Friday, April 28, 2006

The problem with secrecy

This is a story from MSNBC, via Chinadigitaltimes, about Wang Wenyi, the reporter arrested for heckling President Hu in D.C. during his visit.
Wang claims she had to do what she did because of China's involvement in harvesting organs from live Falun Gong members.  China "vehemently denies" the allegations.  The U.S. can't confirm that this is actually happening. 
A lesson the U.S. learned long ago (with occasional lapses through our history) has been that the best way for a government to remain credible to both its allies and its adversaries is to be open.  China has taken a different path since the Revolution: releasing information about employment, the economy, jobless rates, government policies, and certain changes in laws can all be violations of State Secrets (the Chinese equivalent of leaking Valerie Plame's name). 
The problem with that kind of secrecy is that when seemingly crazy allegations are made, there's just enough doubt about the government that people, while disbelieving, don't think it's completely crazy.  Which deteriorates confidence in the government, and leads to bigger problems.  If the Chinese are really worried about the Falun Gong as a political movement, it is this type of discrediting of the government the CCP should be most concerned with.

1 comment:

bobby fletcher said...

FYI Dr. Wang is the lead researcher for Epoch Times NY's conveniently timed "Sujiatun Auschwitz" allegation that has since being discredited:

Given Dr. Wang's profession as a pathologist, and New York's recent string of grisly illegal cadaver organ harvesting cases, it's not hard to see how she put two and two together and rehashed the 1970's era anti-communist tall tale of people sentenced to vivisection.