Are We Safer Yet?
June 2, 2006 5:42 PM   Subscribe

Wen Ho Lee has just won his lawsuit against the federal government and news agencies for violating his privacy rights while under investigation for being a spy. Mr. Lee lost his job, his reputation and racked up huge legal bills as a result of the accusations -- which were later found to be greatly exaggerated. In a case of deja vu, a Chinese scientist at a state lab in Albany, NY recently lost his job (and his wife was placed on leave from her job) after being accused of illegally purchasing weapons -- a charge which was later dismissed. Note that his firing was justified on the pretext of misusing his work computer to visit the ESPN website too often -- a criteria by which a large chunk of the state workforce would be fired. And then there is the ongoing terrorism case against the Albany imam and the pizza shop owner which has had its own evidentiary shortcomings. And to top it all off, the Albany FBI head has just been promoted. Are we feeling any safer yet?
posted by bim (13 comments total)
Just to be pedantic... He didn't "win" the lawsuit; he reached a settlement with the entities he was suing (a weird combination of the government and five news agencies). This is a lot better for Lee in one very important way: it isn't subject to appeal.
posted by mr_roboto at 5:52 PM on June 2, 2006

Point taken, Mr. Roboto. Though from a practical standpoint, being awarded a large "chunk of change" is a win in my book. Mr. Lee has taken a large financial hit because of all this. Hopefully, this will help to at least offset those losses -- not to mention his feeling a bit vindicated.

And Mr. Richardson who was heading the lab at the time has gone on to become governor of NM and has presidential aspirations.

It's a crazy mixed up world!
posted by bim at 6:08 PM on June 2, 2006

i feel much, much safer. we should fire everyone except me and my friends, and preferably put them in jail.
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 6:38 PM on June 2, 2006


Violation of privacy rights thread - 2 comments
Pussy cat thread - 55 comments

The price of freedom is eternal... aw, look at the pretty kitties
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:47 PM on June 2, 2006

Dammit, so we'll never know who leaked?
posted by overanxious ducksqueezer at 8:56 PM on June 2, 2006

9 months in solitary. A ruined career. National humiliation. 1.6 million seems like jack-shit, probably barely enough to cover his legal bills.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 11:57 PM on June 2, 2006

I believe he took home 750k after legal bills. I wouldn't spend nine months in solitary for 750k.
posted by mecran01 at 6:07 AM on June 3, 2006

Anybody (well not just anybody) will be promoted to his/her apparent level of plausible convenient incompetence
posted by elpapacito at 4:04 PM on June 3, 2006

Anybody (well not just anybody) will be promoted to his/her apparent level of plausible convenient incompetence

Yes. And it's maddening as all hell to see the Peter Principle in action as lives are destroyed.
posted by bim at 5:33 PM on June 3, 2006

I am so glad Wen Ho Lee won, seriously, I am. nuff said.
posted by BillsR100 at 10:08 PM on June 3, 2006

me too. I remember reading the accusations, getting angry towards him for his alleged offenses, then, following the story, watch it serve as fodder for the 1998 election to keep the GOP in power, since Clinton bore responsibility for the leak, ultimately.
posted by Busithoth at 10:59 AM on June 5, 2006

That's a poretty good memory you have, busithoth, since the case broke in March of 1999.
posted by Jos Bleau at 12:29 PM on June 5, 2006

yeah, screwed up the year.
2000 seems so long ago now to me.
Lee was just one of the later victims of yellow fever.
I wasn't thinking of Charlie Trie though, so whoops!

poretty frakking stoopit.
posted by Busithoth at 1:20 PM on June 5, 2006

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