Restore Justice: Reopen the 3/19 Shooting Case
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
April 17, 2012
Summary: Eight years ago, the 3/19 Shooting Incident reversed the outcome of the presidential election, and divided the public on Taiwan. This divide has yet to be healed. Most members of the public have put the incident out of their minds, intentionally or otherwise. Fortunately, a handful of individuals have continued to uncover the truth behind the 3/19 Shooting Incident. Without the truth. there can be no justice. Without the truth, there can be no public trust. The Ma administration must seize the opportunity to reopen the government's investigation into the 3/19 Shooting Incident. Only by doing so can it restore public trust in the government.
Full Text below:
Eight years ago, the 3/19 Shooting Incident reversed the outcome of the presidential election, and divided the public on Taiwan. This divide has yet to be healed. Most members of the public have put the incident out of their minds, intentionally or otherwise. Fortunately, a handful of individuals have continued to uncover the truth behind the 3/19 Shooting Incident. Without the truth. there can be no justice. Without the truth, there can be no public trust. The Ma administration must seize the opportunity to reopen the government's investigation into the 3/19 Shooting Incident. Only by doing so can it restore public trust in the government.
The 3/19 Shooting Incident occurred on the afternoon of March 19, 2004, Many strange events occurred just before the incident. Many suspicions linger because the incident was mishandled. The Prosecutor General's Office convened an ad hoc investigate group. On August 17, 2005 the group announced its findings. It alleged that Chen Yi-hsiung was the lone gunman, and that he fired two rounds from a single pistol. But according to a poll conducted by this newspaper at the time, only 19% of the public believed the group's conclusions. On January 21, the 3/19 Truth Commission, which the DPP regime resolutely stonewalled, released its summary report of the incident. The commission blasted the DPP government for gross discrepancies between its "official report" and the facts.
After the KMT returned to power, it expressed doubts about the 3/19 Shooting Incident. The Special Investigation Unit began investigating in 2002. They interviewed over 94 witnesses. But it has yet to make a single breakthrough. Government agencies have been passive. They have showed no initiative whatsoever. Fortunately a number of individuals have continued investigating the incident on their own over the past eight years. They have even introduced material evidence that casts doubt on the "official report." These individuals include "Miss Fu," who appeared briefly eight years ago, but then vanished mysteriously. They include Academia Sinica researcher Chu Hung-yuan. They include former Vice President Annette Lu, who was herself a victim of the shooting.
Last week the China Times Weekly News Magazine ran a cover story on Miss Fu, who investigated the 3/19 Shooting Incident eight years ago, Yesterday an exclusive report published photos of bullet holes in the right front side of the Jeep, taken immediately after the shooting occurred. The photos prove that the bullet holes in the windshield of President Chen's Jeep were fired from inside the vehicle. The bullet holes in the windshield were smaller on the inside, and larger on the outside, proving that the bullets were fired from inside Chen's Jeep. This evidence, if confirmed, is of critical importance, because it proves that the 3/19 Shooting Incident was a false flag operation from beginning to end. It proves that Chen Yi-hsiung was framed, and died for no good reason.
In the "official report," every photo of the bullet holes is taken from the outside looking in. Either that, or they are taken perpendicular to the windshield, from the inside looking out. Not one of the photos published in the "official report" is taken from the same angle as Miss Fu's. Miss Fu's photos are taken from an angle, and show a three-dimensional image of the bullet hole, from the interior of the vehicle. Was it mere chance that the "official report" failed to show holes made by bullets fired from the within? Or was the omission deliberate? This provokes even deeper suspicions. If the Special Investigation Unit refuses to investigate, it will be difficult to quell the rumors.
Historian Chu Hung-yuan is another investigator who maintains that the 3/19 Shooting Incident was a false flag operation. According to Chu Hung-yuan, he is in touch with three key witnesses. As soon as the government reopens an investigation, these witnesses will come forward. According to Chu, one of the witnesses says that on March 13, three days before the shooting, the planners of the false flag operation met. The key conspirators were present and in attendance. They include a National Security Bureau (NSB) bodyguard. the Commandant of the Military Police, and a senior DPP legislator. They discussed work assignments. The focus was on how to shoot Annette Lu with a steel BB.
Some people say claims that the 3/19 Shooting Incident was a false flag operation are too fantastic to believe. But the "official report" trotted out by the Chen regime's ad hoc group is more fantastic by far. Even Annette Lu, a victim of the shooting, finds it utterly incredible. After she read the "official report" she listed a number of major questions. One. Forensic expert Henry Lee's rushed forensic analysis is riddle with errors. The trajectory of the bullet was not downward. It was upward. This erroneous assumption about the trajectory led to erroneous assumptions about the hot zone. Two. The pistol used in the 3/19 Shooting Incident was never found. The Chen regime alleged that the pistol used was manufactured by Tang Shou-yi. But as soon as Tang fled the Mainland, he publicly denied that his bullets caused the alleged gunshot wounds to Chen Shui-bian's abdomen. Three. The allegation that Chen Yi-hsiung bought a pistol, is based solely on the word of his brother-in-law. The ad hoc group has never accounted for the money allegedly used in the purchase of the pistol. Four. Chen Yi-hsiung's death was bizarre. It was probably neither accidental drowning nor suicide. Yet the ad hoc group never conducted a detailed investigation of Chen Yi-hsiung's whereabouts prior to his death.
Other points are also suspicious. The ad hoc group deliberately twisted Henry Lee's words. They rushed to judgment, alleging that the copper-jacketed bullet and plain lead bullet were fired from the same pistol. They arbitrarily concluded that a lone gunman fired two rounds from a single pistol. Even the process by which they found two empty cartridge cases is dubious. The shooting occurred at 13:45. But the empty cartridge cases were found at about 17:30. The hot zone was not roped off in the interim. Therefore, how can we conclude that the two empty cartridge cases were actually the ones used in the shooting? Annette Lu has posed a number of serious questions. Each involves clear and concrete instances of negligence. The DPP regime's ad hoc group nevertheless hastily closed the books on the case, As a result, the public is right to be skeptical. The so-called ad hoc group clearly had no intention of uncovering the truth. The same is true of the Special Investigation Unit, which has been going through the motions for the past four years. They have never accounted for these new facts and evidence. They cannot escape responsibility for negligence.
For many people, the 3/19 Shooting Incident is a symbolic wound. As long as the truth remains hidden, democracy on Taiwan remains blemished. After all, uncovering the truth about the 3/19 Shooting Incident ought to transcend Blue or Green political allegiances. It ought to transcend which regime is in office. For the sake of democracy and justice, the government bears full responsibility.