Thu, Feb 24, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Lawmaker attacks Soong, alleges his men have CIA links

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Independent Legislator Li Ao (李敖) yesterday expressed his suspicion that People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) is surrounded by pro-US advisers, who might work for the CIA or take kickbacks from US arms dealers.

With the meeting between President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and Soong looming, Li said yesterday that Soong's change of heart on the arms procurement project is bound to lead to divisions between Soong and his friends, including himself.

"When the Democratic Action Alliance (DAA, 民主行動聯盟) held a street protest to oppose the NT$610.8 billion arms budget in September last year, Soong attended the march and supported the alliance's cause," he said.

"If he changes his mind simply because he wants to meet with Chen or for whatever political reason, I'll get very angry," Li said.

As an opposition party, Li said that the PFP's mission is to criticize and oppose the government.

"It doesn't make sense to reconcile with the government, because it's the opposition parties' job to question and oppose the government," he said.

"It's not the opposition parties's job to wipe the govern-ment's ass when it screws up," Li said.

Commenting on Li's remarks, DPP Legislator Lee Wen-chung (李文忠) said that the allegation was mere "nonsense" and asked Li to produce evidence to prove his allegation.

He also called on Soong to jointly push for partisan reconciliation with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and not to be threatened by "extremists' preposterous remarks."

"Those who distribute groundless accusations are worse than politicians who place their personal gain above the public interest," he said.

In addition to thanking Li for his advice, PFP legislative whip Liu Wen-hsiung (劉文雄) reiterated that the party's stance on the arms budget remains unchanged.

"I'd like to guarantee, on my own life, that we are opposed to the NT$610.8 billion arms budget and will continue to oppose it in the future, even after the Chen-Soong meeting," he said.

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