Sahelanthropus (Skull Face rejected the use of an AI pilot)? Or that Strangelove committed suicide because she was being forced to work for Skull Face?
Yes, Huey used his son to test Sahelanthropus, but Hal “wanted to get in” according to Huey. For a gear heard like Huey, using Sahelanthropus with his son must have been a wonderful bonding experience, especially given the short time they had together. How could Strangelove possible object to that? Especially to the extent of kidnapping their son?
Besides, Huey was in love with Dr. Strangelove. Everyone knew it. Apparently they grew close while working for Skull Face (whether voluntarily or not) to the point that they became romantically involved and had a child together. Are we really to believe that whiny, scrawny Huey Emmerich brutally murdered the love of his life and the mother of his child?
Charge 4 – Huey assisted Eli and his subordinates in reconstructing Metal Gear Sahelanthropus so they could steal it from Diamond Dogs
The Case for Guilty:
Huey admits that he helped Eli and his crew rebuild Sahelanthropus, but he claimed it was accidental. Huey absurdly claims that all he did was “answer their questions.” How many questions and of what specificity were asked to allow a group of elementary school-aged children to rebuild one of the most advanced machines on the planet after it was reduced to a state of complete non-functionality? In reality, only Huey’s direct oversight, and likely physical assistance, would have enabled Eli to complete his project.
In his defense, Huey argued that he didn’t think Eli would actually be able to operate the metal gear once it was repaired. But we know that Huey used his son as a test pilot for Sahelanthropus, so theoretically it is possibly for a small individual to fit in the cockpit and operate the metal gear. Huey claims that his test with Hal failed, but we only have Huey’s word for it. After all, the cockpit looks like it could only fit a child, not a full grown adult. Thus it’s entirely plausible that Huey purposefully helped Eli rebuild Sahelanthropus because he knew Eli would be able to steal the metal gear.
As for motive, Huey was aware that with the defeat of Skull Face, Kaz and the rest of Diamond Dogs no longer had an outlet for their rage, so their attention was turned to any outsiders they could find – namely, Huey and Quiet. So Huey decided to weaken Diamond Dogs in any way he could. Perhaps letting Eli steal Sahelanthropus, in conjunction with triggering a second vocal cord outbreak (Charge 5) would create enough chaos to give Huey cover to flee. Or maybe it would give Kaz and Diamond Dogs different enemies to fight (Eli and the remnants of Cipher). Or it could even be a form of Huey’s vengeance against Diamond Dogs for his mistreatment (torture, ostracization, etc.).
The Case for Innocent:
Huey claimed that there is no way a child could operate Sahelanthropus, and we never see anything to suggest that he is wrong. At the time of his rescue by Venom Snake, Huey states that Skull Face was still trying to figure out a way to pilot Sahelanthropus. If Huey’s test with Hal was successful, then they would have already found a piloting method.
Ultimately, Skull Face is only able to pilot Sahelanthropus via Tretij Rebenok (AKA the Floating Boy or Psycho Mantis). Eli inadvertently steals control over Rebenok from Skull Face and gains the ability to control the Metal Gear. Though apparently Ocelot, Miller, and Venom Snake eventually discover this process, there is no indication that Huey ever learns the truth. Therefore, there is no reason to believe that Huey ever thought Eli would be able to pilot Sahelanthropus.
Eli is an extraordinarily intelligent individual, a charismatic leader, and has a small army of fanatically loyal child soldiers at his side. It’s entirely plausible that Eli tricked Huey into revealing far more information than he realized (a gear head like Huey probably loves to answer questions about his work, and can get easily carried away in explanations), and then used his army to covertly work on Sahelanthropus in secret. Huey definitely played a role in assisting Eli, but it was accidental.
Charge 5 – Huey altered the wolbachia present in Diamond Dogs personnel so as to trigger a second English vocal cord parasite outbreak on Mother Base
The Case for Guilty:
If Huey didn’t do it, who did?
The wolbachia mutation could not have happened randomly. Genetic mutations can occur unprovoked, but the odds of the wolbachia all randomly mutating in an identical manner to allow the outbreak is beyond astronomical.
Code Talker is the only other person on Mother Base who has the technical expertise to trigger the outbreak but he has no motivation whatsoever. If anything, his past history with deterrent weapons being used against his own people would indicate that he has an extremely strong motivation to never allow the vocal cord parasites to kill again.
But then there’s Huey. A brilliant scientist who has been tortured and alienated by his one-time comrades (whether rightly or wrongly) for months. Kaz was breathing down his neck, waiting for any excuse to kill Huey, and it would only be a matter of time before he found one. So Huey decided to try to find a way out from under Diamond Dogs.
All communication into and out of Mother Base is carefully monitored by Kaz and Ocelot. Prior to the outbreak, they noticed that Huey was contacting multiple locations in the United States, including a biotech firm with connections to DARPA, the primary military technology development organization for the US government, which by this point in time is controlled by Cipher. Huey sought to sell the vocal cord parasite to Cipher for a way out of Diamond Dogs (and also potentially for a lot of money and a position within Cipher).
But Ocelot also posited that since Cipher already had the vocal cord parasite, Huey needed to offer something more. So Huey developed a way to mutate the parasite so as to bypass the best current counter-measure to the parasite (the wolbachia). Thus Huey triggered the second outbreak so as to demonstrate his possession of a counter-measure to entice Cipher.
