ezekiel's chariot - 張敦楷 (pjammer) wrote,
ezekiel's chariot - 張敦楷

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Wen Ho Lee: The Spy Who Wasn't

Arab-looking men these days will no doubt relate to Lee's story. Can we trust the government to do the right thing in its self-proclaimed "War on Terrorism?"

Taiwanese-born Lee was falsely accused by the U.S. government, which painted him as a grave threat to national security. Lee has worn prison garb, stumbled through bullying FBI interrogation sessions and been persecuted by the press. But unlike Higazy's case, Lee's nightmare lasted almost two whole years, which explains why his faith -- his belief that if he simply told the truth again and again the government would set him free -- did occasionally waiver. His resistance though, did not:

"I felt that the government was torturing me now, that they were trying to break me down without coming right out and shooting me. I said to myself, 'They're trying to get me to cave in and confess to something that I didn't do, to get me to say, "Okay, you're right, I'm a big spy."' I figured if I didn't confess, they'd want me to kill myself. But their dirty tricks only made me madder. My family knows how stubborn I can be. I wasn't going to let ... the government break my spirit. I kept telling myself, I will never give up, I will never surrender to their dirty tricks and lies," writes the former nuclear scientist in his new book, "My Country Versus Me."

Lee, of course, is the infamous spy who wasn't. Caught up in a manufactured scandal that, pre-Sept. 11, passed as a national security crisis, Lee became the focus of a fierce government inquiry into alleged Chinese espionage. Utterly convinced of Lee's guilt -- and busy duping complacent New York Times reporters with grand, anonymous and erroneous accusations -- government investigators were egged on by a conservative Beltway feeding frenzy (The White House is soft on China!) and tried to lock Lee up for life.

The Spy Who Wasn't
by Eric Boehlert, Salon.com

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