February 01, 2005

The Churchill Chronicles

My brother Michael was killed in the World Trade Center on September 11th. I am absolutely disgusted that Hamilton College would invite and pay a person with the hurtful views of Ward Churchill to address your student body. He is on the record for having written horrible things about the victims who are in no position to defend themselves. Does one deserve to be killed for working for a profit making company? If so, 90% of Americans are not innocent and deserve to be murdered. This is absurd and the fact that Hamilton College would support the dissemination of this type of view point does a great disservice to your school and lowers the school's reputation in the eyes of many. As a lawyer I have always been a big supporter of the First Amendment and I am all in favor of the free exchange of ideas. Mr. Churchill is protected in speaking as he has on this topic. However, this has NOTHING to do with the First Amendment. The First Amendment does not require you to invite, pay and give a stage and an audience to someone whose views are so hurtful to so many. I feel horrible for poor Matt Coppo, a Hamilton student whose father was killed in the attacks. Your blatant disregard for your own students is appalling! It is really unimaginable the hurt that he must feel to have his own college do such a thing. I have many friends who are Hamilton Alumni. They have heard from me on this issue and have told me that they are equally appalled. This type of thing can hurt a college's reputation for many years. I hope you think better of following through with this.

Hundreds more passionate E-mails over at Hamilton's main website. Is Ward Churchill really getting paid to give his little talk? Why not invite some Neo-Nazis and Klansmen too, while they're at it? And give 'em a few greenbacks to boot. Regardless, whether or not he's getting paid is a side show. The campus is atwitter, free speech is being defended! They're moving the speech to a big hall for all the extra curiosity-seekers! Another great moment in the annals of the dumbing down of higher education...the Jerry Springerization of the Academy.

Oh, don't miss this website publicizing "The Kirkland Project for the Study of Gender, Society and Culture" as they present their little “Limits of Dissent?" shindig. Of Ward Churchill, it is said: "According to audience members, Churchill, who is known for his fiery style of delivery, 'tells it like it is' and can shake up the received opinions of many." You can't make this sh*t up.

Meanwhile, Churchill has resigned (under pressure) as department chair of the "Ethnic" Studies department at U Colorado. Good, but not enough--as he's a deeply disingenuous scoundrel. Check out his statement today defending himself:

I am not a "defender" of the September 11 attacks, but simply pointing out that if U.S. foreign policy results in massive death and destruction abroad, we cannot feign innocence when some of that destruction is returned. I have never said that people "should" engage in armed attacks on the United States, but that such attacks are a natural and unavoidable consequence of unlawful U.S. policy.

Really? What's this then?

In sum one can discern a certain optimism – it might even be call humanitarianism – imbedded in the thinking of those who presided over the very limited actions conducted on September 11. Their logic seems to have devolved upon the notion that the American people have condoned what has been/is being done in their name – indeed, are to a significant extent actively complicit in it – mainly because they have no idea what it feels like to be on the receiving end. Now they do. That was the "medicinal" aspect of the attacks. To all appearances, the idea is now to give the tonic a little time to take effect, jolting Americans into the realization that the sort of pain they're now experiencing first-hand is no different from – or the least bit more excruciating than – that which they've been so cavalier in causing others, and thus to respond appropriately. More bluntly, the hope was – and maybe still is – that Americans, stripped of their presumed immunity from incurring any real consequences for their behavior, would comprehend and act upon a formulation as uncomplicated as "stop killing our kids, if you want your own to be safe." Either way, it's a kind of "reality therapy" approach, designed to afford the American people a chance to finally "do the right thing" on their own, without further coaxing.

Sounds like cheerleading the 9/11 attacks to me.

Still, not convinced? Don't miss this 2004 interview with Ward Churchill:

Q: What are some of the solutions? Extreme events, like 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq, have mobilized people out of such complacency, albeit temporarily.

A: I don’t have a ready answer for that. One of the things I’ve suggested is that it may be that more 9/11s are necessary. This seems like such a no-brainer that I hate to frame it in terms of actual transformation of consciousness. ‘Hey those brown-skinned folks dying in the millions in order to maintain this way of life, they can wait forever for those who purport to be the opposition here to find some personally comfortable and pure manner of affecting the kind of transformation that brings not just lethal but genocidal processes to a halt.’ They have no obligation—moral, ethical, legal or otherwise—to sit on their thumbs while the opposition here dithers about doing anything to change the system. So it’s removing the sense of—and right to—impunity from the American opposition.

