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Rumsfeld appointment sparks Stanford protest

Original post made on Sep 21, 2007

The appointment of former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to a one-year position as a "distinguished visiting fellow" at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University has triggered a campus protest. More than 2,100 faculty, staff, students and alumni have signed petitions protesting the appointment, the New York Times has reported.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, September 21, 2007, 10:14 AM

Comments (102)

Posted by GotThatRight, a resident of Green Acres
on Sep 21, 2007 at 11:57 am

"I appointed him because he has three decades of experience, of incredible public service, especially in recent years as it relates to this question of ideology and terror," (Hoover Director John) Raisian told the Times.

Yes, Mr. Raisian, Rumsfeld indisputably has years of experience in idealogy and terror.

Posted by Pam, a resident of Southgate
on Sep 21, 2007 at 12:08 pm

Another example of the commitment to openness and freedom of speech and thought by our prestigious academic neighbor.

What are they running over there - some kind of campus-wide thought control experiment? I don't think much of Rumsfeld's policies either, but I doubt if I'll be permanently damaged if I hear what he thinks about things.

Posted by A Boomer, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2007 at 12:21 pm

I am no fan of the Shrub Administration, and Rummy has been a huge contributor to my reasons why.

What I find questionable is his ability to engage in open, thoughtful discourse, and garner the same from his new "colleagues." If his public displays during his most recent infamous tenure as SecDef are any indication, the man has very little problem talking, but does not appear to have much to say. Nor from what I have read and heard was his listening much better.

Such traits do not strike me as leading to useful contributions in an academic environment, no matter what positions one has on the matters at hand.

Posted by Anna, a resident of University South
on Sep 21, 2007 at 12:27 pm

I guess if you've already made up your mind about things, and enjoy talking only to people with whom you already agree that Stanford is a great place to hang out. Same with some Madrassas from what I hear.

Posted by The Pits, a resident of Woodside
on Sep 21, 2007 at 1:32 pm

Rumsfeld ... Condelisa Rice ... LaDoris Cordell ...

What has happened to Stanford ??

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 21, 2007 at 1:34 pm

I understand they are considering Ann Coulter for Dean of Women.

Posted by Lamont Kranston, a resident of another community
on Sep 21, 2007 at 1:50 pm

To deny freedom of speech is to diminish our own freedom of expression and thought.

Posted by Senor blogger, a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 21, 2007 at 2:06 pm

Raisian appointed him because he was told to.

Posted by Dewey, a resident of Stanford
on Sep 21, 2007 at 2:07 pm

It's sad the the most intellectually intolerant places in the country these days seem to be elite college campuses.

Posted by eric, a resident of Mountain View
on Sep 21, 2007 at 2:15 pm

Protests are free speech too...

Posted by Bebe, a resident of The Greenhouse
on Sep 21, 2007 at 2:24 pm

Protests are one thing. Action to prevent a viewpoint you disagree with from being heard has nothing to do with free speech however. On the contrary, such activity is profoundly anti-intellectual contrary to what the idea of a university should be about.

Posted by eric, a resident of Mountain View
on Sep 21, 2007 at 2:27 pm

Is an active protest opposing lowering the intellectual standards of ones university a bad thing? Perhaps you disagree with the protesters, but their actions are appropriate in light of their beliefs.

Free speech does NOT mean that every organization has to give voice to every opinion.

Posted by Anna, a resident of University South
on Sep 21, 2007 at 2:40 pm

Indeed, not every organization has to give voice to every opinion. The Catholic Church need not have pro-Choice speakers at its Masses. And madrases need not have gay marriage advocates teaching in its classes.

Stanford can do anything it pleases when deciding who will speak on campus. But Stanford cannot pretend to be an institution dedicated to open inquiry and to freedom and diversity of thought when it censors viewpoints not shared by the intellectual monoculture characterizing its humanities faculty. (Like most elite university faculties, Stanford's is overwhelmingly democratic.)

You may recall that the same people "protesting" Rumsfeld also attempted (and partially succeeded) to physically prevent Bush from speaking on campus a few years ago.

Posted by Kevin, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 21, 2007 at 2:41 pm

Rumsfeld's apporitment to the Hoover Institution should be welcomed by the Stanford History Dept. Barton Berstein might actually learn something about events leading to overthrow, capture and executon of Saddam. What's Berstein afraid of? Rumsfeld is very smart, has much more experience than any current history prof at Stanford. It would be them learning from him, not the other way around.

Posted by Anna, a resident of University South
on Sep 21, 2007 at 2:43 pm

Kevin, what makes you think anyone in the Stanford history department is interested in learning anything contrary to the politically correct ideology that permeates the campus?

Posted by ., a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 21, 2007 at 2:53 pm

There's nothing preventing Rumsfeld from speaking on campus. The issue is: should Stanford lend its name and intellectual weight to a man whose track record is one of ignoring facts and ridiculing or deriding anyone who questions him?

William Perry is at Stanford. He was instrumental in developing the offset strategy -- if we can't match our rivals in numbers of men and material, let's build smarter weapons -- stealth, smart bombs, etc.
And Hoover invites Rumsfeld? the man who reshaped the military into one where body armor is a nice bonus? Who overhauled DoD into something other than "the army you might want or wish to have?"

Perry worked with U.S. senators and foreign leaders to accomplish the decommissioning of the nuclear arsenal left in Ukraine after the collapse of the USSR.
And Hoover invites Rumsfeld? the man who did precisely what as North Korea went nuclear?

Why do some people feel the need to balance out the brilliant and competent minds at Stanford with someone like Rumsfeld?

Posted by Kevin, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 21, 2007 at 3:51 pm

a resident,

Perry was a technical bureaucrat (nothing wrong with that, we need them), but he was not a strong leader at DoD. He followed Clinton's ("I loath the military") advice to reap the "peace dividend" by downsizing the army. One reason Rumsfeld was left with too few boots on the ground (and too few armored vehcile and vests) is that Perry was too focused on technical means to win wars.

It would be a good debate to have Perry and Rumsfeld "discuss" the DoD in the decade + that they were both in power.

When guys like Bernstein, whose claim to fame seems to be that Truman did not need to drop the A-bombs, at least in terms of potential U.S. casualties, are given power in academia, they abuse it. Why? Becasue they really cannot stand an honest in-your-face debate with those with superior knowledge about historical events.

