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Condoleeza Rice Backs Out As Rutgers Commencement Speaker After Protests

Rutgers

Former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice has declined an invitation to speak at the upcoming Commencement at Rutgers University after certain student and faculty groups protested the invitation:

Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice backed out of giving Rutgers University’s commencement speech today amid growing opposition among the school’s students and faculty.

In a statement, Rice said she informed Rutgers President Robert Barchi that she has decided not to give the May 18 address.

“Commencement should be a time of joyous celebration for the graduates and their families. Rutgers’ invitation to me to speak has become a distraction for the university community at this very special time,” Rice said.

“I am honored to have served my country. I have defended America’s belief in free speech and the exchange of ideas. These values are essential to the health of our democracy. But that is not what is at issue here,” she said. “As a Professor for thirty years at Stanford University and as (its) former Provost and Chief academic officer, I understand and embrace the purpose of the commencement ceremony and I am simply unwilling to detract from it in any way.”

Rice wished good luck to the Rutgers graduates.

About two hours later, Rutgers officials released their own statement.

“While Rutgers University stands fully behind the invitation to Dr. Rice to be our commencement speaker and receive an honorary degree, we respect the decision she made and clearly articulated in her statement this morning,” Barchi said. “Now is the time to focus on our commencement, a day to celebrate the accomplishments and promising futures of our graduates. We look forward to joining them and their families on May 18, 2014.”

Barchi said more details about the commencement will be announced in the coming days. Rutgers has two weeks to come up with a new commencement speaker.

Earlier this week, about 50 Rutgers students staged a sit-in inside the campus administration building to protest the selection of Rice to speak. She was scheduled to receive $35,000 for her speech and an honorary Rutgers doctoral degree.

The students called for Rutgers to disinvite Rice, echoing the sentiments of several campus faculty organizations that said the former U.S. Secretary of State was an inappropriate choice because of her involvement in the Bush administration’s support of the Iraq War, waterboarding and other controversies.

Rutgers officials had declined to rescind their invitation to Rice, saying the university welcomes debate on controversial issues. Until today, Rice had remained silent about the growing protests.

Rutgers faculty members who opposed Rice’s selection were scheduled to hold a “teach-in” on the New Brunswick campus Tuesday to discuss the controversy with students and the public.

Between undergraduates and graduate students, there some 55,000 students enrolled at Rutgers, so these 50 students represented an infinitesimally small portion of the Rutgers student body. The same goes for the faculty members who were objecting to Rice’s selection as commencement speaker. Quite honestly, I doubt that most of the students who will be graduating from Rutgers on May 18th particularly care who the speaker ends up being. Indeed, unless you happen to be at a school that gets a commencement visit from the President of the United States or some prominent celebrity of one kind or another, the commencement speeches as most graduations are quickly forgotten. Personally, I can’t remember at this point who spoke when I graduated Rutgers in 1990, and the only reason I remember who my Law School Commencement Speaker was is because, just about three months later, she was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Clinton. At the same time, though, had Rice spoken as scheduled, it’s likely that his minority would have attempted to disrupt the proceedings with protests and demonstrations, so on some level I understand why Rice decided to back out. In the end, commencement isn’t about the speaker, it’s about the graduates and she likely deserves some credit for deciding that it would be best to potentially be the cause of disruption on their day.

At the same time, though, I cannot help but be disturbed just a little bit by what essentially amounts to mob rule to shout down speech at a university of all places. If there are any institutions where free and open debate ought to be encouraged and protected, it is on college campuses. Unfortunately, though, there have been far too many examples in recent years of pressure groups composed of students, faculty, or sometimes just outsiders who have tried to get so-called “offensive” ideas banned from campus, including from classrooms. This attitude existed when I was in college nearly 30 years ago, of course, but it seems to have gotten worse in recent years. This commencement flap at Rutgers, along with whatever protests students may have staged if Rice’s speech had gone forward, are another example of that. Rice is controversial in some circles because she served as National Security Adviser and Secretary of State under President Bush, but she’s hardly someone who should be considered such a pariah that she shouldn’t be allowed to speak in public. Indeed, there is plenty about her life story that is admirable.  Thanks in no small part to voices of intolerance that seem completely out of place on a college campus, though, the graduates of Rutgers University, and their families, won’t get to hear that story. That’s unfortunate.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. gVOR08 says:

    There may be too much political correctness in other cases. In this case let’s be clear about what is happening. Rice aided and abetted war crimes. Although a lesser player, she should be tried. None of them will be. The least we can do is shun them. The students and faculty of Rutgers are shunning her.