Ah, he never said "should." He only "suggested." And described 9/11 as an act of "humanitarianism". As I said, a disingenuous scoundrel of the lowest order. Oh, don't miss Churchill's very own "Eichmann defense":

Finally, I have never characterized all the September 11 victims as "Nazis." What I said was that the "technocrats of empire" working in the World Trade Center were the equivalent of "little Eichmanns." Adolf Eichmann was not charged with direct killing but with ensuring the smooth running of the infrastructure that enabled the Nazi genocide. Similarly, German industrialists were legitimately targeted by the Allies.

It is not disputed that the Pentagon was a military target, or that a CIA office was situated in the World Trade Center. Following the logic by which U.S. Defense Department spokespersons have consistently sought to justify target selection in places like Baghdad, this placement of an element of the American "command and control infrastructure" in an ostensibly civilian facility converted the Trade Center itself into a "legitimate" target. Again following U.S. military doctrine, as announced in briefing after briefing, those who did not work for the CIA but were nonetheless killed in the attack amounted to no more than "collateral damage." If the U.S. public is prepared to accept these "standards" when the are routinely applied to other people, they should be not be surprised when the same standards are applied to them.

It should be emphasized that I applied the "little Eichmanns" characterization only to those described as "technicians." Thus, it was obviously not directed to the children, janitors, food service workers, firemen and random passers-by killed in the 9-1-1 attack. According to Pentagon logic, were simply part of the collateral damage. Ugly? Yes. Hurtful? Yes. And that's my point. It's no less ugly, painful or dehumanizing a description when applied to Iraqis, Palestinians, or anyone else. If we ourselves do not want to be treated in this fashion, we must refuse to allow others to be similarly devalued and dehumanized in our name.

Do you feel like taking a long, hot shower after reading this? You're not alone. B.D. does too.

Posted by Gregory at February 1, 2005 04:10 AM | TrackBack (12)

I heard this guy on my local radio this morning proclaiming that the response to his comments is proof that he was right about the fascist nature of our society (rough paraphrase.)

First off, he sounded just like some of the more egregious stoners I remember from my misspent youth - a peculiar mix of care in speech and artless intonation.

But anyway, since he (mercifully but regretfully) wasn't speaking from a blackened-window SUV on the way to a concentration camp, I'm going to reserve judgment on the truth of his position.

Posted by: Brian Jones at February 1, 2005 01:26 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

As is so often the case for those on the Left with no actual knowledge of the military, he evidently conducted a cursory reading of some reporting by other uninformed people and believes he is thus qualified to pontificate on US targeting policy.

Speaking as one who has actual experience in target selection and training in the Law of Armed Conflict, he clearly has little or no idea of what he's talking about. In short, he is not only a loathsome idealogue, but far too poorly informed to merit the deference one might otherwise be tempted to afford an academic...Noam Chomsky, but less literate.

Posted by: Jem at February 1, 2005 01:41 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I in no way support or agree with Churchill.But,the killing of 270,000 children,women and men by an American made atomic bomb codenamed "Little Boy" is something to think about.When we dropped the bomb on Hiroshima, 80,000 people were instantly incinerated.

Posted by: F at February 1, 2005 02:37 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I noticed in Churchill's comments something that came to mind when reading your earlier post. You mentioned a friend had admitted a sympathy with the 9/11 killers and was ashamed of it. Now Churchill points out that the CIA had an office in the WTC and that justified the attack.
Immediately after 9/11 I thought that the hyjackers had possibly been influenced by the film "Three Days of the Condor," a Robert Redford effort that, like all his political films, had the CIA agent playing the allegorical grandson of Major Strasser from "Casablanca." The major focus of that film is the CIA's offices at the WTC and its ties to the evil, evil multinationals.
There is so much self-loathing on the part of the left today that they honor America by the contortions they try to turn history in to butress their opinions. Maybe a positive result in Iraq will have some impact on this zeitgiest.