Posted by TIm, a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 21, 2007 at 3:57 pm

I don't agree with the way Romsfeld ran our military, but I would attend if he speaks. What a boring world it would be, if we all agree on everything.

Posted by eric, a resident of Mountain View
on Sep 21, 2007 at 4:04 pm

again, anna, choosing not to allow someone to speak on behalf of an institution is not "censoring" them.

Posted by FactCheck, a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 21, 2007 at 4:32 pm

The protest against Rumsfeld is not about an invitation to speak at Stanford. It's about the Hoover Institution's hiring him to a one-year position -- as a "distinguished visiting fellow." My understanding (much of it stemming from KQED's Forum program this morning) is that the Stanford faculty members who joined the protest wouldn't oppose inviting him to speak on campus. (In fact, professor emeritus Philip Zimbardo said he'd love to be able to debate him if he came to campus.)

So let's stick to the facts. This is not about opposing the airing of other points of view in a public speech or debate. To my mind, it's a symbolic gesture that challenges Hoover's choice of a "distinguished" fellow who has so tarnished himself and did so much damage to the country and the world as defense secretary.

Posted by Kevin, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 21, 2007 at 4:49 pm


Who at Stanford, other than Perry, could stand up to Rumsfeld in a factual discussion about DoD in the past decade? Who could match with him about inside knowlege of Saddam, and the war that overthrew him?

It is, indeed, censorship when left wing political considerations prevent knowledgeable people, like Rumsfeld, from being offered the courtesy to present their views. Hoover Inst. invited him, and he should be welcomed as a superior scholar on the period that he knows about.

Simple question: Could Berstein hang with him in a debate about the facts of the Iraq war? Simple way to find out: Have Rumsfeld and Bernstein appear with Peter Robinson on "Uncommon Knowlege", which is published by Hoover. Bernstein has appeared before (not sure about Rumsfeld). There would be no screaming radicals to interupt the flow of questions and answers...just those two guys showing what they really know. I'm not really a betting man, but if forced to do as much, I would bet the farm on Rumsfeld.

Posted by Designated Hitter, a resident of another community
on Sep 21, 2007 at 6:04 pm

Say: "Good-bye" to Barry Bonds, say: "Hello" to Donald Rumsfeld.

Posted by GoodOneWalt, a resident of another community
on Sep 21, 2007 at 8:17 pm

"I understand they are considering Ann Coulter for Dean of Women."

For once, I actually laughed ar something you wrote trying to be funny. That's about a one-in-a-million rate, though, so don't give up your day job!

Posted by Stanford's Shame, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2007 at 10:06 pm

Like most power-mongers who manage to succeed in their bailiwick, Rumsfield is a very intelligent guy. He does have insight into the Iraqi fiasco that no other person would have, but he won't be presenting any "facts" that run counter to his views or prior actions - you can count on that.

Here's a guy who would probably - if permitted - allow books to be burned to protect his fantastical ideas and theories about whatever enemy we face.

At some point, people have to say that something is "wrong", and stick by that. Should Hoover have put Pinochet on staff? Gordon Liddy? John Ashcroft? You get the drift.

Rumsfeld is in that class of perpetrators (how about just plain "trators", an in "traitors".

We're talking here about a power-mongering powerhouse of a man who knew very well how to keep things rolling in his direction.

Rumsfeld was FAMOUS for shutting down dissenting voices at the Pentagon; he simply didn't tolerate positions counter to his. And we're talking about giving this war criminal a position at a Stanford-related institution? Who was paid off here?

Rumsfeld is Robert McNamara, squared.

It's America's bad luck that this joke of an administration was in power when we got hit by Osama and his barbarians. INstead of just going out and landing a one-two punch as a start to a long war on terrorism, we got sideswiped by Rummy, Bush, Cheny, Ashcroft, Rove, and the rest of that cynical crowd, who have managed to reduce our place in the world by many more degrees than any administration in modern - and maybe pre-modern - memory.

Bush HAS to go down as the most absolutely incompetent President in history, with Rumsfeld probably one of the most cynical and manipulative SOB's we've ever seen at DoD.

Frankly, if Rumsfeld sticks at Hoover, maybe Stanford will receive enough blowback, long-term, to think twice about keeping him, or doing something like this again.

Certainly, it's embarrassing, and shameful, to have someone like Rumsfeld associated with a neighboring institution upon whom much of Palo Alto's reputation rests.

Last, anyone that Phil Zimbardo reviles is probably a pretty sick puppy, because Mr. Zimbardo has insights into these things that are far keener than most.

Posted by Chris, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 22, 2007 at 7:44 am

'Stanford's Shame' should properly refer more to Stanford's intolerance of viewpoints not in accord with the insular left wing intellectual monoculture that suffocates debate and even discussion. This kind of thing is the reason elite universities are increasingly irrelevant to the cultural and political life of the country.

Even the relatively liberal editorial board of the San Jose Mercury News is appalled by Stanford's action.

"Stanford's Shame" indeed.

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 22, 2007 at 8:18 am

Obviously the intellectualoid Eichmans are terrified at the prospect of allowing one of their bugbears an opportunity to defend himself in the arena of ideas. Thank God for the Engineering and medical schools.

Posted by M. Savage, a resident of another community
on Sep 22, 2007 at 9:42 am

The elite liberals once again come together to demonstrate their intollerance and collaberative marxist ideals to prohibit someone they do not like from practicing his same right to freedom of speech. Oh wait, I forgot, unless you are a bush basher or prius driver, your freedom of speech has been revoked. Oh yeh, free the jena six too, since the person they savagely beat did not actually die. Can you imagine what Jesse Hi-Jackson would say if the jena six were of another race, I can.

Posted by Disgust with Stanford, a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 22, 2007 at 9:49 am

It astonishes me that MIT can tolerate, even welcome, the likes of Noam Chomsky, who advocates Communism and American is the worst in the world ( while living the HIGH LIFE here with all its liberties and capatilism), and Princeton the likes of Peter Singer, who advocates the killing of any child up to age one year, and the eradication of the disabled, yet Stanford, that bastion of intellectual curiosity and philosophical discussion, can't tolerate having Hoover appoint Rumsfeld for a year.

I suspect they wouldn't object to the great Chavez or Ahmadinijad being appointed, the name of "freedom of speech and intellectual diversity".

