China arrests Taiwan independence advocate Yang Chih-yuan

Yang Chih-yuan under arrest in China for advocating Taiwan independence. Yang is former Vice-Chairman of the Taiwan National Party, a pro-independence party. (credits: CCTV/CNA)

After long years of confusion under the United States imposed “strategic ambiguity” the unresolved international status of Taiwan is in the news. Most of the talk is about missiles and trade bans in the dispute between the People’s Republic of China and the exiled Republic of China which governs Taiwan as a World War II occupation government which never left.

The battle for Taiwan between the two Chinas has moved into new territory with the August 3 arrest in Wenzhou, in the province of Zhejiang, of Yang Chih-yuan, an outspoken advocate for Taiwanese independence. The arrest is in apparent retaliation for the recent visit to Taiwan of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

Yang traveled to China in January to pursue business and had stepped away from his Taiwan independence activism. However, the State Security Bureau was watching Yang. A Chinese media statement said Yang “has long engaged in Taiwan independence separatist activities and is suspected of endangering national security.”

In the wake of Yang’s detention, the Mainland Affairs Council in Taiwan has urged Taiwanese residents to assess the risks of visiting China given the potential risks to their personal freedom and security. The arrest was announced on state-run China Central Television, although there was no official notification as required by the Cross-Strait Joint Crime-Fighting and Judicial Mutual Assistance Agreement.

China’s Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman Ma Xiaoguang told a news conference that “die-hard Taiwanese separatists cannot escape severe punishment under national law.”

Yang was accused of being involved in the establishment of an “illegal organization with the goal of pushing for Taiwan to become a sovereign, independent nation, with the eventual aim of it joining the UN, among other separatist crimes.”

Yang was previously a member of the Taiwan Action Party Alliance — a pro-independence party founded by former president Chen Shui-bian that dissolved in 2020.

Yang was also active in the 2008 Wild Strawberries movement and had previously assisted a Chinese dissident seeking asylum in Taiwan. Ironically, although Yang has been arrested by the People’s Republic of China, most of his activism has been against rival Republic of China in-exile. Yang’s plight puts a tight focus on what the District of Columbia U. S. Court of Appeals has called Taiwan’s “political purgatory.”

Yang has not been permitted any visitors and is being held without bail.

Negro youths respond to the leadership of militant malcontents”

Former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover ordered evidence withheld in the murder of Omaha Patrolman Larry Minard. (credit: White House)

This is Chapter 1 of FRAMED: J. Edgar Hoover, COINTELPRO, and the Omaha Two story, a tale of injustice and two innocent men sentenced to life in prison because they were leaders of a Black Panthers affiliate chapter. This is the first weekly installment of the book, free for the public.

On a hot Sunday evening in August 1970, Larry Minard, Sr. had supper with his wife Karen and five children. It would be Larry’s last meal. Later that night Larry put on his uniform. The seven-year veteran of the Omaha Police Department worked the midnight shift on the Near-Northside. As he departed, Minard told his wife not to worry, his customary message to calm her fears about the dangers of his work. Karen never saw Larry alive again.

Minard’s bombing death would be blamed on the Black Panthers. Two leaders ended up with life sentences in prison. However, the true story was never told to the jury and has only emerged in bits and pieces over the years. J. Edgar Hoover, the infamous director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, for whom the FBI headquarters building is named, intervened in the criminal investigation and ordered a laboratory report on the identity of an unknown 911 caller to be withheld. Hoover let one of Minard’s killers get away with murder to frame a case against the two black leaders as part of his clandestine COINTELPRO operation. This is the story the jury never heard and the history behind that story, a tale of justice corrupted by the nation’s highest police official.

Omaha, Nebraska was settled by white pioneers and according to English poet Rudyard Kipling the prairie city was “populated entirely by Germans, Poles, Slavs, Hungarians, Croats, Magyars, and all the scum of the Eastern European States.”i

Early black residents of the city were lured from the South beginning in the 1880’s as strikebreakers by railroad companies and the meat packing industry. The competition for work did nothing to mitigate existing racial prejudices and black residents suffered from discrimination and white misconduct.

On October 9, 1891, George Smith, a black man accused of raping a five year-old white girl, was lynched by a frenzied mob of eight thousand that stormed the city jail. A journalist observed “that men began to look at each other in a strange way, and that something happened which it would be impossible to put into words.” Elia Peattie wrote, “It was the sudden growth of a terrible mental disease.”

“This fever raged in every vein and artery of the city.”ii

Smith was not properly identified as the culprit although that did not stop the lynching while racism stormed in the streets. The Omaha Bee described the brutal scene as Smith was hauled out a jail window into the hands of the bloodthirsty crowd. “The mob rushed upon him, kicking and jumping upon him as he was jerked down over the rough pavement, his clothing almost entirely torn from his body, and the skin and flesh bruised and bleeding in a shocking manner.”iii

The Great Migration of rural Southern sharecroppers to Northern cities following World War I helped swell Omaha’s black population but did little to reduce the racism and hatred festering in the heart of the Midwest. The so-called Red Summer of 1919 was difficult for black America and the nation was scarred by race riots and lynchings across the land. Omaha did not escape the white terror bloodshed.

On September 28, 1919, a newspaper-fueled hysteria swept Omaha and a crowd, estimated at 20,000 in one account, gathered at the Douglas County Courthouse where Will Brown, a black man accused of raping a white woman, was lynched. One member of the lynch mob expressed the mood of the others. “We are going to teach these negroes a lesson. The white people of this town are tired of putting up with them. If the courts don’t do justice, fire, guns and a rope will be a sufficient lesson.”iv

Professor Steven Willborn, of the University of Nebraska College of Law, has written about the riot and lynching. “Racial tensions were also high in Omaha as the newspapers competed to sensationalize Black crime, both real and imagined, especially when directed at White women.”v

An illustrated history of the riot, Omaha’s Riot in Story and Picture, later documented the violence of the frenzied scene. “The crowd wrested revolvers, badges and clubs from policemen. They chased and beat every colored person who ventured into the vicinity. White men, who attempted to rescue innocent negroes from unmerited punishment, were subjected to physical abuse. Law-abiding citizens became maniacal anarchists.”vi

“Fury was throbbing through the throngs in the streets.”vii

“Boys and young men placed firemen’s ladders against the building. They mounted to the second story. One man had a heavy coil of new rope on his back. Another had a shotgun. Together they climbed up the outside of the west wall of the court house. Grasping cornices andwindow ledges, they squirmed upward. Automobilists turned powerful searchlights on the building to light their perilous way. The mob applauded each nimble twist of the lithe bodies. Never, perhaps, in any mob scene was there such a spectacular sight.”viii

Fires were started in the courthouse and the sheriff gave up the terrified prisoner to the mob to save the other inmates. Brown was seized and beaten immediately, his clothes were torn off by the time he was taken from the building. With a roar from the crowd, Brown was dragged to a nearby lamp pole. A rope was placed around Brown’s neck and he was hoisted in the air, his body twisting as it was jerked upward. “Hundreds of revolvers and shotguns spat at the corpse as it dangled in mid-air. Then the rope was cut. Brown’s body was tied to the rear end of an automobile. It was dragged through the streets….It was burned. Members of the mob hauled the charred remains through the business district for several hours.”ix

Actor Henry Fonda was fourteen at the time of the lynching. Fonda’s father owned a printing plant across the street from the courthouse. Fonda watched the riot from the second floor window of his father’s print shop. “It was the most horrendous sight I’d ever seen…We locked the plant, went downstairs, and drove home in silence. My hands were wet and there were tears in my eyes. All I could think of was that young black man dangling at the end of a rope.”x

Omaha was placed under martial law and the U.S. Army was called in to end the riot, stationing troops to patrol city streets. Omaha was a city divided by color and wounded by hatred and fear.

