Thursday, May 12, 2011

Dissidents seek to derail the nomination of Gary Locke for U.S. ambassador

Has Locke acted as an agent of persecution for Communist China?


By John Kusumi
NEW YORK | Thursday, May 12, 2011

(China Support Network) - An array of pro-democracy Chinese dissidents, Falun Gong practitioners, and rights groups are lodging vociferous objections to the nomination of Gary Locke for U.S. ambassador to China.

Locke, a Chinese-American, is a former governor of Washington state and currently the Commerce Secretary in the cabinet of U.S. President Barack Obama, who nominated Locke to replace outgoing ambassador Jon Huntsman.

The U.S. Senate is scheduled to hold hearings today on the question of whether to confirm Obama's nominee. Chinese dissidents say that Locke, with pro-CCP (Chinese Communist Party) leanings and business interests, is anti-Falun Gong and has severe black marks on his own human rights scorecard.

In fact, they have prepared a "bombshell" witness, available to the Committee, accusing Locke of "Complicity in Genocide." The story is detailed in litigation that has been filed demanding a criminal investigation of Gary Locke by the U.S. Justice Department.

U.S. Senators Lugar (R-IN) and Kerry (D-MA), who lead the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, have been alerted to this controversy by way of letters and pleadings in the case, copies of which were obtained by the China Support Network.

The 'bombshell' witness is renowned cancer researcher and Falun Gong practitioner Dr. Lotus King Weiss, also known as Dr. Tongwen Wang. She is the plaintiff in the mentioned litigation, and Chinese dissident Ning Ye is the attorney representing her.

Dr. Weiss is described as "a well established, nationally prominent life scientist." Her Ph.D in cell development and molecular biology was obtained from the University of Florida in 1992, her work took her to Harvard Medical School and the Benaroya Research Institute. Her credits include various awards and grants, and publication of her work in peer-reviewed outlets including Science, Journal of Biochemistry, Journal of Immunology, etc.

In 1997, Gary Locke became Governor of the state of Washington. In 1999, the Chinese government began to crack down forcibly against all practitioners of Falun Gong. That crackdown is a holocaust of genocidal persecution. The words of Jiang Zemin (former head of the Chinese Communist Party) in ordering the crackdown were, "ruin their reputation; make them financially bankrupt; and eliminate them physically."

In 2002, Weiss undertook research to investigate human immune system responses to the practice of Falun Gong -- research that would use the techniques of Western medicine to perhaps vindicate the reported health benefits of practicing Falun Gong and advance cancer research.

That year, the American Cancer Society awarded a grant of $1 million to Dr. Weiss' laboratory. She was the Principal Investigator at this lab, which was under the Benaroya Research Institute (BRI) and affiliated with the University of Washington in Seattle. Her laboratory also had funding from the National Institutes of Health.

While it may be politically sensitive, it is not a crime to research Falun Gong during a genocidal crackdown. In American society, there is no reason why such research should be stopped -- by someone working for then-Governor Gary Locke.

Any impetus to quash activity related to Falun Gong did not come from American society. As Chinese dissidents now raise complaints, they see the hand of the CCP, directing Gary Locke as their de facto agent to do the bidding of Jiang Zemin: "ruin their reputation; make them financially bankrupt; and eliminate them physically."

The affidavit of Dr. Weiss, in the case filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, directly accuses former Gov. Locke of complicity in genocide, and describes the shutdown of her laboratory in 2003, by saying:
"a representative was sent from Mr. Gary Locke's Office, who mysteriously met with Dr. Gerald Nepom behind the door, for two hours; immediately, Dr. Gerald Nepom completely changed his attitude towards my interest in continuing the projects on the health benefits of practicing Falun Dafa; he officially informed me that I was not allowed to talk about Falun Dafa in the research center, since 'it is too political'...Dr. Gerald Nepom finally decided to dismiss me from the BRI, informing me that my scientific research projects 'no longer conform to the mission of the BRI'"
In addition to working through Governor Gary Locke, it is evident that the CCP directly targeted Dr. Weiss for yet more Falun Gong persecution. This followed on the heels of her presentation at the Boston Future Science Forum in April, 2002. (URL: http://www.pureinsight.org/node/195 )

Her affidavit states,
"I became black-listed by the Chinese Communist Government, which started to threat[en] my parents in China, claiming to them, 'We know everything your daughter does in America' and ordered them to pressure me to stop practicing Falun Dafa."
The CCP authorities evidently got through to Weiss' former husband, using their propaganda to warn him about "Falun Gong, the evil cult" -- and this prompted her husband to divorce her and to remove their seven year old boy from her custody.

