Editorial: It's elementary, Dr. Watson... - Taipei Times
Tue, Apr 13, 2004 - Page 8 News List

Editorial: It's elementary, Dr. Watson...

As predicted, the investigation led by US forensic specialist Dr. Henry Lee (李昌鈺) into the shooting of President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) only succeeded in clarifying a few suspicious points. Although Lee has returned to the US, the controversy surrounding the shooting has not subsided.

Lee confirmed that President Chen and Vice President Lu were shot. According to Lee, the bullets were fired outside of the jeep and punched a hole in the windshield. Despite Lee's scientific analysis, the pan-blue camp still held a press conference yesterday to claim the incident is still shrouded in mystery.

The pan-blue camp has downplayed Lee's explanations, yet it cannot be said that Lee's investigation is biased or untrustworthy. In fact, during his 54-hour stay in Taiwan, Lee showed his full dedication to the task, his professional skills and his down-to-earth scientific approach. His performance received applause from Taiwan's investigators, the media and the public.

As Lee testified, the crime scene cannot be fully recreated, and can only reveal part of the truth, and to catch the perpetrator is not Lee's task. Yet because their minds are occupied by preconceived ideas, the pan-blues failed to benefit from Lee's insight. This political mindset is at the heart of our predicament.

Since the March 20 election, the pan-blues have made all-out efforts to persuade the public that the shooting was a political conspiracy directed by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). The blue camp contends that the incident not only helped Chen and Lu win sympathy votes, but also resulted in the activation of a national security mechanism, which allegedly prevented military and police personnel from voting the next day. Calling these the reasons for their loss, they incited their supporters and launched weeks of mass demonstrations.

People First Party (PFP) Legislator Chou Hsi-wei (周錫瑋) even said at a press conference Friday that according to a "secret witness," Vice President Annette Lu's security guard had rehearsed aiming prior to the incident, by lifting his bag twice with the muzzle of the gun hidden inside unwittingly exposed.

Lee's investigation ruled out both a professional assassination attempt and a short-distance shooting. Pan-blues are obligated to produce evidence if they insist on conspiracy theories. If they cannot do so, then no detective could resolve the case to their satisfaction, whether Henry Lee or Sherlock Holmes himself.

Controversies surrounding the presidential election are being resolved via such measures as criminal investigations and judicial recounting of the ballots within the system. The pan-blue demonstrations have gradually lost their rationale, resulting in street violence that has led to dissatisfaction all across society. Pan-blue candidates Lien Chan (連戰) and James Soong (宋楚瑜) have been criticized not only by some Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) members, but also by the general public. It seems to these critics that these candidates have let their reluctance to accept their election defeat take their parties -- and even the society -- down to the grave with them.

Lien and Soong should recognize these circumstances and resign as chairmen of the KMT and PFP while awaiting the results of the recounting by judicial authorities. It is time for them to return power to their parties, and to return calm to our society.

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