Two weeks after the Omaha lynching, J. Edgar Hoover, a Bureau of Investigation supervisor, received a tip from the Bureau office in the Panama Canal Zone about Jamaican-born Marcus Garvey, founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association. Hoover, who spent World War I chasing immigrants and radicals, launched what would become a personal war against black leaders that he considered undesirable.

Hoover wrote to his superior. “Garvey is a West-Indian negro and in addition to his activities in endeavoring to establish the Black Star Line Steamship Corporation he has also been particularly active among the radical elements in New York City in agitating the negro movement. Unfortunately however, he has not as yet violated any federal law whereby he could be proceeded against on the grounds of being an undesirable alien, from the point of view of deportation. It occurs to me, however, from the attached clipping that there might be some proceeding against him for fraud in connection with his Black Star Line propaganda.”xi

Hoover hired four black undercover agents and went to work penetrating Marcus Garvey’s organization. As the investigation proceeded, Hoover began lining up witnesses against Garvey. In 1923, on New Years Day, a key witness was attacked and shot. Reverend J. W. H. Eason died in New Orleans following an after-church shooting. The murdered pastor, who had split with Garvey, was to be a leading witness in the Black Star Line mail fraud case. According to a Bureau of Investigation source, Garvey announced the shooting of Eason at Liberty Hall in New York just one hour after it occurred in New Orleans.xii

Hoover suspected Garvey of ordering Eason’s murder to silence his rival. Prosecution against Garvey was ruled out in New Orleans by local authorities who feared the expense of such an undertaking. Although Hoover saw Garvey imprisoned and then deported for mail fraud over his back to Africa promotion, Hoover’s inability to see Garvey prosecuted for murder was a source of lifelong frustration. The Garvey case shaped and influenced Hoover’s future counterintelligence directives, he would no longer play by the rules.

In Omaha,Malcolm Little, later known as Malcolm X, was born May 19, 1925, on the Near-Northside. Malcolm was not long a resident, moving early in life and never developing much regard for the city. Malcolm X commented briefly on the first page of his autobiography that a party of hooded Ku Klux Klan riders galloped up to his home one night brandishing shotguns and rifles. Malcolm’s pregnant mother told them she was alone with her three small children and that her husband was away preaching in Milwaukee. The Klansmen shouted threats and warnings that the family get out of town because “the good Christian white people” were not going to stand for Malcolm’s father spreading trouble among the “good Negroes” of Omaha with the back to Africa preaching of Marcus Garvey.xiii

An increasingly aggressive J. Edgar Hoover was named to head the Bureau of Investigation and commanded a growing national police force. Senator George Norris came to view Hoover as a menace to good government. In 1940, Norris took the step that very few ever had the courage to take and called into question the leadership of Hoover. The Nebraska lawmaker wrote to Attorney General Robert Jackson about actions of FBI agents. “I have heard so many complaints of the activities of this Bureau that it has seemed to me I ought to write you regarding them.”

“I cannot help but reach the conclusion that there is some well-grounded fear that the activities of this Bureau are overstepping and over-reaching the legitimate objects for which it was created.”xiv

Norris portended a future that would come to pass. “I fear the activities of this Bureau, covering as they do the entire country, are going to bring into disrepute the methods of our entire system of jurisprudence.”xv

Meanwhile, life in Omaha for the residents of African descent was one of segregation, discrimination and deprivation. A Works Projects Administration publication, Negroes of Nebraska, told the story. “In Omaha, Lincoln, and Grand Island, and, to a lesser extent, in other cities of Nebraska, Negroes are concentrated in districts sometimes referred to as Negro Town….As a rule, these districts relegated to the Negroes are characterized by unpaved or poorly paved streets, inadequate street lighting, absence of playgrounds or other recreational facilities for children, and houses, many of them mere hovels, usually in dire need of repair.”xvi

“The span of human memory still overlaps the time when Negroes were illiterate slaves. Many white men still regard the Negro race as inferior to the white race, and many white men even hold Negroes in contempt.”xvii

Post-World War II conditions in Omaha had not improved much for the city’s black residents. Formal segregation at Peony Park was ended but there was still a great divide in the races. White Omaha paid little attention to the black community, hemmed in on the Near-Northside.

A sweltering Independence Day weekend in Omaha in 1966, with hundred-degree heat, turned ugly when rioting broke out. According to the Omaha World-Herald the trouble began when a “band of Negro youths”went along Twenty-fourth Street breaking windows and taunting police. The group had left a dance at the Music Box in downtown and grew in size as it headed northward.xviii

By 1:00 a.m. police had arrested twenty people. Vandalism, looting, and an attack on a police car and taxi cab led to a brawl between police and a crowd of two hundred in the Safeway parking lot at Twenty-fourth and Lake Streets. It took the police until 3:00 a.m. to clear the parking lot and arrest eight more individuals.xix

A month later, during more rioting, Paul Young began his duties as Special Agent in Charge of the Omaha FBI office, his first command. Young could not foresee the awful deed he would do four years later, allowing a policeman’s killer to get away with murder. Omaha’s explosive racial problems would soon come to dominate Young’s attention.

Director 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 of events in Omaha covering 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.”xx

In May 1967, Hoover sent a special report on racial problems in Omaha to President Johnson and warned of the prospects for summer rioting. “Informed sources consider the present situation tense and rate the possibility of racial violence “quite high” due to the ill feeling created by the past incidents and the rapidity with which Negro youths respond to the leadership of militant malcontents who are not associated with any civil rights groups. Informed sources agree that communications between law enforcement and city officials are open but are not as good as they were a year ago.”

“The prevailing mood in the city is one of impatience. Statements that the city will tolerate no more violence are creating greater hostility and tension. Negro leaders are criticizing the Police Department for inadequate protection against the rampaging youths, alleging that the police are reluctant to enter the Negro district and possibly precipitate an incident that could lead to further violence.”xxi

That summer, J. Edgar Hoover launched a new counterintelligence program against so-called Black Nationalists in a memorandum to twenty-three FBI field offices. “The purpose of this new counterintelligence endeavor is to expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize the activities of black nationalist, hate-type organizations and groupings, their leadership, spokesmen, membership, and supporters, and to counter their propensity for violence and civil disorder. The activities of all such groups of intelligence interest to this Bureau must be followed on a continuous basis so we will be in a position to promptly take advantage of all opportunities for counterintelligence and to inspire action in instances where circumstances warrant.”xxii

“No opportunity should be missed to exploit through counterintelligence techniques the organizational and personal conflicts of the leadership of the groups and where possible an effort should be made to capitalize upon existing conflicts between competing black nationalist organizations.”

“Many individuals currently active in black nationalist organizations have backgrounds of immorality, subversive activity, and criminal records. Through your investigation of key agitators, you should endeavor to establish their unsavory backgrounds.”xxiii

“All Special Agent personnel responsible for the investigation of black nationalist, hate-type organizations and their memberships should be alerted to our counterintelligence interest and each such investigative Agent has a responsibility to call to the attention of the counterintelligence coordinator suggestions and possibilities for implementing the program. You are also cautioned that the nature of this new endeavor is such that under no circumstances should the existence of the program be made known outside the Bureau and appropriate within-office security should be afforded to sensitive operations and techniques considered under the program.”

