[FOUNTAIN]A video virusThe enemy within is always more dangerous and harder to catch than the outside foe. That is why cancer cells in our body can be more deadly than the germs or viruses that penetrate from outside. The HIV virus penetrates the human body pretending to be a commander of the immune system that fights disease. The sly virus blurs the efforts of the human system to tell friend from foe.
The collapse of the former chief of the Peruvian intelligence agency, Vladimiro Montesinos, along with President Alberto Fujimori, was ignited by a videotape which he had secretly arranged to be taken while he was bribing an opposition lawmaker three years ago. He had filmed the scene as a precautionary measure while he bought off the opposition politician with $15,000 to join the ruling party. But a traitor in the intelligence agency handed the video to a rival party leader, who was only too happy to publicize it. That was how President Fujimori and his strongman Mr. Montesinos met the end of their public careers. Videos can be an effective blackmail tool from the shadows. But in broad daylight, they self-destruct and harm the creator instead.
Also in 2000, Taiwan’s President Chen Shui-bian’s clandestine affair with a staff member was revealed. The scandal was followed by a report that the person who leaked the affair to the media was Lu Hsiu-lien, the vice president and the second most powerful political figure in Taiwan. President Chen’s predicament was amplified by the internal discord and deception.
President Chen and Vice President Lu were partners in the democratization movement, spending decades fighting against the half-century rule of the Kuomintang, the remnants of the defeated ruling party of all China. Once they came into power, the old political partners were divided as mainstream and outsider in the Democratic Progressive Party in the course of establishing the new government’s policy direction. The personal information they shared based on mutual trust became a deadly weapon as the two politicians turned their backs on each other.
Secret videotaping and audio recordings, conspiracies and disclosures, are no longer unusual schemes in Korean politics. The ruling party needs to look back and see if the chronic disease of arrogance and self-righteousness has re-emerged or a virus seeking a reward has disguised itself and invaded the political system.
by Chun Young-gi
The writer is a deputy political news editor of the JoongAng Ilbo.