Posted by: Wayne at February 1, 2005 02:40 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I'm sure the busboys in Windows on the World, the janitors, the cleaning ladies who spoke little or no english and worked for little money yet saved and sent home to relatives in the hopes of a better future will be relieved to know they're not "little Eichmanns."

I'm curious about F's remark--what could your point possibly be except to support or agree with Churchill? The atom bomb is a huge and unrelated can of worms. You're just as ignorant as Churchill, but for very different reasons--much too long to go into here.

Posted by: Ignatius Byrd at February 1, 2005 04:01 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

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Posted by: slots at February 1, 2005 04:23 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

No,actually I think that Churchill's statements are horrible,and I dont agree with them in any way.Why do you think that I would agree with him just because I brought up the bombing of Japan?Here is what Robert S. McNamara has said about the destruction of Japan in 1945.He was one of the principle architects of the firebombing."Was it nessasary to drop the nuclear bomb if General LeMay was burning up Japan everynight in the firebombing raids?"We were destroying between 50% and 80% of the major Japanese cities."In LeMay's command,in a single night,we burned to death 100,000 Japanese civilians in Tokyo,men,women and children".McNamara also says that he and LeMay "were behaving like war criminals".Maybe I am ignorant,but please let me and other people have the chance to voice our opinions.this is America.

Posted by: F at February 1, 2005 07:55 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

As someone whose state taxes go toward supporting this guy, yeah, I'd like to see him pay a price. But rather than getting him fired , I'd like to see him get some serious criticism FROM HIS PEERS, ON THE MERITS (which are ample enough). Until that happens I can only assume that his peers at CU find nothing to object to in his views, and that he is in fact representative of that culture.

Posted by: Hunter McDaniel at February 1, 2005 08:18 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink


I guess what I am wondering is how is this relevant? Maybe you should make your point more explicit. I also don't think anyone has done anything to suppress your speech by being critical whatever the merits of your point.

Posted by: Lance at February 1, 2005 10:19 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

What's next, folks? Monitoring Churchill's comments and forwarding them to the appropriate "authorities" for investigation?

This is called freedom of speech. The guy can say whatever he wants, however repugnant. It's what our troops are fighting and dying for right NOW.

Novel concept, that freedom of speech, eh?

Posted by: AbjectRealism at February 2, 2005 01:36 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Okay,the terrorist attacks on the WTC and Pentagon were a horrendous crime against innocent civilians.It should have never happened.A terrible day in American history,probably the worst.3,000 innocent lives lost.I was at Ground Zero in NYC 3 months ago.It's a terrible feeling standing thier looking at that hole.Terrible.Now,Doe's the fact that America killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people mean that they should attack us?NO.Absolutely not.However,I feel that Hiroshima and the Firebombing of innocent people in Japan was a terrible thing,and America did that. Ward Churchill is wrong in making the statements he has.But how do you feel about the atomic bomb we used to kill 300,000 people?

Posted by: F at February 2, 2005 01:41 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

ok, on the atomic bombs, is ny times' nick kristof liberal enough? on the anniversary of hiroshima a year or 2 back, he cited contemporary japanese historians (whom i do wish he'd named) who now say that even after hiroshima, the japanese military was planning a suicidal defense of the home islands _ that is, to make us wipe out every last japanese man, woman and child. according to these historians, it took nagasaki, the 2nd bombing, to make hirohito decide that enough was enough.

Posted by: greeneyeshade at February 2, 2005 06:36 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

"As is so often the case for those on the Left with no actual knowledge of the military..."

What, no knowledge of the military, as in having been a US soldier in Vietnam, as Churchill mentions he was in the piece linked to in the post?

I have to say I don't see a problem with the quotes from Churchill above. He says that some good might come out of 9/11 (and similar attacks in the future, if they were to occour) if it makes Americans rethink American foreign policy. Isn't this an argument that's common on the right, too - that 9/11 made Americans realise they need an active anti-terrorist foreign policy (obviously, what Churchill thinks of as an anti-terrorist foreign policy is very different, but the structure of the argument is the same)? In neither case, anyway, does it make anyone a 'cheerleader' for the attacks.

