Did the Obama administration abandon Chen? Update: “No one from the embassy is here”

posted at 12:01 pm on May 2, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

The story of Chinese democracy activist Chen Guangcheng took a bizarre turn this morning.  The dissident escaped house arrest and ended up at the US embassy in Beijing, with an injury to his foot in the escape.  The US then announced that they had negotiated safe passage to a hospital with the Chinese government, where Chen could be reunited with his family.  However, the AP reported a few minutes ago that the US told him that if he didn’t leave, the Beijing government would beat his wife to death — and now he fears for his life:

Blind legal activist Chen Guangcheng says a U.S. official told him that Chinese authorities threatened to beat his wife to death had be not left the American Embassy.

Speaking by phone from his hospital room in Beijing on Wednesday night, a shaken Chen told The Associated Press that U.S. officials relayed the threat from the Chinese side.

Chen, who fled to the embassy six day ago, left under an agreement in which he would receive medical care, be reunited with his family and allowed to attend university in a safe place. He says he now fears for his safety and wants to leave.

Here was the story earlier today, from LifeNews and an earlier report from the AP:

In a new deal between the United States and China, Chen has left to a local hospital and is reportedly under American protection, as U.S officials have guaranteed his safety. U.S. Ambassador Gary Locke escorted Chen, according to an AP report, to the Chaoyang Hospital and, on the way there, Chen called his lawyer, Li Jinsong, who said Chen told him: “‘I’m free. I’ve received clear assurances.’” …

As part of the agreement that ended the fraught, behind-the-scenes standoff, U.S. officials said China agreed to let Mr. Chen receive a medical checkup and be reunited with his family at the hospital; his wife and two children joined him there Wednesday afternoon. He would then be relocated to a safe place in China where he could study at university — all demands activists said Mr. Chen had raised.

Clinton, in a statement, said Mr. Chen’s exit from the embassy “reflected his choices and our values” and said the U.S. would monitor the assurances Beijing gave. “Making these commitments a reality is the next crucial task,” she said.

It doesn’t sound as though Chen feels particularly “free” at the moment.  Did the Obama administration sell out Chen to the Beijing government?  If so, that sends a chilling message to democracy activists and dissidents around the world about American commitment to freedom, and Obama’s own insistence that he would be on the side of freedom-loving activists.

Update: LifeNews has this update:

As LifeNews has reported, media reports from AP and elsewhere indicate China and the United States agreed to a deal that allows Chen to receive a medical checkup and be reunited with his family at the hospital. He would then be relocated to a safe place in China where he could study at a university.

However, those initial reports turned out to the misleading, as new information surfaced showing Chen was reportedly pressured to leave the U.S. Embassy and accept the deal the United States struck with China to release Chen from its temporary protection. Now, Chen reportedly wants to leave China with his family, as he is worried about their safety.

Bob Fu, the president of ChinaAid, a U.S.-based human rights group that has worked closely with Chen and his Chinese supporters, says it has viewed relevant information released by the Chinese government regarding Chen’s release and says it was coerced. He and others have pointed out that Chinese officials have threatened Chen’s family and made suggestion it would kill his wife if Chen did not leave the U.S. Embassy.

Now, Fu tells LifeNews that Zeng Jinyan, wife of Chen’s best friend Hu Jia, posted a tweet which indicates that the media failed to report the correct information about Chen. he says sources inside China said the U.S. and Chinese governments have reached some kind of “shameful” agreement regarding Chen.

Zen Jinyan said on Twitter:  Guangcheng called me and told me that he didn’t say, according to media, “I want to kiss you” to Secretary Clinton.  What he actually said was “I want to see you.”

Chen’s activism includes opposition to China’s brutal one-child policy.  His imprisonment came as a result of exposing some of the government’s enforcement methods of their policy, one reason why LifeNews is covering this story so closely.

