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Milton J. Madison - An American Refugee Now Living in China, Where Liberty is Ascending

Federalism, Free Markets and the Liberty To Let One's Mind Wander. I Am Very Worried About the Fate of Liberty in the USA, Where Government is Taking people's Lives ____________________________________________________________________________________________ "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. Tolerance in the face of tyranny is no virtue." -Barry Goldwater-

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Who Is Wen Ho Lee?

For all of you that hold the New York Times in such high regard, this is just another example of the paper doing the dirty work for the Democratic party...
Wen Ho Lee (Born in Nantou, Taiwan December 21, 1939) is a Taiwanese American scientist who worked for the University of California at Los Alamos National Laboratory and was accused of stealing secrets about the U.S.'s nuclear arsenal for China. After investigators dropped these original accusations, the government conducted a new investigation and charged Lee with improper handling of restricted data, one count of which he pleaded guilty to as part of a plea bargain. Lee's case has been compared to the Dreyfus Affair, and some consider it to be a textbook example of the harm that can be done to an individual when the power of government and the power of media unite against one person.
His named was leaked to the New York Times at a time that the Clinton administration was under pressure for taking illegal campaign donations [bribes] from fronts for the Chinese government. At the same time, there was credible evidence that Chinese espionage had secured some highly classified weapons secrets on the US nuclear arsenal and the Clinton administration was also taking heat over that. As the connection was being made over the illegal Chinese campaign contributions and the secrets being spirited to the Chinese government, in a pique of racial profiling, ...
The assumption that Lee, whose roots are in Taiwan and who has no relatives on the mainland, would be the prime target of an investigation simply because of his skin color and ethnic identity has sent shock waves through the Asian-American community.
Dr. Wen Ho Lee was arrested and kept in solitary confinement for 9 months and his name was splashed all over the front pages of the papers. It is interesting to note, that the Clinton Administration, in order to again play the race card, had been prosecuting a course of action accusing the State Police in states with Republican governors of racial profiling in stopping cars on interstate highways.

Unfortunately, for the papers, he was innocent of what he was accused of....
On June 3, 2006, the U.S. federal government and five media organizations (the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, ABC News, and the Associated Press) announced they would jointly pay Lee a total of $1.6 million to settle allegations that government leaks violated his privacy.
Oops....
On June 2, 2006, it was announced that the government and five news organizations settled the privacy lawsuit with Dr. Lee. The government agreed to pay $900,000 in legal fees and associated taxes, while the news outlets will pay $750,000. Lee quoted "We are hopeful that the agreements reached today will send the strong message that government officials and journalists must and should act responsibly in discharging their duties and be sensitive to the privacy interests afforded to every citizen of this country."
But that is only part of the story of the New York Times complicity into the racial profiling of Dr. Wen Ho Lee, his subsequent abduction and jailing in solitary confinement. They still have been unable to come to grips with their shoddy journalism on this story...
While Reno and Freeh defended their handling of the case before Congress, the New York Times, in one of the most contorted editors' notes in that paper's history, and on its editorial page two days later, defended its journalism in the Lee case while offering up some faint notes of apology. But like the ravings of an addict promising to abstain, the Times again committed egregious distortions in the very editors' note intended to set the record straight. For one thing, the September 26 note implied that Lee might have had something to do with espionage and also with the theft of information critical to building the W-88 warhead, even though he was never charged with either offense.

Most unbelievable was one sentence that was so ingenuously dishonest as to be worthy of the most effective editorialist for Pravda in the bad old days. The Times editors wrote that at the time of the newspaper's first story, "Dr. Lee had already taken a lie detector test; FBI investigators believed that it showed deception when he was asked whether he had leaked secrets." The fact is that in December of 1998, three months before the Times's first story ran, Lee had passed an Energy Department lie-detector test with flying colors. What the note would seem to indicate is that the Times still could not acknowledge a single piece of evidence pointing to Lee's innocence.

In its very long editorial admitting to some errors, most important is the admission that "we find that we too quickly accepted the government's theory that espionage was the main reason for Chinese nuclear advances and its view that Dr. Lee had been properly singled out as the prime suspect." But then the editorial quickly segues into a non-sequitur argument about the need for increased security at the weapons labs.
What the New York Times was doing, was complicity engaging in the defense of the Clinton Administration that was concerned that Chinese bribes and stolen secrets may impact the upcoming Gore campaign. The New York Times took the Clinton bait hook, line and sinker and has still be unable to accept that they were hoodwinked by their dear Clintons.

A comprehensive report on the bungled Dr. Wen Ho Lee case can be read at The Nation.. The money quote...
As for Wen Ho Lee, the scientist came away thankful for a legal system in which the damage to him was limited by an ultimately courageous judge and a hopelessly bungled government case. But no one who cares about freedom of the individual in the face of abusive government power should ever forget how arrogant the FBI can be when backed by the shoddy reporting of this nation's premier newspaper. This was chillingly demonstrated on March 7, 1999, when Lee's FBI interrogators brandished the previous day's New York Times story as a weapon to threaten him:

FBI: Do you think that the press prints everything that's true? Do you think that everything in this article is true?
Lee: I don't think [so].
FBI: The press doesn't care.

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