Is the Ma Government Blowing Smoke to Cover its Tracks? Part II

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Monday April 25, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

On April 10 and 11, 2011, some 34 scholars and writers sent an open letter to Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou. (Reference it by scrolling down below to April 11 to see all the details.) Barely was the letter published, when minions of the Ma government responded in exactly the same way that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) of China responds when any of its abuses of human rights and the right of law are questioned. So close in wording and method were the responses of the two countries that they seem to have been taken from the same handbook of authoritarianism. First of course there was the claim that it is illegal for foreigners to comment on the ROC or the PRC internal affairs. Next followed the procedure of questioning the authenticity of the letter and stated suspicions that a nefarious plot was afoot. Finally there was the disbelief that the government's care for its people could be questioned whether it was by dissident Tibetans, Uighurs, or Falun Gong. Or as in the case of Taiwan, that Ma's government that it would ever stoop and base its actions on political motivation.

Let us say you work for the government or even for a major corporation and you leave your office or position in 2008; now some three years later you are facing accusations, not that you have, but that you may have not adequately accounted for all documents, classified information etc. from 3 years ago. When would the natural time have been to bring this up, three years ago when matters would be fresh in the mind of both you and your staff or three years later?

In the past week and a half, the various regional Taipei Economic and Cultural Offices (TECO) around the world had been ordered to track down the signers of the letter and question them on the authenticity of their signatures. Think for a moment, what president of any democratic country has ever done the same when his rule of law was questioned? What democratic president would immediately respond by ordering his minions to challenge the authenticity of the signatures of the letter? This is what has happened with the Ma government. TECO officers asked those involved if their signature was real and/or if they had been pressured or deceived in any way to signing a letter questioning the Ma government's policies. Finally the TECO officers acting as if they were police officers were if possible to call each of the signers in so that they could "explain" (shall we say "indoctrinate" those involved as to what the government's position was. Surely if the scholars knew that the government was pure as the driven snow in its motivation, such scholars would never have signed the letter.

Examine further, why would any one of the opposition party be so naÏve and/or stupid as to put forth such an open letter with bogus or made up signatures? The aforementioned scholars who consistently follow Taiwan politics would immediately protest such a manipulation of their names. Is not such questioning, projection or paranoia on the part of Ma's government?

Yet this is what happened. The resources and time of Taiwan and the TECO officials and their offices were used in spending Taiwan's tax dollars to try and prove that somehow the Ma government was being misunderstood. The signers could not help but be amused at such paranoia and feel somewhat embarrassed for the career officials that had to carry out such orders. There will be more.