War week was fifty years ago when the FBI fought the Black Panthers in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Omaha

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Fred Hampton, Geronimo Pratt, Ed Poindexter, and David Rice were targets of war week in December 1969 when the FBI attacked the Black Panthers with lethal ferocity. (credits: Haas/Olsen/Richardson)

War week against the Black Panther Party fifty years ago, in early December 1969, took on lethal ferocity with the murders of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark in Chicago. The killings were orchestrated by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents under a clandestine counterintelligence operation code-named COINTELPRO. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover had declared war on the Black Panthers and wanted them eliminated. Hoover pushed the FBI field offices to get Panthers off the streets using any tactics necessary.

The Los Angeles FBI office sent a memorandum to Hoover that reported the Bureau was providing information to local police. “The Los Angeles office is furnishing on a daily basis information to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office Intelligence Division and the Los Angeles Police Department Intelligence and Criminal Conspiracy Divisions concerning the activities of the black nationalist groups in the anticipation that such information might lead to the arrest of these militants.”

In Chicago, FBI agent Roy Mitchell erroneously informed State’s Attorney Edward Hanrahan’s special police unit that weapons had been moved into Black Panther leader Fred Hampton’s apartment.

On December 4, 1969, in a FBI orchestrated pre-dawn raid by Hanrahan’s special squad, Black Panthers Fred Hampton and Mark Clark were shot to death. Fourteen handpicked policemen, armed with twenty-seven firearms including a Thompson submachine and shotguns, converged on Hampton’s apartment at 4:45 a.m. The police fired a barrage into the quiet apartment killing the two Panther leaders and wounding all of the other occupants.

Three years later a report from an independent Commission of Inquiry into the fatal shooting of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark was sharply critical of law enforcement officials. The role of the FBI in the deadly raid was not then known.

“The fact that neither the state’s attorney nor the police have been indicted for their roles in the planning and execution of the raid…raises disturbing questions about the degree to which improper police or prosecutorial conduct is presently subject to any orderly system of correction and control.”

“It is very difficult legally to justify the vast amount of shooting throughout the apartment by police when only one shot can be ascribed with confidence to any occupant.”

“The police who removed the bodies received their instructions from the State’s Attorney’s Office….By moving the bodies in the apartment from the locations in which they died, and then removing them from the premises entirely, the police on the scene severely hampered the coroner’s ability to perform his duty of determining the immediate and underlying cause of death. The inference is compelling that the State’s Attorney’s Office simply did not want a contemporaneous on-the-scene investigation by the Coroner’s Office.”

On December 8, 1969, a coordinated pre-dawn raid in Los Angeles resulted in the arrests of twenty people at three locations. The first-ever SWAT team attacked the Black Panther headquarters only to be repelled by gunfire. A gun battle raged for four hours before six wounded Panthers surrendered. Black Panther leader Geronimo Pratt was a target but avoided the gun battle by hiding in a safe house. Pratt was later arrested and wrongfully convicted of murder, spending twenty-seven years in prison for a crime he did not commit.

Attorney Paul Wolf has commented, “The similarities between the Chicago and Los Angeles raids are undeniable, with a special local police unit closely linked to the FBI involved in both assaults, spurious warrants seeking “illegal weapons” utilized on both occasions, predawn timing of both raids to catch the Panthers asleep and a reliance on overwhelming police firepower to the exclusion of all other methods.”

Two days after the raid in Los Angeles, J. Edgar Hoover was unhappy with a lack of action in Omaha. Hoover sent a stern memorandum to Special Agent in Charge Paul Young. “ As long as there are BPP activities, you should be giving consideration to that type of counterintelligence measure which would best disrupt existing activities. It would appear some type of counterintelligence aimed at disruption of the publication and distribution of their literature is in order. It is also assumed that of the eight to twelve members, one or two must surely be in a position of leadership. You should give consideration to counterintelligence measures directed against these leaders in an effort to weaken or destroy their positions. Bureau has noted you have not submitted any concrete counterintelligence proposals in recent months. Evaluate your approach to this program and insure that it is given the imaginative attention necessary to produce effective results. Handle promptly and submit your proposals to the Bureau for approval.”

