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[Opinion] The More You Try to Escape, the Deeper You Fall

[Opinion] The More You Try to Escape, the Deeper You Fall

Posted January. 29, 2002 09:29,   


A polygraph (lie detector) indicates whether a person is lying or not by tracking physiological changes such as blood pressure, breathing, and sweat. Most recently, one hospital in the U.S. has reportedly replaced the polygraph with a heat sensing camera. When a person lies, the camera reveals red spots around the eyes. Although it is still in the test stages, it may be helpful in exposing terrorists in places like airports.

One also gets the silly idea that a very good lie detecting device may be of significant help in our `gates` investigations. Lee Hyung-Taek, the President`s nephew-in-law who played a key role in the `Lee Yong-Ho Gate` insisted on his innocence before the National Assembly saying, "I have nothing to hide before heaven and earth." This is detestable the more you think about it, but let us say for the sake of argument that this is the lie of a person who had no sense of his proper place and went about among political circles. Was there, though, a time when the central political figures lied so easily as now?

National Assembly representatives, state ministers, presidential secretaries, National Intelligence Service director, general, public prosecutor, news media president . . . , who in our society has a more influential position than these people? For what unknown reason did these people line up to get their feet wet in all these `gates` and are now trying to escape the crisis by telling all sorts of lies? They start by saying, "I don`t know that person." then "I know who he is but I have never met him." to "I did meet him but no favors were involved." With these excuses they begin to say aloud that they will take legal measures to prove their innocence. Their acting abilities are astounding as they utter lies that will be discovered sooner or later and make these lies into statements of justice.

The more pitiful thing is the Public Prosecutors` lies. The office that is supposed to be exposing lies and closely examine injustice and corruption has done nothing except cover up, hide, or minimize the gates. It acted as if the cases were trivial and closed the investigations after looking at insignificant details. If it were not for the Special Prosecutors, the lies that the Public Prosecutors intentionally covered up would have gone down into history as if they were true.

It is a cliché now to say that absolute power corrupts absolutely, but it has been proved now that even a self-professed democratic power corrupts absolutely if its inner circle colludes with one another. The politics dominated by personal connections is manipulating and making a mockery out of the nation`s leadership.

When President Kim Dae-Jung appointed the members of the corruption prevention committee, which was launched on the 25th, he reportedly urged them to crack down especially on tax evasion, violations by entertainment businesses, and to enforce regulations that require public officials on construction sites to disclose their real names. Why, then, does this presidential admonition sound so awkward? Exposing officials who are involved in granting personal favors, heeding public criticism, and eliminating daily injustices and corruption are all important. Yet, the more urgent thing now is uncovering the corruption that state organizations were guilty of breeding systematically and en masse. President Kim must make a decision with the willingness to make the greatest sacrifice for the sake of justice.

It is not the time to focus solely on crisis management. The more one tries to find a way out, the deeper one falls in the pit. Reorganizing the entire Cabinet and reinforcing the importance of public official duties and integrity are necessary but that will not restore the ethical integrity and authority of the fallen administration. No matter how much the President insists on carrying out the law, no one believes that this will come true. He himself will have to carry out the excruciating labor of cutting out the rotten parts.

The public sees the inside of the political circles clearly enough to detect the root cause and consequences of even the smallest sign of corruption. When the `gates` began opening up, the Cheong Wa Dae gave all sorts of explanations and excuses as if they were completely uninvolved. The public sees miles ahead while the authorities cannot see beyond their living room door. Now the public is discerning the connections behind the `gates` and where it began. They know all that there is to know. Hence the saying, `Every rumor is true`.

The leadership cannot keep on trying to hold the Maginot line by hiding the core of the corruption cases. The public needs to know that the leadership has gone way beyond the line that it claims for itself. Those in power are making a big mistake if they think that they can turn the public sentiment around by making senior presidential secretary of the economy Lee Ki-Ho the Maginot line or by reshuffling the Cabinet. Unless the entire truth behind the state organizations` involvement in these `gates` comes out in the open, the leadership will not be able to escape the present crisis.

There is no other way. The best solution is to deal with everything truthfully and await the people`s judgment.

Nam Chan-Soon (Editorial Staff Writer)