Idea Of The Day

Will Wen Ho Lee Go to Court Again?

Wen Ho Lee, the former Los Alamos scientist accused of spying for the Chinese in 1999 and acquitted by a federal court last year, has run into further trouble. He’s written an autobiography with the arresting title My Country Versus Me, although the manner in which the contents of this forthcoming book were composed could prove more arresting than he’d planned. As the New York Times reports:

Dr. Lee submitted his manuscript to federal censors in July, three months before its intended publication, in October. Federal and private security experts said that the submission for review was belated and that it was highly likely that people other than the author—like his co-author and his editor, among others—had seen the manuscript. If so, he could have violated federal rules and in theory could find himself facing new charges and penalties.

But without co-author Helen Zia and an editor at Hyperion (and let’s not forget the literary agent) would there would be a book for the federal censors to look at? Possibly, possibly not, but probably not a book that you or I would want to read. An anonymous source told the Times reporter, “You can’t write a book in the modern age without violating security rules,” which suggests that the rules should be scrutinized rather than Wen Ho Lee’s book.