A Heritage Foundation event last month on trade was co-sponsored by Taiwan Civil Government two weeks after it had been accused in Taiwan of operating a political fraud ring. Two United States Senators and the Secretary of Commerce were featured speakers on a stage backdropped with the TCG logo. Secretary Wilbur Ross pulled out of the event at the last minute without explanation. The Commerce Department later made a statement that Ross had been called to an urgent meeting at the White House.
Senator Ben Sasse, a Republican from Nebraska, was one of the Senators who participated and heard the Heritage moderator call Taiwan Civil Government "great partners" and also say "we like to work with them."
Heritage Foundation, the nation's leading conservative think-tank boasts they provide " timely, accurate research on key policy issues and effectively marketing these findings to our primary audiences: members of Congress, key congressional staff members, policymakers in the executive branch, the nation's news media, and the academic and policy communities."
Heritage has failed to answer questions or make a statement about the arrests in Taiwan of Roger and Julian Lin, leaders of the TCG group. Unwilling to explain their sponsor vetting process, Heritage also declined to reveal how much they were paid by the accused sponsor.
Although silent, Heritage Foundation has not ignored the matter. After being asked for a comment Heritage deleted all mention of the event from its website. The silence of the otherwise noisy think-tank follows a pattern set by Roll Call Live, POLITICO, and Foreign Policy. The media houses and now a think-tank that won't answer questions about their event sponsors also refuse to report on the arrests.
The Lins are being held without bail, incommunicado, and in solitary confinement. The arrests are for defrauding donors in a scam based on political ideology. What is not yet clear is whether prosecutors in the exiled Republic of China are basing their case on embezzlement or swindle. If it is embezzlement the case will be about a paper trail. If it is a swindle then the validity of TCG's advocacy for the future of Taiwan will be on trial.
Taiwan Civil Government argues that because the Taiwanese are stateless that America is responsible under international law under terms of the San Francisco Peace Treaty that ended World War II. TCG wants the expulsion of the ROC and a transition to sovereignty under direction of a United States military government. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia urged President Obama to act expeditiously to end Taiwan's "political purgatory" in a lawsuit brought by TCG founder Roger Lin.
The no-show by Secretary Ross at Heritage Foundation and the cancellation by two Representatives at Roll Call Live suggest that TCG's sweet spot in Washington has gone sour. It is probable that embarrassment by the Beltway insiders from being blindsided has caused the silence rather than culpability in a scam. However, embarrassment should not cause a rush to judgment and abandonment of their "great partner". If the Lins and others are victims of a political show trial because of their pro-American views then the now silent reporters, commentators and editors are needed in action.