Update II: Looks like the abandonment is complete.  Chen told the media that no one from the embassy bothered to show at the hospital, and now Chen needs some other country’s help to get out of China:

U.S. Ambassador Gary Locke escorted Chen, according to an AP report, to the Chaoyang Hospital. However, the human rights group ChinaAid says received reports from reliable source that Chen’s decision for departure from the U.S. Embassy was done reluctantly because “serious threat to his immediate family members were made by Chinese government” if Chen refused to accept the Chinese government’s offer.

Now, Chen has spoken to the media for the first time and says he has been abandoned at the hospital.

“Nobody from the (US) Embassy is here. I don’t understand why. They promised to be here,” he told Channel 4, saying he had received promises he would have U.S. personnel with him there.

Asked if he was at the hospital because of his health, Chen told Channel 4, “No. I came because of an agreement. I was worried about the safety of my family. A gang of them have taken over our house, sitting in our room and eating at our table, waving thick sticks around. They’ve turned our home into a prison, with seven cameras and electric fence all around.”

He also said he wants to stay in China:  “My biggest wish is to leave the country with my family and rest for a while. I haven’t had a Sunday [rest-day] in seven years.”

The Obama administration insists that Chen told them he wanted to stay in China.  Does that match the facts so far?


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Comment pages: 1 2

America isn’t about to piss off their Pay Day Lender.

portlandon on May 2, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Did the Obama administration sell out Chen to the Beijing government?

lester tells us they would never do such a thing.

Del Dolemonte on May 2, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Yeah, it sure looks that way. Way to go Zero.

dogsoldier on May 2, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Why sure. Obama just signed an EO saying we trusted the Chinese and kicked Chen out.
I am sure this will all end well for all involved.

Jabberwock on May 2, 2012 at 12:06 PM

It would be the second sellout of a Chinese defector; both will likely end up buried in the same anonymous hole

michaelo on May 2, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Mustn’t upset our friends the Chinese Gov.over some silly human rights issue right Hillary?

sandee on May 2, 2012 at 12:08 PM

Did the Obama administration sell out Chen to the Beijing government?

Looks that way to me.

Weight of Glory on May 2, 2012 at 12:08 PM

Did the Obama administration sell out Chen to the Beijing government? If so, that sends a chilling message to democracy activists and dissidents around the world about American commitment to freedom, and Obama’s own insistence that he would be on the side of freedom-loving activists.

I think Dear Liar has a different definition of freedom than our country’s founders.

rbj on May 2, 2012 at 12:08 PM

Is anybody surprised at this? Think about it. What is Chen protesting? China’s abortion policy. If Obama were to give him asylum or do anything to safeguard him, the pro-abortion feminists in this country would be all over him for suddenly being “anti-choice,” as bizarre as that is to most sane people. He’s not going to risk the women’s vote–not for the Catholic vote in this country, and surely not for a Chinese dissident in another one.

senor on May 2, 2012 at 12:08 PM

Hillary’s old friend Johnny Huang probably brokered the sellout.

viking01 on May 2, 2012 at 12:09 PM

You never bite the hand that finances you.

- Barack Obamuh

OhEssYouCowboys on May 2, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Did the sun rise in the East today?

Freelancer on May 2, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Talk to the hand
-admin

cmsinaz on May 2, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Chinese threatened to kill his wife. He had to leave. And dimwits here blame Obama.

lester on May 2, 2012 at 12:11 PM

It would be the second sellout of a Chinese defector; both will likely end up buried in the same anonymous hole

michaelo on May 2, 2012 at 12:07 PM

I read about that yesterday. This is very concerning.

bopbottle on May 2, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Another State Department sellout orchestrated by Hillary. Throw another one under the bus, after all Obamy is the “world president” and ethics are such a last century sort of thing.

Kuffar on May 2, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Clinton, in a statement, said Mr. Chen’s exit from the embassy “reflected his choices and our values.”

Hillary does know that by saying “our values” means that Chen can leave under his own free will, right?

moonsbreath on May 2, 2012 at 12:13 PM

Chinese threatened to kill his wife. He had to leave stay.

lester on May 2, 2012 at 12:11 PM

And, the flow of money from China to the U.S. continues to run red…

Fallon on May 2, 2012 at 12:14 PM

Chinese threatened to kill his wife. He had to leave. And dimwits here blame Obama.