Hoover’s command to be “imaginative” and “effective”has to be understood in the context of the shootings in Los Angeles and Chicago during that same week. Young would respond eight months later with his own lethal solution, the electric chair. After an Omaha policeman was killed in a bombing in August 1970 the FBI assisted the Omaha police in making a case against Ed Poindexter and David Rice (later Wopashitwe Mondo Eyen we Langa). Prosecutors sought the death penalty against the two men who were convicted after a controversial trial in April 1971. The FBI Laboratory withheld a report on the identity of an anonymous 911 caller who lured police into a trap letting a policeman’s killer get away with murder in order to convict Mondo and Poindexter. Mondo died in 2016 at the Nebraska State Penitentiary. Poindexter remains confined forty-nine years later at the maximum-security prison serving a life without parole sentence.

The FBI war against the Black Panthers was the Bureau’s top priority under COINTELPRO and misdeeds and crimes were committed by FBI agents in dozens of cities until the secret program was terminated in April 1971 after the break-in of an FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania. Although the war week stands out for its violence, in reality illegal counterintelligence operations were carried out all over the country every day under COINTELRO directives from Hoover.

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 conducting internal review of Tsai Ing-wen thesis confidentiality

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Republic of China in-exile President Tsai Ing-wen and her 1984 London School of Economics thesis are at center of controversy. (credits: Voice of America/Hwan Lin)

The University of London is conducting an internal review of its privacy exemption for Republic of China in-exile President Tsai Ing-wen’s 1984 London School of Economics thesis examiners’ identities. Kit Good, Data Protection and Information Compliance Manager, confirmed that an internal review is underway by the university. Good refused to name the examiners that reviewed Tsai’s thesis. Tsai has not named the reviewers and the London School of Economics would not or could not identify the mystery scholars.

Good replied to a Freedom of Information request for the identities of Tsai’s thesis reviewers by citing a privacy restriction and responded, “The University of London confirms that Ms. Ing-Wen Tsai was awarded a PhD by the University of London in 1984 and she was registered as an LSE student.”

In response to my request for an internal review of the privacy restriction Good said, “The University will carry out an internal review in accordance with the guidance from the Information Commissioner’s Office.”

Good offered up an LSE media release and provided an online link to Tsai’s thesis which shows over a thousand downloads. Tsai filed the 1984 thesis with the LSE Library in 2019, thirty-five years late, triggering questions about the thesis approval process. A number of Taiwanese scholars have come forward and voiced criticism and asked unanswered questions of Tsai’s thesis raising the controversy to a political issue.

Rachel Maguire, the LSE Information and Records Manager, declined to answer questions about the thesis examiners and deferred to the University of London for the answers. “The viva report would be a University of London record. An award letter was sent out from the University of London Registrar on 8 February 1984, degree certificate issued on 14 March 1984.”

Although LSE doesn’t know or will not say who reviewed Tsai’s thesis, the school claims the review was conducted on October 16, 1983. Maguire said the University of London has Tsai’s full record and details should be found there.

The University of London has not announced who is conducting the internal review or when a decision on releasing the identity of the thesis reviewers will be made. If the results of the internal review uphold Good’s privacy exemption the matter will then be taken up outside the university with the Information Commissioner.

The identity of Tsai’s examiners is critical to documenting that Tsai did indeed earn her LSE doctorate. While the school insists Tsai met all the criteria to graduate, the secrecy surrounding the review of the long missing thesis leaves nagging questions that will not go away. Tsai could quiet the storm by simply providing the names of the review panel members but has not yet chosen full transparency by revealing them to the public.

Eighteen Taiwan Civil Government “victims” deny Republic of China prosecution allegations in controversial political fraud case

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Eighteen non-victims of alleged political fraud pose with blogger Michael Richardson (credit: Darren Lan)

Eighteen purported victims of an alleged scam operation, members of Taiwan Civil Government, denied being victims and emphasized the point by posing for a picture. Republic of China in-exile prosecutors in Taoyuan have complained in court these eighteen people and dozens more were duped by TCG founder Roger Lin and others with false claims about the group identity card and support from the United States. Lin died a week after the photo was taken and charges were dismissed leaving the prosecution allegations unanswered.