    I’m sure I’ll get dumped on for criminalizing political differences. But war crimes are well defined. These people have admitted to, nay bragged about, actions that are war crimes. Dress this pig up any way you want; we invaded a country that was not a threat to us and we tortured prisoners.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 33 Thumb down 6

  2. Scott says:

    I don’t care for this either. However, Michelle Obama didn’t speak to HS students in Topeka because of the same kind of nonsense. Everybody should just stop.

    Quite frankly, regardless of what people feel about Dr Rice, I object to paying anyone $35,000 to give a speech. Yes, pay for the expenses, a nice dinner out, etc but these honoraria prices are just outlandish.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 0

  3. al-Ameda says:

    I’m sorry that it happened. I’m weary of the correctness. As mentioned above Michele Obama was a recent victim of the PC police, so, this stuff goes on all the time.

    When I graduated from the University of California many years ago, we did not have a mass commencement ceremony – rather, each department had it’s own ceremony with an invited speaker that was selected by a committee with faculty and student representation. No problem occurred. That said, I suspect that if someone had invited Bob McNamara to the Southeast Asian Studies graduation there might have been an uproar.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  4. Modulo Myself says:

    She was being paid 35K for the speech that would have been, no doubt, filled with annoying platitudes about life.

    Her life is the rule of the mob incarnate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  5. Cd6 says:

    Wadsworth looked up from the student newspaper he was holding, meekly cleared his throat, and spoke.

    “Ma’am, the students are urging protests against your appearance. They’re using the frightful term ‘war criminal'”

    “How uncivilized,” Condi frowned. She pulled off her designer glasses and stated ahead thoughtfully. “Shall I back out?”

    “The loss would be theirs of course,” Wadsworth threw down his copy of the Rutgers Observer as if it were diseased. “Passing up the opportunity to hear a speech from one of our preeminent minds just because of these… distasteful protesters.” He shuddered involuntarily.

    “What has happened to polite society?” Condi wondered aloud. “Fine then, tell them I have another engagement and send my regrets. Do it tastefully and maybe they’ll learn some manners from this.”

    “Very good, ma’am.” Wadsworth left the room to fetch the telephone

    “Mmmmm” said Condi, as returned to her reading. She took another sip of her 1972 Crystal Vinyards Merlot. She was drinking it, as always, from the skull of an Iraqi child that she used as a goblet.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 5

  6. Ron Beasley says:

    @gVOR08:

    Rice aided and abetted war crimes.

    You are correct. She quite possibly the most incompetent national security adviser and Secretary of State in modern history. The fact that Stanford University took her back was shocking after her tenure in the GWB administration. She was unable to stand up to Cheney and Rumsfeld when it was necessary. She deserves nothing but scorn.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 5

  7. Rafer Janders says:

    @al-Ameda:

    As mentioned above Michele Obama was a recent victim of the PC police, so, this stuff goes on all the time.

    Some people protest a war criminal being honored. Some people protest the First Lady being honored. So really, both sides do it.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 3

  8. @al-Ameda:

    As mentioned above Michele Obama was a recent victim of the PC police, so, this stuff goes on all the time.

    The Michele Obama situation wasn’t really comparable as the people weren’t complaining that she was given the speech, but rather that to accommodate the speech (which involved cramming several area high schools into a single venue when they normally have separate graduations) was going to make it impossible for family members of the graduates to actually attend the ceremony.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  9. @gVOR08:

    Rice aided and abetted war crimes.

    Is there a single US foreign policy official since WWII that hasn’t?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  10. rudderpedals says:

    ‘s OK, she’s got her cash to keep her warm.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  11. KansasMom says:

    @Scott: The Michelle Obama speech in Topeka was going be a little different. There are 5 school districts in and around Topeka. The plan was for all 2,000 graduating seniors to attend a joint ceremony at an 8,000 seat arena, meaning each would only receive 4 invitations to give out. That’s obviously a small number and since the speech was announced after many had already sent out invitations rescheduling the speech was the right thing to do IMO. She will still speak, and at the same arena, but it day will be the before graduation and the graduates will all be able to attend and then each school district will hold their ceremonies individually like they usually do. I think in this case it was handled appropriately and gracefully by the first lady and school officials. And no one was paying her $35,000 and she’s never aided and abetted war crimes of course.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  12. Rafer Janders says:

    Rice is controversial in some circles because she served as National Security Adviser and Secretary of State under President Bush, but she’s hardly someone who should be considered such a pariah that she shouldn’t be allowed to speak in public.

