Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Taiwan Cold Shoulders Own Imprisoned Spy

From Edward Cody at the Washington Post comes the tragic story of a man who spied for the Taiwan government, was imprisoned for 13 years, lost his family, and now wants what's due to him -- and isn't getting it:

Jiang, once an asset but no longer useful in the spy war, spent most of March in Taipei dunning the Taiwan Military Intelligence Bureau for what he believes he is due. After 26 days and several tense meetings, he said, the Taiwanese espionage agency said it concluded that Jiang has no claim on such financial support and no right to a residence visa. Jiang said a senior bureau official told him as much Wednesday and ordered him not to speak publicly about his work for the service, warning that under Taiwanese law he could be jailed again if he did.

"I told them, 'I was your man then, and I should be your man now,' " Jiang said, heedless of the warning. "What kind of a government is that? I was very disappointed."

The Taiwanese spy agency, responding to an inquiry, said it had decided Jiang was ineligible for benefits because he had never been a full-time Taiwanese Defense Ministry employee and that the government had fulfilled its obligations with payments that Jiang said totaled $36,000 to help meet medical expenses after his release from prison in 2001.

Can't even give the guy a residence visa, never mind the compensation that is his just due. How will cases like this affect the willingness of others to spy for the island? Penny wise, pound foolish.

1 comment:

Em said...

Growing up, I always thought being a spy was a good career move. Recently, someone asked me to imagine myself in the torturing cell, and ask if I still wanted to be a spy. Either way, I'd want my gov't's support, James Bond style or not.