Students and professors who attended a teach-in last night vowed to raise awareness of what many of them called the American government's unjust treatment of Taiwanese-American Wen Ho Lee, who is accused of violating national security regulations.
"Most people are innocent until proven guilty; Wen Ho Lee is guilty unless he is proven innocent," said MIT Professor Hugh Gusterseon.
Leaders of the "teach-in" at Emerson Hall, sponsored by the Chinese Students Association (CSA) and the Asian-American Brotherhood (AAB), said the government is placing Lee in solitary confinement because he is Asian-American, not because he poses a security risk.
"I see this event as just one of a series of [racial] injustices in the history of this country," said Wei Zhou '01, co-president of CSA.
Lee, a former employee in Los Alamos Laboratories "X Division," which handles top-secret information about nuclear weapons, has been charged with 59 counts of violating national security procedures by mishandling classified information. If convicted, he could face life in prison.
Government officials claim that Lee downloaded classified files onto portable computer tapes. Officials say these files contain enough information to rebuild the entire U.S. nuclear arsenal.
At issue are seven tapes that the government has not yet recovered. Lee says he has destroyed these tapes, but government officials say they doubt this claim and argue that he has not provided a satisfactory reason for creating these tapes in the first place.
Lee was first suspected of giving nuclear secrets to China, although government officials now say that there is not enough evidence to charge him with espionage.
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