All eighteen supposed victims unequivocally deny being victims, with many saying they were harassed by the prosecution interrogators. Each of them proudly says any donations they made or fees they paid were entirely voluntary, cheerfully given, and not the result of any subterfuge or false claims. The “victims” continue to support the TCG goal of expulsion of the ROC from Taiwan with American assistance and remain active in the group, wearing their trademark black suits for the photo shoot.

The exiled Republic of China was imposed on Taiwan, or Formosa as it was then called, after World War II by the United States. Formosa, a Japanese territory, was occupied by the ROC to provide Chiang Kai-shek with a refuge in case his Kuomintang regime lost the Chinese civil war with the Communists. In 1949, after his defeat, Chiang set up his exiled government with the support of the United States as allies in the Cold War.

Formosa’s sovereignty was not resolved at the 1952 San Francisco Peace Treaty leaving island residents a stateless people under the control of the ROC as an occupation government. Japan gave up claim to Formosa as a term of surrender. The “strategic ambiguity” of Taiwan’s sovereignty has thus far kept the People’s Republic of China from invading to capture the island. The longstanding ambiguity has created mass confusion and a splintered plethora of anti-ROC political parties and organizations seeking to liberate Taiwan from its “political purgatory.”

Roger Lin founded Taiwan Civil Government in 2008 which has become one of the most vocal and well funded of the advocacy groups. Lin was under ROC investigation or surveillance since then. In 2009, Lin was hauled in for questioning during a treason investigation. In May 2018, Lin and five others were arrested for fraud, allegedly cheating TCG members out of their donations with false promises and claims.

The October death of Roger Lin has left widow Julian Lin and “Prime Minister” Tsai Tsai Yuan the two main defendants. Prosecutors have said they intend to go forward against the pair. Lin’s death has left a void in TCG leadership that both Julian Lin and Tsai Tsai Yuan want to fill, creating two factions. If the two cannot reconcile with each other a power struggle could split the group.

An unknown element at this time is the effect of the ongoing fraud prosecution on the leadership rift. The two defendants may draw closer together defending against the government crack down. Or, depending on future testimony, the two may draw apart as they each deny culpability.

The eighteen so-called victims are not likely to be called by the prosecution as witnesses despite being named as such in court documents. The defendants do not get a jury trial–the ROC doesn’t believe in the jury system–so they better hope the judge is paying close attention to the prosecution tactics.

Will Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts honor his oath of office and examine the case of Black Panther Edward Poindexter or will his death penalty advocacy get in the way?

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Pete Ricketts being sworn in as governor at the State Capitol where he pledged to uphold the Nebraska Constitution. (credit: Governor’s Office)

Pete Ricketts is a “law and order” governor who led a campaign to restore the death penalty in Nebraska after the legislature outlawed capital punishment. Ricketts can be depended upon to be unsympathetic to Edward Poindexter, an imprisoned Black Panther leader accused of murdering a policeman in a bombing ambush. However, it lies within the power of Ricketts to order a sentence commutation review to examine Poindexter’s case for wrongful conviction.

Poindexter and co-defendant David Rice (later Wopashitwe Mondo Eyen we Langa) were convicted for the August 17, 1970 murder of Omaha Patrolman Larry Minard at a 1971 trial marred by conflicting police testimony, perjured testimony, planted evidence, and a withheld FBI Laboratory report. The two men were leaders of the National Committee to Combat Fascism and targets of the clandestine COINTELPRO program of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

J. Edgar Hoover, the controversial director of the FBI, waged a secret, illegal counterintelligence operation against people and groups he deemed dangerous. Hoover had demanded Special Agent in Charge Paul Young get the two Panther leaders off Omaha streets. In December 1969, Hoover complained about inaction by Young and ordered the SAC to get “imaginative” and deliver results.

When the bombing happened in Omaha the FBI responded immediately and steered the police investigation toward Poindexter and Rice. Young arranged with Deputy Chief Glen Gates to dispose of the 911 recording which captured the voice of an anonymous caller luring Minard to his death. A recording was sent to the FBI Laboratory along with a memorandum explaining no written report was to be issued on the identity of the 911 caller. The jury that convicted the Omaha Two never got to hear the voice of the anonymous caller, the principle piece of evidence in the case.

The jury also considered dynamite evidence that four federal judges said should have been excluded from the trial. U. S. District Court Judge Warren Urbom ruled there should be “a new trial free from the tainted evidence.” Three federal judges of the U. S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the trial constituted a deprivation of “a basic constitutional right.”

