Liu Shu-jen, the self-proclaimed online lover of the now former CIA director. (Photo/Li Kun-jian)
The resignation of CIA director David Petraeus over an extramarital affair, accepted by President Obama on Friday, has brought a familiar face in Taiwan back into the media spotlight.
Liu Shu-jen, a former engineer with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company at the Hsinchu Science Park in northern Taiwan, first came to public attention in September last year for her alleged online relationship with "David," convinced that the CIA director and former commander of US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan was going to come to Taiwan and marry her.
After losing US$50,000 in transfers to David's "offshore bank accounts," and being arrested after trying to cash 37 fraudulent traveler's checks she claimed he had sent to her, each worth €500 (US$640), Liu remained determined. She said that her lover, in his military plane, would bust her out of prison and suavely slip the ring on her finger, even if, in the internet "David's" words, "it would start World War III."
Liu, battered but not defeated, is back with a vengeance now that it emerges that Petraeus genuinely did have another woman.
She claimed on Nov. 9 that the CIA director had written a letter to her in early November before the US presidential election, telling her in advance that he would resign after the election ended. Petraeus' resignation, therefore, did not surprise her at all, according to China Times, our Chinese-language sister newspaper.
Due to personal factors, Liu said that it was not convenient for her to make public the details of the letter. She added that she was unaware of who was having an affair with David and did not know if the scandal was the real reason for his resignation.
Having been the face of the US enforcement agency, Liu is afraid that his resignation will make him a target. "I am deeply in love with him, therefore I am worried about his safety," she said.
"I always believe that David will come to Taiwan to visit me. In fact, the Taiwanese government can consider inviting David to Taiwan to promote the relationship between two countries," said Liu.
Liu revealed on her Facebook account that a question about immigration in one of the presidential election debates on Oct. 18 alluded to the situation between herself and David. "Obama's reply mentioned me and my situation without mentioning my name," she claimed.
Though she has not found a permanent job since leaving TSMC, tutoring positions have helped her make ends meet.
David Petraeus' affair with Paula Broadwell, the writer of his biography, was discovered after his email account was infiltrated by another woman. After launching an investigation, the FBI came across sexually explicit emails between the writer and Petraeus. The woman who exposed him turned out to be Broadwell herself.