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Monday, November 06, 2006

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Key points of Chen Shui-bian's speech

Why are we here?

Last night, Taiwan president Chen Shui-bian went on TV for approximately an hour and twenty minutes in order to respond to an indictment brought by Taipei prosecutors against his wife and three top aides on charges which include corruption, forgery, and perjury. While the president himself is immune from such charges while still in office, the accusations are being made against him as well.

These indictments are based on doubt which has arisen from several things, including selective leaks and the inability of the accused to prove that the money in question was used for "secret diplomatic missions." Saturday's Taipei Times, quoting DPP chairman Yu Shyi-kun, also tells us, "The prosecutor did not say the president pocketed the state fund. The suspicious points in the indictment resulted from the president's need to protect details of the country's confidential diplomacy."

The key points
Here's my summation:
1) The charges are nonsensical. Do the math. Hell, I'll do it for you. The money supposedly stolen (NT$14,800,408) amounts to less than half the losses resulting from Chen cutting his own salary (from NT$820,000/month to NT$420,000/month) for the past six years and five months (that's NT$32,340,000 he has voluntarily given up thus far, plus the remaining 19 months of his term would increase that figure by NT$7,980,000) and refusing to use the "secret accounts" from the KMT era (allowing a whopping NT$110,000,000/year) which require no receipts and which would therefore be easy to pocket. (He gave that money back to the central government, by the way.)

2) The rules are unclear, and double standards are being applied. Things that the Ministry of Audit said were okay early in Chen's term are now being considered illegal.

3) Chen refused to take advantage of any privileges and distance himself from his wife's actions. He said that if the First Lady were convicted by the courts, he would accept the verdict and step down immediately.

4) Despite promises of confidentiality by the prosecutors, Chen said he couldn't identify the "Person A" () mentioned in the indictment documents (a spy?) because it would put that person's life in danger. Out of patriotic duty to Taiwan, he said that it was a secret he would carry with him to his grave, even if he had to go to prison for doing so.

5) Despite promising to allow First Lady Wu Shu-jen (sometimes spelled Wu Shu-chen) a follow-up interview which was delayed until November 5, 2006 (the day of President Chen's speech) for health reasons, the prosecutors went ahead with the indictment.

6) The above 2 items demonstrate injustice, insincerity, and lack of professionalism on the part of the prosecutors.
What the media is saying and will say
* ...if Chen is convicted (despite the fact that he can't even be indicted).

* He spoke Taiwanese! (Somebody call the waaaaambulance 'cuz the opposition has only had 57 years to learn the language!)

* Chen refuses to step down (even though he says he will do so immediately [that's the word he used in Mandarin: "立即"] if his wife is convicted).

* Chen didn't reveal any juicy details about where the secret fund goes. (Duh!)

* C'mon! Tell us the name of "Person A"! (Even though people like Sisy Chen accused both President Chen and former President Lee Teng-hui of endangering spies earlier, now the exact opposite suits her goals!)
What's next?
Another recall motion is set to be tabled in the Legislative Yuan on Monday -- unless the psychotic personal weapons enthusiast Li Ao (sometimes spelled Lee Ao) changes sides and sets off a canister of noxious gas to prevent it. A two-thirds majority is required for the motion to pass. Even then, a referendum of the voting public is required for the recall to be finalized.

One thing's for certain: things are never boring around here, though I often wish for them to be.

UPDATE: Official transcripts of President Chen's speech in English and Chinese are online for those crybabies who claimed he was speaking a foreign language from China in order to speak only to his supporters in southern Taiwan. (Oh, the irony!) You can also watch the video of Chen's speech (divided into 4 WMV files) here.

Things to consider: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cross-posted at It's Not Democracy, It's A Conspiracy!

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9 Comments:

At 11:50 AM, Blogger Poseidon206 said...

Thanks Tim, especially for your math. The math already explained a whole lot.

 
At 10:02 PM, Blogger Wulingren said...