The case was returned to Nebraska courts to consider a new trial despite Judge Urbom’s warning that such a move would be an exercise in futility. Predictably, the Nebraska Supreme Court dismissed further appeals in the case and ignored the federal admonition that a new trial was needed. Supreme Court Justice William Brennan called the decision to send the case back to Nebraska courts “profoundly disturbing.”

COINTELPRO was a sometimes lethal campaign against the Black Panther Party. In Omaha, the plan was to use Nebraska’s electric chair instead of the more traditional police pre-dawn raid where guns and bullets were used. Prosecutor Donald Knowles sought the death penalty against Poindexter and Rice. The jury that convicted the two men, after three days of deliberation, ordered their lives spared and the pair were sentenced to life without parole.

The unfair trial is the subject of my book FRAMED: J. Edgar Hoover, COINTELPRO, & the Omaha Two story. This spring I visited Ricketts’ office in the State Capitol and left a copy of the book detailing the injustice of the case for the governor to read. I also asked Ricketts by letter to examine the case. Ricketts responded by acknowledging receipt of the book but ignored my request to review the case. When asked by the Omaha World-Herald about the review request Ricketts had no comment.

Although Ricketts gave an oath to uphold the Nebraska Constitution and its provisions for fair trials the case of Edward Poindexter, who escaped the electric chair by order of the jury, presents the governor with a major dilemma. If Ricketts does review Poindexter’s case and finds the flawed conviction should be remedied with a commutation of sentence he will be admitting his campaign to restore the death penalty had a major flaw ignoring the dangers of wrongful conviction. Caught between his oath of office and his advocacy of execution Ricketts is reduced to silence.

My message to Pete Ricketts is simple. Take the high road and do the right thing. Open a commutation inquiry into Ed Poindexter’s conviction. Pursue justice because the Nebraska Supreme Court did not. Uphold your oath of office.

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.

Republic of China judge ordered Julian Lin of Taiwan Civil Government to report daily to police station in unusually punitive bail restriction

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Julian Lin reporting in for her daily appearance at a police station in the Republic of China in-exile’s most restrictive bail order. Lin is accompanied by blogger Michael Richardson and Mary Loan. (credit: Taiwan Civil Government)

The recent death of Roger Lin, founder of Taiwan Civil Government, leaves his widow, Julian, as the main target of Republic of China in-exile prosecutors in one of the world’s most unusual criminal prosecutions. The Lins were charged with cheating their own group members with false claims about the TCG identity card and support from the United States, The couple were arrested in a highly publicized police raid on May 10, 2018, and held incommunicado, without bail, for nearly five months. Bail was granted only after TCG bought a full page advertisement in the New York Times complaining about the human rights violation of no bond.

In addition to steep bail, which loyal group members raised, the Lins were ordered to report to a police station every day at 7 p.m. Roger’s failing health from advanced cancer led to a relaxation of his daily sign-in but Julian was still required to appear daily at the police station. On my most recent fact-finding trip to Taiwan I asked Julian if I could accompany her inside the police station. She agreed and I made two successive sign-in visits after which prosecutors suddenly dropped the daily requirement to three times a week. The prosecutors gave no reason for the reduction.

Taiwan Civil Government has been waging a decade long war with the exiled Republic of China. TCG seeks expulsion from Taiwan of the Chinese government. TCG seeks United States assistance to rid Taiwan of the ROC which has ruled the island since the end of World War II when the occupation regime was imposed by the American military. The group’s inroads in Washington with the Trump White House have been closely monitored by ROC operatives. The May 2018 raid which led to the fraud arrests of the Lins and others followed by days a public announcement of a meeting between a TCG delegation and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. The arrests scuttled the high level Washington get-together.

Prosecutors and police have been busy harassing and hounding individual TCG members, including some the prosecution has identified as victims. Prosecution interrogations were claimed to be about protecting group members from being cheated. Instead, so-called victims were threatened and lied to during interrogations. Police surveillance teams video TCG parades focusing on facial identification.

Julian Lin holds no official position with TCG but is viewed as a First Lady by group members. Julian did join her husband in suing the ROC in federal court over the 1947 Nationality Acts, Roger& Julian Lin vs. Republic of China & United States, seeking to restore Japanese citizenship to Taiwanese. Lin has been questioned about the litigation during the ongoing and protracted fraud trial. The case was ultimately dismissed for being brought decades too late.

