A largely Asian-American crowd of 250 filled the ARCO Forum last night to hear Alberta Lee speak in defense of her father Wen Ho Lee, a former Los Alamos scientist accused of compromising national security.
In her remarks, Lee said her main purpose in speaking was to counteract the widespread negative image of her father.
"What most people don't know in America is what my father is like in person--he's been painted as a very sinister man," Lee said. "I hope to humanize him or at least let you know that he's not all he's cracked up to be."
The two hour-long forum touched on many issues surrounding the case, including the media's role in spinning information and the pressure on the prosecution to convict.
The most frequent topic was whether Wen Ho Lee's ethnicity played a role in his prosecution.
The government accused the Taiwanese-American scientist of being a spy for China and charged him with 59 counts of mishandling classified information last December. While he pled guilty to and was convicted of one charge, the government dropped the other 58.
Wen Ho Lee was released after nine months in jail and in his final remarks, Judge James A. Parker apologized for Wen Ho Lee's unfair detention.
Lee compared her father's experience to that of the World War II interment of Japanese-Americans. In both instances, she said, the rights of ethnic minorities were taken away as a precaution against threatened national security.