I am disgusted by Stanford, and will not encourage my child to go there. I want an institution that isn't brainwashed, thank you.

Posted by Connecting the dots, a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 22, 2007 at 9:58 am

To Stanford's Shame:

Of course he won't present any "facts" that run counter to his views, because there are none that aren't balanced out by other stronger "facts", at least in his opinion,..that is the job of a DISCUSSION/DEBATE between two equally intelligent and informed people.

What is Stanford afraid of, that they don't have an equal but opposing equal?

I am personally completely unafraid of anyone expressing an opinion, no matter how reprehensible I believe it to be, in this country, under any venue, because I believe in the intelligence and ability of most Americans to discern what is true, and what is propoganda. I only object when there is no forum for opposing viewpoints, or students are "held captive" in a classroom of ideology they didn't sign up for.

I note that the Republican candidates are completely unafraid to be questioned by anyone on ANY of the news channels..what is up with Democrats that they fear discussion/debate with people who have a different philosophy than they?

I think the Left should re-think how it is appearing to most of us. It looks quite a bit in line with the Chavezes of the world, who just last week shut down all schools which didn't teach "the government's" curriculum. ( Can you say "give me your children's education and I will turn them into good little brainwashed citizens"?) and previously shut down any TV/Radio stations that dared to spout anything he disagreed with.

Posted by Stuart, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Sep 22, 2007 at 11:49 am

If anyone wants to see the names of students/staff that have signed the petition:

Web Link

I would note that Paul Ehrlich, the Malthusian professor, who also campaigned to ban DDT (which has cost millions of children's lives in Africa), has signed the petition. Now, why would Stanford honor such a member of its community, a true purveyor of mass death, yet be offended when a liberator of Iraq is invited to the Hoover Insitution?

Stanford has become, over the past few decades, a very unprogressive place. Many profs are socialists, and in lock-step with this tired and deadly philosophy. It is doubtful that any of those who have signed the petition would dare to actually publically discuss, in detail the horrors of the latest socialist beast (Saddam), yet they are out there is public denouncing the man who led the U.S. military in overthrowing him.

There was a suggestion, above, that Barton Bernstein, the Stanford revisionist history prof (who also signed the petition) go toe-to-toe with Rumsfeld (on camera). I think this is a great idea. We could then gauge where the real immoral and unethical attitudes reside.

Posted by Let the games begin, a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 22, 2007 at 12:42 pm

YES! I agree..let's listen to both sides answer questions and respond, civilly and decently, to each other. Let the people decide.

Posted by Disgusted, a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 22, 2007 at 12:51 pm

Thanks for the link..the comments are appallingly contrary to anything and institute of scholarly pursuit should be supporting..and indicative of deep illness in the hallowed halls of academia.

On the other hand, I note most signatories don't comment on how happy they are for the Iraqi people who are alive now, ie not massacred at the rate of 70,000/year, because Saddam and horrific sons are gone.

How proud they must be to wish Saddam were still in charge there!

Posted by getting more disgusted, a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 22, 2007 at 12:55 pm

By the way, to help the mathematically challenged..March 2003 to now under Saddam would have resulted, if the prior rate is any indication, of 300,000 innocent politically motivated massacred dead Iraqis if he hadn't been overthrown.

Which do you all prefer ...that number, or the number of dead from this war, most of whom, if you look at the Iraqi Body Count, are coincidentally young men? ( Read, poor dupes manipulated into helping power mongers grab power away from the people)

Think hard, Stanford, which side are you on?

Posted by still disgusted, a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 22, 2007 at 1:00 pm

To put it another way, Stanford, which do you support, a dictator who kills anyone trying to overthrow him, or a democracy that kills anyone trying to overthrow the will of 80% of the people who voted for it?

I support the democracy.

Especially since in this case WAR is actually kinder to the people of Iraq than the supposed peace they were living under. Not just in human life, but in economics also.

Posted by getting angrier..will stop after this., a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 22, 2007 at 1:03 pm

What is even stranger is that all these signatories apparently have forgotten that Clinton, Clinton, Reid, Shumer, Byrd, Biden..need I go on? completely supported the same statements and goal that Bush later made..I guess they were all liars and evilly concerned only about oil and a crusade also.

Posted by Stanford's Shame, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 22, 2007 at 1:42 pm

It's not surprising to see certain individuals come out in favor of this embarrassing (for Stanford, or anyone associated with Stanford - including alumni) Rumsfeld appointment, especially when one considers the logical end of the Rumsfeld-Bush legacy.

If that legacy had gone untouched (it was a close call), and been permitted to go unfettered, we would have experienced a serious diminishment of "individual" rights in America. We have already seen moderate diminishment of those rights.

Rumsfeld, who, in cahoots with perhaps the most reviled president in American history, and very underpinning of what we know as "human rights".

Thus, it's ironic that Rumsfeld should be put in a light where he is claimed a "victim" of censorship. That's a hoot!

Germany and other nations forbid the assembly of persons who want to reinstitute Nazism. Why shouldn't similarly enlightened persons in the United States (the majority of our citizens are ashamed of the Rumsfeld legacy) have an opportunity to permanently shut down the expression of ideas that are most fundamentally opposed to the underpinning of our most sacred and basic individual rights?

Thus, Rummy's supporters, especially those who cry out in protest against what they perceive as a limitation on Rummy's rights, find themselves in a very, very ironic position - crying out for Rumsfeld's "right" to speak, even as they have had their own rights eroded by this most unfortunate of presidential administrations.

When one points this out, most of the Rumsfeld supporters degrade to name-calling (a weak tactic), or a tired dredging up names like Chomskey, etc. - as if all those who revile what Rumsfeld has done agree with the most extreme left. Most of the people who hate what Bush and Rumsfeld have done to our nation don't even know who Noam Chomskey is.

Those who align themselves with Rumsfeld and his legacy want to circulate this convenient lie - a lie that now (finally!) seems incapable of covering up a surging truth - that truth being that American's have come around to a glimpse of the immense harm that the Bush-appointed sociopaths (Rumsfeld among them, at the top of the pile) have caused our nation, and our society. I don't use the word "sociopath" lightly.