    The fact that she’s not such a pariah that she shouldn’t be allowed to speak in public is the very problem. There’s no accountability, no responsibility left in public life. The fact that you can aid and abet an illegal attack on and occupation of a sovereign nation, that you can be in the inner circle of a regime that conspired to kidnap and torture its enemies, and NOT be a pariah is a shameful indictment of all of us.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 3

  13. Rafer Janders says:

    Thanks in no small part to voices of intolerance that seem completely out of place on a college campus, though, the graduates of Rutgers University, and their families, won’t get to hear that story

    They can get to hear that story all they want to. It’s not like it’s a secret or hasn’t been publicized extensively. In fact, had they just invited her to give a speech telling that story, without the distinction of making her the commencement speaker and giving her an honorary degree and paying her $35K (which money could instead go to support a student for one year) then there probably wouldn’t have been the same protest.

    No one’s saying Rice shouldn’t be allowed to speak. They are saying she doesn’t deserve to be honored.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  14. KansasMom says:

    @KansasMom: Or what Stormy said!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  15. Tyrell says:

    So much for freedom of speech at college campuses. I am sure that if it had been some extreme radical leftist or communist, this small, misguided group would have welcomed them. The alumni and other faculty/students who support freedom of speech should speak out. So many colleges and universities have been taken over by subversive, disloyal groups that are controlled by foreign organizations. This started in the ’60’s.
    What is shocking is that the money of taxpayers finances many of these schools. The funding of leftist, radical faculties and boards needs to end. Once again a small group has stirred up trouble and ran over everyone else.
    As far as putting her and others on some kind of trial, forget it. She has served this country well and is well respected here and abroad. She has an excellent record in education and leadership.
    “These colors don’t run and this flag ain’t no rag!” (Daniels)

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 19

  16. John425 says:

    Classy lady. Boorish storm troopers-cum-students

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 20

  17. beth says:

    @Tyrell:

    What is shocking is that the money of taxpayers finances many of these schools.

    Most of the taxpayers financing that school are probably NJ residents and either parents of the students or the students themselves. Their voices have as much right to be heard as anyone else attending and paying tuition at that school. If right leaning students don’t like the protest, they are free to hold their own protest.

    Again, no one is stopping Rice’s freedom of speech. She chose not to speak, the invitation was not rescinded. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from people commenting on your speech.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 1

  18. Tyrell says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Does that include the Korean War? How about Dulles and Herter under Eisenhower? General George Marshall and General Bradley?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  19. CB says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    I think you touched on the reason I have no problem with the protest. It’s not that I disagree with her politics. It’s that I disagree with bestowing honor upon someone who instigates for unjust wars of choice. Just another example of our shameful lack of reflection on what we did in and to Iraq.

    @John425:

    Classy? The person she presented to the public had the appearance of class, sure.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  20. @Tyrell:

    Dulles and Herter were responsible for overthrowing the democratically elected government of Iran and installing the brutal Pahlavi regime.

    Marshall and Bradley were responsible for the numerous human rights crimes of the Rhee regime in South Korea, such as the Bodo League massacre and the Jeju massacre

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  21. Ben Wolf says:

    At the same time, though, I cannot help but be disturbed just a little bit by what essentially amounts to mob rule to shout down speech at a university of all places.

    Rice wasn’t coming to Rutgers to exercise speech and political debate, she was coming as a privileged elite to receive honors and have her pockets lined with education money by another group of elites.

    I’d object too if someone who played a central role in permanently damaging my country’s position and security in the world were going to be given a large payday and a degree she hadn’t earned from my institution.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  22. jewelbomb says:

    @Tyrell:

    What is shocking is that the money of taxpayers finances many of these schools.

