FBI Special Agent in Charge Paul Young plotted conspiracy against Black Panthers

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Special Agent in Charge Paul C. Young offered to withhold a FBI Laboratory report on day of policeman’s murder to make false case against Black Panther leaders (credit: Federal Bureau of Investigation)

On August 1, 1966, rioting rocked the Near-Northside as Paul Young began his duties as Special Agent in Charge of the Omaha Federal Bureau of Investigation office, his first command. Young could not foresee the awful deed he would commit four years later, allowing a policeman’s killer to get away with murder. Omaha’s explosive racial problems dominated Young’s attention.

FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, unhappy with President Lyndon Johnson over civil rights legislation, made it a practice of flooding the White House staff with every racial incident in the country that came to the attention of the FBI network of field offices. Hoover submitted a written report to the White House on events in Omaha during Young’s first day on the job.

“Approximately 50 Negro youths gathered in the Negro district of Omaha, Nebraska, during the early morning of July 31, 1966. The group became unruly and broke windows in several business establishments. Before any looting occurred, however, the Omaha Police Department arrived on the scene and arrested six individuals. The group was dispersed and order restored.”

“During the late evening of July 31, 1966, and early morning of August 1, 1966, Negro youths again took to similar activities. Seven stores were looted and at least four stores were the object of fire bombs. Fifty extra police officers were dispatched to the Negro area of Omaha where 17 individuals were arrested on suspicion of burglary and a crowd of about 150 individuals was dispersed. One Negro boy, aged 18, was struck by shotgun pellets as he left a liquor store that had been burglarized.”

Young was summoned to Washington in March 1968, where a “Racial Conference” was convened at FBI headquarters. Led by George Moore from Racial Intelligence and William Sullivan from Domestic Intelligence, forty-one attending field office supervisors received counterintelligence directives from Hoover who warned: “Counterintelligence operations must be approved by the Bureau. Because of the nature of this program each operation must be designed to protect the Bureau’s interest so that there is no possibility of embarrassment to the Bureau.”

While Young was getting his marching orders from Hoover, rioting broke out in Omaha after protesters were beaten at a George Wallace rally. Hoover’s daily report to the White House described events in Omaha.

“Inspector Monroe Coleman, Omaha, Nebraska, Police Department, advised yesterday that as an aftermath of the appearance of former Alabama Governor George C. Wallace at a political rally…several incidents of violence by Negroes took place in Omaha. Among these were the vandalizing of a pawnshop…and the subsequent fatal shooting of a 16-year-old Negro boy by an off-duty police officer during an attempt by the young Negro to loot the pawnshop. Several assaults by Negroes against white persons also occurred after the former Governor Wallace rally and two of the white persons reportedly were seriously injured. Public buses were stoned by Negroes as they passed through Omaha’s north side and yesterday morning Negro students of several Omaha high schools broke windows in business establishments while on their way to school. The students later caused minor damage in the schools by setting fires in wastebaskets in the restrooms and by throwing rocks through the windows of the schools.”

Despite Hoover’s insistence that counterintelligence operations be conducted promptly, Young failed to offer a proposal under the Bureau’s clandestine COINTELPRO program. By December 1969, Hoover had grown tired of waiting. Just days after FBI-orchestrated raids against the Black Panthers in Chicago and Los Angeles, Hoover ordered Young to submit a plan for action.

While the activities appear to be limited in the Omaha area, it does not necessarily follow that effective counterintelligence measures cannot be taken. As long as there are BPP activities, you should be giving consideration to that type of counterintelligence measure which would best disrupt existing activities. It would appear some type of counterintelligence aimed at disruption of the publication and distribution of their literature is in order. It is also assumed that of the eight to twelve members, one or two must surely be in a position of leadership. You should give consideration to counterintelligence measures directed against these leaders in an effort to weaken or destroy their positions. Bureau has noted you have not submitted any concrete counterintelligence proposals in recent months. Evaluate your approach to this program and insure that it is given the imaginative attention necessary to produce effective results. Handle promptly and submit your proposals to the Bureau for approval.”

