Taiwan Civil Government included in new Taiwan political history book

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Jerome Keating’s new book on Taiwan political history is Taiwan: The Struggle Gains Focus (credit: Jerome Keating)

The organization Taiwan Civil Government, ignored by the news media, was included in a new Taiwan political history book. The new book, Taiwan: The Struggle Gains Focus, is Jerome Keating’s fifth book on Taiwanese history. The book picks up where Keating’s other books ended and covers the Republic of China in-exile administrations of Ma Ying-jeou and Tsai Ing-wen. Keating’s showpiece book is The Mapping of Taiwan, a collection of historical maps of the island.

Keating is an American living in Taipei where he made his home many years ago after accepting an engineering assignment during construction of the subway system. Keating has been an independent voice in Taiwanese politics and is a frequent contributor to the Taipei Times. Keating did not like Ma but does like Tsai although he well knows the job of a historian is to keep one’s bias out of the story. Keating continues to see China as Taiwan’s biggest threat as the island tries to find its way to national identity.

Keating provides a summary of TCG in his book, giving readers just a peek at the controversial group.

“There is a group in Taiwan that challenges the ambiguity of the San Francisco Peace Treaty; that group is the Taiwan Civil Government. Formed by the now deceased Roger C. S. Lin, this group has brought cases before the US Supreme Court to legitimize the fact that Taiwan citizens are still under the jurisdiction of the US Military Government. At issue is how the SFPT never stipulated a recipient to whom Japan would surrender its colony of Taiwan.”

“The US Supreme Court heard the cases but did not rule on them; it stated that the issues were more political than legal.”

“The TCG is under investigation by the Taiwan (ROC) government for defrauding citizens with its claim to represent their interests. These cases are pending.”

“I have visited the TCG headquarters and training area which have since been destroyed by the Taiwan government and likewise met with Roger Lin a week before his death. The group is now split in its leadership since that death, but in my experience the rank and file are people who are dedicated Taiwanese.”

“Whether the Taiwan government can prove fraud remains to be seen. However what lies behind this whole issue is the unresolved matter of the SFPT. It is a chicken that still needs to come home to roost and all those involved, the United States, the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan (Republic of China) etc. remain reluctant to face it squarely and sort it out.”

“In my past discussions with the TCG group, they desired a status of Taiwan vis-à-vis the US as that of Canada to the United Kingdom. What will come of this? It remains a hot potato that most don’t want to touch; they wish it would go away.”

Keating is a little off on the litigation, the Supreme Court did not hear the Lin cases on their merits but instead allowed lower decisions to stand, however he is correct the San Francisco Peace Treaty raises issues no one wants to talk about.

Roger Lin, before his death, was charged with cheating his group members with false claims about the United States. Lin’s widow, Julian Lin, remains charged with fraud as does her current rival Tsai Tsai-yuan, who split with Julian after Roger’s death.

Taiwan Civil Government struggles along, split in two factions, each trying to hold on to a dwindling membership base. The split and Roger Lin’s death have done more to break the TCG than two years of investigation, trial, and property destruction by the ROC. Keating’s book does not explore the behind-the-scenes story of the TCG fraud case, it may be interesting to see exactly what role Tsai Ing-wen has played in the ongoing political fraud case.

Excerpts from Taiwan: The Struggle Gains Focus are courtesy of author Jerome Keating who was the last journalist to interview Roger Lin before his death. Further information about the book is available from the publisher SMCBook.

Fifty years ago Black Panther David Rice arrested in Omaha for going to church

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David Rice (later Wopashitwe Mondo Eyen we Langa) was arrested in 1970 after attending the Zion Baptist Church in Omaha, Nebraska (credits: Omaha Police Department/Omaha World-Herald)

Fifty years ago, May 3, 1970, David Rice, who later became Wopashitwe Mondo Eyen we Langa, attended the Sunday service at the Zion Baptist Church in Omaha, Nebraska. Rice, raised as a Catholic, was not in seek of salvation but was at Zion instead to awaken the congregation of Reverend Rudolph McNair.

McNair had been a subject of attention from Rice in the newsletter he edited for the National Committee to Combat Fascism, Freedom By Any Means Necessary, for hypocrisy in McNair’s personal life. Rice later talked about his public battle with McNair. “I was working on our newsletter when I got a call from this dude who said a particular preacher had beat his wife in the Safeway parking lot. I got the lowdown. Now here was somebody church people had been trying to get rid of for years. I did know he had been active in the so-called civil rights movement, very active, and then he had gone quiet. Later on I found out that he turned to the mayor about his church receiving funds to operate certain programs. So for a time his quietness had been purchased.”