    What’s shocking is how little some people understand the concept of freedom of speech.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  23. Tyrell says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Generals Marshall and Bradley are two of the most honored and respected military leaders in US history. Their reputation goes far beyond this country’s borders. These were leaders who were largely responsible, along with Generals Eisenhower, Patton, Smith, Clark, and Douglas MacArthur of leading the allied forces of freedom in victory over the axis forces of tyranny.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7

  24. Dave says:

    @Tyrell: Why don’t you just try answering Stormy Dragon’s actual allegations?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  25. gVOR08 says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Is there a single US foreign policy official since WWII that hasn’t?

    I take your point that a certain level of indifference to international law and norms takes place regularly, so I’m arguing over a difference of degree. However, I would bet that the vast majority of “foreign policy officials” have never committed a war crime. Other administrations have probably abused prisoners. We fairly commonly intervene militarily on flimsy pretexts. But at some point a large enough degree of difference is a different thing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  26. James Young says:

    Good points, and you’re exactly right.

    What is truly disturbing is the number of asinine comments trashing Secretary Rice, and the number of “thumbs-up” from equally asinine people.

    War criminal my ass.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 15

  27. gVOR08 says:

    @James Young: Make your case, if you have one.

    As I said, I can be accused of politicizing political differences. But these differences exist because one party has accepted torture and aggressive war as acceptable policy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  28. al-Ameda says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    The Michele Obama situation wasn’t really comparable as the people weren’t complaining that she was given the speech, but rather that to accommodate the speech (which involved cramming several area high schools into a single venue when they normally have separate graduations) was going to make it impossible for family members of the graduates to actually attend the ceremony.

    Yes, I understand that. However, I’m of the opinion that if it had been a prominent Republican woman there would have been no objection. The reason given for the objection to Michele Obama was plausible, yet you’d think they’d welcome the visit of the First Lady on such an occasion? Whatever, this turned out to be a non-controversy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  29. de stijl says:

    @James Young:

    War criminal my ass.

    Is water-boarding torture or not? Is induced hypothermia torture?

    These are pretty easy yes / no questions. US and international law are pretty clear on the matter. Use of torture on a detainee is a war crime.

    That Bush, Rumsfeld, and Cheney are not in the pokey is an indulgence granted by the current administration. None of them should ever feel comfortable traveling to Europe.

    Is Rice in the same guilt league as Bush, Rumsfeld or Cheney? No.

    Did she sign off on torture? Yes.

    She is a private citizen (lucky not to be in a Belgian prison) who declined to speak at Rutgers and receive an honorary degree after she experienced some pushback. Boo-frigging-hoo.

    If these folks are not in prison due to a Presidential boon – an indulgence to keep the peace at home which I accept and to some degree understand – then I and many others can and will surely publicly and emphatically shun them and ostracize them and do whatever is legal to ensure that their entire continued existence is a living hell.

    Torture under the aegis of the State is still torture. That we did this and condoned this and accepted this is a dark, dark stain on our national soul. To Hell with her and the whole lot of them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  30. Rafer Janders says:

    The real scandal is that Rutgers was willing to pay this incompetent hack of a failure $35,000 for a day of her time.

    Fitzgerald was wrong: in America you can completely botch up our foreign policy and still be paid handsomely for your mistakes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  31. DrDaveT says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    No one’s saying Rice shouldn’t be allowed to speak. They are saying she doesn’t deserve to be honored.

    This.

    You can pound on the square peg all you want, but this is not a First Amendment problem.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  32. MarkedMan says:

    @Rafer Janders: this. Exactly. If students had tried to stop her from speaking at a lecture I would be against them. But this is their commencement and the administration tried to use it to honor someone deeply involved in one of our country’s greatest moral failings. And a strategic and tactical failure as well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  33. @gVOR08: Should we try John Kerry? How about Hillary Clinton? Harry Reid? How about Joe Biden? All of them, among other Dems, voted for the Iraq War.

    Would you agree that we should prosecute Obama for unilaterally starting a war of aggression in Libya, without Congressional approval, leaving the country as a hotbed of Islamic extremism?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

  34. @Ron Beasley: Can you explain what Hillary Clinton accomplished as Sec State? How about John Kerry?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  35. anjin-san says:

    Can you explain what Hillary Clinton accomplished as Sec State? How about John Kerry?

    Hmmm.

