Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Chinese Accountability - Can it Happen Here?

Latest news from China: Zheng Xiaoyu, head of the State Food and Drug Administration from 1997 to 2006, has been executed for taking bribes to approve untested and unsafe substances

Zheng's death sentence was unusually heavy even for China, believed to carry out more court-ordered executions than all other nations combined ... Zheng, 63, was convicted of taking cash and gifts worth 6.49 million yuan (US$832,000; euro619,000) when he was in charge of the SFDA

He was sentenced to death on May 29 and his appeal for leniency was rejected on June 12 by the Higher People's Court of Beijing. China's Supreme Court approved the sentence, saying Zheng "committee vile crimes and caused extreme harm to society."

"Although he confessed to some of the crimes of bribe-taking and returned some of the illegal income, it was not enough for leniency," the court said in its decision.

Is that a little heavy-handed, as they say? Well, sure. But on the other hand ten people died when a "medicine" he passed as suitable proved to be anything but. And who knows what other forms of harm he may have done.

So I'm wondering, here - just hear me out.

How would "Brownie" have acted in front of Congress if he knew revelations of incompetence in the face of Katrina could result in the death penalty?

How would Alberto Gonzales' "duh, I dunno" testimony concerning the attorney general scandals have gone if he'd been all too aware of a noose in his future if he pissed off the committee once too often?

And how about Scooter Libby? 30 months, 250 grand and 2 years probation for obstructing justice and committing perjury... or a firing squad?

Yes, it's fascistic and inhumane, and probably just as corrupt of a system as the corruption its rooting out with terminal means.

But you gotta wonder sometimes. Yes, you do.


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