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

Monday, January 17, 2005

Shooting down "Bulletgate" -- Part 14

"Poll" dancing

Page 13 of "Bulletgate" contains blood, but it's not enough to satisfy the pan-blues' vampiric thirst. Anyway, they're still trying to distract people with their vague claims about "polls."

Before they attempt to mislead you down this dead end street, I will give you the forewarning you'll need in order to protect yourself from their dishonesty:
[Centered on the page is a photo of Chen Shui-bian's belly displaying his yet unstitched, but already cleaned gunshot wound.]

[PHOTO CAPTION:] Government-released photo showing Chen's grazing wound.

The Shooting Incident of March 19

Polls conducted by various independent institutions for 13 months up until March 19, all indicated that the Chen-Lu ticket, called the Pan Green alliance, was persistently trailing the Pan Blue Lien-Soong ticket by anywhere between 5 and 10 percent. Bookmakers in Taiwan, operating only half clandestinely, were offering 2 to 1 odds against the incumbent team.
Okay, let's break it here.

"[I]ndependent" polls, my ass!
The pan-blues will, in the pages of "Bulletgate" to come, quote surveys done by TVBS -- which might be better described as BS TV -- and the formerly affiliated Era News.

Anywhere, anytime, TVBS will jump at the chance to attack Chen Shui-bian, the Democratic Progressive Party, and anyone associated with them. If you could see TVBS every day, you'd know their true colors. They don't call China "China" -- they call it "Mainland China" or simply "the Mainland." By doing so, they're implying that Taiwan is part of China, just as people in Hawaii would be doing by referring to the contiguous 48 states on the U.S. "mainland." TVBS' usage of the word is no accident, for they are quite consistent about it, as a Chinese-language search of their site for terms like "China" (Hanyu pinyin: Zhong1 Guo2) or "mainland" (da4 lu4) will easily demonstrate.

As recently as January 5 and 6, 2005, TVBS published reports complaining of an "ass-kissing culture" in the Ministry of Education. You won't be surprised to know that the head of that department, Tu Cheng-sheng, was appointed by premier Yu Shyi-kun under the leadership of Chen Shui-bian.

On the day of Taiwan's 2004 presidential election, TVBS was planning to release the first exit poll. The article linked above says that "the margin of error for the poll was expected to be less than 1 per cent, but the station might withhold the results if they appeared inaccurate." Or do they mean "if they appeared to favor Chen Shui-bian"? Was this another attempt to deceive viewers and shape public opinion?

[See UPDATE at the bottom of this post for more election-related inaccuracy from TVBS.]

Separate but equally full of it
Era News is currently operated separately from TVBS, we can't know what's actually going on behind the scenes -- or can we?

On January 14, 2005, Era News ran something in their scrolling newsbar that said that [translation mine] "there was a 'high probability' that the European Parliament would lift the embargo on the sales of weapons to China." Ha! They voted to maintain the restrictions, "citing Beijing's threats against Taiwan as one of the key justifications." Not only that, but the vote -- which took place on January 13 -- went like this: "Ninety-nine members opposed for [sic] lifting the ban, 2 voted for opening arms sale, and 7 abstained from voting." Did Era News not know this, or were they and the rest of the pan-blue media trying to deceive the public?

Seeing the forest in spite of all those damn trees
Romanization.com lines up the results of six polls that were done in early March 2004 showing us that the Chen-Lu ticket was leading in half of those polls. That web site also tells us, "The average gap of 1.3% in favor of Lien was well within the standard margin of error of these polls, and there were substantial numbers of undecided voters in each poll."

Trailing by 5 to 10 percent, my ass!

More "reliable" sources?
Notice where else the pan-blues get their information: from "bookmakers" -- who may well be trying to influence the outcome of the election. Could the pan-blues possibly be the people you'd want making national policy decisions? Do you think they would draw up national defense plans based on feng shui? They just might! After all, they claim that feng shui helped them "win" the November legislative elections.

Back to the "Bulletgate" bullshit:
On the afternoon of March 19, the day before the balloting, incumbent Chen and his running mate Annette Lu were riding together in an open jeep, surrounded by over 1,400 security personnel and waving to well-wishers in downtown Tainan, Chen's hometown. In gross violation of security SOP which was followed that morning, Chen took off his bullet proof vest in the afternoon, and did not ride in a government vehicle with proper bulletproofing. Instead he rode in a plain jeep owned by a local politician, driven by an untrained private citizen. The jeep was not armor-plated. In serious breach of procedure, the country's No. 1 and 2 executives rode together in the same vehicle, standing side by side.
The cognitive development of a 3-year-old: "What we can't see can't hurt us"
If you are a parent or can remember that far back in your own life, you'll know that kids will cover their eyes or their heads in order to "protect themselves" from imaginary fears. As adults, our mental processes should be developed to a point where we realize that this doesn't work for reality. If I'm stuck on the train tracks with a train approaching at high speed, for example, simply covering my eyes won't make Mr. Choo-choo disappear.

Despite the danger of such thinking, this toddler-like mentality seems to be the standard approach the pan-blues take toward many things. This time around, it's information about bulletproof vests that they're hiding from.

Here's what I wrote about the lack of bulletproof vests back in Part 4 of this shootdown:
Although one might imagine it to be rather coincidental that Chen and Lu were shot just when they happened to be without bulletproof vests, there are other things to consider. They were in Chen's hometown of Tainan. It was a hot day.

