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Mar 21, 2008

Shaheen variable?

Edit: Apparently this was just another paranoid rumor started because Shaheen was in town and had an interview with Formosa TV that got canceled.

This would be illegal if she breaks the word at a Hsieh event (certainly if she was on stage), and Hsieh's camp would be fined, Ma's already predicting it ... and this event would make the race a dead heat, I think.

Kuomintang campaign planners are having a nightmare.

Their worst scenario is that Theresa Shaheen, a former chairwoman of the American Institute in Taiwan who is currently visiting Taipei, may prove Ma Ying-jeou's "green card" is still valid.

"We are really scared," a top assistant to Ma said yesterday.

Shaheen, who is now chairwoman of the U.S. Asia Economic Foundation, may do so [tonight], the worried aide who advises Ma on foreign affairs....

Known for her strong support for the ruling DPP, Shaheen may just drop the bomb and the Kuomintang candidate and his campaign staff could do nothing to control the damage for lack of time.

When, where, and will may this happen? Before 10:00pm, at least, if at all!

Interesting note from FEER. I won't comment on it, but here's the beef:
Ms. Shaheen was fired by the Bush administration for exceeding her mandate by giving a blank check to the Chen administration, so that it could provoke mainland China in order to win domestic support, while the U.S. was left to deal with a saber-rattling Beijing. I had dinner with her Sunday night, and it was clear that while she has very little understanding of Taiwanese politics, she is unreservedly committed to Mr. Chen and the DPP. If Mr. Ma is right and Ms. Shaheen does speak today, it is likely that in the little time left before the election Taiwanese voters will not be able to learn about her vested interest in helping the DPP. As a former U.S. official, her statements may be taken at face value, unless specifically refuted by current AIT officials....

So why is Ms. Shaheen so willing to be used in this sleazy effort? One clue comes from her business background. She has been involved in business in Asia and Republican politics for decades, including the nexus between the two. She was in business with Richard Lawless, a former CIA officer who was recently deputy assistance secretary of defense for Asia and Pacific affairs. When Jeb Bush was Florida secretary of commerce, he hired Mr. Lawless to represent the state of Florida in Asia, and was later involved in other business deals with him. Ms. Shaheen gave $100,000 to George W. Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign.

I don’t usually read Mother Jones, a left-wing magazine, but this article gives a good indication of the typical Beltway operation Ms. Shaheen has been running. In essence it is money for access. If Frank Hsieh wins the presidency, Ms. Shaheen stands to benefit by continuing to provide an “in” with the Republican establishment, which is a key constituency for maintaining the U.S. commitment to defend Taiwan. As the saying goes, follow the money. –Hugo Restall


NJ said...

AIT are going to clarify on Ma's green card after the election.
why not before the election? What if Ma won and AIT say Ma has a green card ( Ma is lying ) or Hsieh won and AIT say Ma has no green card. ( Hsieh is bullshitting ) Either Blue or Green camp are going to feel very angry.

David said...

I was at the DPP rally and it didn't happen. But Frank Hsieh talked about the fact that Ma's camp had called a press conference about this. "Just think about what this means", Hsieh said.

Unknown said...

Shaheen's interests are not in line with that of the Taiwanese people. She is purely interested in maintaining a pro-American Taiwanese government. The Taiwanese people should be highly skeptical of anything Shaheen says.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Restall would not have said those things without fact checking. Since they are
factually incorrect, I am sure as a good journalist, he would not have said them.

Anonymous said...

Hugo Restall does what his paymasters ask him to.