Rumsfeld and Bush are representative of the most hideous kind of sociopathology - those who have great intelligence, with the ability to engage in a way that draws people in. It's a kind of sick charisma that has an uncanny ability to generate fear, and then tap into that self-generated fear. (Don't think that Rumsfeld and Bush are not intelligent; they ARE - they're in office because the lightweight left and more moderate voices failed to take Rummy, his boss, Rove, and the rest of that sick puppy gang as seriously as they should - - this should worry Americans a LOT, because it means we have serious blind spots in our culture - blind spots that don't perceive the special kind of evil that these nutcases have rained down upon us, and the world - and how we're just as subject to the evils of totalinarianism as any other nation that we look down on.

An enterprising entrepreneur, perhaps someone connected with Blackwater, or Halburton, should fund an academic chair just outside the Bush compound, in Texas; they can name it "Abu Girab Tower" - an appropriate base for Rummy and his fascist-leaning friends.

Yes, our culture permits the expression of ideas; it's one of America's special gifts to the world. What gets lost on those who support the dangerous ideas of a person like Bush, or Rumsfeld, or Ashcroft, is the fact that not all ideas are created equal. Evolution works its magic even in the world of memes; thus, some ideas, like the ideas of Rumsfeld, are beginning to find themselves selected out of the repertory of ideas that have weight, and thus bear serious consideration.

If Stanford were to refuse Rumsfeld's admission to Hoover, it would be doing nothing more than lending the weight of its institutional greatness to the diminishment of a dangerous person, and his dangerous ideas. Stanford would not be saying "you can't speak here EVER"; Stanford would rather be saying "sure, come give a lecture, but don't expect to use the legacy of our excellence to bolster your sociopathology". Then, Stanford could wish Rummy well, as he packs off, in exile, to Abu Grihab Tower, home of the Bush Presidential Museum and other unsavory memorabilia that Americans can visit to remind themselves how close they came to becoming something other than what we were intended to be - a free and good people, who fiercely defend human rights, instead of listening to those who would use that sacred impulse to feed their own mental illness, and line their greedy pockets.

Posted by Jim, a resident of Community Center
on Sep 22, 2007 at 2:07 pm

Really- who cares? If he speaks, then don't go listen. More important issues to deal with.

Posted by Deborah, a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 22, 2007 at 2:09 pm

Jim, What are those issues?

Posted by Henry, a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Sep 22, 2007 at 2:12 pm

To Stanford's Shame,

I do not care for Mr. Rumsfeld like you, but don't use the name Rummy when your trying to make a point. Makes you look immature.

Posted by Stanford's Shame, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 22, 2007 at 2:25 pm

Henry, What's in a name? And why not refer to Rumsfeld in the familiar vernacular? Doesn't one give a nickname to one's pet, even if it is a pirhana? Besides, "Rummy" has other negative connotations that I find amusing. Subtext, my friend, subtext...

Posted by Jerry, a resident of Green Acres
on Sep 22, 2007 at 2:30 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 22, 2007 at 4:57 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by D, a resident of Professorville
on Sep 23, 2007 at 1:16 am

Two points:
1. There are a number of people saying that the petitioners are seeking to squelch free speech on campus. They must have great upper-body strength from waving their double standard. To say one supports freedom of expression for Rumsfeld but not for the petitioners is the definition of hypocrisy.

2. Stanford University and the Hoover Institution house people of every variety -- race, creed, national origin, and yes, political leaning. Stanford shouldn't hire someone because they're conservative, just as they shouldn't hire someone just because they're liberal, or black, or white, or paraplegic. Stanford should hire the best people, regardless.
2a. Rumsfeld is a man got America into an unnecessary war on false premises. He kept a piece of the plane that crashed into the Pentagon on his desk as a "wonderful reminder of what happened". He presided over the torture at Abu Ghraib. Tell me what Rumsfeld has done to expand the realm of human knowledge.
2b. Drs. Erlich and Bernstein etal. are at Stanford for their research and teaching talents, not their politics. Period.

Posted by Stanford's Shame, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 23, 2007 at 2:32 am

D. Why then didn't Stanford bring in the late George Wallace, oro other "luminaries" of note.

Look, political sociopaths in our time - especially in the last few years - have been coddled by the press, and lived under the heady aura of Washington power. The WORST sort of person can come out of that place without experiencing a reputational death blow. Getting to that level of power takes some doing; it's hard to undo a network of power that gets, say, Bush, or Rumsfeld, into power.

It is not hypocrisy to detest human evil so much that you want no truck with it; I'm afraid that some people here want this to be ablut free speech. It's not.

It's about not wanting to share the place where you live, work, and study with someone who has used his gifts to cause great harm to humanity, without apologies. That's a sociopath.

Why shuold Stanford have anything to do with a sociopath like Rumsfeld, and/or someone who is no better than the people he has drummed out of power - like Saddam - after HE put them into power.

On your point "2b" - that Rumsfeld is a very smart man, but an intellectual lightweight - that's true. One could, I'm sure, learn much about the machinations of power from someone like Rumsfeld, but could one trust that he was telling the truth about even that, or using his status to gain power over yet one more group of naive admirers? THis is a guy who will say and do anything to maintain power. In fact, he resigned to maintain sufficient status to carry himself over into his later years, like Kissinger.

I say keep his kind away from Stanford, mostly because we want to prevent the Rumsfeld meme from broadcasting. Let him lecture on campus, as a paid guest, if yuo want - but otherwise keep him at a distance.

People like Rumsfeld need to be marginalized, period. He's dangerous.

Posted by Who else do you want to ban?, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 23, 2007 at 7:11 am

The problem is that the assumption of "unnecessary war under false premises" is completely open to debate. It is not a fact, it is an opinion. There are many opinions available on a University campus, though frankly very few right of mid-left on the political spectrum. Many of us have not been taught the difference between a fact and opinion. We no longer teach logic and analysis in our high schools. Used to be taught in English and History classes when I was growing up, but unfortunately both fields have been taken over by ideologues who want to teach a belief system instead.


If someone hears something enough they think it is 1) true and 2)commonly believed. Unfortunately, this misleads a lot of otherwise good people into seeing the opposite of what is true, especially in a media which constantly harps on one side, reports false stories on the front page without reporting the corrections on the front page, and even buries stories that don't fit the template of its political beliefs.

Don't let the constant media harping and headlines think for you. This is what a University is supposed to do, expose to all types of thinking, so that students can learn to THINK through dissecting the facts and the philosophies.