Forced to submit written reports every two weeks on his progress against the National Committee to Combat Fascism, the Omaha affiliate of the national Black Panther Party, Young finally got his chance to satisfy Hoover’s demands in August 1970 when a policeman was murdered by a bomb in a vacant house.

Paul Young wasted no time to privately talk with Deputy Chief Glen Gates, who was in charge of the police while Chief Richard Anderson was out of town. According to a confidential FBI memorandum, Young and Gates discussed a piece of crucial evidence, the recorded voice captured by the 911 system of the anonymous caller who lured police. The search for truth was over.

Young set in motion a conspiracy to implicate the leadership of the National Committee to Combat Fascism in the bombing. Young wrote to Hoover, “Enclosed for the Laboratory is one copy of a tape recording obtained from the Omaha Police Department.”

“Deputy Chief [Gates] inquired into the possibility of voice analysis of the individual making the call by the FBI Laboratory. He was advised the matter would be considered and that if such analysis were made and if subsequent voice patterns were transmitted for comparison, such analysis would have to be strictly informal, as the FBI could not provide any testimony in the matter; also, only an oral report of the results of such examination would be made to the Police Department. [Gates] stated he understood these terms and stated the Police Department would be extremely appreciative of any assistance in this matter by the FBI and would not embarrass the FBI at a later date, but would use such information for lead purposes only.”

“It should be noted that the police community is extremely upset over this apparent racially motivated, vicious and unnecessary murder. In slightly over three months this division has experienced more than ten bombings, probably all but a few of them being racially motivated. Of these bombings, four were directed at police facilities with extensive damage.”

“Any assistance rendered along the lines mentioned above would greatly enhance the prestige of the FBI among law enforcement representatives in this area, and I thus strongly recommend that the request be favorably considered.”

Hoover agreed to squelch a laboratory report on the identity of the 911 caller to make a case against Edward Poindexter and David Rice [later Wopashitwe Mondo Eyen we Langa] who were leaders of the NCCF in Omaha.

In October 1970, Young became concerned that the FBI Laboratory might forget and issue a report on the 911 recording and wrote a memorandum to Hoover reminding that the 911 tape was not to be used.

“In a preliminary hearing held 9/28/70 in Municipal Court, Omaha, PEAK testified that he had made the telephone call to the Omaha PD telling them that a woman was screaming in a house at 2867 Ohio Street. Police Officer LARRY MINARD was subsequently killed when a bobby trap suitcase exploded as he, with other officers, answered this call.”

“Assistant COP GLENN GATES, Omaha PD, advised that he feels that any use of tapes of this call might be prejudicial to the police murder trial against two accomplices of PEAK and, therefore, has advised that he wishes no use of this tape until after the murder trials of PEAK and the two accomplices has been completed.”

“UACB [Until Authorized to Contrary by Bureau], no further efforts are being made at this time to secure additional tape recordings of the original telephone call.”

The defense was never offered a copy of the 911 recording during pre-trial discovery and the jury that convicted the two Panther leaders never heard the voice of a killer. No analysis was conducted to determine the identity of the anonymous caller.

Poindexter and Rice were convicted in April 1971 after a controversial two-week trial. David Rice died at the maximum-security Nebraska State Penitentiary in March 2016 serving a life without parole sentence. Paul Young was rewarded for his role in the case with a promotion to head the FBI office in Kansas City. Ed Poindexter is in his forty-eighth year of imprisonment and continues to proclaim his innocence.

This article contains excerpts from the new book FRAMED: J. Edgar Hoover, COINTELPRO & the Omaha Two story. The book is available in print from Amazon and also in ebook format. Portions may be read online free at NorthOmahaHistory.com. Patrons of the Omaha Public Library also have access to the book.