Also in her affidavit, "the Chinese Communist Government ordered my own family members to force me back to China." Her older brother, Jianxin Bao, "then went to Dr. Gerald Nepom and informed him that I 'found a nice position in China' and asked him to ship all of my research equipments to China." By April of 2005, Dr. Weiss was effectively homeless on the streets of New York.

Such persecution makes for a stark story. However, it is fair to ask questions such as, why did the CCP work through Governor Gary Locke? And, why did he assent to play the role that he did in the saga of Dr. Weiss? If this is not Falun Gong persecution, then can Locke offer another reason why Weiss' career was summarily crushed? Did he receive some payment or any quid-pro-quo from Communist China?

As an agent of persecution, if not the Communist Party, Gary Locke has clearly opened himself up to the present charge of complicity in genocide. Also, since Dr. Weiss operated on the frontiers of science, findings from her laboratory could directly impact the future of the entire life science field and the battle between humanity and diseases. Findings from her laboratory are now suppressed, and all of us may have suffered a loss from the career interference that Dr. Weiss suffered.

The entire Falun Gong community can rightly look upon this incident as a setback for Falun Gong. For that reason, the China Support Network is adding its voice into the mix here, calling for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to postpone and delay approval of Gary Locke's prospective ambassadorship, pending the outcome of a full investigation.

Attorney Ning Ye is deeply suspicious of Gary Locke. In writing to the U.S. Senate, he said that he is "deeply concerned" about the Locke nomination as as "ominous development."

Less formally, he is even more alarmed. To the China Support Network, Ye called the Locke nomination a "lethally dangerous development," and said, "I really suspect that Mr. Locke has been PRC's 'sunken fish' on strategic level."

In his letter to the U.S. Senate, Ye allowed that the case of Dr. Weiss "may not be sufficient to prove [Locke's] affiliation to any potentially hostile foreign power," yet he continued, "however, it may implicate his value system and his bias and loyalty under an undue foreign influence. If his personal involvement in direct persecution against FLG [Falun Gong] practitioners here in the United States is proven true, we then have to question what is his real partisanship, loyalty and affiliation?"

In fact, Ning Ye may have an answer to a question asked above: Did Locke "receive some payment or any quid-pro-quo from Communist China?"

Writing to the Senate, Ye noted, "After Mr. Locke retired from the governor’s office, he was recruited to work as a partner with Davis Wright Tremaine (2005 to 2009)....handling the firm's China related business." This led Ye to ask even more pointed questions:

"Did he use any improper political influence right from his fresh departure from the Governor's office, to unethically help the Chinese Communist clients with Davis Wright Tremaine? --This nominee needs to fully disclose the complete laundry list of his actual, preexisting, potential, and prospective PRC and PRC related clients, and such clients obtained by Davis Wright Tremaine. He may also need to disclose whether or not he has received any direct or indirect profits, benefits, and interests from Davis Wright Tremaine after 2009, or such profits, benefits, and interests from the government agencies of the PRC, or any sort of clients with PRC background via Davis Wright Tremaine.

"The U.S. Congress, and the People of the United States may also be interested to learn of any change of profit margin of Davis Wright Tremaine before, during, and after Mr. Locke's merging his influence -- an intangible asset -- as an investment in that private firm."
It seems that Communist China placed business with Davis Wright Tremaine, and that this may have been quid pro quo; a chance for the CCP to scratch Locke's back after he had run the errand for them, against Falun Gong. In addition, as a trustee of the University of Washington, Locke voted in 2008 to approve a $6 million grant which was given to Dr. Gerald Nepom, the BRI researcher who terminated Dr. Weiss under pressure from the Governor's office. That looks like quid pro quo; a reward to Dr. Nepom for the harm done to Falun Gong research.

As Ye noted in his letter to the Senate, "Dr. Nepom had been Dr. Weiss' staunch supporter for Dr. Weiss' cutting-edge research project funded by NIH and the American Cancer Society, before Mr. Locke got himself involved."

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1 comment:

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