The KMT's refusal to appeal the decision in the Wang case to the Supreme Court means that Ma and Wang must co-exist. It is hard to read that as anything but a defeat, but smart observers assure me that it ain't over yet.
Meanwhile the fallout from Ma's entirely self-generated implosion is landing on -- who else? -- Prosecutor-General Huang, who brought the Wang case to Ma's attention, and other prosecutors within the SID. Today the papers were full of the SID's droll claim that it had tapped a legislative phone number by mistake. The Taipei Times wrote:
Huang and Yang, SID’s chief prosecutor, will be referred to the committee for supervisory negligence, while Cheng, the prosecutor overseeing the wiretap assignment, will be held accountable for administrative errors, according to the panel’s report.Actually, despite much skepticism around the intertubes about the SID's explanation, anyone with experience working in Taiwanese institutions can easily see how this could have occurred initially by mistake; administrative errors in Taiwan's institutions are common because in Taiwan it is the lower-level (so often female) people who actually do all the productive work, the credit for their work flowing upwards towards concentrations of patriarchal power. They are typically massively overworked. Moreover, for procedures that are implemented less frequently, often no one is really sure what the correct procedure actually is. Hence everything is kicked upstairs until at last it reaches someone who is compelled to make a decision. Far from the front, he signs off, praying that nothing was wrong with the list of things he just handed on.
The SID has said that it mistakenly assumed that the telephone number 0972-630-235 belonged to a legislative assistant and that nothing was recorded on the 21 compact discs it obtained from the Investigation Bureau from the wiretap.
The ministry’s ad hoc panel, established on Sept. 29, supported the SID’s stance, but said that the error could have been avoided.
Telephone records for that number in the six months before the SID began its wiretap showed that the number averaged about 364 calls a day during that time, which prosecutors should have realized meant that it might not be the number of an individual, Chen said.
Meanwhile back at the farm the front line employees eventually discover that an error was made. This of course means that they say nothing about the error, since their superiors will almost certainly punish them. Hence the processes themselves have a kind of golem-like autonomy independent of the people who set them in motion, and like a golem, will stumble around, arms flailing, until someone gets hurt. That such processes are rational in other countries does not mean they will be rational in Taiwan.
UPDATE: Haha. Sunday's Taipei Times offers this tidbit as KMT legislators go after Prosecutor-General Huang:
According to the report, there had been 13 cases of three other telephone numbers, also used by the legislature as its switchboard lines, being tapped during 2007 and 2009, when prosecutors investigated into various suspected cases related to vote-buying and corruption.13 other cases?? Hahaha.
In addition to being the subject of several investigations for possibly violating laws and rules in reporting the Wang tape results to President Ma, P-G Huang is also the subject of a record number of lawsuits, reports the Taipei Times:
As of Thursday, the prosecutors’ office has received 86 motions against Huang, which have been assigned to 14 prosecutors. Reportedly, a common friendly greeting among prosecutors in the past weeks is: “Are you now handling a case on the prosecutor-general?”Affairs like this are carnivorous, apt to turn on their progenitors. After all, someone must be punished. It seems to me that since Wang is wearing mithril armor under his cloak, Prosecutor-General Huang is likely to be the sacrifice demanded. UPDATE: Yep.
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