The Daily Beast article Chen Guangcheng’s Blind Injustice provides more details about the controversy possibly being manufactured by the US press as discussed in my previous post Lukewarm US Support of Chinese Dissident – My Donkey.
In The Daily Beast article, one of the paragraph that touches on the issue states:
After six intense days of negotiations, a deal was struck. Chen and his family would stay in China but relocate to the coastal city of Tianjin, where he could study law—something I knew he’d always dreamed of—and authorities would leave him alone. Chen emerged from the embassy, smiling, in a wheelchair. Photographers captured him hugging burly U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell and holding hands with Ambassador Gary Locke. Clinton, who had just arrived in Beijing for the talks, praised the deal as one reflecting “his choices and our values.” Later, though, after things started to unravel, Chen told me that he “felt pressured to leave the embassy.” (A senior U.S. official denied that any pressure had been exerted and said Americans had begun to make contingencies for a “long-term occupancy,” discussing precedents such as the case of Hungarian Cardinal Jozsef Mindszenty, a political prisoner during the Stalinist era who sought and was granted asylum in the U.S. Embassy in Budapest and lived there for 15 years.)
You might interpret this paragraph as giving some support to the attitude taken by The Boston Globe. At least The Daily Beast article gives you some context as to what the US officials are saying that might give you pause in accepting the Globe’s take. Still the article uses the snippet of a quote “felt pressured to leave the embassy” without explicitly stating where Chen felt the pressure was coming from. Why can’t anybody specifically say that Chen felt pressured by US officials, if, in fact, that is what he thought?
Are people reporting this story using carefully selected words from conversations with Chen in order to give us a clear picture of the subtle meaning, or are they using these carefully chosen words to obscure the meaning? I do not purport to know the answer to this question, yet. We may never know the truth beyond a reasonable doubt.
Soon the doubt will fade in people’s minds, and they will begin to think that they know for sure what happened. This brings me back to one of my favorite quotes:
“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”