I guess he was with his girlfriend and the wife busted him and she didn’t take too kindly to it and he assaulted her in the parking lot. This is somebody preaching sermons to his congregation about sin and goodness and evil.”

Rice wrote an article for the newsletter about McNair and decided to attend McNair’s church. “Myself and another Party member went to the service next Sunday, right around service time. After people found out what was in it, all kinds of people just rushing, practically knocking us over to get these newsletters. Well, we ran out of newsletters but it was kind of fruitful we had The Black Panther newspapers with us. When we ran out of our newsletters the people bought the Black Panther Party newspaper. Maybe a week or two after that the police came and a number of us were arrested. I was the only one from the chapter that was arrested.”

Rice and seven church members were charged with disorderly conduct. Several were elderly members of the church. Reverend McNair told police he was pushed and grabbed by members of a group who blocked his way as he walked to the pulpit. McNair said the group shouted during the church service.

The eight people arrested went to court in June. Rice and the seven others were fined one dollar each for disturbing a church service. Municipal Judge Simon A. Simon told the eight, including several women, that church was not the place to “settle grievances.” Several of the defendants testified they only grabbed McNair to restrain him after he clenched his fist as though to strike one of the women.

In August, McNair, used his new appointment to the Greater Omaha Community Action anti-poverty agency to fire Rice who was a community outreach worker. McNair gave Rice a termination notice. “I have noted a continuous recalcitrance on your part to comply with these directives….and in addition, the excessive time I have observed you spending in the headquarters of another organization, and the time wasted in conversation in this office…and the tardiness without explanation are unacceptable.”

Rice understood McNair was intent on firing him. “The moment I heard Rudolph McNair was to be hired to be my supervisor I thought I’m about to not have a job and the day he was hired he came by my office and told me to pack up my stuff.”

That week, on August 17, 1970, a bomb exploded in a vacant house killing Patrolman Larry Minard. The Black Panther affiliate chapter members were suspected by police with Rice and Edward Poindexter the primary suspects.

Rice was fighting for his job at GOCA and appealed for an Equal Opportunity Commission hearing. Rice recalled he was preoccupied with lining up witnesses to get his job restored. “I believe it was a matter of days after the bombing we had the personnel hearing. McNair shows up at the hearing drunk. Somebody had to drive him home in fact. There were a bunch of people there testifying in my behalf. Anyway, needless to say, from in jail I couldn’t work for GOCA anymore.”

The two Panther leaders were arrested for the bombing and convicted in April 1971 after a controversial trial marred by conflicting police testimony; perjured testimony by Duane Peak, the confessed bomber; and a withheld FBI Laboratory report on the identity of the anonymous caller that lured Minard to his death. The pair were closely monitored by DirectorJ. Edgar Hoover, who personally oversaw the manipulation of the police investigation. Federal Bureau of Investigation agents working under the clandestine COINTELPRO counterintelligence operation targeted the two men months earlier.

Rice and Poindexter received life without parole sentences. After imprisonment Rice changed his name to Wopashitwe Mondo Eyen we Langa, a composite name he created out of four African languages. Mondo died in the Nebraska State Penitentiary in March 2016 while serving his life sentence. Poindexter remains locked up at the maximum-security prison, a half century after his arrest for a crime he denies any role in.

Both Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts and Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine have been asked to reopen the murder investigation in light of documented FBI tampering. Ricketts will not answer the request. Kleine says he is waiting for new evidence. Neither man will acknowledge the known role of the FBI in seeking a wrongful conviction.

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

University of London deluged with questions about Tsai Ing-wen’s thesis

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Rosalind Frendo, Secretary to the Board of the University of London, is tired of answering questions about Tsai Ing-wen’s 1984 thesis. (credits: Hwan Lin/University of London)

Questions about Tsai Ing-wen’s 1984 London School of Economics thesis just will not go away and the University of London is growing tired of the “large number of enquires”about the controversial thesis. Tsai, President of the Republic of China in-exile, kicked a hornet nest last summer when she filed her doctoral thesis with the London School of Economics Library, thirty-five years late.