Chen's speech--at least in the short-term--seems to have been successful. That is, the Taiwan Solidarity Union and several members of the DPP who were threatening to support the third recall have backed off from their threats.

 
At 3:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First, as others have pointed out, the DPP had campaigned before CSB's presidency for lower executive compensation. The legislative yuan was about to take up the issue when CSB "voluntarily" cut his salary in half.

Second, no one has suggested that the amount listed is the *total* amount taken from the slush fund. The amount listed in the indictment are only for specific receipts that the prosecutor, through painstaking research, has proven to be fraudulent. This includes clothes/jewelry receipts with which the prosecutor confirmed, by contacting the actual stores involved, that Ms. Wu personally selected/tried on/purchased the items covered by the submitted receipts.

Finally, Chen Shui-bian admits in his speech that he conspired with his wife + assistants in intentionally lying to the prosecutor tasked with investigating possible corruption. His indicted co-conspirators have confessed that they forged documents and receipts in order to mislead prosecutors.

Chen Shui-bian tells us that he did all of this for a good reason. In most countries, perjury, fraud, conspiracy, and obstruction of justice would be a crime... the motivation of these actions is completely irrelevant.

 
At 11:17 AM, Anonymous The Foreigner said...

I'm a little confused. If I read your post correctly, Chen refused to identify "Person A" to the prosecutors. But part of the prosecutor's case is that receipts supposedly filed by "Person A" were filed while "Person A" was outside the country.

The prosecutor would have had to have known the identity of "Person A" in order to determine whether he was in Taiwan on any particular day or not. Unless I'm missing something.

Anyways. A commenter on my site sent me a link regarding the prosecutor's track record. Thought you might be interested.

http://www.anti-media.tw/phpBB/topic_16088.html

It's in Chinese, so it doesn't do me a whole lot of good.

 
At 12:28 AM, Blogger Jiong said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xV-Gv6dh7d0

"If my wife has received... I will resign my position."

I'm sure keeping promises is the most basic expectation we can have for a president.

And how do you know no other money has been pocketed by Chen?

 
At 6:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

foreigner:

According to the indictment, CSB relented and wrote the name of "person A" (Kung Chin-yuan, 龔金源) and slipped it to the prosecutor... melodramatically revealing the identity of this person while pretending to maintaining national security.

The prosecutor then determined that Kung wasn't even in Taiwan for the dates when some of the funds exchange hands (in cash). Kung also later vouched in writing that he was not involved in receiving these funds.

 
At 11:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"And how do you know no other money has been pocketed by Chen?"

If one thinks President Chen has pocketed money, then one has to provide the evidence. Otherwise, one can continue to accuse anyone, "And how do you know he did not do this and that?"

 
At 12:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

>> "If my wife has received... I will resign my position."

Well, i guess i am not a smart guy like this jiong, but should it be read as something like this?

""If my wife has received...(ILLEGALLY) I will resign my position."

 
At 9:42 PM, Blogger Tim Maddog said...

It's not only Jiong's logic that is lacking (see anonymous comment [11:21 AM] above), but the YouTube video has several things which raise red flags, so to speak:
* The source of the video is Hong Kong's Phoenix TV, whose logo appears in the upper left corner.
* It begins with a big, red thumbs-down.
* It was posted by a user who identifies his location as China.
* As someone with their eyes open might expect, it contains several outright lies which are worded so as to trick people. Each time Chen Shui-bian says something in Taiwanese, they take advantage and translate (in both the English and Mandarin subtitles) mendaciously. For example, when the subtitles say "... or any other individuals," Chen says no such thing, and the rest of the argument falls apart.

Jiong is just another one of those who cry "wolf" and expect us to believe that "this time it's real!"

There's another comment which is still pending approval. The reason is that the name given to me by the commenter is not contained in any of the indictment documents which I downloaded from the Taipei District Prosecutors' Office.

Point me to a document name and page number if you want me to approve your comment. I'm not going to go on a wild goose chase looking for information which either doesn't exist or is mere speculation by an Era News reporter.

Tim Maddog

 

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