The First-Hand Account by the Los Alamos Scientist Falsely Accused of Being a Spy
Wen Ho Lee was a full-time scientist who worked at the Los Alamos National
Laboratory. He was also a part-time fly
fisherman, cook, gardener and family man.
But in December 1999 he was manacled, shackled and thrown in
solitary confinement. The U.S. Government accused him of 59 crimes, 39 of
which carried a maximum of life imprisonment.
The New York Times
fingered Wen Ho Lee as a traitor who had committed espionage worse than
Aldrich Ames. One of The Times' sources compared him to Julius and
Ethel Rosenberg, who were executed in 1953 for espionage.
The New York Times articles made great reading. The only problem was, in the best tradition of yellow journalism, they were untrue. The
Times accepted falsehoods as fact, and it served as a conduit for lies and
leaks. But the story gets even better.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has long promoted itself on radio,
television and in the movies as a paragon of efficiency and integrity. (Think
of "This Is Your FBI," "The FBI In Peace and War," "The FBI," "Without a
Trace," etc.) The picture which emerges from My Country Versus Me is an
organization whose agents lie. As an institution, the FBI intentionally
subverted Wen Ho Lee's constitutional rights to a fair trial and due process
Eventually this disgraceful tale ended in a federal courtroom in New Mexico.
In an extraordinary gesture, Judge James Parker told Wen Ho Lee: "I believe
you were terribly wronged… Dr. Lee, I tell you with great sadness that I feel
I was led astray last December by the executive branch of our government
through its Department of Justice, by its Federal Bureau of Investigation,
and by its United States Attorney… They did not embarrass me alone. They
have embarrassed our entire nation and each of us who is a citizen."
When Lord Acton wrote that "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts
absolutely," he was only partially correct. Power is often sought by those
who are already corrupt or self-serving.
Positions of power in all types of organizations are usually filled by those
who seek it. Even in spiritual organizations, the Mother Theresas seldom
attain power. But church politicians like Bernard Law, who concealed the activities of
pedophiles during three decades, often rise to the top.