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Masquerade ball adds new twist to unique Taiwan fraud case

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New Year party at Taiwan Civil Government headquarters was masquerade ball. (credit: Taiwan Civil Government)

One of the most unique tales in the annals of crime stories got a little stranger with a surrealistic masquerade ball where Taiwanese activists dressed as seventeenth-century European dandies. The gala event at Taiwan Civil Government headquarters replaced an annual rally where Roger Lin would speak to a fawning audience like a head of state. Lin and his wife Julian face trial with potential long prison sentences for allegedly making false claims about TCG identification cards and vanity license plates to obtain donations from group members.

Out on bond after harsh, incommunicado, pretrial detention, the Lins have stepped away from a public role in the organization. Roger Lin founded the group a decade ago and serves as Secretary General. Lin suffers from progressive prostate cancer and has turned over day to day operations of TCG to six members of an executive committee. Julian Lin has turned her attention from her previous volunteer ceremonial role to raising two young adopted children.

The big ball, where everyone seemed to be having a good time, must have made a small fortune for costume suppliers. These 560 masqueraders were the TCG elite, big donors, junketeers, and titleholders. That so much money and gaiety was flowing at a time when the group’s founder faces prison as large bonds and legal expenses abound is an unexpected development in the ongoing crime story. One can only imagine the kind of party TCG will put on if the Lins are acquitted.

The story of Roger Lin’s prosecution by the exiled Chinese government that he seeks to expel from Taiwan is unknown to most Americans. Although the political overtones of the case shout for attention, the English-speaking news media ignores a story lost in the “strategic ambiguity” that clouds Taiwan’s status. Even media houses that have taken TCG money for advertising or events, like the New York Times, POLITICO, Foreign Policy, and Roll Call Live ignore the ongoing prosecution of the Lins and others and do not report on the case.

One thing that those costumed dancers know that the American public does not is how far up in Donald Trump’s administration TCG influence peddlers reached. Lobbyists Neil Hare and Shelley Hymes set up a meet with Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway and a Heritage Foundation event with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. Julian Lin did meet with Conway at a POLITICO event sponsored by Taiwan Civil Government. The session with Ross was abruptly canceled when word of the fraud arrests in Taiwan finally reached Washington. The news whiteout has kept Washington insiders off balance as they wait for details of the case to be revealed. Meanwhile, ROC prosecutors try to make a case over identity cards and vanity license plates while avoiding the group activities in Washington.

Taiwan Civil Government, structured as a shadow government, is strongly pro-American. The group is practically a Trump fan club and has large portraits of Trump in TCG offices. If President Trump ever decides to play the Taiwan card in his international poker game with China he will find eager support from TCG masqueraders for an American takeover.

Key members of TCG believe that the charges against Roger and Julian Lin stem from notice of the Heritage Foundation event which was to feature a session with Secretary Ross. The midnight raid at TCG headquarters in May shortly followed formal announcement of the Heritage event and TCG members believe the arrests were made to stop TCG inroads with the White House.

Taiwan independence movement opposed by two Chinese governments

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Flag of the People’s Republic of China and flag of the Republic of China in-exile

Taiwan independence is opposed by both the People’s Republic of China which threatens military invasion and the Republic of China in-exile which forced the Chinese language on Taiwan after World War II. The United States installed Kuomintang dictator Chiang Kai-shek’s regime on the Japanese territory then called Formosa to process surrendering soldiers.

Today, Formosa or Taiwan, the Asian island of 23.5 million residents, is either the Republic of China or Chinese Taipei depending on which Chinese side has your ear. The United States is to blame for the confusion having imposed a seven decade “strategic ambiguity” on the island’s sovereignty leaving everyone confused.

The largest group of people in the world excluded from the United Nations, the World Health Organization and Interpol, the islanders struggle with a Cold War status quo that becomes more dangerously irrelevant daily. The United States also opposes independence for the people of Taiwan keeping them trapped in “political purgatory” and unsure of their future.

The two Chinese governments both pay lip service to a “one China” philosophy that leaves little room for Taiwan. While the PRC threatens military invasion it continues to push a soft power takeover. The recent referendum on what to name the island Olympic team had Taiwan losing to Chinese Taipei by ten percent of the vote. The 2020 elections in Taiwan may give the PRC the victory they seek.