Like the guy said above, if you don't want to learn, then don't listen.

Posted by R Wray, a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 23, 2007 at 9:23 am

Pamela Lee, a Stanford art history professor who helped write the petition against Rumsfeld, is quoted (in another paper), "He contradicts the fundamental standards of the university, which are order, ...".

It is revealing that she lists "order" first as a "fundamental standard". We see that the reason for opposing Rumsfeld is that he might disturb the leftists control of the university.

Posted by Jerry, a resident of Green Acres
on Sep 23, 2007 at 9:31 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 23, 2007 at 12:34 pm

They fear the light! In the light of day all melts away!
If Rumsfeld were complicite in a tenth as many deaths as Ehrlich I would be surprised.

Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 23, 2007 at 3:28 pm

" Drs. Erlich and Bernstein etal. are at Stanford for their research and teaching talents, not their politics. Period"

D., I went to Stanford and took classes from Paul Erhlich. He was immensely political in his lectures, predicting major catastrophe
for mankind, if his Malthusian edicts were not obeyed. He even convinced naive young people, like Stephanie Mills, to sterilize themselves. Erhlich was destroyed in intellectual debate with Simon ( Web Link ) Don't kid yourself, D.

Bernstein cut his intellectual spurs by saying that the A-bomb vs. Japan was not necessary, if based on U.S. potential military casualties. He is one lonely intellectual puppy on that one.

Rumsfeld is a much better intellectual, compared to these two guys.

Posted by Publius, a resident of Professorville
on Sep 23, 2007 at 3:39 pm

R Wray:
You quote to twist the words to support your point. The Fundamental Standard (Web Link) states:

"Students at Stanford are expected to show both within and without the University such respect for order, morality, personal honor and the rights of others as is demanded of good citizens. Failure to do this will be sufficient cause for removal from the University."

The faculty and staff, one would think, should be expected to set a good example.

Erlich is not a war-monger or a war broker. He did not negotiate weapons deals with Saddam Hussein. Ah, but Rumsfeld did, back when the Iraqi dictator was a good friend of the Reagan administration. If you're looking for who's really responsible for the murder of the Kurds, perhaps you should look to Rumsfeld, who helped arm Saddam Hussein's regime.
Paul Erlich didn't torture or kill anyone.
Go find some numbers to back up your one-liner. It would be nice if you would make a substantive contribution, rather than sniping from the sidelines.

Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 23, 2007 at 4:01 pm

"He did not negotiate weapons deals with Saddam Hussein. Ah, but Rumsfeld did"

Publius, are you kidding?!!! FDR negotiated arms deals with Stalin, an even worse tyrants (though not by much) than
Saddam. National leaders, especially in times of war, are often forced to choose the lesser of two evils. Are you saying that FDR, if still alive, should not be offered an appointment by Hoover or Stanford?

Ehrlich led the anti-industrial movement, which still holds sway, including the ban on DDT. His cause has led to millions of unnecessary deaths. This is old stuff...I'm surprised that you have no intellectual knowledge about this matter. Do a simple literature search.

Posted by Stanford's Shame, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 23, 2007 at 4:32 pm

Like I said before, when someone of Rumsfeld's ilk is criticized in America, certain individuals will trot out all manner of half-truths and rumors, just to make a point about "their guy"

Sure, Erlich was WRONG about DDT, but he was basing his error on what was considered at the time to be valid information, based on science.

On the other hand, Rumsfeld used his intelligence and power to manipulate a large number of people into a war, and then further waste thousands of young lives in an effort to show how "effieicnt" he could be with troop deployments.

There is no easy way to be part of a nation that is at war; there are always people for, and people against.

Gary, above brings up the hard choices that FDR has to make. Gary is right about FDR making reprehensible choices (for instance, FDR knew about the death camps in Germany and Poland, long before he acted against them - he was afraid to lose the support of the anti-Jewish lobby of the Congress, which was a substantial powerhouse at the time).

What Gary fails to mention, unless he's one of those "concpiracy" types, is that FDR did not plot to start WWI. Rumsfeld and Bush, et. al. did JUST that. Imagine, in 21st century America.

There is NO doubt that we are at war with terrorists, but there is EVIDENCE that Bush and the rest of his sociopaths used fear to accomplish peripheral goals that had NOTHING to do with the task of defeating terrorists. This was about money, power, and revenge.

Rumsfeld, on the other hand, is no FDR. Rumsfeld, on balance, is in the minus column in terms of doing good for the world. What has he ever done for advance humanity in political theatre? Nothing.
Name one thing, please.

Sure, he's probably helped people in his private life; maybe he's been a good father (I don't know). On balance, Rumsfeld, like Bush, has left nothing but problems that others have to clean up.

Rumsfeld has has used, over and over and over and over again used tactics of cynicism that have ground away at the most fundamental notions of democracy, even as he claims this war is about increasing democracy. Ha!

Rumsfeld is a power-mongering sociopath, period. We get a glimpse of the hypocrisy of those who want him at Stanford, as they themselves call for the banning of people like Erlich from campus. Who are these people kidding, as their opinions mirror the very POLICIES that Rumsfeld lived and breathed every day, one of the foremost of which was "if you diagree with me, you're gone".

Stanford should heed that, and keep Rumsfeld at a distance. The only thing that will come of this is that Rumsfeld will tarnish Stanford's reputation. This isn't 1950 any more. Word travels fast about who's up to what. If I were Stanford, I would think twice about this.

Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 23, 2007 at 5:01 pm

Stanford Shame,

I'm not a conspiracy type. I think Oswald did JFK all by himself. However, to say that FDR did not want WWII is naive. He was pushing for it, becasue he hated Germany (not to mention the fascists). He was an Anglophile, yet he also wanted to see the British Empire be defeated. He was a toney socialist, and he undercut Churchill with respect to Stalin. He did all that he could to antagonize Japan...he knew that a Japanese attack would springboard the U.S. into war against Germany. In fact, he depleted the Pacific theatre (after Pearl Harbor) in order to attack Germany, even though Hitler was willing to cut a deal with the U.S. (and Britain).

FDR was not naive. He was a player in the big game. He did not always get it right, but he did make a moral decision to defeat Hitler, even if he sucked up to Stalin too much. Churchill had to correct some of FDR's excesses with his "Iron Curtain" speech.

