Giving my desk at work its Labor Day holiday shift cleaning (I’m the warm body in case news happens), I stumbled across a bit of history: the notebook from the day nine years ago when Wen Ho Lee made the first of a series of appearances federal court that ended his prosecution as the spy who wasn’t really a spy after all. Lee ended up pleading guilty that week to a single count of improperly downloading classified material and walked out of the federal courthouse in Albuquerque a free man.
I was not the newspaper’s lead reporter on the story, but I had been there the day he was indicted (Ian Hoffman, who was our lead reporter and later co-wrote the definitive book on the case, was off fishing on the day of Lee’s arrest and indictment). It was history, and I figured I had to be there the day it ended, too, so I “volunteered” to help Ian out with the courtroom scene.
The notebook is labeled simply “The End.” On the first page, while I was sitting in court waiting for Lee to appear, I had penned the opening lines of a limerick:
There was an old doctor named Lee
Who wondered what fuss there might be.
Downloaded some codes…
Apparently court started at that point, because the limerick is left hanging, followed at that point by a description of Lee walking in with a “big grin.”
I welcome suggestions for the limerick’s conclusion.