The matter has become so desperate that Mike Kuo, the president of Formosa Association for Public Affairs, has flip-flopped and abandoned FAPA’s mission of independence and instead seeks recognition of the exiled ROC by the United States. If Kuo gets his way, the independence movement will have a much greater difficulty ridding the island of its ROC masters.

Scholars, diplomats, and others fail to recognize that the entrenched ROC government will not go quietly into the night. After the United States installed the ROC as a caretaker government at the end of World War II, and then looked the other away, the 228 Massacre and White Terror period happened. Acquiescence by America to the bloodshed allowed the ROC to gain a foothold on power that makes it now hard to dislodge.

The unsettled status of Taiwan creates instability in Asia and allows for the competing Chinese claims to the island. After four centuries of colonial rule, it is time for Formosa to awaken. If the Taiwanese independence movement does not soon do something, the island future will be again be decided by foreign powers.

For decades the strategic ambiguity protected Taiwan from invasion. Now the strategic ambiguity leaves Taiwan at risk. The FAPA turn-around on recognition of the ROC is a clear signal that it is time for independence activists to act or Formosa will become a footnote to history.

FAPA head Mike Kuo makes U-turn on road to Taiwan independence

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Mike Kuo, President of Formosa Association for Public Affairs (credit: FAPA)

Mike Kuo, the president of the Formosa Association for Public Affairs, called for the United States to acknowledge the “Taiwanese authorities’ legitimate representation” in a Taipei Times commentary. Kuo’s sudden kowtow to the exiled Republic of China has sent shock-waves in the lobby group which is composed of advocates of Taiwan independence.

A space scientist by profession, Kuo appears to be unable to navigate the way forward to sovereignty for Taiwan. Blinded by Taiwan’s “strategic ambiguity” the FAPA leader has committed the fundamental error of equating Taiwan with the ROC.

Compounding his error, Kuo crossed the line into partisan ROC politics with a ringing endorsement for Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party. Tsai recently resigned her party leadership as a consequence of defeat in the municipal elections.

President Tsai has our complete confidence. She has earned and deserves our full support. She is the only person today who can lead Taiwan across the murky waters that it has found itself in over the past decades.”

Kuo wrote that Tsai “brilliantly” advocated “the Chinese government must recognize the existence of the Republic of China.”

Such partisan talk about an exiled government that most FAPA members view as illegitimate puts Kuo at odds with his membership. FAPA’s motto is to “build worldwide support for Taiwan independence.”

Older Formosans still living remember the bloodshed and terror inflicted on the people by the ROC during the 228 Massacre and the long years of the White Terror period.

To his credit, Kuo has battled pressure from the People’s Republic of China against corporations to call Taiwan by the name Chinese Taipei. However, in a letter to United Airlines over the name issue Kuo ventured his view that Taiwan is the same as the Republic of China.

It is of course incontestable reality that Taiwan IS a country. Taiwan fulfills all conditions for statehood as laid down in the Montevideo conference of 1933: a territory, a population, a government that exercises effective control and can enter into relations with other countries.”

Kuo’s remarks in the Taipei newspaper were obviously made to influence the outcome of a ROC election and have put him in the wrong direction going away from independence. Decades of ambiguity have left Kuo so confused that he may have lost his way.

 

 

Prison wisdom of Wopashitwe Mondo Eyen we Langa

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Wopashitwe Mondo Eyen we Langa, former David Rice, in his prison cell (credit: Melissa Rice)

Wopashitwe Mondo Eyen we Langa, former David Rice, died March 2016 serving a life without parole sentence at the Nebraska State Penitentiary for a crime he says he did not commit. During his life Mondo was a prolific writer and over time shared much wisdom.

