[EDITORIALS]A weird case of the bugsThe investigation into the wiretap scandal at the National Intelligence Service is strange. The prosecutors were silent for three months since the launch of the investigation, until President Roh Moo-hyun directed them to conduct a thorough probe. After his intervention, they suddenly arrested three officials at the spy agency. Furthermore, the prosecutors reported the progress of the investigation yesterday. The report indicated the prosecution is concerned only with how others view its investigation.
The probe should focus on whether the National Intelligence Service really did conduct illegal wiretapping. Also, the chain of command behind the bugging should be divulged. The documents disclosed by the opposition Grand National Party shows details of the telephone calls, and many of those under suspicion have admitted making such phone calls. So it is difficult to say there was no breach of the law. If the phone calls on the documents were not tapped, the prosecutors should examine closely how the phone records were made.
But the investigation of the prosecutors is focusing on how the spy agency’s documents were disclosed, rather than on whether wiretapping occurred. The inquiry is interested more in the side issues rather than allegations of wrongdoing. The channels by which the wiretapping documents were disclosed should be revealed. But it is not proper to place a higher importance on the revelation than on the allegations themselves.
And the remarks about the details of the investigation, made by Moon Hee-sang, the president’s chief of staff, also pose a problem. It might suggest that the prosecutors reported the progress of the investigation to the Blue House or the Blue House guided the prosecutors in the investigation. The prosecutors said the remarks had nothing to do with the investigation, confusing the public even more.
Wiretapping is a mean crime that tramples on basic rights. The public is the victim. The scandal offers an opportunity to eradicate government eavesdropping activities.