[Marxism] Rutgers University Faculty protest honoring a war criminal with a Doctor of Laws degree

Dennis Brasky dmozart1756 at gmail.com
Thu Feb 27 12:43:04 MST 2014

We, the undersigned Rutgers faculty members, are outraged and offended by
the resolution of the Board of Governors to invite former Secretary of
State Condoleezza Rice to be the keynote speaker at this year's
Commencement, and to award her an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

The mission of a University is to promote truth and knowledge, including
historical knowledge. A commencement speaker is supposed to represent a
model of citizenship to graduating students. To have Condoleezza Rice
perform this role at Rutgers betrays both our mission and the trust of our
students. It dishonors the Board and all of us.

As National Security Advisor (2001-2005), Dr. Rice directly participated in
the decision to launch the second Iraq war. She played a leading role in
the campaign of distortions and lies seeking to justify that war,
repeatedly alleging that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, and that
links had been established between al Qaeda and the Saddam Hussein regime.
As Secretary of State (2005-2009), well after these allegations had been
proven false, Dr. Rice never acknowledged that her claims had misled the

Condoleezza Rice was also fully associated with the Bush administration's
torture policy of "enhanced interrogation techniques," such as
waterboarding. Her later statement that she "didn't authorize anything,"
but only "conveyed the authorization of the administration" to the CIA,
merely adds her name to the infamous list of participants in crimes of war
claiming that "they only followed orders."

The fact is that Dr. Rice has a central responsibility in an unjustifiable
war that caused the death of over 100,000 men, women and children, and the
displacement of millions of others. By so doing, she also gravely damaged
the moral standing of the United States.

The decision of the Board of Governors to award an honorary Law degree to
someone who deceived her country and condoned an attempt to legalize
torture dishonors both Rutgers and the law. It is also a slap in the face
to the students and their educators.

By putting Condoleezza Rice in the position of talking to graduating
students about their accomplishments, their dreams, and their values, we do
not merely help her avoid responsibility for her actions. We seem to be
saying that both our students and their teachers should ignore history and
be indifferent to crimes committed.

The Class of 2014 was 10 or 11 years old when the Iraq war began; it is now
being asked by its alma mater to erase a part of its own history. This goes
against everything we should be doing as an institution of higher learning.

We urge the Board of Governors to reverse its shocking and indecent
decision. We pledge to do everything in our power, between now and
Commencement Day, to inform and, yes, educate the Rutgers community about
the very recent past that the Board's action attempts to rewrite.

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