Rumsfeld was also player in the big game, although the game was at a smaller scale. The moral scale was the same, though. Saddam is dead, and this is an incredibly moral thing. We have Rumsfeld (and Bush and the noecons) to thank for this.

Those who have signed the petition should hang their head in shame. They are immoral, not Rumsfeld.

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 23, 2007 at 7:15 pm

Ehrlich was wrong about everything, and yet Stanford embraces him. Rumsford won the quickest major war in my lifetime and Stanford hates him. Sounds to me like Rumsfeld is stepping down in class. Nobles oblige?

Posted by Stanford's Shame, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 23, 2007 at 7:48 pm

I'm really enjoying you revisionist history lesson, Gary. Comparing FDR with Rumsfeld. LOL!!

oh, btw, we also have Rumsfeld to thank for all the OTHER people, besides Saddam, who are dead, and still suffering

Your example feeds into what I pointed out earlier, in that Rumsfeld - a dyed-in-the-wool-sociopath if I ever saw one (along with Bush, Rove, etc.), *used* a very bad situation to divert the American people from their most righteous path.

Sure, Saddam is dead, and now we have the killing fields of Iraq. AND, Osama Bin Laden is still alive!

Like I said, Rumsfeld and others of his ilk are dangerous people - using great intelligence and a gifted knack for finding their way to power in a way that serves only themselves.

Incidentally, what's tragic about a sociopath, from an internal perspective, is that they're not really trying to be evil, nor are they often aware of the harm that they cause. Part of Rumsfeld's disease is that he's absolutely convinced that he's right; the same goes for Bush and the rest of his litter of sick puppies.

Do we really want this kind of person to be able to continue to influence policy? I don't think so.

Of course, people like Rumsfeld, Kissinger, etc. will stick around - someone will have them. That's the nature of the beast. Some people - now, thankfully, in the minority (and shrinking), fervently believe that Rumsfeld was at least incompetent. How does that get him in a prestigious academic institution?

Let me tell you. There are powerful interests here in the Bay Area and elsewhere who like the idea of this war. That's where Rumsfeld's support is coming from. That's why the power's that be at Stanford are bringing him in.

I look forward to more indepth reporting on this, so we can get to the bottom ofo why Stanford's top brass let in a disgraced sociopath.

Posted by Publius, a resident of Professorville
on Sep 23, 2007 at 9:08 pm

DDT is not a harmless chemical. It's a pesticide. Its effects go far beyond killing bugs -- that's been demonstrated scientifically.
You've provided no evidence or hard numbers for the supposed deaths Erlich might be responsible for -- at the moment you're still slurring a man's reputation.
Working to ban a dangerous pesticide -- I'm sure Erlich himself wouldn't take full credit for doing so single-handedly -- is not in the same league as overseeing military detention camps that employ torture.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Publius, a resident of Professorville
on Sep 23, 2007 at 10:59 pm

It's good to hear that the Iraq war has been won. Does that mean that everything after the Mission Accomplished banner has been a bad dream that we'll all wake up from now?

In the part of the last post that was removed, I asked you to go find some numbers to back up your one-liner.

And to anyone who thinks that Rumsfeld's an expert on current events, he said in an interview a couple of weeks ago that he actually doesn't keep up with what's going on in Iraq. Oops.

Posted by Joan, a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Sep 23, 2007 at 11:35 pm

Here's something that the Stanford Daily should print, just to "remind" Stanford brass where their new boy has been.

Web Link

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 24, 2007 at 4:38 am

The war against Saddam was won handily, and with fewer casualties than the average training exercise of my Army days. The war against Islamic terror and Jihad will, as Bush pointed out, take much longer. It is possible for advanced societies to walk and chew gum concurrently.
At the time of the picture of Rumsfeld shaking Saddam's hand, Saddam was allied with us against a common enemy, Iran. A victory for Iran then and now would be disasterous to the world economy and peace.
There are, unfortunately, no pictures of Clinton meeting with communists in the USSR, but there are many pictures of Carter embracing dictators.
As for Ehrlich, when is his next book, My Successful Predictions, coming out?

Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 24, 2007 at 9:04 am


Please the following link for an indication of how wrong Ehrlich has been.

Web Link

Of particular note is that he opposed the Green Revolution (genetically improved crops). If we had been crazy enough to follow his advice, there would have, indeed, been wide-spread famine. His opposition to DDT has led to millions of deaths.

Rumsfeld helped to liberate Iraq from a cruel monster. Ehrlich has helped to subjugate millions of people with his anti-industrial rant.

Fire Ehrlich. Hire Rumsfeld.

Posted by OhMy, a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Sep 24, 2007 at 10:15 am

The GMO "Green Revolution"? "Evidence" culled from web-site uber-propaganda? Ehrlich the Killer, Rumsfeld the Humanitarian? Oh, Gary, you simply must do better than this if you hope to convince thinking people. (And genetically "improved" crops? Oh my.)

Posted by Stanford's Shame, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 24, 2007 at 11:03 am

Nothing will change the FACT that weapons of mass destruction have never been found in Iraq, and that Saddam has been in the US pocket from day 1. It looks like Bush Sr. set Saddam up for a fall when he sucker-punched the latter by sending reassurances that Saddam's dispute with Kuwait was "Saddam's business" - knowing all the while that Saddam wold attack - thus, givig the US leverage for a counterattack.

Read some history.

btw, Kuwait was opening the floodgates on oil supply at the time, causing the price of oil to stay low, and infuriating Saddam, who needed $$$ after the Iraq-Iran war) - this did not make the Bush network (especially including the the Saudis) very happy.

It was a perfect slam dunk, Bush Sr. and Cheney setting up Saddam for a fall, and solidifying relationships with the Saudis and other mid-East oil producers - and at the same time goosing up the US war machine. Followed by his incompetent, 30-year-alcohol-dependent-and-busines-failure-bible-thumping-sick-puppy son (the current Oval Office disaster).

Now we have this, with Rummy, hired by a wanna-be-powerhouse-son-with-"daddy-issues", helping to put the war machine in place in awy that screws everything up so badly that the war on terror (that exists in any case) that we're going to be fightig it FAR longer than we would have otherwise.

And as a reward, the Stanford brass give this failure a position at Hoover. Was it Hennessy who pulled the trigger on this? I wonder. WHOEVER it was, s/he shuold be drummed unceremoniously out of Stanford faster than you can say "Lawrence H. Summers".