“You are urged to take an enthusiastic and imaginative approach to this new counterintelligence endeavor and the Bureau will be pleased to entertain any suggestions or techniques you may recommend.”xxiv

Hoover’s secret war on black Americans was now official policy and considerable Bureau resources were directed to the clandestine program against unsuspecting citizens.

FRAMED: J. Edgar Hoover, COINTELPRO, & the Omaha Two story is available at Amazon and in ebook. Portions of the book may be read free online at Patrons of the Omaha Public Library also enjoy free access.

i “Omaha Between Trains,” Roundup: A Nebraska Reader, Virginia Faulkner, p. 168, 1957

ii Impertinences: Selected Writings of Elia Peattie, Susanne Bloomfield, p. 106, 2005

iiiA Dirty, Wicked Town: Tales of 19th Century Omaha, David Bristow, p. 251, 2000

iv“Death by Rope is Verdict of Mob,” Omaha World-Herald, p. 1, September 28, 1919

v “The Omaha Riot of 1919,” Steven L. Willborn , Nebraska Lawyer, p. 49, December 1999

viOmaha’s Riot in Story and Picture, Educational Publishing Company, p. 10, 1920

viiOmaha’s Riot in Story and Picture, Educational Publishing Company, p. 20, 1920

viiiOmaha’s Riot in Story and Picture, Educational Publishing Company, p. 22-24, 1920

ixOmaha’s Riot in Story and Picture, Educational Publishing Company, p. 22, 1920

x,“Racial Tensions in Omaha–A Horrible Lynching,” downloaded November 29, 2010

xi National Archives, RG 60, file 198940, October 11, 1919

xii FBI Vault, Marcus Garvey, Part 3, p. 56, January 6, 1923

xiii Autobiography of Malcolm X, Malcolm X, p. 1, 1965

xiv FBI Vault, George Norris, Part 3, p. 24, February 22, 1940

xv FBI Vault, George Norris, Part 3, p. 25, February 22, 1940

xvi The Negroes of Nebraska, Nebraska Writers Project, Works Project Administration, p. 19, 1940

xvii The Negroes of Nebraska, Nebraska Writers Project, Works Project Administration, p. 46, 1940

xviii “Window-Breaking Continues Second Night on North Side,” Omaha World-Herald, p. 1, July 4, 1966

xix . “Window-Breaking Continues Second Night on North Side,” Omaha World-Herald, p. 8, July 4, 1966

xx FBI memo from Hoover to White House, LBJ Library, p. 3, August 1, 1966

xxi “Racial Violence Potential In The United States This Summer,” Memorandum to White House, p. 38, May 23, 1967. Declassified on June 17, 2002.

xxii Church Committee, Vol. 6, p. 383, August 25, 1967

xxiii Church Committee, Vol. 6, p. 384, August 25, 1967

xxiv Church Committee, Vol. 6, p. 385, August 25, 1967

In Tribunal ordered response the London School of Economics refuses to name Tsai Ing-wen thesis examiners citing ‘immense pressure’ they may face if identified

Republic of China in-exile President Tsai Ing-wen, her controversial PhD thesis, and Tribunal Judge Alison McKenna who ordered the London School of Economics to respond to a Freedom of Information request about the thesis examiners. (credits: Voice of America/Hwan Lin/Third Sector)

The London School of Economics and Political Science has refused to name the thesis examiners of a 1983 PhD thesis submitted to the LSE Library in June 2019, thirty-five years late. The tardy thesis was the basis for a 1984 doctoral degree issued by the University of London. First asked in September 2019 about the identity of the examiners who approved Republic of China in-exile President Tsai Ing-wen’s dissertation, the LSE maintained they did not know who the examiners were. In May 2021, the LSE Board Secretary Louise Nadal stated in an internal review the school did not hold records that named Tsai’s thesis examiners.

Nadal’s claim was contradicted by Kevin Haynes, the “Head of Legal Team” at the LSE, who provided information to the ROC Ministry of Justice about two LSE faculty members. President Tsai had made a criminal defamation complaint against Taiwanese newsman Dennis Peng and others for their reports on her thesis entitled Unfair Trade Practices and Safeguard Actions. ROC prosecutors seeking information to convict Peng were given the names by Haynes in November 2020. Rachael Maguire, Haynes’ subordinate and the school’s Information and Records Manager, claims she believes Haynes was in error because of a “hasty view” and revealed LSE records contain names of three purported examiners, although the University of London has said there were only two examiners.

Information Review Tribunal Judge Alison McKenna disputed Nadal’s internal review conclusion in a recent ruling. Judge McKenna ordered the LSE to explain the contradictory statements of Nadal and Haynes. “Its submission to the Tribunal dated 14 March 2022 it stated that “…the information we hold on file is only there accidentally…we cannot be certain that this information is accurate”.

“LSE confirmed to the Tribunal that it holds President Tsai’s student file, comprising 278 pages. It stated that there is a letter on this file in which a person appears to self-identify as one of the Viva examiners, but that it has no official notification from University of London whether this information was correct, and it holds no information on the identity of the co-examiner.”

“We conclude on the basis of all the evidence before us and on the balance of probabilities that information within the scope of the request is held by LSE in President Tsai’s student file. That information has been referred to in email correspondence between LSE and others (including apparently being supplied to a judicial inquiry) and is also referred to in its submission to the Tribunal. We understand that LSE doubts the accuracy of this information, but we conclude that this is not a basis for stating that information is not held under FOIA.”

“It may be that exemptions will be claimed, but we conclude that LSE must now issue a fresh response in which that issue is addressed. As we have concluded that information is held, the correct course is for LSE to issue a fresh response on the basis that information within the scope of the request is held, and at that stage either disclose the requested information (with contextual commentary, if necessary) or claim any exemptions to disclosure that it considers apply.”

However, the LSE fresh response still does not name the thesis examiners. Maguire has now refused to disclose the examiner names that the LSE first tried to claim it did not know.

“With reference to your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act, namely for the names of the examiners for Ing-wen Tsai’s PhD viva examination, I am writing to inform you that your request has been refused.”

“While it is the School’s policy to respond as fully as possible to requests for information, it is not always able to do so….Examiner names are kept confidential in order to ensure that no pressure to increase or decrease marks occurs. There is therefore an expectation from examiners that their names will not be released, either to students or to other third parties. It would therefore breach the first data protection principle to release as it would not be fair.”

“In deciding on the fairness of release, we considered whether there was a public interest reason for releasing the names, but on balance do not think there is. The examination was nearly forty years ago. Neither LSE or University of London believe there is any reason given by any third party that the examination did not come to a proper conclusion that Ing-wen Tsai had passed the viva. Considering the interest in the case, we believe that there would be immense pressure put on the individuals concerned if we released their names that they could not have expected almost forty years ago when they agreed to be the viva examiners and which we cannot lay on them or those associated with them now.”

The matter will next go back to Louise Nadal who will be asked to explain the “immense pressure” the LSE is seeking to shield the thesis examiners from and why there are references to three examiners when purportedly there were only two. Nadal will also be asked to explain statements the school has made to the Information Commissioner’s Office that have not yet been disclosed.

President Tsai could easily end the longstanding controversy over her thesis by releasing the oral examination viva report which allegedly approved the thesis, however she refuses to do so keeping the issue alive.

