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MIT陈刚教授自述

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原标题:我是在司法部的中国倡议下被捕的。国会必须调查该计划。

作者:陈刚

首发:《波士顿环球报》

2021年1月14日上午6:30左右,许多联邦特工冲进我家,把我的妻子和女儿从睡梦中叫醒,给我戴上手铐,把我关进监狱,指控我在担任麻省理工学院教授期间,没有披露来自各种中国实体的资金。我已经知道,我正在接受司法部在特朗普政府期间发起的中国倡议下的调查。2020年1月,当我从国外旅行回到波士顿洛根机场时,我被审问,我的所有电子产品都被没收了。然而,就在我被逮捕的一个月前,当时的美国马萨诸塞州检察官安德鲁-莱林(Andrew Lelling)领导的美国检察官办公室通知我的律师,没有准备起诉我。

关于这个突然的转变,在我被捕后,负责此案的检察官向我的律师表示,这份起诉书是仓促的。起诉书和申诉书都充斥着基本的事实错误--例如,它把我在别人的讲座上做的笔记列为我自己的想法--而我被逮捕时,距离特朗普政府的任期还不到一周。这意味着莱林即将离任。在我被捕的那天,莱林和负责波士顿办事处的联邦调查局特工约瑟夫-博纳沃隆塔(Joseph Bonavolonta)举行了一次新闻发布会,我对美国的忠诚度受到了质疑。371天里,我和我的家人经历了一个活生生的地狱。

周四(2022年1月20日),美国政府在波士顿的地方法院承认,它无法证明对我的指控,并说撤销我的案件将 "符合司法利益"。

在我看来,这是一场出于政治和种族动机的起诉,没有赢家。我的声誉受到损害,我的家庭受到影响,我的研究所失去了一位教授的服务,并承担了我的法律辩护的财务负担,美国纳税人的钱被浪费了,美国吸引世界各地人才的能力直线下降,科学界感到恐惧。莱林博纳沃隆塔通过阻止研究人员与中国合作,成功地创造了他们想要的 "寒蝉效应"--但在这个过程中,他们削弱了美国的巨大优势之一,即我们丰富的学术研究和合作历史,这是很多科学发现发生在美国而不是在其他国家的重要原因。他们这样做的时候,我们正迫切需要国际科学合作来解决人类的生存威胁,如新冠疫情和全球变暖。

现在,无论出于什么原因,甚至莱林也承认他帮助创建的中国倡议已经 "失去了重心"。

让我说得再清楚一点:虽然我的故事的一部分当然是关于被严重误导的中国倡议,但它也涉及联邦调查局、联邦检察官和其他联邦调查机构的关键错误。正如我的律师团队所争论的那样,博纳沃隆塔和他的代理人忽视了基本的无罪证据,在我被捕后才与关键证人面谈,并在各种官方文件中大幅歪曲事实。根据宪法规定,检方必须移交的开脱罪责的信息--例如一名证人说我从未参加过人才计划,这是中国政府为研究人员和科学家提供资金的一项举措,是政府的主要指控之一--被扣留了几个月,直到我的律师提出要求。虽然我对我的案件 "为了正义"而被撤销感到宽慰,但我恭敬地要求国会和美国司法部对此事进行彻底审查,以追究个人对这种明显的不当行为的责任。

30多年前,我从中国来到美国。这是我选择养育我的家庭并贡献我一生的工作的地方。这个国家的承诺是,种族不应该是问题。但是,我很难看着"中国倡议",并得出结论说这是事实。

虽然确实不是每个被指控的教授都是华裔,但绝大多数都是,而且--随着这些"资助欺诈"案件的失败而变得清晰--司法部错误的起诉理论可能适用于数以千计的教授,他们没有列出与外国任何实体的每一项常规专业活动(这在当时不是一项要求)。作为一个国家,我们可以通过承认我们的错误行为并从我们的错误中学习,而不是盲目地向前推进,从而更忠实于我们的理想--以及成为一个更好的世界领袖。虽然承认错误可能是痛苦的,但历史表明,这是最好的前进方式。

关于作者:陈刚,麻省理工学院的机械工程教授,自2020年1月接受美国司法部根据其中国倡议进行的调查。2022年1月20日,周四,政府在波士顿的美国地方法院承认它无法证明对陈刚教授的指控,并说驳回他的案件将 "符合司法利益"。


英文原稿:

I was arrested under the DOJ’s China Initiative. Congress must investigate the program.