Tsai’s thesis, entitled Unfair Trade Practices and Safeguard Actions, was not filed in 1984 with the LSE Library as required. Last year, after public pressure, Tsai submitted the tardy thesis but initially kept it under copyright restriction with no online version, unlike other LSE thesis papers which were posted. After multiple scholars raised questions about the thesis, Tsai relented and permitted it to be available to the public online. Careful academic scrutiny that followed did not disclose plagiarism but did reveal what appears to be a draft document with various fonts, pagination and footnote issues, and handwritten marks, raising the question whether Tsai actually completed her thesis.

The academic controversy fueled Freedom of Information requests to the London School of Economics and the parent University of London. Rosalind Frendo, Secretary to the Board of the University of London, says Tsai Ing-wen controls information about the thesis and refuses to name the examiners who approved the thesis.

In response to a scholar’s recent request about the thesis oral examination, Frendo says, “I do not believe that the requirements for transparency outweighs the privacy of individuals in the context of this request.”

“In regards to formal verification, this is provided by the University Transcripts Office and it generates a new record, the official “Confirmation of Award” letter. This is distinct from Freedom of Information, which relates to information held by the University at the point of the request. To fulfill its obligations under FOIA, the University has confirmed it holds records of Dr. Tsai’s award. Letters of confirmation can be requested from the University but require signed authorization from the student and a fee.”

“The University and the London School of Economics have received a large number of enquiries across multiple channels regarding this subject. There are some other details disclosed in similar requests that may be relevant.”

“The University can confirm its records state that the examiners reviewed the thesis and examined the candidate orally on the subject of the thesis.”

“Dr. Tsai was recorded on the University’s 1984 pass list.”

“I have reviewed the Information Commissioner’s guidance…”Dealing with vexatious requests”. Whilst I do not feel the threshold has been reached by your request alone, the volume of requests and enquiries for information across multiple requesters does suggest that it may be in the near future, especially in light of current events.”

Although Tsai has bragged the two thesis examiners were so impressed with her thesis they wanted to award her a double degree she refuses to name them and will not permit either LSE nor the University of London to disclose their identity. The LSE refusal to name the examiners is contrary to precedent where the examiners’ identities have been previously disclosed, thus creating a double standard favoring Tsai Ing-wen.

There is a pending complaint against the University of London over the refusal to name the thesis examiners in the Information Commissioner’s Office. No date for an ICO decision has been announced.

Information Commissioner to continue investigation of University of London secrecy about Tsai Ing-wen’s thesis examiners

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Tsai Ing-wen and her 1984 London School of Economics thesis (credits: Voice of America/Hwan Lin)

The Information Commissioner’s Office of the United Kingdom will proceed with an investigation of the University of London over Tsai Ing-wen’s 1984 thesis examiners. The ICO recently issued a preliminary assessment of a complaint about the withholding of the examiners’ identities by the University, finding that Tsai Ing-wen may suffer “damage or distress” if the examiners were identified.

Last summer, Tsai belatedly filed her 1984 thesis with the London School of Economics Library, thirty-five years late. Briefly an issue in her recent reelection campaign, Tsai avoids talking about the controversial thesis entitled “Unfair Trade Practices and Safeguard Actions.”

The tardy thesis caused a number of Taiwanese scholars to raise questions about the thesis and whether or not Tsai actually earned the degree bestowed upon her. Because LSE could not issue its own degrees, the University of London awarded a diploma on the recommendation of two thesis examiners, which the school now refuses to name.

Lead Case Officer Cressida Woodall initially suggested terminating the complaint because the ICO has previously declined to force graduate schools to name thesis examiners and the possibility of damage or distress to Tsai. However, Woodall has now renewed the ICO investigation after learning that LSE had disclosed the identity of other thesis examiners, thus creating a double standard for Tsai, the president of the Republic of China in-exile.

In 2011, LSE revealed the thesis examiners of Saif Gaddafi after it was learned that the Libyan student had to be privately tutored and the authorship of his thesis was called into question. The examiners, Meghnad Desai and Anthony McGrew, were named in the Woolf Inquiry Report, an independent investigation commissioned by LSE, into the circumstances of Gaddafi’s thesis and significant donations to LSE by the Libyan government headed by Saif’s father.

While the ICO probe will go forward, the Corona virus emergency will likely delay completion of the investigation. Woodall explains, “This will mean that the process of investigating your case further is likely to take considerably longer than usual and a formal decision notice may not be issued for some weeks after the investigation process has concluded.”