Yes of course, Obama ‘sees no evil’ and would not ever ‘speak no evil’ against his Chinese overlords… Even if they didn’t hold over a trillion in our debt, obama doesn’t have the GUTS to stand up to the chicoms.

Kuffar on May 2, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Sorry Chen, you ain’t a Muslim Brotherhood member. The Boy in the High Chair has standards, ya know.

MNHawk on May 2, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Chinese threatened to kill his wife. He had to leave. And dimwits here blame Obama.

lester on May 2, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Which is why the US is now desperately denying the wife-killing threat?

From C-BS News, a few minutes ago:

A U.S. official denies knowledge of the threat but said Chen was told his family would be sent back home if he stayed in the embassy.

Lazy.

E-

Del Dolemonte on May 2, 2012 at 12:16 PM

Chinese threatened to kill his wife. He had to leave. And dimwits here blame Obama.

lester on May 2, 2012 at 12:11 PM

SPEACHLESS !!!

Jabberwock on May 2, 2012 at 12:16 PM

Unbelievable. For some context, this is from the NYT article linked earlier:

The American officials went out of their way to praise the Chinese negotiators. They described them as working “intensely and with humanity.”

http://hotair.com/headlines/archives/2012/05/02/chinese-dissident-leaves-u-s-embassy-as-china-promises-to-treat-him-well/

And now we read:

a U.S. official told him that Chinese authorities threatened to beat his wife to death had be not left the American Embassy.

a shaken Chen told The Associated Press that U.S. officials relayed the threat from the Chinese side.

That sure is “intense” but I don’t sense the “humanity” in a threat to murder the guy’s spouse.

Any lefty trolls want to help us see the light on this one?

strictnein on May 2, 2012 at 12:17 PM

And dimwits here blame Obama.

lester on May 2, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Did you spend Loyalty Day polishing The Big Stick there, Sport?

MNHawk on May 2, 2012 at 12:17 PM

The story of Chinese democracy activist Chen Guangcheng took a bizarre turn this morning.

Nothing bizarre about it at all…human rights were not a priority of Obama and this guy is inconveniencing teh One so under the bus he goes.

AUINSC on May 2, 2012 at 12:17 PM

Strike two for Obama on human rights in China.

starboardhelm on May 2, 2012 at 12:18 PM

Seems to expose a bit of soft power underbelly for Mitt to exploit, if he’s so inclined. Nothing accusatory without facts…just a steady drumbeat of questions and update requests. I hope the bloggers cooperate.

a capella on May 2, 2012 at 12:18 PM

High-profile walk-in/defector/asylum seeker?

Rule One: Never ever acknowledge that they are in your embassy/mission/facility.

Rule Two: See Rule One.

Rule Three: Establish bona fides.

Rule Four: If they are indeed valuable/high profile, get them the hell out of there…fast…real fast.

Rule Five: See Rule One.

Rule Six: Get them to a safe location outside the US…fast.

Rule Seven: See Rule One.

Believe me…I’ve done this sort of thing many many times over the years.

The Beijing Embassy and the US State Department screwed the pooch from the moment Chen walked in.

coldwarrior on May 2, 2012 at 12:18 PM

And dimwits here blame Obama.

lester on May 2, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Did you spend Loyalty Day polishing The Big Stick there, Sport?

I think he concentrated on the knob…

Kuffar on May 2, 2012 at 12:18 PM

Clinton, in a statement, said Mr. Chen’s exit from the embassy “reflected his choices and our values.”
Chinese threatened to kill his wife. He had to leave. And dimwits here blame Obama.

lester on May 2, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Not my values , Lady !

Jabberwock on May 2, 2012 at 12:18 PM

Chinese threatened to kill his wife.

lester on May 2, 2012 at 12:11 PM

You’re dismissed now.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57426088/activist-chen-guangcheng-wants-to-leave-china-says-authorities-threatened-to-beat-wife-to-death/

A blind activist said Wednesday that U.S. officials told him that Chinese authorities would have beaten his wife to death had he not left the American Embassy, where he sought sanctuary after fleeing persecution by local officials in his rural town.