By Gang Chen • The Boston Globe

Around 6:30 a.m. on Jan. 14, 2021, numerous federal agents stormed into my home, woke my wife and daughter from their sleep, handcuffed me, and put me in jail, charging that, in my role as a professor at MIT, I had failed to disclose funding from various Chinese entities. I had known that I was under investigation by the Department of Justice under its China Initiative, launched during the Trump administration: When I returned to Logan Airport from a trip abroad in January 2020, I was interrogated and all my electronics were confiscated. Just a month before I was arrested, however, the US Attorney’s office for Massachusetts, under then-US Attorney Andrew Lelling, informed my lawyers that there was no imminent indictment.

Regarding this sudden shift, after my arrest prosecutors on this case indicated to my lawyers this indictment had been rushed. Both the indictment and the complaint were riddled with basic factual errors — for instance, it listed notes I took at someone else’s lecture as if they were my own thoughts — and I was arrested with less than a week to go in the Trump administration. This meant Lelling was about to leave office. The day of my arrest, Lelling and the FBI special agent in charge of the Boston office, Joseph Bonavolonta, held a press conference where my loyalty to America was questioned. For 371 days, my family and I went through a living hell.

On Thursday, the government acknowledged in US District Court in Boston that it could not prove the charges against me, and said dismissing my case would be “in the interests of justice.”

There is no winner in what seems to me a politically and racially motivated prosecution: My reputation is tarnished, my family suffered, my institute lost the service of a professor and bore the financial burden of my legal defense, US taxpayers’ money was wasted, the ability of the United States to attract talents from around the world has plummeted, and the scientific community is terrified. Lelling and Bonavolonta succeeded in creating the “chilling effect” they wanted by deterring researchers from collaborating with China — but in the process, they managed to blunt one of our great strengths as a nation, our rich history of academic research and collaboration, which leads to discoveries happening here instead of in some other country. They did this at a time when international scientific collaboration is urgently needed to address humanity’s existential threats, such as COVID-19 and global warming.

Now, for whatever reason, even Lelling is acknowledging that the China Initiative he helped create has“lost its focus.”

Let me be clear: While part of my story is certainly about the terribly misguided China Initiative, it also involves critical mistakes on the part of the FBI, federal prosecutors, and other federal investigative agencies. As my team of lawyers argued, Bonavolonta and his agents ignored basic exculpatory evidence, failed to interview critical witnesses until after I was arrested, and dramatically embellished facts in various official documents. Exculpatory information that, under the Constitution, the prosecution was required to turn over — such as a witness saying that I never was in a talent program, a Chinese government initiative to provide funding to researchers and scientists, which was one of the government’s key allegations — was withheld for months until demanded by my lawyers. While I am relieved that my case has been dropped “in the interests of justice,” I respectfully request a thorough review of this matter by Congress and the US Department of Justice to hold individuals accountable for this glaring misconduct.

I came to America from China more than 30 years ago. It is where I have chosen to raise my family and contribute my life’s work. The promise of this nation is that race is not supposed to matter. But it is hard for me to look at the China Initiative and conclude that was the case.

Although it is true that not every professor charged is of Chinese descent, the vast majority are, and — as is becoming clear as these “grant fraud” cases falter — the Justice Department’s misguided theory of prosecution could likely apply to thousands of professors who failed to list every routine professional activity with any entity in a foreign nation (which was not a requirement at the time). As a nation, we can be more true to our ideals — and a better world leader — by acknowledging our wrongdoings and learning from our mistakes rather than blindly pressing forward. While acknowledging mistakes can be painful, history shows that it is the best way forward.

Gang Chen is a professor of mechanical engineering at MIT.

相关链接:

https://www.bostonglobe.com/2022/01/21/opinion/i-was-arrested-under-dojs-china-initiative-congress-must-investigate-program/

发布时间:2022年01月24日 来源时间:2022年01月23日
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