Duncan Hunter to Use Congress to Silence Columbia Free Speech

The Washington Republicans have completely lost their shit, this time.  And leave it to Duncan Hunter to shovel the last of it off the train:

Think Progress » Hunter: I Will Try To ‘Cut Off Funds To Columbia University’ Because Of Ahmadinejad Speech

Earlier today, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) said in a statement that if Columbia University President Lee Bollinger “follows through with this hosting of the leader of Iran, I will move in Congress to cut off every single type of Federal Funding to Columbia University.” . . . Appearing on Fox News’ Your World with Neil Cavuto after the speech, Hunter said that he plans to follow through on his threat and will now “initiate legislation, and try to get as many people as can see it my way, to cut off funds to Columbia University.”

Anything. Anything, anything, anything to get the votes of the hard Right in this election season.

By Tommy Belknap

Owner, developer, editor of DragonFlyEye.Net, Tom Belknap is also a freelance journalist for The 585 lifestyle magazine. He lives in the Rochester area with his wife and son.

2 replies on “Duncan Hunter to Use Congress to Silence Columbia Free Speech”

A slight problem with your reasoning.

Columbia University, which just hosted Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has barred the ROTC from recruiting on their campus. That alone should have disbarred them from federal funding immediately. This is the same university that hosted Jim Gilchrist, the founder of the illegal immigrant watchdog group known as the Minutemen. Do you remember what happened? Gilchrist was forced off the stage.

Does the treatment of Gilchrist and the ROTC not strike you as a double standard by Columbia University?

Let’s not forget that this is the President of a country who is currently engaged with us in a proxy war, sending weapons, supplies, and manpower into Iraq to head off our efforts there, while also supporting suicide bombers in Israel.

And this is the SAME President Ahmadinejad who has been confirmed (by the former hostages) to have been one of the primary instigators of the Iran Hostage Crisis, where diplomatic AND international law was broken when the American Embassy was seiged and Americans were held hostage for 444 days.

Ahmadinejad should not have been invited. The right to freedom of speech does not equal the right to be heard. I don’t care what about Bollinger’s harsh introduction. Arabic news sources, when delivering the report of Ahmadinejad’s visit to Columbia University, will either write it off, ignore it, or twist it to fit their own anti-American propaganda.

http://www.arabnews.com/?page=7&section=0&article=101718&d=26&m=9&y=2007

Ahmadinejad got what he wanted. He got air time. And he has a willing Arab media to bolster his image on the air. I think retracting Columbia University’s federal funding is perfectly reasonable, given past actions regarding Gilchrist/ROTC, along with the current situation regarding Ahmadinejad. Were the circumstances different, I’d agree with you. But Ahmadinejad is not just a critic of the US government. He’s a terrorist and an enabler of terrorists.

If this were a case back in 1942 where Hitler, Mussolini or Tojo were invited to speak at a university, I wouldn’t shed a tear if a Congressman or Senator threatened to pull funding for inviting someone who’s at war with us and is seeking to legitimize themselves before the public. The same applies here with Hunter, who wouldn’t do this in different circumstances.

Columbia may be a private entity, but there is no reason that taxpayers should have to subsidize an institution that allows a self declared enemy of America to have a platform, but not the ROTC.

OK, first of all, please explain to me what, precisely, about the ROTC has so many people so up in arms? Is Columbia the only college to bar the ROTC? Are they the only ones receiving federal dollars that have done so? Seriously, I need more information, here, because it sounds like a straw man, to me.

As for Gilchrist, he was invited to Columbia. So was Ahmadinejad. Where is there a dissonance between these two? Simply because kids shouted him down and not Ahmadinejad? That’s the student’s choice, not the schools.

Ahmadinejad’s involvement in the Iran Hostage Crisis has yet to have been definitively proven. In fact, I’ve never even heard about it until now, and you would think that, given the one-sided nature of American Media, this would have come up.

I actually don’t see what Ahmadinejad got out of CU other than bragging rights, and he brags one way or the other. Nothing he said at CU was really all that substantially different from what he said at the U.N., and we don’t bar people from attending the U.N.

In the end, I think Bush might have actually gotten this one right: just let the man speak and ignore him. I don’t understand why so many people insist on giving him so much air time.

Hitler, Mussolini and Tojo were in fact actively and declaredly at war with us. Of course we wouldn’t have let them in. (BTW, point of order: Tojo was an admiral, not a world leader) Where it cannot be proven, diplomacy says you cannot just start pretending it has been. It’s just one of those protocol things.

And I’m not at all convinced of your belief that Hunter wouldn’t pull funding from Columbia for other reasons. In fact, this entire line about the ROTC tells me that The Right has had this held in reserve for a long time, hating universities as they do for being so “Liberal.”

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