    >Did not launch a war of aggression
    >Did not squander nearly universal support from the whole frickin’ world
    >Did not get 100K people killed in a pointless war
    >Did not waste trillions in national treasure
    >Did not make us a torture nation
    >Did not lie about threats to US national security
    >Did not act as enablers so that cronies of folks high up in the White House could make billions

    Sometimes, not doing something is an accomplishment.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  36. Just 'nutha' ig'rant cracker says:

    The tag on the front page noted a conflict between freedom of speech and mob rule. Alas, these are not mutually exclusive. It would be nice if they were, but that’s not how democratic systems always work.

    The people on the thread who noted the “honorarium” are most on point. That may be the real outrage.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  37. anjin-san says:

    35K could be used to help a smart poor kid get an education…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  38. John425 says:

    @Rafer Janders: Like that cold blooded killer Barack Obama, who apparently ignores everything in his zeal to be macho. Like drone assassinations of Americans? Your outrage ought to be directed towards that creepy bastard.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 8

  39. al-Ameda says:

    @William Teach:

    Can you explain what Hillary Clinton accomplished as Sec State? How about John Kerry?

    Did either Hillary Clinton or John Kerry say, in their respective roles as Secretaries of State, patently false things to justify a completely unnecessary war that cost over 4,000 American lives and trillions of dollars? No, however, Condoleeza Rice did.

    Remember this, by Rice?

    “The problem here is that there will always be some uncertainty about how quickly Saddam can acquire nuclear weapons. But we don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.”

    What did Rice accomplish positively that outweighs that incredible negative?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  40. Robin Cohen says:

    Rice lied her head off about Iraq and WMD in order to protect Bush’s worthless ass.
    Who cares what she has to say now?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  41. @al-Ameda: Did both of them vote for the Iraq war? Yes, yes they did. Let’s prosecute!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 7

  42. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Well, we see just how the left treats a black woman who dares to succeed while straying off the progressive plantation. She’s gotta be shown her place.

    So, Condoleezza Rice is banned from college campuses, as is Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Meanwhile, William Ayers is feted on campuses. So is Spike Lee, who admits in his youth to spitting in white people’s food and hates interracial couples.

    Finally… it’s telling that the best defenses anyone can muster of Clinton’s and Kerry’s tenures is “they didn’t do this.” Not any positive accomplishments; just what they didn’t do.

    Would they be even more heroic if they had simply sat in their office all day? They’d have the same accomplishments, plus they’d have saved us millions and millions in travel expenses.

    Hell, let’s take it even further. If we simply hadn’t had a Secretary of State under Obama, we could have saved even more money, and had the same successes!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 9

  43. MBunge says:

    I don’t know if it’s a good thing or bad when right wingers acknowledge that Iraq was a disaster, unlike Vietnam where they developed an extensive fantasy of how we weren’t allowed to win. On the one hand, it’s nice they’re more reality-based. On the other, there’s something monstrous about admitting how horrible Iraq was and just not caring.

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  44. Tyrell says:

    It seems convenient to look at the past, especially great leaders who are gone and cast dispersion, demand trials, and try to damage characters. I guess some people would want these people to be tried: Washington, General Andrew Jackson (save New Orleans in 1814),Farragut, Lincoln, Sherman, Grant, Lee, Pickett, Burnside, General George Custer, Teddy Roosevelt (San Juan Hill), Pershing, Forrestall.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  45. jukeboxgrad says:

    William Teach:

    Did both of them vote for the Iraq war? Yes, yes they did. Let’s prosecute!

    Most Ds in the House voted against the war, and the people who voted for the war had been fooled by intel that Bush cooked. Link, link, link.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  46. jukeboxgrad says:

    Robin Cohen:

    Rice lied her head off about Iraq and WMD

    Correct. Here’s one example:

    We do know that he is actively pursuing a nuclear weapon. We do know that there have been shipments going into Iran, for instance — into Iraq, for instance, of aluminum tubes that really are only suited to — high-quality aluminum tools that are only really suited for nuclear weapons programs, centrifuge programs.

    A couple of years later, we found out what the CIA had been saying (link):

    On June 14, 2001, the CIA produced a Senior Publish When Ready (SPWR) which said that China [SENTENCE DELETED]. The assessment noted that the tubes are, “controlled items under the Nuclear Suppliers Group and Chinese export laws, are suitable for uranium enrichment gas centrifuge rotors and, while less likely, could be used as rocket bodies for multiple rocket launchers.” This CIA assessment also did not provide any further details outlining why the CIA assessed the tubes were more likely to be used for centrifuge rotors.

