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Home Editorials of Interest Taipei Times Campaign to discredit Chen goes on

Campaign to discredit Chen goes on

Almost five years on from the assassination attempt on the eve of the 2004 presidential election and there are still people out there trying to prove that it was staged.

It is hard to believe that even after extensive police and judicial investigations concluded that shooter Chen Yi-hsiung (陳義雄) was the only person involved, and the twice-convened and unconstitutional 319 Shooting Truth Investigation Special Committee failed to produce any credible evidence, there are those who will not let it lie.

They still believe that the incident was part of an elaborate conspiracy staged by former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) to ensure he was re-elected.

The latest episode in these risible efforts came on Wednesday when Control Yuan member Frank Wu (吳豐山) produced a report in which he claimed the prosecutors’ investigation had several flaws. In the report, Wu said that Chen Yi-hsiung’s motive was not fully explained and that the scene of his death was not properly described. Wu also cast doubt on the conclusions of the ballistics studies.

However, as in the case of the 319 committee’s report there was a lot of speculation and conjecture, but no solid conclusions. Which raises the question, why was Wu tasked with producing such a report in the first place?

Wu is a journalist by trade and has served as chief of both the Independence Evening Post and the Public Television Service. Both are respectable positions in their own right but hardly make him qualified to pick holes in a specialist forensics report, no matter how many episodes of CSI he has watched.

Yet Wu has been allowed to spend the best part of a year wasting the time of several important government officials in compiling his report at the taxpayer’s expense.

Even the darling of the pan-blue camp, forensics expert Henry Lee (李昌鈺), said back in 2006 that there comes a time when investigations should be closed because of lack of evidence. Yet here we are, three years later, in the same situation with prosecutors apparently still investigating the incident.

When are these people going to realize that no matter how much they want it, there is nothing else to uncover?

The last year or so — with his trial and conviction on corruption charges and the ongoing probes into every aspect of his presidential dealings — has proved beyond doubt that the former president has very few friends, if any, in the establishment.

Had such a conspiracy been perpetrated there would have been at least one or two people willing to come forward and spill the beans. Yet in all this time no such person has appeared.

Still, the relentless campaign to discredit Chen even further continues, orchestrated by people who seem determined to grind the former president into the dust. It seems they will not be satisfied until every one of Chen’s achievements has been discredited or expunged from the annals of history.

It is a sad testament to the lack of maturity in Taiwan’s democracy that such people retain sway over the highest echelons of government and are able to manipulate institutions like the Control Yuan with which to do their bidding.

The sooner such a situation is remedied, the better.

Source: Taipei Times - Editorials 2009/11/13

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Taiwan can look to Ukraine and Israel to learn about deterrence, which is a better option than war, former US deputy national security adviser Matt Pottinger said during a meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday.

Pottinger, chairman of the China Program at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, is visiting Taiwan at the head of delegation of US and Israeli security experts who are also members of the foundation.