A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, denied that the threat was issued but said Chen was told his family would be sent back home if he stayed in the embassy.

Speaking from the hospital room where he was taken after leaving the embassy, a shaken Chen Guangcheng said that U.S. officials told him Chinese authorities would send his family back home if he stayed inside. At one point, he said, the U.S. officials told him his wife would be beaten to death.

“They said if I don’t leave they would take my children and family back to Shandong,” Chen told The Associated Press. He said he heard the death threat from an American official whom he could not identify.

Del Dolemonte on May 2, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Chinese threatened to kill his wife. He had to leave. And dimwits here blame Obama.

lester on May 2, 2012 at 12:11 PM

LOL

Let’s play a fun game: We’ll assume you’re right, and that we’re dimwits. Since you’re super smart, help me figure this one out:
Is it okay for the Obama administration to lie to us about how wonderful the Chinese were in the “negotiations”, considering it mainly consisted of them taking a hostage and threatening to kill her?

strictnein on May 2, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Any lefty trolls want to help us see the light on this one?

strictnein on May 2, 2012 at 12:17 PM

Here’s one for ya

Chinese threatened to kill his wife. He had to leave. And dimwits here blame Obama.

lester on May 2, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Del Dolemonte on May 2, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Del Dolemonte on May 2, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Disgusting, isn’t it?

coldwarrior on May 2, 2012 at 12:22 PM

Am I wrong, but in another day and age, if American officials knew of the threat to Chen’s wife, they would have publicized that all over the front page of the world’s newspapers and Chen’s wife and children would have been untouchable.

Or is it only a myth that past Administrations had backbones?

parke on May 2, 2012 at 12:24 PM

Did the Obama administration abandon Chen?

The Obama administration also murdered 10 white babies last night.

Uppereastside on May 2, 2012 at 12:24 PM

The Chinese negotiators, whom the US embassy described as working “intensely and with humanity”, actually asked the US side to relay the message that his wife would be beaten to death if he left the country, even though Chen had insisted all along that he did not want to leave China?

DarkCurrent on May 2, 2012 at 12:24 PM

MSNBC – Breaking News

Family of Chinese democracy advocate, Chen Guangcheng, to be treated as the equivalent of unborn female child. Obamuh administration has no objections.

/

OhEssYouCowboys on May 2, 2012 at 12:25 PM

The Obama administration also murdered 10 white babies last night.

Uppereastside on May 2, 2012 at 12:24 PM

Link or it didn’t happen…

AUINSC on May 2, 2012 at 12:26 PM

The Beijing Embassy and the US State Department screwed the pooch from the moment Chen walked in.

coldwarrior on May 2, 2012 at 12:18 PM

Seems they just can’t help themselves. This regime blabbers continuously, except on issues like Fast and Furious, Solyndra, John Corzine, etc. Case in point, revealing the operational details of the SEAL raid on bin Laden 24 hours after they had agreed not to do it.

a capella on May 2, 2012 at 12:26 PM

Blind legal activist Chen Guangcheng

Blind legals need their own activist?

Happy Nomad on May 2, 2012 at 12:27 PM

The Obama administration has hired numerous advisors etc that believe the US should have the exact same policies of forced abortions and sterilizations that Chen was protesting…..so yes of course they pushed this guy under the bus

Caseoftheblues on May 2, 2012 at 12:28 PM

From the moment he got to our embassy, this is the result I expected.

itsspideyman on May 2, 2012 at 12:28 PM

So…a US official inside the US Embassy in Beijing told Chen that the Chinese would beat his wife or send his family back to the furthest provinces?

When the hell this this become standard operating procedure at any US embassy or consulate?

On a perhaps related note:

Hillary and Geithner are both in China for talks with the Chinese about our debt, their money, and what they want us to do.