Posted by: Tim at February 2, 2005 11:50 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Hypocrite Central! You stand behind a war-on-terrorists whose strategy is to seek out and kill people who threaten our democratic way of life. Yet, when a public appearance by an American is cancelled because of death threats to him and the college administrators who promised to host him, you tacitly applaud? If what happend to him is not terrorism I don't know what is. Where's the outrage against real domestic terrorism?

Posted by: Jimbo at February 2, 2005 04:40 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The 1st Amendment guarantees that the government will not interfer with freedom of speah. There is NOTHING in there that requires that a platform be provided for anybody.

Posted by: rabidfox at February 3, 2005 09:10 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

In response to greeneyeshade.It is unfortunate that you cant name the "contemporary Japanese historians.But here are some people who were against the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Dwight Eisenhower who said, "My belief(was) that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnessary". Herbert Hoover was also against the bombing.He said"The use of the Atomic bomb,with it's indiscriminate killing of women and children revolts my soul".According to Norman Cousins book"The Pathology of Power",pg.70-71.General MacARTHUR was against the bomb,and felt there was no military justification for dropping the bomb.Albert Einstein was also against the bomb.And many others.

Posted by: F at February 4, 2005 08:53 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

In response to greeneyeshade.Here are some people who were against the bombing. Dwight Eisenhower said,"my belief(was)that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnesasary".Herbert Hoover said,"The use of the Atomic bomb,with it's indiscriminate killing of women and children revolts my soul".According to Norman Cousins' book "The Pathology of Power"pg.70-71.General MacARTHUR said that he felt there was no military justification for dropping the bomb.Albert Einstein was also against it,and many others.

Posted by: F at February 4, 2005 09:03 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Manufacturing a weak integrity argument to justify free speech violations...

It started in a federal Court in Pittsburgh and has moved quickly to Colorado Universtity and Iraq. It's a stretch, but political hacks have besieged first amendment free speech protections.

They attempt to combine a provacative essay comparing victims of 911 with Nazi criminals and an emotionally charged General's comments on war, questioning whether such is permissible when the comments may cause damaged to an institution's integrity.


Because in a Pittsburgh federal court a well connected corporate crony has suggested the novice argument, and the legal question is waddling without any legal precedent in need of an activist court.

Thus the current unexplained campaign against “free speech” appears to be little more than a Madison Avenue scheme to control any discussion of the President’s desire to privatize higher education.

That is, a number of for-profit colleges have faced inquiries, lawsuits and other actions calling into question the way they inflate enrollment to mislead/increase the value of their parent company’s stock.

In the last year, the Career Education Corporation of Hoffman Estates, Ill., has faced lawsuits, from shareholders and students, contending that, among other things, its colleges have inflated enrollment numbers. In addition, F.B.I. agents raided 10 campuses run by ITT Educational Services of Carmel, Ind., looking for similar problems.

But in a Pittsburgh federal court there is a bigger can of worms.

Kaplan, Inc., is wholly own by the Washington Post Company. For-profit postsecondary education has turned the company around and individuals far more powerful than Martha Steward have made millions. However, there is a nominal “Watergate” styled federal court proceeding (scandal) involving campus “free speech,” that could expose the administration’s violation of public trust

In short, I provided the S.E.C., Department of Education, and federal courts information that appears to prove Kaplan inflated the Concord School of Law enrollment, telling investors that the “flagship” of its higher education division has as many as 600 to 1000 or more students.

I also provided evidence to prove apparent violations of sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder.

However, in an attempt to protect important icons of the Washington and New York financial/political circle, hacks have been hired to stir a free speech controversy.

But even Stan Chess (En Passant http://lawtv.typepad.com/en_passant/2004/a_question_of_l.html) innocently questioned the obvious - a clear violation of the federal securities laws.

“Kaplan’s Concord School of Law says it’s one of the largest law schools in the country, yet for each administration only about 25 of its graduates sit for the bar exam. What happens to the hundreds of other students in each class?”

What are you willing to do?

Posted by: kstreetfriend at February 5, 2005 05:52 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

C'mon Jimbo... death threats my '%$%'. If the Univerity was so convinced of the genuine-ness of these 'anonymous' threats , there would be a media witch-hunt and the FBI would be involved.