The effort to identify the thesis examiners began in September 2019 with a request to the London School of Economics. LSE declined to identify the examiners and said it was the University of London’s responsibility. The University refused to name the examiners, citing Tsai’s right to privacy. A six-week internal review upheld the disclosure exemption leading to the pending ICO complaint.

Tsai Ing-wen declines to name her thesis examiners keeping alive an ongoing controversy over her Ph.D. degree.

Information Commissioner’s preliminary finding is that release of Ph.D. thesis examiners’ identity likely to cause “damage or distress” to Republic of China President Tsai Ing-wen

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Tsai Ing-wen and her 1984 London School of Economics thesis may be shielded by the Information Commissioner’s Office. (credits: Voice of America/Hwan Lin)

The Information Commissioner’s Office of the United Kingdom is poised to uphold the University of London’s refusal to name Republic of China in-exile President Tsai Ing-wen’s 1984 Ph.D. thesis examiners. Lead Case Officer Cressida Woodall authored a preliminary assessment agreeing with the University of London.

The requested information is associated with an individual in a private/personal capacity. I am satisfied that the individual concerned (the student) would have the reasonable expectation that their personal data – that is; specific information about their thesis – who examined it and when – would not be disclosed to world at large in response to a FOI request.”

Woodall wrote, “I consider it likely that disclosing this information would cause that individual a degree of damage or distress.”

The tempest in a teapot over the thesis periodically boils over into the news media although has been a social media topic since last summer when Tsai belatedly filed her 1984 thesis with the London School of Economics Library, thirty-five years late. Briefly an issue in her recent reelection campaign, Tsai prefers to avoid talking about the controversial thesis entitled “Unfair Trade Practices and Safeguard Actions.”

The London School of Economics says the thesis examiners conducted Tsai’s “viva” on October 16, 1983, a Sunday. LSE cannot or will not identify the two thesis examiners that approved the thesis and directs all questions to the parent University of London.

The University of London, after a six-week internal review, concluded that the names of the thesis examiners was exempt from public disclosure because their names could be found in Tsai’s student records.

Meanwhile, a number of Taiwanese scholars have raised questions about the thesis and whether or not Tsai actually earned the degree bestowed upon her. Because LSE could not issue its own degrees, the University of London awarded a diploma on the recommendation of the two thesis examiners, at least that is how it was supposed to work. The Sunday viva and Tsai’s refusal to name the thesis examiners, along with the silence of both the London School of Economics and the University of London on the examiner identities keeps alive the ongoing question, was there really a thesis oral examination?

Woodall explained: “I note that the thesis in question was examined approximately 35 years ago. Any concern about this one, thesis is therefore historic at this point. Other than UL demonstrating that it is open and transparent, the specifics of your request do not have a wider societal legitimate interest. You have not presented evidence that there are long-standing and systemic irregularities with UL’s examination of theses.”

The preliminary assessment included reference to two other cases. In 2019, the University of Leicester refused to name the entire roster of outside examiners for an eight-year period and the refusal was upheld. In 2018, The Open University refused to name two Ph.D. thesis examiners but did offer a general description of their qualifications.

If the Information Commissioner adopts the preliminary assessment as a final decision the next step is a Tribunal appeal. The ICO has indicated the corona virus has altered the agency timeline and when a final decision will be issued is unknown.

Now, Woodall has entered a new question into the controversy. What kind of “damage or distress” could Tsai possibly suffer from disclosure of the identity of her examiners if they actually approved the thesis?

 

Request to Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je and Republic of China President Tsai Ing-wen to close Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall to respect 228 Massacre victims

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Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je, Chiang Kai-shek statue, and Republic of China in-exile President Tsai Ing-wen. Ko and Tsai are being asked to remove the statue from public display. (credits: Zhenghu Feng/Adam Jones/ROC Presidential Office)

I’m adding my voice to that of the families of 228 Massacre victims that have pleaded in vain for the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall to be closed. Neither Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je nor Republic of China in-exile President Tsai Ing-wen have agreed that it is wrong to have the man who ordered the Kuomintang crackdown on Formosans that led to the 228 Massacre of thousands in 1947 to be revered with a ROC color guard. Chiang Kai-shek’s soldiers and police inflicted murder, rape, torture, and harsh imprisonment on innocent island residents after a spontaneous revolt against the brutal KMT government imposed on the people followed by four long decades under White Terror martial law.