Chen was given back to the Chinese for an uncertain fate merely because we need the cash folks, can’t have another stimulus without it…if the Chinese don’t give us more money, who will?

That’s the Chen case in a nutshell.

Disgusting.

coldwarrior on May 2, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Once he was in the US embassy he was as good as caught. I’m sure O has already apologized to China… over and over…

BobScuba on May 2, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Let’s see Obama spike the football with this one.

itsspideyman on May 2, 2012 at 12:29 PM

The Obama administration also murdered 10 white babies last night.

Uppereastside on May 2, 2012 at 12:24 PM

It is my understanding that Obama, as a state senator, was much in favor of sticking live babies who had suvived abortion attempts in a cabinet, to die, rather than give them medical aid. I assume some of them were white, although skin pigmentation is irrelevant.

a capella on May 2, 2012 at 12:29 PM

Am I wrong, but in another day and age, if American officials knew of the threat to Chen’s wife, they would have publicized that all over the front page of the world’s newspapers and Chen’s wife and children would have been untouchable.

Or is it only a myth that past Administrations had backbones?

parke on May 2, 2012 at 12:24 PM

YUP!

itsspideyman on May 2, 2012 at 12:31 PM

Chen was given back to the Chinese for an uncertain fate merely because we need the cash folks, can’t have another stimulus without it…if the Chinese don’t give us more money, who will?

That’s the Chen case in a nutshell.

Disgusting.

coldwarrior on May 2, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Anything is for sale. Human rights are for suckers when cash is involved.

a capella on May 2, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Once he was in the US embassy he was as good as caught.

BobScuba on May 2, 2012 at 12:28 PM

In another time, under another Administration, Chen would have appeared in another part of the world, or, better, within the United States, a couple months down the road…and with a bit of planning and yes, a bit of luck, his family would be with him.

Been there.

Done that.

Numerous times.

coldwarrior on May 2, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Out of sight, out of mind.

- Barack Obamuh

OhEssYouCowboys on May 2, 2012 at 12:33 PM

Uppereastside on May 2, 2012 at 12:24 PM

So you are saying Chen is lying? he is perfectly safe? He is a wing nut? You need to try to be objective for a moment if you can.

magicbeans on May 2, 2012 at 12:34 PM

If this is true, and he was kicked out, or tricked out, this will be Obama’s Iran Hostage moment.

Obama will at last completed his destiny…the one we all knew was coming.

William Eaton on May 2, 2012 at 12:35 PM

The Obama administration also murdered 10 white babies last night.

Uppereastside on May 2, 2012 at 12:24 PM

Just for you, Dear.

Del Dolemonte on May 2, 2012 at 12:36 PM

Link or it didn’t happen…

AUINSC on May 2, 2012 at 12:26 PM

According to some of the jobless posters here and most of the other right wing blogs, yes it did.

Uppereastside on May 2, 2012 at 12:36 PM

he says sources inside China said the U.S. and Chinese governments have reached some kind of “shameful” agreement regarding Chen.

Our national debt IS a human rights issue. Period. The Dumbocrats like to preach about human rights but do not seem to get this very simple point. We cannot stand up to the Chinese while they hold our economic security in their hands. China would do everything in its power to prevent the truth from being told in the Western media about their horrific forced abortions and forced sterilizations.

Then again, these actions are not far removed from our current administration’s beliefs regarding abortion, infanticide, and sterilization. Just look at Obastard’s personal killing of the IL bill that would have prevented partial birth abortion in IL; his immediate reinstatement of the Mexico City policy, the funding of abortions through Obamacare, etc. etc. etc.

Yes, the U.S. was probably coerced into abandoning Chen, but it’s not like it was HARD for the administration to do so . . . . China’s policies are not that much different from Barry’s.

guitarman67 on May 2, 2012 at 12:38 PM

So you are saying Chen is lying? he is perfectly safe? He is a wing nut? You need to try to be objective for a moment if you can.

magicbeans on May 2, 2012 at 12:34 PM

Why don’t you recommend that to 99.9% of posters here. A large chunk of them need help.

