Saturday, February 28, 2009

Twists and turns of Chen Shui-bian

Some months ago I speculated on various strategies that Chen Shui-bian was likely to adopt as he attempted to wriggle out of a mountain of corruption charges the Taiwan government was preparing against him. I alluded to classic Chinese strategies as the foundation to his possible escape from justice.

What I overlooked was a modern escape hatch not available in the ancient times in China, and that was to plead not guilty of corruption by reason of insanity. That his increasingly bizarre behavior seemed to suggest a planned or possibly genuine spiral towards total irrationality was recently proposed by a major daily in Taiwan.

Chen is the man many accused of orchestrating his own assassination attempt (obviously unsuccessfully) in a last minute ploy to squeeze out a win a hotly contested election. As president of Taiwan, Chen was also the leader who successfully convinced the people of Taiwan for 8 years that the tanking economy was of no consequence to their daily lives. That he can succeed in bamboozling Taiwan for so long suggests that pinning the criminal guilt on this slipperiest of politicians will be a test of Taiwan judiciary system.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Congressman John Conyers Speaks Out

Congressman John Conyers' recent blog advocated a non-partisan commission to examine whether the previous Bush Administration has been guilty of criminal wrong doing. The following are his concluding paragraphs for your information.

To me, the bottom line is this: If we move on now without fully documenting what occurred, without acknowledging the betrayal of our values, and without determining whether or not any laws have been broken, we cannot help but validate all that has gone on before. If we look at the Bush record and conclude that the book should simply be closed, we will be tacitly approving both the documented abuses and the additional misdeeds we will have chosen to leave uncovered.

That is why there is nothing partisan about the call for further review. In the end, these acts were not taken by George Bush, or by John Yoo, or even by Dick Cheney - they were taken by the United States of America. By all of us. There is no avoiding the responsibility we all bear for what has been done, and for what we choose to do next.

Our country has never been perfect. This would not be the first time we were forced to take a hard look at difficult choices made in times of peril. But when we have done so before, it has made us stronger, both by improving our policies and our practices and, more fundamentally, by strengthening our moral core and by breathing new life into the principles of our founding.

The responsible way forward requires us to look back as we go.

If you agree with Congressman Conyers, please let your congressional representatives know.