Over the last week, the Communists rolled out the big gun in their propaganda campaign against the charges of organ harvesting in Sujiatun: the U.S. State Department. To be accurate, the Department rolled itself out, and to be fair, it merely stated it had not found evidence of Falun Gong organ-harvesting. Still, it was enough to sow some doubt in the Sujiatun accounts throughout the blogosphere (The Korea Liberator, Small Dead Animals).
I, however, continue to believe there were atrocities at Sujiatun.
I say "were" because no cadre in their right mind would let a camp like that continue anywhere in Shenyang (the city of which Sujiatun is a part). They'd move whatever practitioners were left somewhere else, which is what I suspect they did.
So why do I believe I'm right? For the answer to that, let's look at what the Department actually said:
The Department and our Embassy in Beijing, as well as our Consulate General in Shenyang, have actively sought to determine the facts of the matter. Officers and staff from our Embassy in Beijing and Consulate in Shenyang have visited the area and the specific site mentioned in these reports on two separate occasions. In these visits the officers were allowed to tour the entire facility and grounds and found no evidence that the site is being used for any function other than as a normal public hospital.
This raises more questions then it answers. For starters, what exactly was the "entire facility and grounds"? The reports on the Sujiatun camp make clear that the practitioners were moved to an underground facility sometime in 2003 (Epoch Times). Was that included? I don't ask this to imply the Department is hiding anything, but rather to make clear the likelihood that what the Department was told to be "the entire facility and grounds" and what the cadres actually know to be "the entire facility and grounds" are two separate things.
Furthermore, there is the question of when the tours were conducted. The Communists themselves waited nearly three weeks after the first report (March 9) to issue a denial of Sujiatun. Did the American officials see the facility before or after this time? Keep in mind, we're talking up to 6,000 prisoners (add in guards and overseers and maybe you hit 7,000). That may seem like a large number of people to move, but the Virginia Railway Express commuter system (Washington, DC - Fredericksburg and Manassas, VA) has a ridership of over 14,00o a day (Potomac News).
Moreover, the American officials who took the tour probably had minders with them, although the statement doesn't speak on that. Interestingly enough, the statement doesn't actually speak to the main charges either. While all the Communists and "engagement" folks (not to be confused with the two bloggers to which I linked earlier) stopped at the above citation, the Department itself goes on to say: "We have raised these reports with the Chinese government and urged it to investigate these allegations. China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson has publicly denied there is any basis for the allegations." Was there a reason this was mentioned after the part stating no evidence was found? Is the State Department of the opinion that further investigation is warranted? Or am I just reading too much into the order of the paragraphs?
Regardless of the contextual issues of the statement, the State Department's examination of the charges, while certainly not affirming them, did little, if anything, to refute them either. Nothing against the Department, one can only see what one is allowed to see in a situation like that, and if the consulate officials had tried to see more, they would have likely been rebuffed. If the supposition I put forward in the paragraph above is correct, even the State Department itself is taking that into account.
It all really comes down to who one believes: the Communists, or the sources who have come forward on Sujiatun. This is where the Communist propaganda comes a-cropper.
If we are to believe the Communists on this, then we must also believe that these two sources - a journalist and a former hospital staffer - are lying. Let's think about that for a moment: a journalist who has already talked to the Epoch Times, Bill Gertz of the Washington Times, and Jay Nordlinger of National Review would willingly risk his own life and the lives of his family members for - a lie? Somehow, I doubt it. Same deal with the hospital staffer. She may have something gain, cynics will say, because her ex-husband was involved, but what would that be? Her ex-husband is already dying of cancer (Epoch Times). Meanwhile, what she could lose (her life, her family, etc.), is far greater.
The Communists, however, have a lot to gain by covering up Sujiatun. There are already reports of other camps out there, including one which may have over 100,000 prisoners (Epoch Times). If more people agree that the sources' accounts of Sujiatun are true, they'll wonder about the claims of other camps, including ones the Communists haven't cleaned up for outside inspection. Even the camps that are merely engaged in the usual "reeducation through labor" would lead outsiders to recoil in horror.
At this point, more than a month after the first reports, I - like many others - sincerely doubt there will be any evidence of the organ harvesting in Sujiatun, but I still believe it happened. It fits the Communist pattern of complete lack of respect for human life. A regime that has killed over 70 million people would hardly be above turning prisoners, especially political prisoners, into biological chop-shop victims. After all, reports of organ harvesting from prisoners in Communist China are more than five years old (Village Voice).
In time, when the Chinese people take their country back from the Communist regime, we will all see and recognize the horrific things this regime has done. Until then, we must remain vigilant, and understand that the Communists will do anything to maintain power, from organ harvesting of prisoners to arming anti-American terrorists. The democratic world will never be secure until China is free.
Cross-posted to the Shotgun