Julian is a single parent with two young children to care for and has had to juggle her daily responsibilities with the burden of the daily visits to the police station. The ROC has her travel documents, imposed a high bail, and confiscated her personal cash reducing any flight risk leaving the onerous sign-in requirement a punitive burden in what is increasingly looking like a political prosecution.

A visit to the scene of political repression by Republic of China against Taiwan Civil Government

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Blogger Michael Richardson visits demolition site of Taiwan Civil Government headquarters in Taoyuan. Republic of China in-exile officials ordered the building’s destruction in July 2019 for purported code violations. (credit: Taiwan Civil Government)

Four months after a Republic of China in-exile wrecking crew demolished the headquarters of Taiwan Civil Government, an advocacy group, the wrecking equipment remains parked on site. TCG banners and memorabilia lie broken and tattered in the mud and gravel of the once busy headquarters. My visit to the scene of political repression by the ROC reminiscent of the White Terror period and long martial law era was a catch-your-breath moment as I surveyed the destruction.

On July 2, the ROC demolished a new headquarters annex being constructed behind TCG headquarters. Three weeks later, a ROC wrecking crew returned to tear down the main building to which TCG held a lease valid until 2025.

I already knew the ROC was desperate to shut down TCG and their effort to expel the ROC from Taiwan. I had already seen pictures of the demolitions in progress so there was no surprise what happened. Still, I was unprepared for the somber sight of complete devastation and wandered the scarred and barren ground in silence.

The in-your-face evidence of political repression is unavoidable as you step over rubble and debris. To add further injury, the ROC billed TCG to finish clearing trash from the site.. The new building, not yet finished, had cost the group ten million NTD.

Taiwan Civil Government members are locked in a battle with the Republic of China in-exile.  The lopsided struggle of a grassroots advocacy group against an exiled government led to such drastic, authoritarian action as the destruction of TCG headquarters. Although prosecutors claim they are protecting group members from predatory leaders with fraud charges, the police conduct video surveillance of rank and file members in an apparent attempt to intimidate them from parading.

Prosecutors have also had their interrogators make a false claim of a faked photo of President Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway to TCG members undergoing interrogation. In keeping with that deception the prosecutors have submitted to the court dozens of names of victims that deny their victimhood.  The recent death of TCG founder Roger Lin forced prosecutors to dismiss charges against him although they still seek to send his widow, Julian, to prison.

The destruction of TCG headquarters is a stark reminder of the ROC destruction of a Mount Zion church during the martial law era in the early 1980s.

The Grace of Jesus Christ Crusade and New Testament Church, a small Christian sect, believes a mountain in Taiwan, which they have named Mount Zion, is the earthly home of God. The true believers acquired land in the mountains outside Kaohsiung in 1979 after a vision of prophet Elijah Hong that the hillside was the Lord’s house as prophesied in the Bible. They built a road, dug a lake, planted fields and orchards, and built homes and a church. Although the small group spent most of their time on the mountain building their community they attracted unwelcome attention from ROC political spies under dictator Chiang Ching-kuo. The church members often dressed alike, enjoyed waving the church flag, and entertained foreign visitors which signaled to Chiang’s authoritarian government the group was political in nature.

Prophet Hong decried “the attacks of the Kuomintang regime, which used their party, military, police, intelligence, and media to carry out their persecution.”

ROC security forces evicted the church members from their homes and set up roadblocks and checkpoints to prevent their return. Bulldozers and wrecking equipment were sent in to demolish the structures including the house of worship and a sacred prayer tower. After the community was driven from their homes and the church demolished, the harried group moved to a nearby riverbed and camped along the river for several years, suffering from floods and other hardships. In 1985, the ROC arrived at the river encampment and demolished a shanty church building erected by the homeless Christians.

Now in 2019 the same wrecking tactics used against the Mount Zion church people have been resurrected against Taiwan Civil Government. Because of media manipulation at the time of the fraud arrests no one is paying attention to what has been happening against the group and the shocking return of martial law era tactics. The Taiwanese public would be wise to condemn this blatant return to authoritarianism.