Did Chen freqently wear a bulletproof vest prior to the shooting? This is something that might be good to consider when making accusations such as these. I wondered about it, and if the pan-blues were really interested in the "truth," they'd also be aware of this, which took all of two minutes to dig up:
Chen was not wearing his bulletproof vest, but he seldom does so even when he is not in his hometown, [Secretary General of the Presidential Office] Chiou [I-jen] said.

Chen has prided himself on being accessible to the public as part of Taiwan's flourishing democracy, also opening the Presidential Office building to the public on weekday mornings. [Emphasis mine]
Were Lien and Soong wearing bulletproof vests when they campaigned? I couldn't tell you, but it seems like a good question to ask. I do know that they complained about Chen Shui-bian's plans to use bulletproof glass at his May 20, 2004 inauguration (Would it make it too difficult to try to kill him again, or what?!), but they protested from behind bulletproof glass themselves.

The bullshit flies when the pan-blues aren't having fun. More from "Bulletgate":
At around 1:45 p. m., two shots were allegedly fired at them from a close distance amid a tumultuous welcoming scene, wounding them both. Ms. Lu was wounded in her right knee by a bullet, made of copper, which pierced through the windshield of the jeep. Mr. Chen suffered a grazing wound in his abdomen by a bullet, made of lead whose "surface nose is flat and big," "not a regular sharp-penetration-type design" and "powered by very small amount of powder," according to Dr. Henry Lee, the world-renowned forensic scientist, on a fact-finding visit to Taiwan in April. Inexplicably, for ten minutes, both Chen and Lu were not suspicious of their new wounds. Neither they nor the security personnel in and around the jeep heard the shots, or even noticed a fresh bullet hole on the windshield.
Tetrahydrocannabinol'll do that to ya, eh?
Not aware of their wounds "for ten minutes"? The KMT's own website published Lu's own explanation on April 10, 2004 as "[t]ranslated from local newspapers 5 April 2004." The Vice-President tells it like this [Emphasis mine]:
Suddenly I heard two big sounds like "Pong! Pong!", while smoke and shreds from firecracker wrappers made it hard for us to see. At that moment, I felt that something hit my right knee with tremendous force that hurt me very much. Immediately I yelled: "Oh ... it ... hurts so!"
That doesn't sound like "ten minutes" to me.

Back to the contents of "Bulletgate":
The chief Aide-de-Camp, who sat in the front passenger seat, ordered no security measures against further attacks. In fact, in nationwide television footage, he seemed totally oblivious to the alleged shooting. Later he admitted that he wore an earplug to seal off firecracker noise. Immediately after the alleged shooting, the police took no action to seal off the scene of the alleged crime, thus allowing all evidence to be lost to scientific investigation. Nor did the government order an immediate dragnet for the supposed gunmen, or increase vigilance at airports and fishing harbors to prevent their escape. To this day no suspect has been identified, and there have been no witnesses, though the alleged shooting took place in broad daylight, before live television cameras. In fact, Mr. Chen has not said one word of condemnation against the "assassin(s)."
Here are a few smidgens of truth surrounded by clouds of pan-blue concealment.

LARRY: "I can't see! I can't see!"
MOE: "Whatsamatta?!"
LARRY: "I got my eyes closed." [LINK]

No "dragnet or increased vigilance"? That's exactly what you'll see if you refuse to open your eyes. A Taipei Times article on January 1, 2005 wrapping up the top stories of the previous year says, "The increased security came as a result of the shooting of President Chen Shui-bian and Vice President Annette Lu in Tainan earlier that day."

See how it works? Just close your eyes, and the things that you are afraid of disappear. It's so simple, a 3-year-old child could do it!

Ah, if only real life were so simple.

Can I get a witness?!
Here's what I wrote about the pan-blues' ridiculous claims that "there have been no witnesses" back in Part 6 of this shootdown:
"[N]o witnesses"? According to Tainan Prosecutor Wang San-jung, quoted in a Taipei Times article from July 23, 2004, "investigators have interviewed everybody in the video, except the person in the grey shirt [whose] explanation and testimony are needed, because eight witnesses have testified against him." While this information wasn't revealed until after "Bulletgate" was published, its publishers drew their own conclusions, planted the seeds of suspicion in their supporters' minds, and fertilized them with the assistance of pan-blue media bullshit. [Emphasis added]
While that information is from last July, the pan-blues couldn't possibly not know that there were witnesses.

Did he or didn't he?
Is is true that Chen Shui-bian did "not sa[y] one word of condemnation against the "assassin(s)'"? You don't have to be his hairdresser to know the answer to this question! Speaking on behalf of the president, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Secretary-General Chang Chun-hsiung said on the day of the shooting, "We condemn all violence and we urge all of our supporters to remain calm and pray for the health and well-being of the president and vice president." [Emphasis mine] If "all" isn't inclusive enough for the pan-blues, that's their own problem. This also demonstrates once again that it is the pan-blues who have "milked the shooting to maximum effect."

Since my last post, it has been revealed that the hunt for the nonexistent weapons of mass destruction in Iraq is officially over, George W. Bush has expressed regret for saying dumbass things such as "bring 'em on," and things like "Rathergate" are perceived by the "dark side" as much more evil than, say, death squads. What a sick, twisted world.

NEXT UP: Ad nausuem, ad infinitum, ad diarrheum

UPDATE: Here's a repeat of something I posted back in Part 2 of this series:
* See the results of a very inaccurate TVBS survey in the runup to Taiwan's presidential election in 2000. (Actual outcome of that election: Chen Shui-bian: 4,977,697 votes (39.30%); James Soong: 4,664,972 votes (36.84%); Lien Chan: 2,925,513 votes (23.10%))
As I said: "BS TV."
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