Chen Shui-bian's Eight Year Web of Corruption
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
October 24, 2008
Tug on the loose threads in the Chen family money-laundering scandal, and they will lead to string upon string of collusion between corrupt officials and special interests. The most shocking aspect is not that money and power were in bed together, but just how sordid their methods were. They were no different from those of organized crime groups. During his eight year term, Chen Shui-bian essentially sold the government to the highest bidder. His flagrant corruption is far more despicable than his incompetent governance.
Former Bureau of Investigation Chief Yeh Sheng-mao and former Minister of the Interior Yu Cheng-hsien have both been arrested. The Chen Shui-bian regime's corruption has reached new lows. These two officials' roles in the scandals was merely to obey orders and run errands. They sold their souls to help the Chen family amass illicit wealth and conceal its criminal acts. Chen Shui-bian's eight year regime has trampled the nation's system of justice into the dust. It has trampled the nation's civil service system under its boot, hollowed out its democracy, and undermined the rule of law. The legitimacy of "nativist rule" has been undermined to boot. Sadly, the Democratic Progressive Party doesn't seem to give a damn.
Neither local construction firms nor vast financial syndicates have escaped Ah-Bian and Ah-Cheng's clutches. Once the presidential palace or the presidential residence got wind of either bidding on local construction contracts or major financial policy reforms, they immediately became into Chen family ATM machines. Just look at First Son Chen Chi-chung's wedding. Besides flagrantly misusing Air Force One, all their expenses were charged to the State Expenses Fund, under "Confidential Expenses." Worse still, they set up channels by which major business consortiums would give million dollar diamond rings and million dollar gifts of cash as "wedding gifts." Hold a wedding. Amass a fortune. The epithet "corrupt" is woefully adequate to encompass Ah-Bian and Ah-Cheng's insatiable appetite. The entire government has become a money machine for a family consumed by greed. How ironic when Chen Shui-bian's pet mantra is "Love for Taiwan!"
So far the money-laundering scandal has exposed only the tip of the iceberg. The tip of the iceberg is alarming enough. One can only imagine what the rest of the iceberg is like. In fact, judging by the frequency of the Chen regime's corruption scandals, this sort of bottom-up chain reaction is no accident. Corruption scandals at the Central Government level alone are already too numerous to count. Examples include Kuo Yao-chi, former Minister of Transportation and Communications, who has been sentenced to eight years in connection with the Taiwan Railway Taipei Station bid-rigging scandal. Former Interior Minister Yen Wan-chin has been sentenced to 12 years in the second instance in connection with the Peitou cable car scandal. Former Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Hou He-hsiung has been sentenced to 20 years for making sweetheart deals with flood control project contractors. Lin Chung-cheng has been sentenced to 16 years for his part in the Taiwan Development Corporation scandal. Additional scandals include the Department of Defense Taiwan Goals scandal, the PNG Ministry of Foreign Affairs scandal, and the Ministry of Finance "Second Financial Reform" scandal. One has to ask, is any ministry free from the stench of corruption?
Does the decadence and rot among Chen regime officials stem from DPP corruption? Or does it stem from the negative example set by Chen Shui-bian himself? The outside world has no way of knowing. But if Chen Shui-bian himself had not been so quick to descend into a mosh pit of corruption, if he still retained a shred of commitment to "reform," would he have sat back and watched as his lieutenants led his troops into the cesspool? Would he have opened a backdoor to his official residence for special interests?
Greed and corruption are two sides of the same coin. Only corruption is able to satisfy greed. Over the past eight years, there have been two presidential palaces on Taiwan. One is the Office of the President, located on Ketagalan Boulevard. The name on the door reads "Chen Shui-bian." It is responsible for policy. The other is the Underground Office of the President, located on Chongqing South Road. The name on the door reads "Wu Shu-cheng." She sets the prices. Wu Shu-cheng's greed could not be fulfilled without Chen Shui-bian's corruption. Of course, there would also be no money-laundering scandal today. Chen Shui-bian has harped endlessly on "reform." Wu Shu-chen has seized the opportunity to engage in wanton plunder. In the end, the entire family has been wound up in court. The myth of the Democratic Progressive Party "democratic reform" has also been swept into the garbage heap.
Chen Shui-bian has shouted "Transitional Justice" louder than anyone. But while he was waving one fist in the air demanding justice, his other hand was in the shadows, under the table, laundering money overseas. Chen Shui-bian is a master at political sleight of hand. He has led the public around by the nose until it is dizzy. In his eyes, the nation (guo) is merely a tool to amass wealth for his family (jia).
Over the past several months the public has seen a tiny corner of this vast web of corruption. This tiny glimpse alone has left it in shock. The latest revelation concerns millions, or even hundreds of millions deposited into the Chen family's overseas accounts by financial syndicates. When do judicial authorities intend to expose this vast web of corruption to the public?
2008.10.24 03:07 am
光是前調查局長葉盛茂、前內政部長余政憲相繼遭收押，扁政府的腐敗已創下空前紀錄。而這兩名首長在弊案中扮演的，不過是供使喚、跑腿的角色；他們出賣自己 的靈魂，目的只在幫扁家聚斂錢財及掩護非法。可見，陳水扁主政八年，不僅踐踏國家公義以聚斂個人財富，更是無情蹂躪官箴以掏空民主法治。本土政權的正當性 遭如此摧殘，可嘆的是，民進黨卻表現得不以為意的樣子。
小從地方型建商，大至大金控財團，都難逃扁珍聯手染指；地方工程發包，國家重大金改決策，一經府邸的通關密語，立即變成扁家發財變現的聚寶盆。僅看陳致中 的婚禮，除了大膽動用空軍一號，所有開銷甚且全移至國務機要費名下支付，尤有甚者，還安排了種種管道讓各大財團以百萬鑽戒、美金匯款向其申致賀意。一次婚 禮，一座金山。足見，一個「貪」字，已不足以形容扁珍的無饜胃口，可以說整個政府已被當成這個貪婪家族的牟利工具。諷刺的是，他最出名的口號還是「愛台 灣」！
洗錢案目前只露出冰山一角，即有如此驚人的弊情，往後的發展恐怕更是不堪。事實上，若對照扁政府過去八年的弊案頻傳，這種由下而上的連鎖引發，並非偶然。 陳水扁執政期間，光是中央部會發生的貪腐醜聞，已至屈指難數的地步。諸如：前交通部長郭瑤琪因涉及台鐵台北車站招商案，遭求刑八年；前內政部次長顏萬進因 涉及北投纜車弊案，二審被判十二年；前經濟部次長侯和雄在治水計畫涉嫌圖利廠商，遭求刑廿年；林忠正涉開發金弊案被判刑十六年。此外，更有諸如國防部的鐽 震案、外交部的巴紐案、財政部的二次金改，試問：還有幾個部會是乾淨的？
「貪」和「腐」是兩位一體，要有「腐」的推力，才能滿足「貪」的欲望。過去八年，台灣存在兩個總統府，一個是凱達格蘭大道的地上總統府，由陳水扁掛牌，負 責宣示政策；一個是重慶南路的地下總統府，由吳淑珍作莊，主持訂價決標。吳淑珍的「貪」，如果沒有陳水扁的「腐」，便無法遂行，當然也就不會有今天的洗錢 案。陳水扁不斷地製造「改革題材」，吳淑珍則亦不斷「借題發揮」以大肆搜刮；結果，終至把全家帶上法庭，也把民進黨的民主改革傳奇一起掃進垃圾場。