Friday, February 13, 2009

The Chen Family Gives Deep Greens a Slap in the Face

The Chen Family Gives Deep Greens a Slap in the Face
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation 
February 13, 2009

 Wu Shu-chen, accompanied by her newly-recruited legal counsel, re-appeared in court, 788 days after her last appearance. She agreed to a "technical plea of guilty." She did not resort to her usual fainting tactics. For Deep Green Taiwan independence supporters, who did everything in their power to obstruct justice, watching Chen Shui-bian's wife and son plead guilty must have been a bolt out of the blue.

Wu Shu-chen could drag out the process and refuse to appear in court in part because of her physical condition, and in part because her Deep Green legal defense team worked hand in hand with the Chen family to politicize their indictment and spin their prosecution for corruption and money-laundering as "judicial persecution." The defense team's showmanship trumped the prosecution's professionalism. Nevertheless, once Chen Chih-chung and his wife asked for a plea bargain, the result was an internal uprising. Lee Sheng-hsiung and others terminated their client-attorney relationship with Wu Shu-chen. Within one short week, Wu Shu-chen quickly found replacements for all three members of her legal defense team. She decided to plead guilty to some of the charges against her. By then, the ugly face of the Chen family's corruption had been exposed. Do Taiwan independence supporters still wish to maintain that Ah-Bian and Ah-Chen were sacrificial martyrs nailed to the cross for supporting Taiwan Independence?

The stubborn illusions Deep Greens have regarding Chen Shui-bian are incomprehensible, particularly now that the Chen family scandals have been exposed by prosecutors. A bunch of pro-independence lawyers and Deep Green elements persist in white-washing Ah-Bian's crimes. One can only wonder what they are thinking. Lee Sheng-hsiung's statement upon terminating his relationship with the Chen family offers us an insight. He said being Ah-Chen's attorney was in effect, "leading the entire Chen family to the Lord." Chen Chih-chung and Huang Jui-Ching's confession precipitated an internal uprising. He could no longer act as Ah-Chen's attorney. Lee conflated the roles of legal counsel and spiritual advisor. He seemed more interested in abstract faith, to the point of neglecting his client's interests.

For Lee Sheng-hsiung, his role as Taiwan independence elder trumped his role as defense attorney. That may be the ultimate reason he opposed a guilty plea. Only by refusing to acknowlege the legitimacy of secular justice, could he depict criminal prosecution as "political persecution," and maintain the sanctity of Taiwan independence.

The problem with lawyers such as Lee Sheng-hsiung, is that their other roles have compromised their role as defense attorneys. Urging the Chen family to believe in the Lord, and helping the Chen family achieve spiritual tranquility, is noble. But ignoring real world circumstances, to the point of obdurately urging the Chen family not to admit guilt, runs counter to the goal of helping them seek redemption. Besides, defense attorneys have a sworn duty to use the legal tools at their disposal to safeguard the rights and interests of their clients. Advising a defendant not to plead guilty merely because doing so would undermine the attorney's political faith is both dereliction of duty and a violation of professional ethics.

Lee Sheng-hsiung and others could neither advance nor retreat. Their dilemma reflects the dilemma of Deep Green Taiwan independence thought and action. One. As a political movement Taiwan independence must offer a vision to attract followers. But Deep Greens have bet everything the farm on the hopelessly corrupt Ah-Bian. What are they doing, if not asking for trouble? Two. Any movement must constantly engage in soul-searching and fresh thinking in order to clarify its values and reaffirm its goals. But Deep Green Taiwan independence elements want only to deny the legitimacy of the political framework and the justice system. They even want to undermine such universal values as justice, integrity, conscience. In the process, they have merely marginalized themselves. Over the past eight years, "nativist" sentiment has indeed grown. But the Taiwan independence movement has simultaneously withered. One reason is the constraints of reality. Another reason is that Chen Shui-bian overplayed his hand. To continue putting Chen Shui-bian on a pedestal, this late in the game, is self-degradation.

Wu Shu-chen has pleaded guilty to some of the indictments against her. Now that she no longer needs to act out the role of "victim of political persecution," she seems more relaxed. It has now been established that Chen Chih-chung and his wife knew they were involved in money laundering. Wu Shu-chen knew she took money she shouldn't have. She can no longer feign innocence. She has in effect lowered the sacred banner that Taiwan independence elements raised. She has come back down to earth. She will have to pay a price, of course. But at least she can come back down to earth. She can resume the role of wife and mother. She need no longer remain imprisoned within Bao-lai Gardens, on the Deep Green sacrificial altar arranged for her by Taiwan independence elements.

Regardless of how genuine their repentance might be, Chen Chih-chung, Huang Jiu-ching, and Wu Shu-chen have pleaded guilty. At least they have acknowledged they can no longer deny legal responsibilty. By contrast, the blinkered, Deep Green supporters of Taiwan independence who continue to insist that Ah-Bian and Ah-Chen are victims of judicial persecution, are truly lost. They have no idea where their imaginary Nation of Taiwan can be found. Meanwhile, they have forsaken whatever fundamental moral and ethical beliefs they might once have held.

Take the following four values: law, democracy, morality, and religion. Which of these should lawyers value the most? Or, within the dark and endless tunnel that is Taiwan independence, can all of them be discarded?

2009.02.13 02:37 am










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