From The Loop

Trapped in the Loop, the views of one Chicagoan manage to escape.

Friday, May 12, 2006

The Intellectual Bankruptcy of Juliet Schor

"I mean, this is a person who, not too many years from now, we may be seeing in front of a war crimes tribunal."

Juliet Schor is a professor of sociology at Boston College. She has written a number of books analyzing the American labor market. What I have quoted is an obvious acknowledgement by an extensively trained, well executed professional of academe, providing her insight on the future of Saddam Hussein or Usama bin Laden. However, I would be lying.

The person Ms. Schor refers to is United States Secretary of State Condeleeza Rice. Madamn Secretary is slated to receive an honorary doctorate from Boston College for her services to the Republic from the highest offices of the Executive Branch. This honor is adversarial to the Jesuit tradition in the words of Professor Schor. Madamn Secretary's proper place is before a war crimes tribunal.

Professor Schor made these comments on the May 10th broadcast of "Democracy Now". She was debating Professor Marc Landy, also of Boston College, about the honor the university has offerred to Secretary of State Condeleeza Rice. Professor Landy provides proper demonstration of response by refusing to dignify one as a result of Ms. Schor's war crimes tribunal opinion. Professor Schor continues to air her opinions.

"It's just speaking to the facts. I mean, this is an illegal war. It is an immoral war. This week, the same week that the university made this announcement, the U.S. government was defending itself at a U.N. Commission on Torture, and very much on the defensive. A major report was presented at that commission, showing that the U.S. is involved in “widespread” -- and that's a quote -- torture at U.S.-run detention centers all over the world, evidence emerging about extraordinary renditions."

Ms. Schor is right. She is speaking the facts. A report was presented at a meeting of the UN Committee on Torture. The presenter ALLEGED that torture was WIDESPREAD. Another fact, that Ms. Schor did not air, is that the presenter was immediately challenged on the claim by multiple representatives at the hearing. Obviously the United States objected to the use of the word "widespread", but others did as well. No evidence was presented to support the allegation. But the bleeding isn't over.

From the press release from the same hearing we learn of this.

"Moreover, it was well-known that al-Qaida were trained to lie and that the 'Manchester Manual' instructed all al-Qaida members, when captured, to allege torture, even if they were not subject to abuse."

Apparently someone forgot to bring this small detail to Ms. Schor's attention. Perhaps if she had examined the press release she would have the necesary information so as not to appear intellectually bankrupt.

Professor Schor is not lost. She is human. She is going to make mistakes. Let us hope and pray that those closest to her build the confidence through love to urge Ms. Schor to enter a treatment facility to deal with her addiction to intellectual bankruptcy.

Iran's Pledge Application to the UN Human Rights Council

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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Military Leadership Running CIA?

Dennis Hastert mades some comments that he doesn't like the idea of a military general in charge of the CIA. He says the idea would bring the CIA too close to the Pentagon.

I wonder about this question. President Carter named Admiral Stansfield Turner as CIA Director in 1977. President Clinton named General Colin Powell as his National Security Adviser. What is the problem with naming Military personnel to "civilian" positions.

Methinks Mr. Speaker has someone else in mind to run the CIA and it doesn't really matter who the President names, if it is not Hastert's choice then he'll find something he doesn't like about it. I'll pay close attention to appearances by Brent Scowcroft in the press commenting on the President's selection of General Hayden. Something tells me he'll point to Hastert's comments as a solid reason to oppose Hayden.

Scowcroft was, afterall, the National Security Adviser to President's Ford and George H. W. Bush. As a uniformed man, was he not qualified for these critical appointments? Of course not. The idea that solely because a person is uniformed is reason enough to oppose them is nonsensical. Qualifications are important. Demonstrative leadership is as well.

We'll see how the issue plays out. It may just be that General Hayden is still active duty. Perhaps General Hayden will take the opportunity to retire from uniformed service to take on the roll of director of the CIA. He's already the Deputy Intelligence Czar. Is moving him to Director of the CIA a big leap?