As to direct evidence of Huey’s wrongdoing, Ocelot states:
“Assuming the vocal cord parasites evolved- I’m sorry – underwent a mutation – the only plausible explanations are exposure to some high concentration mutagen or radiation. As you know, some of the staff at the quarantine facility were infected with the parasites. The wolbachia prevented them from copulating, but the parasites themselves can’t be removed from their hosts’ vocal cords. Once you’re infected with… Skull Face’s parting gift, you’re stuck with it. The researchers regularly used X-ray equipment to monitor the parasites in their throats. No problem there, they kept a close eye on the radiation doses. But that equipment didn’t just give off x-rays… it was also admitting beta rays. Even though that’s unnecessary for the scans. See, beta rays have far worse effects on DNA than x-rays. Meaning the only logical conclusion is that someone added in a beta ray emitter to trigger a mutation. Those beta rays leaked out from inside the equipment. Because the emitter was retrofitted, the shielding was inadequate. And the person who ordered and inspected the equipment… was you, doctor.”
So not only did Huey have the motive and raw ability to cause the outbreak, but he was the only individual on the entire base with opportunity to do so.
The Case for Innocent:
Again, as with Charge 1 and 3, whatever you might think of Huey it’s difficult to imagine him doing something so horrible. He may not have been well-liked on Mother Base, but he still lived with these soldiers for months. He built their equipment. Sometimes he oversaw their operations. Would he really murder dozens of Diamond Dog personnel for the sake of a biological weapons test?
And aren’t there easier ways to conduct the test? Couldn’t he demonstrate the effectiveness of his mutation on some vocal cord parasites in a petri dish? If he must show it on a human, couldn’t he have targeted someone who was going to die anyway? Or someone in isolation? Diamond Dogs may be based in the middle of the ocean, but occasionally they must travel inland, during which time Huey at the very least could have spared himself an emotional toll and suspicion by targeting individuals who didn’t work for Diamond Dogs.
What if the vocal cord parasite hadn’t been quarantined in time? What if it spread throughout the entire base before anyone realized what was happening? If Huey caused they outbreak than he was risking his own life too!
Why on earth would Huey seek out Cipher for assistance? At this point, Huey has worked for both Skull Face and Big Boss, Zero’s Cipher’s two greatest enemies. Why would Huey think that Cipher would trust him?
If Huey was just desperate to escape, surely there would be easier ways. He could run away when they went ashore somewhere. He could steal a boat in the middle of the night. Hell, Huey could just ask Venom Snake if he could leave (Kaz probably wouldn’t want him to go, but Venom might allow it).
Huey’s demeanor during and after the outbreak indicated that the ordeal made him distraught. He pleaded with Venom to not kill his comrades and then nearly cried at their funeral. Actually, he appeared to be the most visibly distraught of anyone on Mother Base, including the notoriously emotional Kaz. Either Huey is a phenomenal actor or he was genuinely affected by the deaths of so many comrades.
Admittedly, Huey’s connection to the radiation machine looks bad for his case. But in a way, it looks excessively bad. In fact, it looks so bad that it seems unlikely Huey would be stupid enough to leave such an apparent clue. If Huey is smart enough to secretly manufacture a means of mutating wolbachia via beta rays, then he is probably smart enough to not leave such obvious evidence of his guilt. At the very least he could have obscured his connection to the radiation machine. Assuming he has staff, he could have delegated its maintenance to someone else and then tampered with the machine secretly.
I was originally going to post my own thoughts on Huey’s guilt for each count, but I honestly found it too difficult to come to a conclusion each time. The only count on which I am confident of Huey’s guilt is Count 3, the murder of Dr. Strangelove. On all other counts, I’m still conflicted.
What I find especially difficult to evaluate is the motivation behind his constant lies. All of the arguments I presented above are based on ideas explicitly presented in the game, or slight inferences of them. But all of these ideas were passed through multiple layers of Huey’s lies and half-truths. Untangling the truth from the lies and the potential reasons why Huey might mislead Diamond Dogs is an adventure in and of itself.
For instance, why doesn’t Huey immediately tell Venom about his kidnapped son after he is rescued? It would be a great way for Huey to engender sympathy from Diamond Dogs and provide evidence that he was being coerced by Skull Face while working on Sahelanthropus. Yet Venom, Ocelot, and Kaz only learn of Hal after they do an autopsy on Dr. Strangelove’s body, discover her C-section scar, and interrogate Huey.
Well, one potential explanation is that Huey killed Strangelove and didn’t want Diamond Dogs to find out. If Huey had told them about his son immediately, they would ask who the mother was. Huey would either have to lie or admit that it was Strangelove. This would lead to questions about where Strangelove was. Huey would either have to lie or admit she was in the AI core (which they would probably find on their own any way. Huey would either have to lie or admit how she got there, etc. So instead of dealing with that whole line of inquiry, Huey decided not to mention anything about his son, and just hope that Diamond Dogs never discovered Strangelove was working with Skull Face in the first place.
Yet, Huey’s lies don’t necessarily indicate that he is guilty either. They could be a product of being put under intense psychological and physical pressure by Ocelot and Kaz. Huey also could have lied to cover up one crime while being wholly innocent of another (ie. he did murder Strangelove but was being coerced by Skull Face to build Sahelanthropus). Or it’s even possible that Huey was innocent, but he was aware of the immense circumstantial evidence against him for many charges, so he lied in an attempt to save himself from unjust punishment.
Ultimately I think there are three broad ways to view Huey Emmerich. One way to see him is as a ruthless manipulator who uses his sympathetic appearance and physical weakness in conjunction with a willingness to constantly obscure the truth to commit a series of heinous crimes and avoid responsibility. Another option is that Huey really is an innocent guy who was out of his element (a scientist amongst soldiers) who was constantly in the wrong place at the wrong time and unfortunately gave a lot of very bad explanations under intense pressure. Finally, Huey was guilty of some crimes, but not others, and decided to pursue and ill-advised strategy of being less than totally honest with Diamond Dogs to avoid condemnation.
Whatever you may think, that is some amazing characterization at play.