Taiwan Civil Government founder Roger Lin loses battle with cancer

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Roger Lin, founder of Taiwan Civil Government, died November 6, 2019, after a long battle with cancer. (credit: Taiwan Civil Government)

Roger Lin, died November 6, 2019, after a long battle with cancer, Lin passed without the opportunity to clear his name of fraud charges leveled against him by prosecutors of the Republic of China in-exile. Lin spent the last two decades of his life working non-stop to rid Taiwan of the ROC and was arrested in May 2018 in a dramatic police raid accused of being a criminal mastermind.

The enigmatic founder of Taiwan Civil Government will forever remain a mystery, labeled a con man by the exiled Chinese government he sought to remove from Taiwan or a non-violent revolutionary driven by patriotism for a nation not yet born. Lin was a man who believed in the rule of law although he recognized that law was made by politics.

Although Roger Lin lost two important federal lawsuits over politics, Roger Lin v. United States, which sought American passports for Taiwanese, and Roger & Julian Lin vs. Republic of China & United States, which sought to nullify the ROC Nationality Act which stripped island residents of their Japanese nationality, the two cases have important precedential value . In the passport case the United States Appellate Court of the District of Columbia coined the phrase “political purgatory” and urged President Barack Obama to act to resolve Taiwan’s stateless status.

For the past decade Lin has worked night and day to build Taiwan Civil Government as a shadow government following many organizational steps used by civil affairs officers in the American military. Lin has courted the American Institute in Taiwan, the defacto United States embassy, and waged a vigorous effort to gain influence with President Donald Trump.

ROC sleuths have been investigating Roger Lin since at least 2009 when Lin was interrogated along with Chen Shui-bian for treason. Former ROC President Chen Shui-bian, in a little known legal maneuver during his prosecution for purported corruption, had sought the protection of the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. In an affidavit filed in Chen’s appeal he stated that as president he had followed directions from the United States. Lin arranged financing from the Formosa Nation Legal Strategy Association for the appeal which was dismissed. Treason charges were not pursued after both men were interrogated by ROC prosecutors.

In May 2018, within days of an announced reception with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross came raids of TCG and the arrests of Lin and others. The new charges were not treason but fraud accusations for supposedly deceiving TCG members about the benefits of the group identity card and vanity license plates. Media manipulation was part of the operation with favorite media outlets tipped by police or prosecutors. A fictitious photo was circulated in the media of cash that was seized from the home of Roger and Julian Lin.

The big media hoopla for the next 24 hours was about an alleged huge Ponzi scheme, an unprecedented criminal scam, political fraud in a big way, etc. Then the story disappeared from the news media. The same television crews that waited to watch the Lins hauled to jail failed to follow the story. Lin was demonized in the media before he even had a chance to tell his side. Court developments go unreported by the same reporters that “broke” the story. The court developments consist of an endless series of hearings and adjournments, as the prosecutors drag out their case over long months. Roger Lin never got his chance to put on a defense in the non-jury trial.

A legal researcher, Lin authored over a dozen books, and lectured extensively on the San Francisco Peace Treaty. Lin believed the 1952 peace treaty that ended World War II in the Pacific controlled the fate of Taiwan, or Formosa as the island was then called. Lin was convinced that neither of the two “one China” claimants, the Peoples Republic of China and the Republic of China in-exile, had any business deciding Taiwan’s fate. Lin believed control of the 1945 Japanese territory belongs jointly to the Emperor of Japan and the United States as the post-war occupying power under international law.

Roger Lin has probably done more than any other single individual to resolve the “strategic ambiguity” that has surrounded Taiwan’s status for seven decades. Yet in the midst of TCG parades, expensive lobbying campaigns and hefty legal bills Lin is accused of cheating his own group members with false claims. However, many of Lin’s supposed victims have come forward and denied their victim status and continue to support the man who allegedly lied to them.

A charismatic leader and fiery orator, Lin built a loyal following of willing donors and volunteers. Lin’s absence will create new challenges for the embattled group he founded. The organization has shown a remarkable resiliency and staying power in the face of the fraud arrests and destruction of the TCG headquarters in July 2019. A true measure of Lin’s accomplishment will be the future of Taiwan Civil Government and whether the group has enough of what it takes to carry on the battle against the Republic of China in-exile.