The nationwide wave of arrests, disappearances and tortures began on the weekend of February 19-20, 2011. Insofar as any official reasons were ever suggested for China’s new wave of Gestapo style “Nacht und Nebel”, it was putatively to prevent China’s so-called “Jasmine Revolution” from ever developing. What remains unclear and uknown to this day is whether China’s “Jasmine Revolution” might have been concocted by China’s State Security as an excuse for its new wave of terror, analogous to Mao’s “Hundred Flowers” campaign.
In any case, the events of China’s spring of 2011 warrant an appropriately aromatic title. I suggest, “China’s Cesspool Spring”. Which reminds me of a similar reign of terror in Ancient Rome, whose Secret Police leader, Sejanus, ought to pose some lessons for China’s State Security.
To make a long story short, Sejanus created long lists of politically convenient – meaning expendable – targets to accuse falsely of subversion of state power. This was his method of self-promotion; by creating the appearance of a national conspiracy threatening national security, he fooled the Emperor into believing Sejanus was indispensable to the state.
But in time, even the Emperor discovered that Sejanus was in fact the state’s worst enemy. Consequently Sejanus himself was executed for treason.
Our funny little friends in Beijing might want to think about that. In a reign of terror, state security officers often end up receiving what they’ve been doling out. Communist countries like yours have especially strong habits of arresting, torturing and killing their own “state security” leaders once they become inconvenient. If Trotsky, the number two man in Russia’s Communist Party, could end up assassinated by Stalin and called an “enemy of the state”, then so can you. All of you.
In closing for now, I dedicate the following scene of the life of Sejanus, especially the part from 1:40 to 4:00, to Ge Xun’s interrogator Wang Jie: