Thursday, July 09, 2009


I hope you enjoy this beautiful dragonfly as much as I do, because, with Obama claiming the President can order the permanent detention of individuals found innocent by trial, there is nothing beautiful to report today in either of the countries I love.

AFP reports on the KMT Administration latest "corruption" investigation, this time looking at generals promoted during the Chen Shui-bian administration. Over 100 are basically accused of pay-for-promotion scams:
A corruption crackdown on Taiwan's military has led to the investigation of 114 generals for allegedly taking bribes or bribing their way to the rank, a defence ministry report revealed Wednesday.

The 40 lieutenant generals and 74 major generals are among 142 officers, the investigative report on internal corruption said, currently being probed by prosecutors for alleged graft.

Defence Minister Chen Chao-min said in a statement that the report was "aimed to underscore our determination to weed out corruption and crack down on those who broke the law.

"The report is not the end of our efforts to fight corruption," he added. "It is the beginning, and our efforts will by no means stop."
Naturally, this being AFP, there's no hint of the possibility that this could be more or less a purge -- the KMT could be simply finding ways to remove DPP-appointed officers in order to make sure that all in the military will follow the Party line.

The Taipei Times provides additional information:
“There have been concerns that our investigation was only aimed at low-level officers, but it was not,” Chen said. “The percentage of high-ranking officers was substantial, showing that the ministry is determined to impartially investigate suspects regardless of rank.

During the past three months, Chen said the ministry had launched a comprehensive probe that included 910 promotion cases since 1998, 3,220 cases involving construction projects, 16,857 cases involving procurements, 21,402 cases concerning public spending and 5,087 cases that allegedly involved promotion-buying.

When asked why the ministry sent just 48 cases out of the 47,476 cases investigated to military prosecutors for further investigation, Chen said these particular cases were highly suspect.
Are corruption charges in Taiwan the equivalent of slander charges in Singapore?

UPDATE: Ma says the crackdown on corruption is just beginning.

UPDATE 2: Hilariously, there are actually trolls who think that because I've made a play on words in the post title involving Stalin's purges and China, I'm comparing the current KMT government to Stalin. ROFL. The last question of the post raises the issue of what the proper comparison is. Trolls, however, will be trolls.....

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Hsin Desu said...

I don't read your posts about Taiwan often enough, but I thank you for going through the effort to allow the happenings of my country be heard from the rest of the world.

Tim Maddog said...

Gee, I can't wait for them to crack the Lafayette case. It's got murder, corruption, money laundering, and fraud!

In fact, I bet they already know who dunnit!

Tim Maddog

Tommy said...

My curiosity is piqued. What is the Obama comment to which you are referring.

Readin said...

Other than general suspicion of KMT motives (which I agree are deserved), is there anything specific about this crackdown that makes you suspect it is a purge rather than an actual crackdown on corruption?

Michael Turton said...

Thomas, see Glen Greenwald's recent column at on Obama Justice. The link is in my Facebook account.

Readin, the target is Chen-era officers. Coupled with similar "anti-corruption" moves against other DPPers, the conclusion is obvious. No doubt they will catch a few KMTers as well, but I think we're still in the early stages of a trend.