The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

How the government threatened a top nuclear scientist

Feb 5, 2001

The U.S. government in September 2000 dropped the case against Wen Ho Lee, the nuclear scientist of Taiwanese origin who it had accused of giving nuclear secrets to another country, probably China. Tapes that have just been mistakenly released now show how they attempted to force him to confess to something he didn't do.

The government handcuffed him, put him in prison and threatened him with the loss of his job. Then FBI agent Carol Covert told him about the Rosenberg case, saying they were the only people who didn't cooperate with the government in an espionage case and they were the only ones to be executed. In other words, the government held the threat to execute him over his head unless he confessed to what they wanted.

Here was a respected scientist who worked for years in a top nuclear bomb facility on some of the government's most secret projects. When we see how the government treated him, we know how they treat other people.