Posted by Dr. Frankenstein, a resident of another community
on Sep 24, 2007 at 11:05 am

Gary, you mean the "green revolution" that created a dependency on seed-and-patent-hoarding companies like Novartis, Con Agra, etc. etc? You know, the companies that patented genetic alterations in seed that REQUIRED the use of their oil-based fertilizers?

I'm sure Rumsfeld would be all for that, with the oil requirements and all...think!

Posted by Tim, a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 24, 2007 at 11:14 am

To Stanford's Shame,

What is the big deal?? If you hate Rusmsfeld so much- don't go listen to him speak. Stanford has ever right to "hire" who they want. Thank god we can still do this in the USA.

Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 24, 2007 at 11:15 am


You might try reading Paul Driessen author of Eco-Imperialism: Green Power, Black Death. Driessen is a former Sierra Club, ZPG, Earth Day member, who finally couldn't take the lies, anymore. For example, many gentically modified crops are improvements over their predecessors. Humans have been selecting for genetically modified crops for thousands of years. We can do it much faster now. Such crops are already saving millions of people.

Stanford Shame,

If your rant is any indication of the type of people who signed the petition, then you make my case...Rumsfeld is much smarter, and more intellectual than his critics at Stanford. Are you a Stanford student?

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 24, 2007 at 11:42 am

Ultimately the Malthusian backing of the LibLuds comes to the fore.

Posted by Roger, a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 24, 2007 at 12:43 pm

Wee Wally Wallis snipes from the sidelines again.

Posted by Stanford's Shame, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 24, 2007 at 1:37 pm

I don't want Rumsfeld associated in any way with my city, my state, or my country. He is a sociopath who has caused more harm during his so-called "service" to our country than any DoD leader in memory, including McNamara (who wasn't a sociopath, and who recognized the obvioius mistake of his prior ways).

Stanford does have a right to hire Rumsfeld, but Stanford has already reduced its claim to elite status by doing so. There is a lot of talk about keeping the Iranian president from speaking at various forums in NYC. Rumsfeld is the flip side of Ahmadinejad - they're both sociopaths, both harmful to humanity, and both deserving to be kept as far away from the world of ideas as possible.

Some ideas are better than others. Stanford has a reputation for husbanding the greta thinkers, but it appears that Stanford is giving up part of that tradition with this appointment.

My hope is that the press looks far deeper into this than it has, to see what forces were at play in Rumsfeld's hiring, and why President Hennessy made this most unfortunate of decisions. if he didn't make this decision, the buck has to stop somewhere.

Mr. Hennessy?

Posted by To Stanford's Shame, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 24, 2007 at 2:33 pm

I am curious, Stanford's Shame..would you want Carter to come be a part of Stanford for a year ( who is the architect of approving the vote of Chavez and therefore responsible for what is happening there), Bill Clinton ( Bosnia..also without UN approval) Peter Singer? Al Gore? Reagan? FDR? Churchill? Chavez? Cheney?

Just curious, is it only shameful to be for human liberty which is in the interest of also defending the future of the USA?

Posted by To Stanford's Shame, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 24, 2007 at 2:34 pm

In other words, which politics do you want to forbid at a University?

Posted by To Stanford's Shame, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 24, 2007 at 2:35 pm

Oh, and comparing Ahmadinijad to Rumsfeld is ....just hilarious and really, really indicative of the depths of your thinking.

Posted by To Stanford's Shame, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 24, 2007 at 2:38 pm

If you are one of the family members of the at least 300,000 Iraqis that Saddam massacred, and at least 800,000 that Saddam killed in wars he began, then you are very, very grateful indeed to Rumsfeld. Somehow I think your definition of "harmful to humanity" needs to be re-considered.

Do you think the police chief who gets rid of gangs in cities is also harmful to humanity because some people die in the process?

Posted by Stanford's Shame, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 24, 2007 at 3:04 pm

Donald Rumsfeld is one of the architects of a war that wasn't necessary, deliberately fought in a way to secure his employer, George W. Bush, a certain kind of insularity from making hard choices.

We now know about the manipulations that led to this war, and are deeply saddened that Donald Rumsfeld and other officials of the Bush administration so cynically used the cohesiveness of the American people that was generated post 9/11 to accomplish a private agenda.

byw, Police chiefs don't fund arms shipments for the gangs they fight, as Rumsfeld duly fed arms to a monster who used poison gas on his own people. That Rumsfeld was seen shaking Hussain's hand not long after that nefarious incident, shows the depths of hell that Donald Rumsfeld was willing to walk into in order to preserve a warped idea of peace in the Middle East.

Rumsfeld is a sociopathic order-taker, gladly doing the bidding of Cheny and Rove, in service of manipulating the American people. This is coming out in many ways, lately. That's a good thing.

Rumsfeld and Ahmadinijad? Absolutely two sides of the same coin. Ahmadinijad is a stooge of the Iranian mullahs, the head clerics. He is a trained flea, doing their bidding - if you doubt that, go talk to any Middle East expert that knows her stuff.

In the same way, Donald Rumsfeld was the perfect stooge for Rove, Cheny, Bush and Co. Rumsfeld is ia smart guy who has a reputition for shutting down anyone who hdoubts a position that he or his superiors created. He was absolutely the perfect guy to keep the military in line, as Oval Office insiders fed Bush what he was supposed to say about Iraq, ins pite of massive doubt in the Pentagon about the way this war was planned, and carried out.

Rumsfeld is essentially a strategic lightweight in a power-mongering heavyweight's clothing. He could teach a good course on "How To Network Your Way To Waging A War On Anyone, Anytime, No Matter the Consequences". He would be good at that.

Stanford's placement of Rumsfeld at Hoover is disgraceful, but there seems little we can do about it now.

Calling nout Rummy for othe weak-kneed, lightweight strategist that he is, isn't going to change much.

From here on out, the pressure should be applied to Stanford's top brass, beginning with Stanford University President John Hennessy. Dr. Hennessey approved this appointment; if he didn't, who did, and why?

Sure, Stanford has a right to hire anyone it wants. So do I. The problem with that is if someone hires a known sociopath (a label that is quite apt, given Rumsfeld's personal and official history), and let's that sociopath continue to spead - by teaching! - his sick puppy meme to our impressionable youth, and other naive citizens, hard questions need to be answered.

