"Pay close attention to that man behind the curtain!"

Friday, December 10, 2004

Shooting down "Bulletgate" -- Part 5

Could you repeat what CNN said you told 'em to tell me?

Crunch all you want. We're still on page 4:
[A grayish text box, as if this were something special]

"No arrests have been made, no weapons found and no suspects identified despite the offer of $400,000* for information about the shooting suspects -- leading to accusations of political interference in the investigation."

-- CNN, March 23, 2004

* The total amount offered from various sources has since increased to NT$63,000,000 (or close to US$ 1.9 million). [Emphasis mine]
Hmmmm.... I wonder who could've made such "accusations." Could it beeeeeee.... Satan?!

The technique employed here by the pan-blues is a perennial favorite of People First Party (PFP) legislator Lee Ching-hwa, whose sister Diane Lee is also a PFP legislator, a (current?) UFO Radio host, a former Chinese Television System (CTS) anchor and reporter, and wrongful accuser of then-director of the Department of Health Twu Shiing-jer. You'd think that they'd have a little bit more media "savvy" about them, but this kind of behavior just seems kind of sappy to me.

The "self-validation" technique
During legislative sessions, Lee Ching-hwa will, at fairly regular intervals, hold up a copy of the pro-unification United Daily News (whose strings are pulled by the pan-blues, if not China!), show a headline that agrees with a point he's trying to make (maybe 'cuz he pulled the strings to get the headline written?!), and say, "Ni kan!" ("Look!")

No real proof is ever offered by either of the Lee siblings (i.e., independent reports in support of their wild beliefs or charges), yet they behave this way incessantly. Don't be fooled by this all-too-common pan-blue trick. These "anonymous" accusations to which they refer were surely made by the pan-blues themselves.

A whole boatload of conclusions can be drawn from the fact that "no suspects [have been] identified," but going from "no suspects" to "It was staged!" is simply insane. Without actual evidence -- as opposed to a lack thereof -- these kinds of conclusions don't mean much. In a court of law, these techniques wouldn't hold water.

Go long!
"[P]olitical interference"? How's this for "political interference"? On October 28, 2004, the Chinese-language newspaper Taiwan Daily published an article demonstrating what is a complete lack of professionalism and/or political interference from China. The article shows that the two foreign "experts" the "319 Truth Commission" (AKA the pan-blues' "kangaroo court") called in to investigate the case (Warren Levicoff of the U.S. and Robert Tilney of Britain) don't have the qualifications* [SEE "UPDATE" BELOW] to draw the conclusions they made (that Chen's wound was a made by a surgical tool and was not a gunshot wound, as Dr. Henry Lee had already stated). According to the Taiwan Daily article, neither Levicoff nor Tilney has any forensics experience. Tilney is a fishing tackle and firearms dealer. Levicoff is a private detective (the kind who photographs husbands cheating on their wives or vice-versa) and bounty hunter. Furthermore, they did not visit the crime scene, but instead drew their conclusions merely by viewing photographs of the evidence, for cryin' out freakin' loud!

The Chinese Connection
[This section was inadvertantly omitted from the original posting; updated approximately 2 AM]
The Taiwan Daily article also says this [translation mine]:
Actually, Levicoff and Tilney aren't the first "experts" invited by the Kuomintang (KMT). On September 2 of this year, the KMT asked Steve Vickers, who for 18 years worked for Hong Kong's Royal Police and who is now the chairman of a company called "International Risk," to come to Taiwan. At that time, Vickers said that the shooting was possibly a "political stunt" done in order to benefit someone.

After the March 19 shooting, Vickers has accepted an invitation by Hong Kong law firm PC Woo & Co. to conduct an independent investigation into the shooting. On May 10, he published the results of his investigation. The KMT says that the reason they invited Levicoff and Tilney was simply to assist in disseminating the results of Vickers' report and that they had not paid him a single dime.

Criminal Police Bureau chief Hou You-yi expressed doubts on three points:
* None of the experts invited by the KMT have any forensics experience.
* None are ballistics experts. [See "UPDATE" below]
* None visited the scene of the shooting or interviewed any witnesses.
Whoa! A Hong Kong law firm? Hong Kong, as in China?!

Vickers, just like the KMT, fails to name names when he says that "someone" may have pulled a "political stunt." By being so vague, he may inadvertantly be fingering the KMT! The explosions and bomb threats which occurred on Friday in Taipei would be a similarly convenient excuse for the KMT to use if they lose miserably in Saturday's legislative elections. After all, they've already been using the March 19 shooting as their excuse for more than eight and a half months!

The pan-blues are choosing their own investigators until they find one that will give them the answers they want to hear. Everything else falls on deaf ears.

UPDATE: In contrast to what Hou You-yi is reported as saying in the Taiwan Daily article excerpt above, Robert Tilney is listed on this page as having expertise in these areas:
Weapons analysis and identification
Firearms identification and testing
Ballistics and wound ballistics
Weapons: knives/non-firearm
* December 10, 2004: Commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Formosa Incident, Chen Shui-bian promise to create a commission "to restore historical truth and return justice to those who suffered political oppression" during Taiwan's martial law era if the pan-greens win a legislative majority.
* A list of the top 10 political injustices of Taiwan's martial law era.
* Some information about Levicoff and Tilney might possibly be gleaned from this Chinese-language (Big-5 encoding) discussion forum which quotes an article (this one?) from chinesenewsnet.com which I can't access directly.

NEXT UP: Adding some reverb to the pan-blues' echo-perplexia
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