Uppereastside on May 2, 2012 at 12:39 PM

According to some of the jobless posters here and most of the other right wing blogs, yes it did.

Uppereastside on May 2, 2012 at 12:36 PM

I’m printing this out and framing it.

AUINSC on May 2, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Just for you, Dear.

Del Dolemonte on May 2, 2012 at 12:36 PM

LOL. Priceless.

a capella on May 2, 2012 at 12:40 PM

The Obama administration also murdered 10 white babies last night.

Uppereastside on May 2, 2012 at 12:24 PM

If you are meaning white Hispanics in Mexico and Holder’s Fast and Furious guns you are probably right. Maybe even a low ball estimate.

viking01 on May 2, 2012 at 12:40 PM

Sadly, there’s nothing bizarre about it, Ed. In fact, the moment I heard Chen sought asylum in our embassy, my first thought was that the Obama administration would quickly deliver him back to the Chinese. It was entirely predictable.

Christien on May 2, 2012 at 12:42 PM

So you are saying Chen is lying? he is perfectly safe? He is a wing nut? You need to try to be objective for a moment if you can.

magicbeans on May 2, 2012 at 12:34 PM

Why don’t you recommend that to 99.9% of posters here. A large chunk of them need help.

Uppereastside on May 2, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Translated: “I know I stepped in it bigtime, so I will try to bluff my way out of it by calling all Hot Gas posters Stupid.”

Saul Alinsky taught you well.

Del Dolemonte on May 2, 2012 at 12:42 PM

Say hello to the Panchen Lama, Mr. Chen. Ugh.

Christien on May 2, 2012 at 12:43 PM

Too bad he’s not Muslim.

NotEasilyFooled on May 2, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Hospital=pshyche ward, higher education=reeducation camp, safe place to live in China=prison cell. Thanks, comrade Obowma, we will continue paying your debt allowance until the reelection.

anikol on May 2, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Why don’t you recommend that to 99.9% of posters here. A large chunk of them need help.

Uppereastside on May 2, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Yous kind of uppity for someone known for taking a dump in threads, then running away like a pu$$y.

MNHawk on May 2, 2012 at 12:47 PM

Chen should’ve gone to the Canadian or other embassy.

Christien on May 2, 2012 at 12:47 PM

I think the term you’re looking for is “threw him under the bus and then quickly drove away.” Does this mean Obama is now an accessory to yet another murder just like those in Fast and Furious?

UnderstandingisPower on May 2, 2012 at 12:47 PM

Did the Obama administration abandon Chen?

…is the Pope Catholic?

KOOLAID2 on May 2, 2012 at 12:48 PM

NotEasilyFooled on May 2, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Ya got that right.

Obama himself would have fast rappelled from one of those stealth choppers into the embassy compound, swept Chen under one arm, and to the cry of “Allah Akbar” swung back into the helo and have been out over the China Sea in a matter of moments.

Infidels?

Not so much.

coldwarrior on May 2, 2012 at 12:49 PM

Thomas Friedman right now is writing a column advocating America follow in China’s footsteps…House is good thing for “bad Americans”.

What a wonderful place!!!

William Eaton on May 2, 2012 at 12:49 PM

So you are saying Chen is lying? he is perfectly safe? He is a wing nut? You need to try to be objective for a moment if you can.

magicbeans on May 2, 2012 at 12:34 PM

Perhaps the source is being misleading or misunderstood (it is the Associated Press after all).

Does it really seem likely that Chen would start saying this sort of thing to the foreign press immediately after having left the safety of US custody?

DarkCurrent on May 2, 2012 at 12:49 PM

It is not like manchurian candidates presidents are given a choice.

anikol on May 2, 2012 at 12:51 PM

Did the Obama administration abandon Chen?
The Obama administration also murdered 10 white babies last night.

Uppereastside on May 2, 2012 at 12:24 PM

Upyerassideways always has the deck of race cards!
…no brains…just cards.

KOOLAID2 on May 2, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Waiting for DarkCurrent to weigh in on this.