We are living in a society in which people are commonly judged on the basis of how much stuff they have. For an African who may already be operating under the burden of “racial” self-hatred, the added burden of lacking money and the things it buys shakes his sense of self-worth. If one lacks a feeling that he is worth something, his life loses its value. A person who sees life as being worthless is willing to risk that life over practically nothing and may be willing to put the lives of others who look like him at risk as well.”

When we, as a community, do not help instill knowledge, healthy pride, and wisdom in our children, we are setting them on paths by which they may not live long enough to become men and women.”

Today, too many of our young people—in particular, males—are slaves to guns, slaves to violence, slaves to the idea that their African lives aren’t worth anything, slaves to the idea that their lives aren’t worth living.”

Today, we should be reflecting on what to do to counter the messages being delivered to our children and youth by school curricula, television, movies, video games, the music industry, and other institutions that are making slaves of our youth to violence, materialism, etc. Today, we should be reflecting on what to do to free ourselves from the invisible chains that bind our heads and spirit.”

When you have a sense that you do have a worth and that the things you need for value do not come from material things, then you are going out of your house every day to do positive and constructive things for people you love and getting that love back in return, you don’t care whether or not you have good shoes. You are getting your nutrition from the spiritual stuff that is happening. You don’t have that sense of self-worth when material things are eating you up.”

There is a lot things about life we don’t understand, not only life in general but our own lives and I guess maybe what it comes down to is you. On the one hand, you have to have a sense of your own importance, but at the same time you have to have a sense of your own insignificance. There is a balance there….But at the same time, I believe in the traditional African idea in this regard, that I don’t get my meaning from me, but that I get my meaning from my community.”

Mondo’s prison wisdom is excerpted from my new book, FRAMED: J. Edgar Hoover, COINTELPRO & the Omaha Two story, in print edition at Amazon and in ebook. Portions of the book may also be read free online at NorthOmahaHistory.com. FRAMED is also available to patrons of the Omaha Public Library.

Growing up black in Omaha included loitering arrest for poet activist David Rice

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David Rice, later Wopashitwe Mondo Eyen we Langa, was arrested in July 1968 for loitering in Omaha and fined twenty-five dollars.        (credit: Omaha Police Department)

What were we but strangers to the land where we were born.” -Mondo

Wopashitwe Mondo Eyen we Langa, former David Rice, was a poet, artist, writer, and civil rights activist. Mondo was also affiliated with the Black Panther Party as Minister of Information for Omaha’s chapter of the National Committee to Combat Fascism. Mondo’s activism with the Panthers led to his conviction for the 1970 bombing death of an Omaha policeman.

Before Mondo’s arrest for murder in a case manipulated by the infamous COINTELPRO program of the Federal Bureau of Investigation he was arrested by Omaha police for loitering. Mondo and ten other people were picked up during a police sweep to empty a parking lot. The July 7, 1968 arrest went to court a month later. The ten other people all had their cases dismissed for insufficient evidence. Mondo, who was covering the police action for the Buffalo Chip newspaper, went before a different judge who found him guilty of failure to disperse and fined him twenty-five dollars.

Mondo died in March 2016 at the maximum-security Nebraska State Penitentiary serving a life without parole sentence for a crime he said he did not commit. Edward Poindexter, a co-defendant and Chairman of the NCCF chapter, remains imprisoned, forty-eight years later. COINTELPRO was terminated by J. Edgar Hoover ten days after the Omaha Two trial ended in April 1971. Before his death Mondo, in a prison interview, described growing up black in Omaha.

Mondo was educated in Catholic schools and was one of the few black students in class during high school. Mondo attended St. Benedict’s grade school and Creighton Preparatory High School, an all-boys school. “While I was at Creighton Prep I did become aware of some things. I was a member of Young Christian Students that started to become aware of civil rights issues.”

Mondo asked a white girl from another school that was in his youth group to attend the homecoming dance. “That weekend she apparently told some friends. By the time I got to school on Monday it was all over Creighton Prep. Being naive and thinking I was one of the boys I’m not feeling it was a big deal but there were quite a few people at Prep that thought it was a big deal. People were talking about what they were going to do to me or to her. In one class they used the class time to talk about me. They were talking about bringing rifles and this kind of stuff. Eventually what happened was her parents told her if she went to the dance she would need to find new parents.”

