Saturday, April 12, 2008

Who needs national security?

CHIAYI, Taiwan--A few days ago, there was a news report on tv describing the conditions of a hallway in Taipei International Airport.

The report noted the number and types of rooms along this hallway, as well as the width and how long it takes to walk from end to end. From the number above the door of entry to who frequents it the most -- even down to the color of the carpet, not one detail was spared.

I was shocked to find out that this was actually the National Security Secret Hallway (國安密道) used by the president and his family.

Searching online for related articles, I found one whose title was: "First Exculsive! Taipei International Airport 'National Security Secret Hallway' Exposed! Chen Hsin-yu has the highest rate of usage!".

Really?! I cannot understand how giving away the exact location and dimensions of a top secret hallway could be a good thing, much less elicit so much excitement. I felt like I was watching a segment out of Entertainment Tonight.

After reading several articles on the subject, I learned that five KMT congressmen arrived at the airport in order to "make sure it was really a national security hallway" and to "investigate misuse of the hallway".

I can't help but wonder why it takes 5 grown men to do such an investigation. Or why they felt it appropriate to invite crews of press into the hallway on a tour. I'm not making this up -- the video I saw showed people crammed neck to neck into at least half of the hallway.

That kind of breach of security seems akin to inviting press into the White House, showing them the exact location of the entry into a secret escape tunnel, giving them a tour, then letting them wander around as they liked so that they could measure how long it took to get from end to end. Is any investigation worth exposing top secret facilities and putting the leader of the country at risk?!

I've heard conjectures that it's a deliberate attempt to blow national security so that China can take over whenever they want. Obviously that's a bit extreme, but the only explanations I can think of is that these men are either particularly stupid, or that none of them care about national security.

None of these options give me any comfort whatsoever.


Daphne said...

A colleague once told me that there are no news stations in Taiwan, only entertainment news stations. The cable news networks go from 50-58 on my TV. If you flip through them long enough, you'll start feeling like Bill Murray from Groundhog Day.

阿牛 said...

Absurd and sad almost to the point of hilarity.