I had some trouble believing that KMT Vice Presidential candidate Vincent Siew would meet with Raymond Burghardt, Chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), our officially unofficial representative body here in Taiwan, and tell Burghardt all kinds of crazy things about what the DPP was planning to do, but confirmation arrived yesterday from both the American side and the KMT side. The KMT yesterday held a press conference to announce the list, putting a brave face on inevitability. A-gu has the complete list, ranging from batshit insane claims like the DPP plans to assassinate its own candidate, to outrages like accusing Chen Shui-bian of running over his own wife to generate sympathy, to things that are normal, like making videos about candidates.

Concurrently, the Taipei Times was reporting that unnamed US officials were confirmed that Siew had made statements that were remarkably similar to what was reported in the media as released by a DPP legislator.

“In the conversation with Siew about all the `dirty tricks’ issues, Siew mentioned all of them to Burghardt. Siew told Burghardt that these were the rumors that were floating about Taipei. Burghardt did not know any of the stuff that Siew was telling him,” the official said.

Burghardt did not initiate any conversation about the dirty tricks, and at one point in the meeting the AIT head did not understand what Siew was referring to, and had to ask Siew to write the Chinese characters for “dirty tricks” (aobu, 奧步) so he could better understand Siew’s points, the US official said.

Siew brought up stories about possible DPP “plans” for assassinations, disturbances and incidents in the Taiwan Strait, all of which Burghardt “had never heard before,” the official said.

The official was especially concerned about suggestions that Burghardt expressed Washington’s preference for the KMT over the DPP.

“He would never say anything like that. It is simply not true. That’s complete baloney. Burghardt would never say anything remotely like that,” the official said.

“We don’t side with the KMT. That’s why Burghardt met with Bi-khim. He’s closer to her than he is to Vincent, frankly,” the official said.

The official said that the topics brought up during the meeting as reported in the Taiwanese media were basically accurate — but that statements attributed to Burghardt were not.

In the AIT version, Siew presents these claims as street talk, rumors. The KMT made them on its own behalf in the press conference, however.