So there were things like that I had to learn about. You can turn back the hands of time on the clock but you can’t turn real life back. Sometimes I wish I had gone to a predominately African high school but I didn’t and I had to learn some things. I had to deal with inner conflict, but my attitude is the things that you live bring you to where you are.”

I was, I think a junior in high school when I began to truly see that racism and injustice generally might be more than just aberrations….I was convinced that the oppression of African people, and other people of color, in this country was no accident, no mere flaw in the system.”

I was in Omaha all my life up until the time I got convicted and I had been involved in rights kinds of issues when I was in high school, probably seventeen, maybe a little younger and so by the time I was eighteen I had already started being watched by the police….I had become accustomed to being occasionally followed, seeing cars and police cars go up and down in front of where I was staying. I had gotten really good at being able to identify those unmarked cars because there would be a certain way they’d be driven and they had certain colors. Colors that were supposed to be inconspicuous, but you know nobody in the neighborhood would actually buy a car that color, like a funny brown and brownish green and so forth, almost solid camouflage colors, gray. We knew who it was.”

In March of 1968, several months before the loitering arrest, George Wallace came to Omaha and held a large rally at the Omaha Civic Auditorium. Inside the auditorium, five thousand supporters gathered to place Wallace on the Nebraska ballot. Fifty black protesters, including Mondo, were given delegate passes by Wallace’s security personnel and allowed onto the arena floor where they took up position standing in front of the podium, blocking the view of those seated in the front rows.

Wallace delayed his entrance for an hour while tension mounted between the protesters and the seated Wallace supporters. Jeers, shouts, and booing greeted Wallace from the protesters when he started to speak. Wallace snorted: “These are the free-speech folks you know. And these are the kind of folks the people in this country are sick and tired of.”

The crowd roared in agreement while the demonstrators began tearing up their protest signs and throwing the bits of cardboard and stick at the podium. Police moved in on the group while Wallace crowed, “Ladies and gentlemen, I want to say that you ought to be thankful for the police of Omaha.”

Mondo was in front of the podium when the police assault began. Mondo was spotted by one of the policemen he regularly taunted. “We were up front sandwiched between the stage and the Wallace supporters. We were heckling, a good line of heckling. Then I saw Duane Pavel come out with a can of Mace and gets me right in the face. It knocked me out. Some people rushed me and picked me up and took me out of the auditorium. I could hear all hell breaking out but I didn’t know what was going on.”

The Buffalo Chip described the frenzied scene. “The unarmed demonstrators turned to flee, and the police followed them, beating them on the back of the head as they ran. As the demonstrators tried to escape, people picked up folding chairs and beat them as they ran by, or threw chairs at them.”

The blood rage spilled out of the auditorium into the streets and turned to riot. Mayor A. V. Sorenson said in an interview that the police were quick to use their clubs. “Their procedure was to use their clubs at the slightest provocation.”

The next night Mondo was out talking to angry black residents of the city. Mondo wrote an account of his own angst and the mood on the streets for Buffalo Chip. “As I prepare to retire to the bed, I consider the animal activities of the Omaha Police Department, the unabashed lying of our news media, and the unlimited stupidity of Mayor Sorenson. And I hope that the metal Citizens’ Protection sticks, which I am passing out, will help the police get the kind of justice they have asked for.”

Mondo’s taunting of the police marked him for harassment. After Mondo joined the Black Panthers and took on local leadership he was targeted by COINTELPRO agents of the FBI. In December 1969, J. Edgar Hoover ordered Special Agent in Charge Paul Young to get Mondo off the streets. The bombing murder of Patrolman Larry Minard in August 1970 was pinned on Mondo and Ed Poindexter despite a confession from a fifteen year-old that planted the bomb. The two men were never again to walk Omaha streets and spent the rest of their lives behind bars.