    According to the CIA, the tubes “could be used as rocket bodies for multiple rocket launchers.” Condi Rice contradicted this statement. According to her, the tubes “are only really suited” for centrifuges.

    The CIA were the hawks on this issue, and she expressed a position even more extreme than the CIA position. Meanwhile, our top nuclear scientists at DOE and elsewhere were laughing at the CIA, because there were many reasons to understand that the rocket use was much more likely. As Butler said (pdf; see p. 171 in your PDF reader):

    The evidence we received on aluminium tubes was overwhelmingly that they were intended for rockets rather than a centrifuge.

    Rice et al hid all this from us, and instead expressed the extreme position, more extreme even than the CIA, that centrifuges were the only possible use. This was a lie. We know it was a deliberate lie because no one in the intelligence community, not even the CIA, took that extreme position.

    This is also a nice illustration of how Bush lied by cherry-picking what suited him. On yellowcake, he cited UK and ignored CIA, because the latter were skeptics on the yellowcake matter. On the aluminum tubes, he did the reverse, roughly. I say “roughly” because the Bush statement about tubes was even more extreme than the CIA statement, as I have shown.

    Bush lied us into war, with help from Rice et al. What Bush said the intel said is not what the intel said. Link.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  47. Rafer Janders says:

    @John425:

    Your outrage ought to be directed towards that creepy bastard.

    Hey, just like the Rutgers students with Rice, you too are allowed to protest any speeches or appearances by Obama! Maybe he’ll withdraw like she did!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  48. al-Ameda says:

    @William Teach:

    Did both of them vote for the Iraq war? Yes, yes they did. Let’s prosecute!

    Yes they did, but then there ACTUAL WMD inspections were undertaken and they showed – yes EMPIRICAL evidence – that there were no WMDs.

    And yet, Rice and Cheney continued to sell the mushroom clouds, and so we went to war on a false pretext. It is one thing to believe there were WMDs, it is yet another to go to war knowing that there were no WMDs. Do you understand the difference?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  49. jukeboxgrad says:

    ACTUAL WMD inspections were undertaken

    Correct. Blix said this (1/27/03):

    Iraq has on the whole cooperated rather well so far with UNMOVIC in this field … access has been provided to all sites we have wanted to inspect

    That’s why Bush had to chase the inspectors out. They were in the process of finding out that there was no need for a war over WMD, because there were no WMD. That’s why they were being allowed to check “all sites.”

    And this is what Bush said on 7/14/03:

    we gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn’t let them in.

    A glaring example of Bush telling an outright lie. One of many.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  50. @jukeboxgrad:
    Here’s an interesting read about Cheney harassing mid-level staffers to change their intelligence findings, and when they wouldn’t, simply lying about their findings.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  51. Robin Cohen says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: The issue with Rice at Rutgers is NOT racial and should not be perceived as such. It is about her role in promoting a bogus war to appease a dishonest President. Rice cannot be treated as a role model because she helped to promote a lie that killed and injured thousands and had no worthwhile purpose. Whatever she might have said would not have vindicated her stance on the Iraq War.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  52. anjin-san says:

    @ Robin Cohen

    Jenos does not have an actual argument to present, so he just strings together right wing buzz words and talking points.

    It’s a lot easier than thinking things though. He is here to annoy people and get attention, not discuss issues.

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  53. Robin Cohen says:

    @anjin-san: He’s angry at a perceived racial slight so he strikes out at the alleged cause. Too bad he’s got his facts wrong.

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  54. John425 says:

    @al-Ameda: Hiilary proved that we really don’t need a Secretary of State and now that dumb-ass Kerry proves that it’s dangerous to have one.

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  55. anjin-san says:

    @ John425

    What danger has Kerry created? Be specific.

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  56. anjin-san says:

    @ John425

    that cold blooded killer Barack Obama

    Obama has indeed proved to be a rather cold, hard character when it comes to killing terrorists. It’s noteworthy that this bothers you.

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  57. Rafer Janders says:

    @Robin Cohen:

    He’s angry at a perceived racial slight so he strikes out at the alleged cause.

    No, he’s not really angry and he doesn’t actually believe there was a racial slight. He’s just an attention-seeker. Really best ignored or, if you can’t manage that, then pointed and laughed at. (Though I have my suspicions that that too gives him sort of sad thrill).

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  58. Rafer Janders says:

    @John425:

    Like that cold blooded killer Barack Obama, who apparently ignores everything in his zeal to be macho.