Human Rights Action Center founder Jack Healey calls upon Tsai Ing-wen to drop criminal defamation charges against Taiwanese newsman Dennis Peng

Jack Healey, founder of the Human Rights Action Center, urges Republic of China in-exile President Tsai Ing-wen to drop her criminal defamation charges against Taiwanese newsman Dennis Peng. (credit: Human Rights Association)

Jack Healey, founder of the Human Rights Action Center, following his retirement as director of Amnesty International, wants Republic of China in-exile President Tsai Ing-wen to drop her criminal defamation charges against Taiwanese newsman Dennis Peng. Tsai complained to ROC prosecutors about Peng’s newscasts about her controversial 1983 PhD thesis Unfair Trade Practices and Safeguard Actions.

President Tsai attracted Peng’s scrutiny in June 2019 when she submitted her tardy thesis to the London School of Economics Library, thirty-five years late. The copy Tsai turned in appears to be a draft document with pagination problems, footnote issues, and handwritten notations including a question mark. Tsai keeps the controversy over her PhD degree alive by refusing to release the oral examination viva report which presumably approved the thesis.

Dennis Peng has been unrelenting in reporting on the allegation of academic fraud by President Tsai. The controversy has fueled several pending Freedom of Information lawsuits in the United Kingdom in an effort to learn who approved the tardy thesis. Jack Healey is now following the story and posted a summary on his Facebook page.

“Professor Peng was the most popular political TV show host from 2009 to 2019 in Taiwan and in 2012 he read my blog regarding Chen Shui-bian’s human rights on national TV, which brought a national awareness to our rescue mission….His criticisms of the present Tsai government should not land him in trouble and some political very hot water.”

“In 2009, Dr. Peng started his first political talk show to expose the corruptions and pro-China policies of the Ma administration of Koumintang (KMT). His courageous voice helped Democratic Progress Party to gain power in 2016 when President Tsai won her first term.”

“In 2019, there was an allegation that the Ph.D. degree of President Tsai Ing-wen was fake, commonly known as the Thesisgate. Professor Peng provided his web show as a platform for the whistle blowers to release their findings. President Tsai filed a defamation lawsuit against Professor Peng. President Tsai then sealed all her personal records and promotion reviews related to her academic career as the highest classified documents until 2049.”

“On November 19, 2021, Dr. Peng left Taiwan to visit his children in the US. The Taipei Court issued a 13-year arrest warrant against Dr. Peng, rendering him a wanted fugitive and in exile. Professor Peng now faces up to five years of imprisonment.”

Peng’s freedom of speech battle with President Tsai recently netted him a new monetary Canadian human rights award called the Justice Star Award. Peng’s prize of $10,000 CD will help him pay for his life of self-exile in California where he continues to broadcast his popular True Voice of Taiwan news program. President Tsai’s exiled Chinese government is not recognized as sovereign by the United States so there is no extradition treaty to enforce the arrest warrant against Peng.

Taiwanese newsman Dennis Peng wanted by Republic of China wins Canadian human rights award while in USA on self-exile

Dennis Peng, host of True Voice of Taiwan news show is the first recipient of the Justice Star Award, a monetary Canadian human rights award. (credit: Screenshot)

Dennis Peng, a Taiwanese newsman living in self-exile in California, has won a new Canadian human rights award of $10,000 CD called the Justice Star Award. Peng is in self-exile because of an arrest warrant in Taiwan stemming from the effort of Republic of China in-exile President Tsai Ing-wen to have the newsman prosecuted for criminal defamation over his reports about her controversial 1983 PhD thesis.

The new award, established byEstrella Shen, a Taiwanese-Canadian, received a number of nominations for Peng from former Stanford University faculty members and overseas organizations. “The committee scrutinized Professor Peng’s fearless performance in defending Taiwan’s freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and judicial justice, and in monitoring and challanging the totalitarian government.”

“Professor Peng is comparable to the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize winners, two renowned media reporters, Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov. The committee also contacted the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where Professor Peng received his PhD degree.” Peng was praised by the Chancellor’s Office because he would “sift and winnow for the truth.”

Peng is the host of the True Voice of Taiwan, a popular, hour-long daily news program on the YouTube channel. Peng is being prosecuted for criminal defamation of President Tsai. Peng began following the saga of Tsai’s 1984 PhD degree from the University of London after she triggered an academic firestorm when she submitted her thesis to the London School of Economics Library in June 2019, thirty-five years late.

To make matters worse, the tardy thesis appears to be a draft document with footnote issues, pagination problems, and hand-written notations including a question mark. Three versions of President Tsai’s diploma circulating on the internet compound the mystery of what went on back in London during the 1983-84 school year. Dennis Peng has made it his mission to get to the bottom of thesis mystery and riled Tsai so much she complained to prosecutors.

The Justice Star Award has been initially endowed for twenty years to promote human rights. Estrella Shen has put her money where her mouth is and supports media freedom with her purse. Award winner Dennis Peng supports media freedom by putting his freedom at risk.

London School of Economics fails to comply with Tribunal disclosure order in Tsai Ing-wen thesis examination case

Republic of China in-exile President Tsai Ing-wen’s controversial PhD thesis and Louise Nadal, Secretary of the London School of Economics Board, who has denied holding the names of thesis examiners. (credits: Hwan Lin/LSE)

The London School of Economics and Political Science has been slapped with a Notice of Non-Compliance for its failure to comply with a June 21, 2022 court order issued by Information Review Tribunal Judge Alison McKenna. The LSE was given twenty-eight days by the Tribunal to “issue a fresh response to the Appellant’s original information request which confirms that information within the scope of his request is held and either disclose it or claim any exemptions to disclosure on which it relies.”

The LSE has maintained since September 2019 that it did not know the names of the PhD thesis examiners for Republic of China in-exile President Tsai Ing-wen. President Tsai was a student at the school in 1983, although her PhD degree was instead issued by the University of London as the LSE lacked the certification to award the advanced degree.

The identity of who approved President Tsai’s thesis became an issue when Tsai filed her thesis entitled Unfair Trade Practices and Safeguard Actions with the LSE Library in June 2019, thirty-five years late. The tardy thesis was supposed to have been submitted to the LSE Library and the UL’s Senate House Library, but no records of its acquistion can be found by either library. For a time, the UL tried to blame Senate House librarians for the missing thesis, but have since dropped the allegation after a Tribunal judge found that it was probable the libraries did not receive the thesis.

After a second denial by the LSE, an Internal Review was requested under the Freedom of Information Act. The LSE Secretary of the Board, Louise Nadal, conducted the review. “I am satisfied that the decision which confirmed that we do not hold the information you requested is appropriate….the School does not hold the information you have requested.”

Contrary to Nadal’s false claim, Kevin Haynes, the “Head of Legal Team” provided the ROC Ministry of Justice with examiner names, including that of President Tsai’s academic advisor, Michael Elliott. However, Haynes’ subordinate, Rachael Maguire, the LSE Information Manager, says Haynes is likely in error because of a “hasty view” of President Tsai’s student file. In all, three names have been found in the 278-page student file but McGuire doubts the accuracy, saying the names were acquired “accidently.” The UL says there were only two thesis examiners. Neither school will name the examiners, citing Tsai’s right to privacy.

Kevin Haynes was assisting ROC prosecutors in their attempt to imprison Taiwanese newsman Dennis Peng for his reporting on the thesis controversy. President Tsai, in a bid to silence Peng, filed a criminal defamation complaint against Peng for his remarks. Peng supplied an affidavit and a Haynes email he obtained in the course of discovery in his criminal prosecution to the Tribunal. The Haynes email convinced the court that Nadal was in error.