The Chinese hero worship of a brutal dictator who inflicted the White Terror crimes on the public is a gross insult to the memory of Chiang’s many victims. The building and statue inside is iconic for historical reasons to be sure. The hall no doubt cost a lot of tax dollars. However, each day that it is open, each changing of the guard, where respect is extended to the Chiang idol, is offensive to the memory of the many deaths caused by Chiang Kai-shek.

Mayor Ko showed up at the 228 Memorial Peace Park to listen to President Tsai’s remarks. One year Ko skipped attending Taiwan’s most somber holiday ceremonies to go jogging and received considerable criticism for the disrespect. Ko flagged criticism from some at this year’s event.

Hsu Shih-hsiung called Ko an “opportunist” and said that Ko has lost his sense of what Taiwanese values truly are. “This kind of person should never be the country’s leader; families of the White Terror victims and I will never support Ko.”

Tsai said, “We believe that by remembering history and reflecting on the past, we can make our society more united, make democracy more consolidated and move Taiwan forward,”

One simple way to “move Taiwan forward” would be to end the outrageous public worship of Chiang Kai-shek. I challenge you Mayor Ko, to host 228 ceremonies next year at the Memorial Hall. I challenge you President Tsai, to honor your words and move Taiwan forward, away from Chiang hero worship. The two of you should work together to clean house. While meeting to discuss building renovation, give some consideration to substituting Taiwanese history for Chinese history in the building museum.

Oh, more thing. Those other statues. Taiwan is littered with over a thousand Chiang statues in public places. There are many in Taipei. They need to go away too. The longstanding “strategic ambiguity” that has clouded Taiwan’s international status has left many people confused.

Memorial Hall was build by the dictator’s son, Chiang Ching-kuo, to honor his father in 1980, while Taiwan was still suffering under martial law and it was a crime to mention the 228 Massacre. A goose-stepping honor guard saluting the statue of a dead dictator has no place in modern Taiwan.

United Kingdom Information Commissioner has accepted complaint against University of London over Tsai Ing-wen thesis secrecy

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Tsai Ing-wen, President of the Republic of China in-exile, and Elizabeth Denham, Information Commissioner for the United Kingdom. Denham will be reviewing privacy claims made by the University of London over Tsai’s controversial 1984 London School of Economics thesis. (credits: Voice of America/Euroforum)

Another hurdle has been cleared in the effort to penetrate the shroud of secrecy imposed by the University of London over Tsai Ing-wen’s controversial 1984 graduate thesis. The London School of Economics thesis was filed by Tsai with the LSE Library in 2019, thirty-five years late. The tardy filing of what appears to be a draft document triggered an academic firestorm in Taiwan with numerous scholars questioning the validity of Tsai’s PhD degree.

Pam Clements, Group Manager at the Information Commissioner’s Office of the United Kingdom, confirmed the office has accepted my complaint that a privacy exemption from disclosure was improperly applied by the University of London. “Your complaint has been accepted as eligible for further consideration and will be allocated to a case officer as soon as possible.” The case officer will oversee the ICO investigation.

Clements elaborated, “Generally we deal with complaints in the order we receive them, except where we have identified a complaint that can be resolved quickly or there is a compelling reason for a case to be accelerated.”

The London School of Economics has claimed Tsai’s thesis was reviewed at a “viva” on October 16, 1983. The school did not explain why the viva was held on a Sunday and has not named the thesis examiners who passed Tsai. A Freedom of Information request to the parent University of London led to a six-week internal review which concluded the public was not entitled to know the identity of the thesis examiners as the information was considered to be part of a student record.

In defending the privacy exemption, Roselind Frendo, Secretary to the Board, failed to cite any precedent of support for the decision to avoid public disclosure of the thesis examiners’ identities. Frendo wrote, “Even in the case of a PhD thesis, where there is an expectation that the thesis would be publicly available, there is no expectation that further records of the assessment would be disclosed.”

“I believe, in this case, the legitimate interests of a third party do not outweigh the rights of the data subjects in the disclosure of further detail from the student’s record.”

Elizabeth Denham, the Information Commissioner, has made her career one of public disclosure. Denham can be expected to give the University of London refusal to name the thesis examiners a hard look.

Some of Tsai’s academic critics back home in Taiwan speculate that the real reason the University of London has not named the thesis examiners is because they do not exist. It is hard to see how the identity of thesis examiners is different from teachers, advisers, and administrators in the University degree process, while the need for secrecy about Tsai’s examiners remains unexplained.