Ms Chen’s case, the arrest appeared to be based less on the alleged evidence than on the suspect’s race. Federal prosecutors subsequently dropped the spying charges. In the hearing that freed Mr. Lee, Federal District Judge James Parker stated the government’s tactics; have embarrassed this entire nation and each of us who is a citizen of it; (Los Angeles Times, Wen Ho Lee Freed, Judge Scolds U.S. Over Case Tactics, September 14, 2000). We want to make sure our government does not repeat situations similar to that of Wen Ho Lee.
No federal employee or any American-should be viewed by our government as more suspicious because of the individual’s race. Not only would such targeting be unconstitutional, it has led to shameful chapters in our nation’s history. Our government has targeted Asian Pacific Americans in the past, from the yellow peril hysteria that led to the Chinese Exclusion Act, to the forced internment of over a hundred thousand Americans who happened to be of Japanese descent, to the solitary confinement of Wen Ho Lee.
We thus request an investigation into Ms. Chen’s case to determine whether race was used as a factor in her arrest. We also request an investigation to determine whether any federal agency has a written or unwritten, program, pattern or practice of using race (or other civil rights classifications such as religion, gender national origin) in targeting federal employees for arrest, surveillance, security clearance denials or other actions. We ask that you share the results of your investigations to Congress within a reasonable time, no later than 120 days from the date of this letter. 2015-05-21 TWL Letter to Attorney General on Sherry Chen – FINAL w signatures