Dennis Peng continues to report on the thesis controvesy on his popular YouTube program True Voice of Taiwan, now broadcast from the United States. President Tsai’s complaint to prosecutors has led to an arrest warrant against Peng. Because of the unresolved status of Tsai’s exiled ROC government there is no extradiction treaty between Taiwan and the United States and Peng has made a temporary home in California.

Judge McKeena dismissed Nadal’s claim of no examiner names and ordered the LSE to admit holding the names and properly address the FOI request.

“LSE confirmed to the Tribunal that it holds President Tsai’s student file, comprising 278 pages. It stated that there is a letter on this file in which a person appears to self-identify as one of the Viva examiners, but that it has no official notification from University of London whether this information was correct, and it holds no information on the identity of the co-examiner.”

“The Appellant produced an email dated 14 June 2019 from a member of staff at LSE to President Tsai’s office in which there is a reference to “fending off” enquiries about President Tsai’s PhD. The Appellant relies on this as evidence that LSE is reluctant to comply with its duties under FOIA.”

“We conclude on the basis of all the evidence before us and on the balance of probabilities that information within the scope of the request is held by LSE in President Tsai’s student file. That information has been referred to in email correspondence between LSE and others (including apparently being supplied to a judicial inquiry) and is also referred to in its submission to the Tribunal. We understand that LSE doubts the accuracy of this information, but we conclude that this is not a basis for stating that information is not held under FOIA.”

“As we have concluded that information is held, the correct course is for LSE to issue a fresh response on the basis that information within the scope of the request is held, and at that stage either disclose the requested information (with contextual commentary, if necessary) or claim any exemptions to disclosure that it considers apply.”

Non-compliance with a court order is an escalation of the ongoing pattern of denial, delay, and obfuscation that has been demonstrated by both UL and LSE over efforts by the public to seek verification of President Tsai’s qualification for her PhD degree.

In a related case involving the UL and its claim of missing thesis examination regulations, the Information Commissioner has accepted a complaint against the school and will undertake an investigation into the UL’s assertion it has no copies of its 1983 examination regulations and there are missing pages in its only rule book. At issue is the question of who was qualified to serve on President Tsai’s viva panel. Tsai refuses to release her oral examination report by the examiners, keeping the controversy alive.

Taiwan’s ‘strategic ambiguity’ victims told of deception by Roger Lin in political fraud trial verdict

Roger Lin and his controversial Taiwan Civil Government identity card (credits: TCG)

The three-year fraud trial of leaders of Taiwan Civil Government, an advocacy group, in Taoyuan District Court resulted in a 609-page split verdict. The lengthy trial did not use a jury, which are not allowed by the exiled Republic of China government ruling Taiwan.

Roger Lin, founder of TCG and the main defendant, died during the long trial and charges against him were dismissed. However, victim testimony summaries included in the verdict leave little doubt that Lin told his group members that TCG was authorized by the United States Military Government and that TCG was to replace the ROC. The switch of governments would require a cadre of trained civil servants and 4,000 people would be needed. TCG headquarters became a training camp with overnight housing for weekend seminars, all at a price.

The fervour displayed by TCG members with their uniforms, flags, and noisy parades becomes understandable when you realize many of them were also job-seekers in a would-be future government. The common belief was that the more you gave and the more classes you took, the better the job you would get in the new regime. The witness stories tell themselves.

One of the primary witnesses against Roger Lin was Cai Chao-peng who gave enough to be a future governor. “I’ve been governor of Tainan Prefecture….I set up eight counties in Tainan to recruit new members.”

The membership number is something the ROC court seemed unable to determine. Lin and TCG lobbyist Neil Hare both claimed 70,000 members. With all the money funneled to Washington for media events, dinners, cocktail parties, and advertising the claim seemed possible. However, the truth is much of the big spending came out of a few deep pockets. Insider estimates of membership, before the split into present-day factions, was much lower. It has been estimated that perhaps 5,000 people have attended at least one TCG event, class or meeting. Those that paid dues was closer to 2,000 and the activists that could be counted to suit up and march in a parade at between 400 and 500 people.

According to many witnesses the claim of authorization by the United States Military Government was made by Roger Lin and nameless class intructors. Although his widow, Julian Lin, has been sentenced to nineteen years in prison for her role in the scheme, witnesses did not implicate her like they did Roger.

Witnesses after witness repeated the same testimony that they were in line for jobs in the new Taiwan government after the USMG kicked out the exiled Republic of China. Donors to Roger & Julian Lin vs. Republic of China & United States of America litigation in Washington were told they would be refunded at a 30 to 1 rate upon winning the case about the ROC Nationality Act. Donors gave money in $50,000 NT chunks. The $50,000 NT donors each got a thank you letter. Although the lawsuit received friendly treatment by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals the case lost because of the long passage of time. The decision also hinted that Japan should have been named as an additional party.

Witness Chen Chun-mei told of donating to the lawsuit in cash and taking multiple classes to the tune of $200,000 NT. “It is to get the qualifications of a legislator, and when the Taiwanese government takes power, I can go straight to the Legislative Yuan.”

Witness Luo Pei-yu gave $100,000 NT for the lawsuit and referring to Roger and Julian Lin said, “I want to normalize Taiwan’s international status, and I don’t want to support the husband and wife.”

Special red license plates would provide ten years of tax free, no-fee driving upon the switch of governments. Witnesses reported the plates caused traffic stops by police when displayed. The license plates cost $6,000 NT.

The weekend classes each cost $2,000 NT and a threshold number of classes was five. Many witnesses had taken up to a dozen classes. The cost included weekend room and board at the TCG headquarters. Approximately half of the witnesses told of no receipts for class payments.

One witness was a member of the Black Bears paramilitary squad who had to pay for a dozen extra classes so he could drill in the headquarters parking lot. Squad members did develop an expertise at coordinating frequent TCG parades.

Junkets were all paid for by the individual members traveling with the delegations. One junketeer expressed disappointment at being hauled around to tourist sites rather than sitting down with representatives of the US government. Because of language barriers, the TCG delegations often knew very little about the people they met, only that they were “important.”

Witness Wei Chao-qian visited the Yasukuni Shrine in Japan twice in 2015 and 2016, and went to the United States in March 2017. Wei also attended the Trump administration’s inaugural cocktail party hosted by Politico and sponsored by TCG. “There was no US official to contact President Donald Trump at the reception. The Taiwan Civil Government is a fabrication.” A big supporter of the Roger Lin litigation, Wei testified he gave $250,000 NT in five installments.

The TCG identity card sold for $1,000 NT. The card was the gateway to pension benefits and free education upon the regime change. Some thought the cards were actually issued by the United States because they said USMG on the back.

A few witnesses reported that they thought everything was legitimate because American attorneys were supposedly handling things in Washington. Neil Hare, head of Global Vision Communications and TCG’s lobbyist, is an attorney. Taoyuan District prosecutors questioned Julian Lin about Hare during the fraud trial. Hare registered with the Justice Department as a foreign agent and that according to witnesses was further used to build credibility with members. One witness thought Hare was a US official.

One product that victims paid for but never received was an electronic travel document that was supposed to replace a passport. The electronic pass, which cost $1,000 NT, was purportedly under development at the time of the May 2018 raid and arrests and subsequently was never issued.

Surprisingly, only twenty of the over three hundred victims cited in the verdict have since filed for a refund of their money. One explanation for the small number of restitution requests may be the coercive nature of the victims’ interrogation by prosecutors during the run-up to the lengthy trial. Alleged victims not called to testify deny being defrauded and tell of multiple, menacing interrogations where they were treated like criminals.