Christien on May 2, 2012 at 12:54 PM

Did the Obama administration abandon Chen?
POSTED AT 12:01 PM ON MAY 2, 2012 BY ED MORRISSEY

Has Ed Morrissey adopted the Fox News practice of dolling up unfounded accusations as rhetorical questions?
Makes one appear to just be asking a question…not.

verbaluce on May 2, 2012 at 12:54 PM

So Chen who was apparently in good health (except for being blind) was taken by ambulance to a Chinese hospital under escort.

Not too sanitary these Beijing hospitals. Lots and lots of germs and stuff hangin’ ’round.

The unfortunate unforeseen and untimely death of Chen may be announced within the week. Natural causes, of course. Some sort of viral infection. The Asian flu maybe?

Wonder if the “Pros from Dover” were ever called?

Or has Obama atritted the ranks that badly that there are no longer any of us around?

coldwarrior on May 2, 2012 at 12:54 PM

Oops. I see you’re already here.

Christien on May 2, 2012 at 12:55 PM

To be fair I’m not sure Obama had any good options here. Assuming the threats to his wifes life were really made what were we supposed to do? Call their bluff? Keep the threats from Chen? What choice did Obama really have?

steel guy on May 2, 2012 at 12:56 PM

High-profile walk-in/defector/asylum seeker?

Rule One: Never ever acknowledge that they are in your embassy/mission/facility.

Rule Two: See Rule One.

Rule Three: Establish bona fides.

Rule Four: If they are indeed valuable/high profile, get them the hell out of there…fast…real fast.

Rule Five: See Rule One.

Rule Six: Get them to a safe location outside the US…fast.

Rule Seven: See Rule One.

Believe me…I’ve done this sort of thing many many times over the years.

The Beijing Embassy and the US State Department screwed the pooch from the moment Chen walked in.

coldwarrior on May 2, 2012 at 12:18 PM

Exactly.

I don’t and never have worked in this field, however, there have been many defections, etc. over the years. And one thing about them is that no one knew it was happening until after the fact.

The minute I saw the headlines that he was at the embassy I thought to myself, This guy and/or his family are sooooo doomed.

Lily on May 2, 2012 at 12:59 PM

To be fair I’m not sure Obama had any good options here. Assuming the threats to his wifes life were really made what were we supposed to do? Call their bluff? Keep the threats from Chen? What choice did Obama really have?

steel guy on May 2, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Well, ….yeah. The threat to take it public would be preferable to handing him over and trying to sugar coat it.

a capella on May 2, 2012 at 1:03 PM

steel guy on May 2, 2012 at 12:56 PM

See my 12:18 PM.

No bluff to call if the other side has no inkling as to where one of their billion or so citizens is.

Seems like somebody on our side out in “Heathen China” thought they’d get another attaboy by announcing Chen was at the embassy and then the rest was one cluster after another when one policy met another policy…and the bottom line became let’s not offend the Chinese.

Other higher profile walk-ins and defectors and asylum seekers have been successfully moved from one country to another in more difficult times under very very real probabilities of imminent death (us and the defector) long long before their own government knew they were missing.

It can be done.

Well, it used to be done…almost routinely.

coldwarrior on May 2, 2012 at 1:04 PM

Alternate headline: Blind community organizer betrays Chinese activist.

Christien on May 2, 2012 at 1:04 PM

Has Ed Morrissey adopted the Fox News practice of dolling up unfounded accusations as rhetorical questions?
Makes one appear to just be asking a question…not.

verbaluce on May 2, 2012 at 12:54 PM

Care to entertain us with credible, multi-sourced examples of Faux News doing what you claim above?

Del Dolemonte on May 2, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Christien on May 2, 2012 at 1:04 PM

Touché! Well played.

coldwarrior on May 2, 2012 at 1:06 PM

It does appear that we whiffed on this one. According to an AP report, Chen asked — after he left the embassy, and while in the hospital — for a message to be conveyed to Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) that Chen would like help getting himself and his family out of China.