This article contains excerpts from the new book FRAMED: J. Edgar Hoover, COINTELPRO & the Omaha Two story. The book is available in print from Amazon and also in ebook format. Portions may be read online free at NorthOmahaHistory.com. Patrons of the Omaha Public Library also have access to the book.

Roger Lin filed lawsuit in effort to obtain United States passports for Taiwanese travelers

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Washington attorney Charles Camp with Julian and Roger Lin at Taiwan Civil Government headquarters. Camp litigated Roger Lin v. United States of America in a bid to obtain American passports for Taiwanese travelers. (credit: Taiwan Civil Government)

Roger Lin, facing political fraud charges in Taiwan, is no stranger to lawsuits. Lin’s first foray into the courthouse was litigation to obtain United States passports for Taiwan’s stateless residents. Roger Lin v. United States of America was filed in the District of Columbia federal district court in 2006. An ambitious lawsuit, Lin tested the limits of the law by claiming the Taiwanese were non-citizen nationals of the United States and deserved American passports. No one was claiming fraud then as well-wishers urged Lin onward. More significantly, no one, including the court, viewed the case as frivolous or as a fund-raising stunt.

District Court Judge Rosemary Collyer decided Lin was asking the court to review and pass judgment on the San Francisco Peace Treaty and to determine United States sovereignty over Taiwan. Although the judge was taken with the breathtaking scope of the case, it was determined the matter was not for a court to decide as it was a political question. The case was a matter of sovereignty which belongs to the executive branch of government and the “challenge involved a quintessential political question” that required “trespass into the extremely delicate relationship between and among the United States, Taiwan and China.”

“In the face of…years and years of diplomatic negotiations and delicate agreements…[it] would be foolhardy for a judge to believe that she had the jurisdiction to make a policy choice on the sovereignty of Taiwan.”

Charles Camp was Roger Lin’s attorney and spoke to the issue in oral argument before a federal appellate panel of judges. “Taiwan was left purposefully as an open question when they signed the San Francisco Peace Treaty.” Camp elaborated, “There was no agreement that could be reached among the allied forces in Japan as to who gets Taiwan. And that question is still open.”

“We are the principal occupying force, and that is the status as a matter of law today.”

Camp further argued the political question doctrine preventing a judicial determination did not apply to the case. “There’s not a single case that the Government cites that says the political question doctrine has ever prohibited a court from interpreting a treaty or determining the existence of constitutional rights.”

Camp said Judge Collyer erred in misconstruing the passport request as a determination of sovereignty.

“We were seeking a declaration of rights under the Constitution following an interpretation of the treaty by the court. So the court just sort of stepped off on the wrong foot and then if you assume that we were seeking to have a court decide who owns Taiwan, then the political act question cases would apply and she would be right.”

Although Roger Lin failed to obtain passports for Taiwan residents he did obtain an admission from the United States Attorney that the San Francisco Peace Treaty was still in effect and left the United States as the “principal occupying power” over Taiwan. Such admissions are not exactly music to the ears for the exiled Republic of China government currently administering the island.

Questions from the bench in the Taoyuan District Court criminal fraud case against Lin suggest ROC prosecutors believe the litigation was somehow part of a scam to trick Taiwan Civil Government members into donating money. Lin is accused of masterminding a sophisticated swindle with false claims. However, the lawsuit by Lin and an ad hoc group called the Taiwan Nation Party was brought before the formation of TCG and by all appearances was a legitimate effort to prevail on an unsettled area of the law. To convict Lin of fraud will require something more than speculation about the motives behind Roger Lin v. United States of America and the legal effort to obtain American passports for the residents of Taiwan.

Ironically, the government ended its brief in Lin v. USA with an addendum from the Taiwan Relations Act. “Nothing contained in this chapter shall contravene the interest of the United States in human rights, especially with respect to the human rights of all the approximately, eighteen million inhabitants of Taiwan. The preservation and enhancement of the human rights of all the people on Taiwan are hereby reaffirmed as objectives of the United States.”