Because of Taiwan’s unresolved international status the United States does not recognize the Republic of China in-exile as the sovereign government, consequently there is no extradition treaty which should give Neil Hare a sigh of relief. None of the US media houses that took TCG money for shows, sponsorship, and staged events will comment on the fraud charges. Meanwhile, a split in the organization following Roger Lin’s October 2019 death has further reduced TCG membership and influence, a goal the prosecutors tried to achieve all along.

Fifty years ago the Nebraska Supreme Court sealed the sad fate of the Omaha Two

Black Panther leaders Edward Poindexter and David Rice [Wopashitwe Mondo Eyen we Langa] were convicted of murder at a COINTELPRO-tainted trial in April 1971. Poindexter remains imprisoned at the maximum-security Nebraska State Penitentiary, Mondo died at the prison in March 2016. (credits: Omaha Police Department)

Fifty years ago, on July 14, 1972, the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled on the joint appeal of Edward Poindexter and David Rice [Wopashitwe Mondo Eyen we Langa] upholding their April 1971 convictions for the bombing murder of Omaha police officer Larry Minard. The decision sealed the sad fate of the two Black Panther leaders who would become known as the Omaha Two.

Unknown outside a small circle of Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and top officials, including Director J. Edgar Hoover, the trial of the two men was manipulated under the clandestine counterintelligence program code-named COINTELPRO.

Poindexter and Rice filed an appeal with the Nebraska Supreme Court but justice was not to be had. The affidavit for the search of Rice’s house was a central issue.

“In making the determination of what searches are reasonable we must also weigh society’s interest in continuing to allow such searches. We must be extremely careful not to completely disarm the enforcement officials of the weapons necessary to maintain order, which in turn would leave us all at the mercy of the unhindered criminal. Were we to uphold appellants in this case the bloody shirt worn into the police station by the murder suspect would be kept from the eyes of the jury. To use this would be deplorable folly. Therefore, we do not propose to initiate a rule that would dictate such a patently unjust result.”

Duane Peak, the actual perpetrator of the crime, testified for the State.”

“In addition to the physical evidence found in the search of August 22, 1970, at 2816 Parker Street, Peak’s testimony is corroborated by the following….Scientific examination of a jacket taken from Poindexter disclosed particles of ammonia dynamite which is the type used in the bomb and the type found in Rice’ basement. Like particles were found on Rice’ pants. Scientific testimony indicated that Rice’ pliers had been used to cut a bit of copper wire like that used in the bomb and found in the basement of 2865 Ohio Street, next door.”

Justice McCown concurred with the rest of the court but offered his own rationale. “I cannot agree that the affidavit involved here met standards previously applicable. The United States Supreme Court and this court have uniformly held that where informants are involved, an affidavit for a search warrant must inform the magistrate of (1) some of the underlying circumstances from which the informant concluded that the articles were located where he claimed they were; and (2) some of the underlying circumstances from which the officer concluded that the informant was credible.”

“The majority opinion concedes that recitals in the affidavit that the police had been informed explosives were kept at the residence and defendants had said that explosives should be used against police officers would be insufficient standing alone….Whenever active membership in an organization which advocates violence against the police or any other group or segment of society, and a public expression of individual approval of such views, standing alone, become justification for the issuance of a search warrant whenever an incident of such violence occurs, the Fourth Amendment has lost its meaning.”

“I would place the decision on a different ground. At the time of making the affidavit for the search warrant, the police department had ample information to constitute probable cause for the issuance of the warrant, but much of the information was omitted from the affidavit….The facts here indicate the advisability of an ad hoc approach permitting some flexibility in the court’s analysis of the individual circumstances of each case.”

Two years later, U.S. District Chief Judge Warren Urbom issued a Supplemental Opinion in Rice’s appeal. The opinion supplemented Urbom’s decision three months earlier regarding a new trial. Urbom set out the facts and procedural history before offering his rationale for a new trial. Urbom also reflected on Chief Justice Warren Burger’s philosophy of criminal prosecution presaging Burger’s eventual action in Rice’s case.

“In part the Supreme Court of Nebraska rested its finding of validity in the search warrant upon information which the police officers had but which was not revealed to the magistrate. In my opinion, such consideration is not acceptable under federal constitutional standards. The fundamental purpose of a warrant is to place behind the force of the warrant a detached magistrate’s objective evaluation of information.”

Judge Urbom anticipated that his decision would be appealed and given the nature of the crime that the Supreme Court might well review the case. Seeking to inoculate his ruling from reversal, Urbom took pains to follow the judicial logic of the Chief Justice by specific and repeated references.

Urbom did not believe all of the police testimony in the case. “There was further testimony before this court which, if believed, would tighten the connection between Duane Peak and David Rice’s house. Lieutenant James G. Perry testified that Delia Peak had told him that David Rice, Duane Peak and Edward Poindexter were constant companions and that he, Lt. Perry, was present when Donald Peak, Jr., told Officer Pitmon Foxall that Duane Peak was at David Rice’s house when the bomb was made….The remainder of the record before this court specifically contradicts the claim that the police knew from Donald Peak, Jr., that Duane Peak was in David Rice’s house when the bomb was made….Given these facts I simply cannot credit this testimony of Lt. Perry.”

“On the basis of the entire record before this court and having heard and seen Lt. Perry testify, it is impossible for me to credit his testimony in the respects mentioned. Consequently, I find that his testimony in these respects cannot be included in the above catalog of facts within the knowledge of the police at the time they entered the home of David Rice.”

“Before turning to the last issue still unresolved by this court, a word about one other argument of the respondent is necessary….No one can doubt the important public interest in apprehending an accused murderer of a police officer, but I think the respondent seriously mischaracterizes the interest involved in preventing invasions of privacy by the police. The privacy of one’s home and the concomitant ability to decide whom it shall shelter and when is one of the most precious rights we possess as citizens. Entry into the home by police absent probable cause to enter is precisely what the Fourth Amendment forbids.”

“The remaining unresolved issue concerns the introduction into evidence of the dynamite particles found in David Rice’s clothing….His clothing was taken from the petitioner as a part of the normal routine at the Douglas County jail for incarcerating persons accused of crime.”

“Since it is clear that the introduction of the evidence seized in the illegal search and the dynamite particles substantially contributed to the petitioner’s conviction, that introduction was not harmless error. Therefore, the petitioner must either be released from custody or granted a new trial free from the tainted evidence.”

Urbom defended the correctness of the decision in his autobiography and complained that Rice was denied a new trial.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for Eighth Circuit issued its decision in Nebraska’s appeal of the order of a new trial for Mondo. Although the International Association of Chiefs of Police and Americans for Effective Law Enforcement filed amicus briefs in support of the prosecution the court upheld Chief Judge Warren Urbom and concluded that Mondo’s constitutional rights were violated.

“The decisions of the Supreme Court convincingly demonstrate, and we so hold, that the district court was left with no choice but to conclude that the affidavit of Sergeants Pfeffer and Swanson was insufficient to establish probable cause. Consequently, the district court was correct in holding that the search warrant was invalid.”

“Moreover, it is clear that on the facts of this case petitioner had no effective remedy still available in the state courts when he filed his federal habeas petition. The state supreme court had already ruled on direct appeal that the search warrant was valid….Clearly, any attempt by petitioner to further attack the search of his house as illegal in any state post-conviction proceeding would have been an exercise in futility.”

“In fact, the testimony of the various police officers at the evidentiary hearing held before the district court strongly suggests that the police had no evidence whatever that Peak was at petitioner’s house and that they were acting on nothing more than a hunch or random guess.”

