For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, power, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).
Recently, I read a column in the National Review about three missing journalists who had dared to report on the unfolding coronavirus crisis in China. The story focused on the disappearance of Li Zehua, a promising 25-year-old reporter who had relocated to Wuhan to cover the epidemic, a topic which the Chinese government deemed too “sensitive” to publicize. Having met with Chen Qiusha, a reporter in Wuhan who was covering the outbreak and subsequently disappeared, Li knew what was at stake, yet pressed on with his reporting. Ultimately, he was arrested in his apartment, Soviet style.
However, unlike in the former Soviet Union, this arrest was made public. Li livestreamed it from his apartment just moments after having been pursued by a public-security vehicle. Here is NR’s account of Li’s final moments of freedom:
Li said: “Since I first arrived in Wuhan, everything I have done has been in accord with the constitution of the People’s Republic of China and with its laws.” Knowing he would be taken away and even forcibly quarantined, just like Chen Qiushi, Li made sure to note in the video that he had protective gear and that he was healthy at the moment of his arrest. It was important for him to emphasize this on the record, because if the Chinese government later claimed that Li was sick and quarantined or even had died of the coronavirus, the rest of the world, especially Li’s family, would know it was a lie…. After these words, Li opened the door. Two men in masks and dressed fully in black walked in. The camera was abruptly shut off, and the livestreaming stopped. No one has heard from Li since that day.
Stories like this make one thankful to live in a country that has made freedom of speech a central pillar of its constitutional order.
Still, we have our own Li’s—and our own misgivings about the freedom of speech. As you probably know (and if you don’t, you should find out), a few years ago David Daleiden posted a series of undercover interviews with Planned Parenthood employees and others involved in the sale of fetal body parts, revealing that not only was Planned Parenthood selling hearts, livers, even intact bodies, but that the abortionists were illegally determining how they would kill the baby in order to preserve the “specimens” on order.
So far Planned Parenthood has suffered no legal repercussions. But clearly, they are nervous. That’s what exposing evil does. We have always known that Planned Parenthood makes money performing abortions, as well as that it receives both private and taxpayer funding. Because of Daleiden and a few others, we also know they had a profitable business selling body parts from carefully dismembered babies. (Recently, a judge overseeing a civil lawsuit in Daleiden’s legal battle unsealed invoices issued by a California Planned Parenthood clinic that show the clinic charged hefty fees for various fetal organs.)
Daleiden hasn’t disappeared, and his capture wasn’t as dramatic as Li’s. But his capture is no less real. Kamala Harris, California’s attorney general at the time, ordered his apartment raided and his videos and equipment confiscated, then initiated criminal charges for which Daleiden awaits trial. If he loses in court, he would face up to 20 years in prison. At which point he could disappear—behind bars.
The courage demonstrated by men like Li and Daleiden is stunning. And it will become increasingly necessary. For those who do evil and seek to cover it up will not react kindly when their deeds are exposed.
For information on how to contribute to Daleiden’s legal expenses, click below.