    I’m sorry, I’m getting my right-wing ODS talking points confused: is he a cold-blooded killer laying waste to America’s enemies or an ineffective weakling whom no one fears? Which is it this week?

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  59. James in Silverdale, WA says:

    Rice is absolutely guilty of aiding war crimes. The legal peril for the pinciples will increase dramatically when GHWB passes. The end of this vile chapter in US history has not yet been written, mostly because it’s so bloody obvious.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  60. al-Ameda says:

    @John425:

    Hiilary proved that we really don’t need a Secretary of State and now that dumb-ass Kerry proves that it’s dangerous to have one.

    …. and Rice proved that when an Administration really wants to go to war in Iraq (regardless of the facts) it’s best to send the Secretary of State out on to news and opinion shows to propagate the false notion that a nuclear attack is imminent.

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  61. anjin-san says:

    his zeal to be macho

    Perhaps, just perhaps, his zeal is to protect the country from another terrorist attack, something he is paid to do.

    Obama strikes me as a man who is pretty comfortable with who he is. After all, he is rich, educated, has a beautiful family, and, oh yea, he is the President.

    I don’t think Obama gives a rat’s ass about how macho people think he is.

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  62. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Well, we see just how the left treats a black woman who dares to succeed while straying off the progressive plantation. She’s gotta be shown her place.

    Wow, so you think that progressive or leftist opposition to Secretary of State Rice – who was falsely and knowingly selling the (non-existent) threat of a nuclear war in order to get public support for a war in Iraq – is on the basis of gender and race?

    Good luck with that facile/puerile bulls***.

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  63. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    I’m sorry, I forgot that the rule that any criticism of members of minority group is only presumed to be sexist or racist or otherwise hateful is suspended when the subject of the criticism is conservative. In those cases, it’s all fair game.

    Funny, though, how the most hatred for conservatives seems to emerge when the conservative in question also qualifies as a minority. Paul Wolfowitz (Jewish), Condoleezza Rice (black AND female), Sarah Palin (female), Mia Love (black, female, AND Mormon), Allen West (black), Herman Cain (Black), Ann Coulter (female), Marco Rubio (Hispanic)…

    Hey, let’s use the same standard you like to apply: IF you can prove that you’re not racist or sexist AND that the criticism is not race-based or sex-based, then I’ll consider it. Until then, you’re presumed to be racist and sexist.

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  64. anjin-san says:

    Shorter Jenos

    “I whine, therefore I am”

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  65. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Funny, though, how the most hatred for conservatives seems to emerge when the conservative in question also qualifies as a minority. Paul Wolfowitz (Jewish), Condoleezza Rice (black AND female), Sarah Palin (female), Mia Love (black, female, AND Mormon), Allen West (black), Herman Cain (Black), Ann Coulter (female), Marco Rubio (Hispanic)…

    Hey, let’s use the same standard you like to apply: IF you can prove that you’re not racist or sexist AND that the criticism is not race-based or sex-based, then I’ll consider it. Until then, you’re presumed to be racist and sexist.

    Wow, much more puerile bulls***. Please continue.

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  66. Rafer Janders says:

    @al-Ameda:

    Again, best ignored….

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  67. An Interested Party says:

    I’m sorry, I forgot that the rule that any criticism of members of minority group is only presumed to be sexist or racist or otherwise hateful is suspended when the subject of the criticism is conservative. In those cases, it’s all fair game.

    The Victimhood Tour continues…

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  68. Robin Cohen says:

    Pretty sad.

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  69. Craig says:

    The only ones who will lose because of the action of a few malcontents are the students at Rutgers. Shame on the majority for not standing up to these shitheads!

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  70. Grewgills says:

    @Craig:
    Who is losing here? Other than Rice losing $35K.

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  71. Barry says:

    Doug: “At the same time, though, I cannot help but be disturbed just a little bit by what essentially amounts to mob rule to shout down speech at a university of all places. If there are any institutions where free and open debate ought to be encouraged and protected, it is on college campuses. ”

    You really manage to miss the mark, don’t you?

    Rice is free to speak on campus. She just won’t get $35,000.00 (and likely another check for expenses), and she won’t have an audience who either has to listen to her or miss their graduation.

    Please, Doug, ask a lawyer about what ‘freedom of speech’ means.

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