“The State, however, points to certain testimony given by Lt. Perry….But Judge Urbom discredited this testimony after finding that it was uncorroborated and indeed contradicted by the rest of the record. After reviewing the record, we find that Judge Urbom’s decision to discredit this particular testimony was amply supported by the record.”

“We consider it necessary to point out that the record discloses a widespread search for the suspects Peak and Poindexter which evinced at least a negligent disregard by the Omaha police for the constitutional rights of not only petitioner but possibly other citizens as well.”

“In concluding this lengthy opinion, we are mindful that a brutal crime was perpetrated in which the life of a police officer was ended without justification. It cannot be gainsaid that Judge Urbom recognized the seriousness of the offense and the general public outrage over the crime. Against this background, Judge Urbom exercised painstaking care in resolving the factual and constitutional issues in this case. Having done so, Judge Urbom conscientiously and courageously concluded and demonstrated in two soundly reasoned opinions that the petitioner had been deprived of a basic constitutional right.”

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Rice’s case. However, the decision to deny a new trial had already been made by Chief Justice Warren Burger who wanted to reduce prisoners’ legal rights.

Rice, now known as Mondo, was represented by Jesuit lawyer and law professor William Cunningham. The prosecution was represented by Nebraska Assistant Attorney General Melvin Kammerlohr who recited the facts of the case and attacked the exclusionary rule of evidence. Kammerlohr told the court “nobody here wants an innocent man convicted.”

Cunningham opened up on Jack Swanson’s search warrant “so wanting in probable causes to leave no doubt in the mind of four Federal Court Judges in very careful opinions…exhaustive, painstaking evidentiary hearings to find that there simply was no basis for the warrant that was based, quite frankly as the officer testified upon his speculation.”

“That is neither reasonable, good faith nor probable cause.”

Warren Burger questioned Cunningham by summarizing his own view of Mondo’s guilt. “The unarticulated premise of your whole position, I take it must be…that the case presented by this record, where a man who has set a booby trap with dynamite in a suitcase, in pursuit of his own objectives, obviously criminal, if we believe this record, is to get off scotfree and that that is an appropriate price to pay for mistakes in a warrant application.”

Back and forth the two men dueled. Burger pressed Cunningham. “Is it not a fair statement that this man…is to go free because of the constable blunder?”

Cunningham replied back. “I would say that the man is not to be imprisoned if the trial at which he was tried was wanting in federal constitutional guarantees, if the trial was unfair.

Cunningham explained to Justice Lewis Powell his concern over restricting prisoner appeal rights. “I think that for example, when a court allows evidence to be placed before it, that they know has been seized in contravention of the constitution…that the state, if it be a state prosecution, is in some way in complicity in allowing illegal activity to become the basis for a prosecution.”

Burger came back in suggesting Cunningham sought to avoid “abstract truth.” in a trial. Cunningham replied, “I would want to say that any legal proceeding in its best aspect is precisely a search for truth.

Burger rebutted “the exclusionary rule frustrates, defeats the search for truth as this case so richly demonstrates.”

“So that as a result, ultimately…the Federal Courts have excluded the actual evidence of the body of the murder victim because of the way in which the police learned the location of the concealed body.”

Burger was upset that dynamite evidence would be excluded because of the insufficient search warrant. Cunningham reminded Burger the dynamite “could have been planted.”

Burger queried, “The dynamite fragments in the cuffs of his pants too?”

Cunningham replied, “Could have been, Your Honor.”

Powell had another question. “Telling the truth is really not always the objective, the primary objective in litigation in our Courts?”

“No it should be, Your Honor, it should be,” responded Cunningham.

Cunningham then made a final request that if the court were to restrict prisoner appeals that Mondo’s new trial order be allowed to stand as “my client must not be penalized for taking the decisions that were the law at that time seriously…and to now tell him at this stage of the game that he has pursued the wrong avenue.”

Kammerlohr closed the session by attempting to repair James Perry’s shattered credibility.

“Judge Urbom arrived at the conclusion that Lieutenant Perry was perjuring himself, and I think he put a lot of weight on this and this is just one of the bad things that happened.”

“I say that Lieutenant Perry might have learned about it in a number of ways and forgot how he learned about it, and did not necessarily perjure himself.”

On July 6, 1976, the Supreme Court declined to rule on the merits of Mondo’s case and instead sent Mondo back to Nebraska courts. Mondo’s case was consolidated with that of a California vagrant convicted of murder, Lloyd Charles Powell. The decision became known thereafter as Stone v. Powell and reduced federal appeal rights of prisoners. COINTELPRO was not discussed in the decision and the FBI counterintelligence role in Mondo’s case was kept secret from the Supreme Court.

Justice Powell delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Justices Stewart, Blackmun, Rehnquist, and Stevens joined. Chief Justice Burger filed a concurring opinion. Justice Brennan filed a dissenting opinion joined by Justice Marshall, while Justice White filed his own dissent. ”In sum, we conclude that, where the State has provided an opportunity for full and fair litigation of a Fourth Amendment claim, a state prisoner may not be granted federal habeas corpus relief on the ground that evidence obtained in an unconstitutional search or seizure was introduced at his trial.”

Chief Justice Burger filed a concurring opinion critical of the exclusionary rule of evidence. “Over the years, the strains imposed by reality, in terms of the costs to society and the bizarre miscarriages of justice that have been experienced because of the exclusion of reliable evidence when the “constable blunders,” have led the Court to vacillate as to the rationale for deliberate exclusion of truth from the factfinding process The rhetoric has varied with the rationale to the point where the rule has become a doctrinaire result in search of validating reasons.”

Justices William Brennan and Thurgood Marshall joined in dissent. “Today’s opinion…marks the triumph of those who have sought to establish a hierarchy of constitutional rights, and to deny for all practical purposes a federal forum for review of those rights that this Court deems less worthy or important….the Court today rewrites Congress’ jurisdictional statutes as heretofore construed, and bars access to federal courts by state prisoners with constitutional claims.”

“This denigration of constitutional guarantees and constitutionally mandated procedures…must appall citizens taught to expect judicial respect and support for their constitutional rights….What possible justification then can there be for denying vindication of such rights on federal habeas when state courts do deny those rights at trial? To sanction disrespect and disregard for the Constitution in the name of protecting society from lawbreakers is to make the government itself lawless, and to subvert those values upon which our ultimate freedom and liberty depend.”

“If proof of the necessity of the federal habeas jurisdiction were required, the disposition by the state courts of the underlying Fourth Amendment issues presented by these cases supplies it.”

“Even more violative of constitutional safeguards is the manner in which the Nebraska courts dealt with the merits in respondent Rice’s case. Indeed, the manner in which Fourth Amendment principles were applied in the Nebraska Supreme Court is paradigmatic of Congress’ concern respecting attempts by state courts to structure Fourth Amendment jurisprudence so as not to upset convictions of the “guilty” or the “unworthy.” As Judge Urbom fully detailed…the affidavit upon which the Omaha police obtained a warrant and thereby searched Rice’s apartment was clearly deficient under prevailing constitutional standards….Yet the Nebraska Supreme Court upheld the search on the alternative and patently untenable ground that there is no Fourth Amendment violation.”

“In any event, since we are fully familiar with the records in these cases, respondents are owed at least review in this Court, particularly since it shuts the doors of the district courts in a decision that marks such a stark break with our precedents….that ensures respondents’ continued unconstitutional confinement.”

In a footnote, Justice Brennan continued his criticism of the decision. “Such hostility to federal jurisdiction to redress violations of rights secured by the Federal Constitution, despite congressional conferral of that jurisdiction, is profoundly disturbing.”