“I think we’d like to rest in a place outside of China,” he said. He later asked that a message be conveyed to U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, a noted critic of China’s human rights record: “Help my family and I leave safely.”

J.E. Dyer on May 2, 2012 at 1:12 PM

If it smells like a sell out, it is…

JIMV on May 2, 2012 at 1:13 PM

coldwarrior on May 2, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Thanks, but you deserve the real thanks for helping asylum seekers, if I read you correctly.

Christien on May 2, 2012 at 1:13 PM

America is a shining beacon on the hill for all…..unfortunately the ChiComms now own the mortgage.

Freedom? meh.

PappyD61 on May 2, 2012 at 1:14 PM

Did the Obama administration abandon Chen?

Yes, why are you asking?

patch on May 2, 2012 at 1:14 PM

J.E. Dyer on May 2, 2012 at 1:12 PM

Note on above: I just visited the link again, and discovered that the reference to Chris Smith has been removed in the AP story. However, the quote in the above comment was copied directly from the original version of the story at about 9:30 AM PDT (for an email I was sending). For some reason, AP removed Smith’s name from the updated version. But the original version had the exact wording copied from it earlier.

J.E. Dyer on May 2, 2012 at 1:16 PM

coldwarrior on May 2, 2012 at 1:04 PM

I have read that post and it does make a lot of sense. We don’t really know how word got out about his presence at the embassy. I suspect the chinese have plenty of ears at the U.S. embassy. I agree it is possible that this was a diplomatic blunder by the state dept. but I don’t think we have all the info to make an informed judgement just yet.

steel guy on May 2, 2012 at 1:16 PM

J.E. Dyer on May 2, 2012 at 1:12 PM

The bottom line leaves two possibilities.

One: The Embassy, State Department and White House blew this due to poor preparation or lack of procedures in place or just plain bad luck, perhaps even stupidity.

Two: The Embassy, State Department and White House blew this one…intentionally.

Disgusting any way you look at it.

coldwarrior on May 2, 2012 at 1:18 PM

Has Ed Morrissey adopted the Fox News practice of dolling up unfounded accusations as rhetorical questions?
Makes one appear to just be asking a question…not.

verbaluce on May 2, 2012 at 12:54 PM

Considering this has been the practice of the left wing broadcast network anchors for decades (see Rather, Dan for a prime example) they are just learning from the best in the business.

Dawnsblood on May 2, 2012 at 1:23 PM

Stunning that anyone bought the original story.

He would then be relocated to a safe place in China

That sentence fragment is a dead giveaway that it was a crock. What ‘safe place’ is there in China for those the government goes after?

ProfessorMiao on May 2, 2012 at 1:24 PM

steel guy on May 2, 2012 at 1:16 PM

We used to drill this little exercise in embassies and consulates all around the world. Even had three-ring binders in place from Post One through the consular sections up to the Chief of Mission or Ambassador…what happens if Mr. A or Mr. B walks through that front gate?

All US embassies and consulates are filled with foreign employees/local employees.

Yet…it can and has been done many times that a foreign national can get past the local guard out front and arrive at Post One….and never been seen in that country ever again…and we have moved families as well…and even the well-trained local nationals who worked for their intel or security services never had a hint until it was long long past.

An informed judgement can be made…easily.

All of us at Hot Air heard about Chen being inside the US Embassy in Beijing.

We never should have heard a single word about any of it until Chen and his family had been safely relocated to a third country or to the United States eventually.

That is an informed judgement based on experience.

coldwarrior on May 2, 2012 at 1:24 PM

coldwarrior on May 2, 2012 at 1:18 PM

Agreed. I am heartsick over this. What a shabby performance by the leadership of my country.

J.E. Dyer on May 2, 2012 at 1:28 PM

We never should have heard a single word about any of it until Chen and his family had been safely relocated to a third country or to the United States eventually.

That is an informed judgement based on experience.

coldwarrior on May 2, 2012 at 1:24 PM

Agreed. We’ve had the help of other embassies in the past; I wonder if the willingness is there anymore.

J.E. Dyer on May 2, 2012 at 1:31 PM

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