Mr Churchill is quite free to make any inane comment he so wishes - I think the real problem is finally the public are being informed of his views, and some DONORS to Hamilton don't like it. (Not to to mention long suffering taxpayer who watch their kids being fed drivel ad nauseam).

And for F - we are ALL war criminals... whether dropping an Atom bomb, carpet bombing Caen or paying taxes that finance a military. The real question is - has any democracy ever launched a war? And has any totalitarian regime ever conducted a humane one?

Posted by: Grant at February 7, 2005 07:36 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

As a supplement, please note the following.

Introduction: In a Pittsburgh federal court a well connected corporate crony has suggested a novice "free speech" argument and the legal question is waddling without any legal precedent in need of an activist court.

Creating the free speech crisis is a "red herring" to draw attention away from the plain and clear evidence of the Pittsburgh Federal Court proceeding (best example of the corruption).

Ward Churchill was a relatively unknown professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, until Bill O'Reilly reported a piece about him and requested his audience to make a fuss. His provacative essay was written more than three years ago.

The connection:

Ms. ElizaBETH Hoffman is the President of Colorado University. Go to http://www.hss.caltech.edu/Photos/Alumni/HoffmanElizabeth.jpg and/or http://www.colorado.edu/Carillon/volume47/images/1.jpg to view her picture.

Ms. BETH (Rue) Kotcella Buchanan is the U.S. Attorney for Western Pennsylvania. Go to http://www.pittsburghlive.com/photos/2002-02-26/PH_2002-02-26_iattorney-b.jpg to view her picture.

Background: I attended undergraduate school with Ms. Buchanan. At the Pennsylvania University I succesfully re-established (and served as president) the pre-law society and graduated in 1983. Here Ms. Buchanan would become interested in the law. She graduated after me in 1984.

In addition, I was listed in Whose Who Among American Colleges and Universities, and given the 1983 Progressive Leadership Award, and 1983 Distinguished Honor Award.

Before joining the U.S. Attorney's Office in 1988 Ms. Buchanan secured a clerkship with U.S. District Judge Maurice B. Cohill, Jr.

Judge Cohill is the Western District Judge responsible for enforcing a consent decree governing United States of America v. Port Authority of Allegheny County, Docket No. 91-CV-1694. However, he turned a blind eye to my case Docket No. 95-CV-00339. I had organized (secure a union) a political sub-division.

During that same year members of the state judiciary were charged and convicted for violating my civil right (fixing cases against me in retaliation of Docket No. 95-CV-00339).

In a case related to Docket No. 95-CV-00339, an alleged EEOC investigative file was prematurely purged and the U.S. Department of Labor refused deliver its copy despite a subpoena, FOIA Request and Motion to Compel. See Docket No. 98-CV-230. That is, the Department of Labor closed its investigation based on the alleged EEOC decision. But, I had proffered to the court EEOC's writings that demonstrated no investigation was conducted.

Discussion: At issue is the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. The Bush administration is attempting to change the 50 percent rule. That is, financial aid is available for postsecondary education provided at a college or university that has at least 50 percent of its students campus-based.

Corporations have paid Senators and Congress men and women well, attempting to change the 50 percent rule. The rule is necessary to prevent fraud (absentee students and/or diploma mills).

It appears at least three corporations have abused the administration's Distance Education Demonstration that wavied the 50 percent rule.

The Career Education Corporation of Hoffman Estates, Ill., has faced lawsuits, from shareholders and students, contending that, among other things, its colleges have inflated enrollment numbers. In addition, F.B.I. agents raided 10 campuses run by ITT Educational Services of Carmel, Ind., looking for similar problems.

Nonetheless, the S.E.C. and FBI investigation is just spin to make it appear the administration is doing its job.

The Pittsburgh case involves Kaplan, Inc., who is wholly own by the Washington Post Company. For-profit postsecondary education has turned the company around. Individuals far more powerful than Martha Steward have made millions.

Thus the current unexplained campaign against “free speech” appears to be little more than another Madison Avenue scheme to control any discussion.

Posted by: kstreetfriend at February 12, 2005 09:24 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink
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