Mondo put the ruling in simpler language. “The Supreme Court, rather than hearing the case on its merits, decided, that even though federal courts have had jurisdiction of this kind of case for decades at least, that lower federal courts do not have jurisdiction in this case and we are going to make it retroactive so your ass is going to remain locked up.”

The decision was one of five Fourth Amendment cases announced on the last day of the court term. It was a high point of Burger’s campaign to overturn Warren Court decisions with all five cases against citizen rights in favor of government authority.

Justice Brennan dissented vigorously and complained about Burger’s “continuing evisceration of the Fourth Amendment” by the five decisions. Clerks in the Supreme Court began calling the day “Black Tuesday.”

When Mondo’s case was returned to the Nebraska Supreme Court for a redetermination of the July 14, 1972 decision, the court ruled Mondo’s state appeal deadlines were exceeded while the case was in federal court and no new trial was ever given, despite four federal judges ruling that Mondo was entitled to a new trial.

Duane Peak, the confessed teen-age bomber who implicated the two Black Panther leaders, made a deal with prosecutors and never served a day in prison despite his admission he planted the bomb. Edward Poindexter, in poor health, remains imprisoned at the Nebraska State Penitentiary over a half-century after the controversial trial where he continues to deny any guilt. Mondo died at the maximum-security prison in March 2016, proclaiming his innocence to his last breath.

Excerpted from FRAMED: J. Edgar Hoover, COINTELPRO & the Omaha Two story. Available from Amazon and ebook. Portions of the book may be read free online at Patrons of the Omaha Public Library may read the book free of cost.

Complaint filed with Information Commissioner John Edwards against University of London over missing examination regulations

John Edwards, United Kingdom Information Commissioner, has received a complaint against the University of London over missing examination regulations. (credit: ICO)

A complaint has been filed against the University of London with Information Commissioner John Edwards over missing examination regulations. The complaint is in response the UL claim that 1983 thesis examination regulations are missing with no copies available. The regulations are at the center of an ongoing controversy over Republic of China in-exile President Tsai Ing-wen’s 1983 PhD thesis entitled Unfair Trade Practices and Safeguard Actions.

President Tsai kicked a hornet nest when she filed the thesis with the London School of Economics Library in June 2019, thirty-five years late. Tsai refuses to release the oral viva examination report on her thesis and both the LSE and the UL refuse to name the thesis examiners. Amid charges of academic fraud, three names have emerged as purported examiners although the LSE does not consider its records, containing the names, to be accurate. The UL says there were only two examiners, but will not identify them citing Tsai’s right to privacy.

The Freedom of Information request for the examination regulations was made May 10, 2021. The UL stonewalled the request until May 10, 2022, a full year later, only to announce the regulations were missing. The year-long wait for nothing prompted the complaint to the Information Commissioner.

Emily Brick, Information Governance Officer at the UL, offered no explanation how the regulations could be missing. “I am writing to release the additional information requested – the missing pages in the 1983-1984 Regulations for Internal Students and the General Regulations 1983-1984.”

“I have asked colleagues and we could not find any material on the nomination of examiners for the time and composition of examination boards, although we do have these guidelines now which are published on our website.”

The language of the complaint tells the rest of the story.

“As the Commissioner is aware, Complainant has been pursuing a legitimate interest in alleged academic fraud by Republic of China in-exile President Tsai Ing-wen concerning her PhD degree, awarded in 1984 by the UL. During the course of Complainant’s inquiry, the UL has engaged in obfuscation in response to a FOIA request concerning the PhD thesis examiners speculating President Tsai’s thesis was lost by the UL library during restructuring, despite prior knowledge the thesis was never received. The First-Tier Tribunal has taken judicial notice of the UL’s false speculation.”

“Complainant believes the response by the UL, of missing thesis examination regulations, to his FOIA request is improbable and part of a pattern of continuing obfuscation directed against Complainant and others seeking information that might shed light on the veracity of allegations of academic fraud.”

“The regulations the UL did provide to Complainant appear to be copied from a bound volume. The examination regulations pages sought by the FOIA request are missing from the pages disclosed. For the UL to be unable to provide the examination regulations they would have had to have been removed from the only existent bound volume of the regulations in all of the UL’s vast collection, library, archives, and regulatory history records.”

“On the basis of a balance of probabilities, it is more likely than not the UL holds the requested examination regulations. Therefore, Complainant respectfully requests the assistance of the Commissioner in obtaining the requested information. Further, in view of the obfuscation and non-compliance with the FOIA, Complainant requests the Commissioner provide the University with Good Practice Recommendations on FOIA compliance.”

In a related case, the Second-Tier Tribunal has scheduled a reconsideration hearing for August 31 over the denial of an appeal to learn President Tsai’s examiner identities. For now, the public is left to wonder who approved Tsai’s tardy thesis and were they qualified to pass judgment.

Roger Lin used ‘strategic ambiguity’ to dupe Taiwan Civil Government members according to verdict in political fraud trial

Taiwan Civil Government founder Roger Lin under arrest for fraud in May 2018. (Screenshot)

Although his death in October 2019 resulted in fraud charges being dismissed, a 609-page verdict in a three-year criminal trial left little doubt that Taiwan Civil Government founder Roger Lin duped members of his organization with false claims of United States support.

The lengthy verdict contains summaries of victim testimonies which reveal a pattern of deception using Taiwan’s unsettled international status as the core element. Eager to free Taiwan from the exiled Republic of China, imposed on Taiwan at the end of World War II by the United States, TCG members freely donated money and paid fees to advance the organization as a shadow government.

Multiple victims told of Roger Lin’s repeated assurances that TCG was authorized by the United States Military Government. Hundreds of members regularly paid to attend classes when told by Lin that the US had asked TCG to train 4,000 people for civil service to replace ROC personnel. The new jobs were to be filled when the USMG ousted the ROC and installed TCG in its place.

While dozens of purported victims denied being tricked out of their money, dozens of others believed a variety of falsehoods including claims about TCG vanity license plates and benefits of the TCG identity card. Members of TCG delegations to the United States thought that they were going to meet with government officials but were instead carted around to tourist sites. One junketeer thought that TCG lobbyist Neil Hare was an US official. Few TCG members were fluent in English and relied on translated statements.

Many witnesses testified they were given no receipts for their donations and payments. However, TCG made enough headway in Washington to fool followers, scoring meetings with Senators and Representatives, a reception at the Heritage Foundation for Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and a face-to-face session at a TCG-sponsored Polticio event with Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway. Had there been no fraud arrests in Taiwan, it is hard to say how far TCG might have gotten with the Trump administration.

Through death Roger Lin escaped a long prison sentence, however his widow Julian Lin has been sentenced to nineteen years in prison for her role as the public face of TCG. During a tearful courtroom plea early in the case, Roger begged for freedom for Julian arguing she did not understand what was happening. While Roger may have deceived his wife, Julian never played that card, instead upholding her husband’s memory with a loyalty that may cost her years behind bars.

The trial was filled with discussion about the San Francisco Peace Treaty, two Lin federal lawsuits, and Taiwan’s unresolved status, cooking up a strategic ambiguity stew. Taoyuan District Prosecutors were blunt in response, there is no United States Military Government in Taiwan. Before initiating prosecution, the ROC Ministry of Justice asked the defacto embassy, the American Institute in Taiwan, if the US had any relationship with TCG. The AIT response has not been disclosed by either government, with the US citing national security for the secrecy.

Julian Lin remains free on bail but must report weekly to a police station. An appeal is expected.