EIR LEAD EDITORIAL FOR SUNDAY, MARCH 7, 2021
American Scientists Fight Back Against FBI’s Anti-China, Anti-Science Witch-Hunt
March 6 , 2021 (EIRNS)—Hundreds of America’s leading scientists, including six Nobel Prize recipients in chemistry, physics and medicine, have issued two powerful denunciations of the FBI’s criminal prosecution of hundreds of Chinese scientists in the United States, including American citizens of Chinese dissent, as well as Americans who have collaborated with Chinese institutions for the advancement of human knowledge. These attacks, directed by FBI Director Christopher Wray, in collaboration with the psychotic attacks on China from President Donald Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, were exposed in the EIR Special Report of Nov. 22, 2019, “End the McCarthyite Witch Hunt Against China and President Trump.” Now, professors from leading U.S. universities have issued two public letters defending targets of this atrocity—one from Harvard, one from MIT—spelling out clearly that the charges are false, are politically motivated, and go far beyond the persecution of these scientists and educators, but are in fact direct attacks on science itself, and on America’s leadership in international scientific research.
The FBI targets in question are Professor Charles Lieber, Chairman of the Harvard chemistry department and a world leader in nanotechnology research, and Professor Gang Chen, the Chairman of the MIT mechanical engineering department, also a leader in nanotechnology. Lieber, described by the 42 signers of the March 1 letter as “one of the great scientists of his generation,” was arrested in January 2020 for infractions regarding his federal reporting of his participation in China’s “Thousand Talents” program, which aims to recruit scientists from around the world to work in China or in cooperation with Chinese scientific research centers. There were no secrets involved, only technical infractions normally simply corrected, but now criminalized, through a “tragically misguided government campaign,” which “reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of modern science,” Lieber’s defenders write. This campaign, they add, “is threatening not only the United States position as a world leader in academic research, but science itself.” While Lieber is the “most notable” scientist targeted by the FBI, they declared, “these prosecutions are rampant.”
Over 170 members of the MIT faculty signed a similar letter defending Prof. Gang Chen, arrested on Jan. 14, 2021. He faces similarly false charges which could sentence him to 30 years in prison and a huge fine. “We are troubled that the complaints against Professor Chen vilifies what would be considered normal academic and research activities, including promoting MIT’s global mission,” the letter reads. It continues: “Because America’s competitiveness depends so heavily on scientific and technological talent from abroad, its national security is harmed by the message that the U.S. government will question the loyalty of foreign scientists.”
On Jan. 5, 2021, more than 100 individuals and institutions representing Asian-Americans wrote to then President-elect Joe Biden urging him to take steps to combat what they described as “pervasive racial bias and targeting of Asian Americans and Asian immigrant scientists, researchers and students,” and stating that the FBI campaign was pressuring universities and research institutions to participate in racial, ethnic, and national origin profiling.
While President Biden has made statements opposing a return to Cold War blocs and racial profiling, the fact is that his State Department and National Security Agency are continuing, and even expanding, the Pompeo/Wray targeting of all things Chinese, and similarly with Russia, as documented below. The moral, physical and economic decay of the United States under the Malthusian Green New Deal and the xenophobic mobilization for war with Russia and China, must be reversed, quickly, if civilization is not to descend into a new Dark Age.
The Schiller Institute is holding a virtual conference on March 20-21 to address this global existential crisis, with speakers from around the world, informing citizens of the dangers, while posing the solutions developed by the LaRouche organization over the past 50 years—restoring the American System commitment to international cooperation in pushing forward on the frontiers of human knowledge, and launching a new Renaissance to restore beauty to the contemporary cultural wasteland.