I was supposed to go to Vienna’s first band show in San Francisco this evening, but decided not to go when I heard that Wen Ho Lee was going to be at Kepler’s in Menlo Park to help promote his new book, My Country Versus Me
Dr. Lee made headlines when he was wrongfully accused and jailed for being a spy for the Chinese government. In December, 1999, he was indicted on 39 counts of violating the Atomic Energy Act, 10 counts of “unlawfully obtaining defense information in violation of 18 U.S.C. & 793(c)”, and 10 counts of “willfully retaining national defense information in violation of 18 U.S.C. &793(e) (Source: wenholee.org). He was put in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day for 9 months! 9 months!
He has been since exonerated of the claims against him, although the U.S. Goverment has yet to issue a formal apology (though the judge who presided over his case did apologize to Dr. Lee). In an interesting statement during his presentation, Dr. Lee said he feels that the America judicial system is the right and just, but only when it is executed fairly and with due process. Unfortunately in his case, the system was used against him in the worst possible way.
For more information about his case, visit wenholee.org.
Dr. Lee and Helen Zia, the contributing writer for the book, were on hand to discuss the book and sign autographs. Kepler’s was packed with people who were waiting to hear from Dr. Lee about his experiences. The two of them only spoke for 30 minutes before beginning to sign autographs. I haven’t been to a book signing/discussion in a long time, but I thought that it was rather short. This was Dr. Lee’s first appearance at a book store, however, so I will assume that they’ll iron out and lengthen the presentation in the future. Book tours can be very physically draining, although I doubt that anything he experiences during this tour will come close to what he endured courtesy of the American goverment.
I ran into a few people that I knew at the book signing. Rama was a co-worker of mine at Palm; she was there with her friends, Paul, Michelle, and Chris. My uncle and aunt were also at the event!
I’m sure that Vienna and her band did a great job in San Francisco this evening. I would have liked to be there, but I couldn’t be at two places at once, unless I have my own personal time machine. Alas, that’s not within the realm of today’s technology, so I’ll have to rely on the accounts of others to let me know how the performance went!