Mr. Hennessy, why is Donald Rumsfeld, a disgraced Secretary of Defense, a man who has lied in a way that has caused death and destruction, permitted to teach at your institution?

What has Mr. Rumsfeld done, other than hold high office and create havoc (world wide), that qualifies him to teach or preach from the lofty towers of intellectual enlightenment that Stanford's past teachers labored so hard to achieve?

Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 24, 2007 at 4:05 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Chuck, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Sep 24, 2007 at 4:48 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Hurray for Free Speech, a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 25, 2007 at 7:22 am

The good thing about free speech is that people are free to make fools of themselves.

That is also why I didn't object to Ahmadinijad speaking yesterday at Columbia ( and, sure enough..he did make a laughingstock of himself)

It allows the ignorant to see reality.

Posted by Reader, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Sep 25, 2007 at 8:02 am

Yes, free speech is fundamental and I see nothing good in trying to shout down either Rumsfeld or Ahmadinejad, but why did the local papers omit this part of Ahmadinejad's speech from their articles?

Mr. President, another student asks, Iranian women are now denied basic human rights, and your government has imposed draconian punishments, including execution on Iranian citizens who are homosexuals. Why are you doing those things?

PRESIDENT AHMADINEJAD: "In Iran, we don't have homosexuals like in your country. (Laughter.) We don't have that in our country. (Booing.) In Iran, we do not have this phenomenon. I don't know who's told you that we have it. (Laughter.)"

Posted by Tim, a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 25, 2007 at 8:21 am

To Stanford's Shame,

Wow, the Palo Alto Online lets you voice your opinion even though many disagree with it. Think about it.

Posted by Stanford's Shame, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 25, 2007 at 9:22 am

Tim, Donald Rumsfeld can speak anywhere he want, including Stanford. What's disgraceful is that Stanford's to brass permitted a known political sociopath to be aapointed to a prominent position within its institution; thus, "Stanford's Shame".

btw, there is a world of difference between an anonymous online forum, and the Hoover Institution. Would the Hoover Institution have me in as a guest lecturer? I don't think so! :)

Here's an entertaining little flash presentation, showing how the US has always been complicit with Saddam, until he started to blowback out stupid "tactics". Rumsfeld was front and center for much of this, just like the efficiently deadly sociopath that he has always been.

Rumsfeld is NOT an ideas person; he is a rough and tumble bureaucrat who follows the lead of hos superiors. Germany has a lot of people like this working for the Third Reich.

Rumsfeld is no Nazi, but he does exhibit that same quality of "winning at any cost", as long as that cost is defined by his bosses, and no matter what that cost means to the larger world order.

This is really the most dangerous kind of person.

It's really quite amazing to see highly placed, dangerous people who have been drummed out of office go on to careers in academia. It says something about the relative morality of the places that employ them.

This appointment is especially egregious, because we all know about Rumsfeld's lies, and general incompetence. He failed miserably in his job, and yet gets a reward for it? Weird.

Hopefully, the Stanford student body and alumni will talk some sense into Stanford's top brass. If the Rumsfeld appointment stands, it will cost Stanford plenty.

Stanford President John Hennessy's cache drops by the day, for every day that he remains silent on this issue. Does he have any idea how top brass in other institutions of higher learning are beginning to view this very bad decision?

What an embarrassing scenario for Palo Alto. I wonder if Rumsfeld will reside here. I sure hope not.

Posted by Stanford's Shame, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 25, 2007 at 9:23 am

here's that video
Web Link

Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 25, 2007 at 10:06 am

Stanford Shame,

That pathetic litte piece of propaganda (the video) may work for the truly gullible, but it fails to tell the truth, and it tells outright lies.

For example, the biological speciments given to Iraq were freely available to any legitimate scientific laboratory in the world through the American Type Culture Collection ( Web Link).
It is absolute nonsense to suggest that the U.S. government provided biological weapons ingredients to Iraq.

The assertion that the U.S. government provided chemical weapons to Iraq is a lie. Just becasue the left keeps telling this lie, does not make it true. U.S. companies, along with European comapnies and Soviet/East Bloc enitities provided a variety of multi-use organic chemicals to Iraq, as was done for many other industrial states. Saddam synthsized his own chemical weapons.

If you want to say "Thanks for the Memories", at least make them true memories. There is no credibility in this video hit piece. Truly, a pathetic attempt. Even Barton Bernstein would give this one an "F" grade.

Posted by alumnus, a resident of Professorville
on Sep 25, 2007 at 12:19 pm

Raisian said
"I appointed him because he has three decades of experience, of incredible public service, especially in recent years as it relates to this question of ideology and terror."

A courageous move by Hoover and I look forward to having ROTC at Stanford in the near future.

Where is the patriotism ?

Posted by just a comment, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 25, 2007 at 12:20 pm

To Stanford's Shame: Referring to Rumsfeld as a "known sociopath"??? Do you expect to be taken seriously in anything you say with "diagnoses" like this? It completely invalidates anything else you have to say. Sort of like "We have no homosexuals in our country"..

Posted by just a comment, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 25, 2007 at 12:23 pm

No, don't get any hopes up. ROTC will never be at the hallowed halls of any elite academia because they don't recognize the bottom line back-up of WHY they have the ability to teach and say anything they want. They feel far too elite and above such realities. And they believe that only "stupid" people, or people who couldn't get into their rarified air of academia would even dream of being in ROTC.

Their arrogancea and ignorance will not change.

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 25, 2007 at 12:42 pm

I still believe that not one dime should go to any school at any level where ROTC and recruiters are not welcomed. Whose bread I eat, his song I sing.
Oh, and let's cut off any tax benefit for contributions to anti-US schools. Let Soros support them as long as they are doing his work.

Posted by Stanford's Shame, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 25, 2007 at 1:09 pm

"just a comment", How does Donald Rumsfeld NOT fit the profile of a sociopath

Here are some defining qualities of that mental illness - a majority of these symtoms will lead to a diagnosis of sociopathology. I have starred those qualities that Rumsfeld has displayed in gross form, with question makrks next to those that one can't be so sure about

not learning from experience*
no sense of responsibility ?
inability to form meaningful relationships ?
inability to control impulses*
lack of moral sense*
chronically antisocial behavior*
no change in behavior after punishment*
emotional immaturity*
lack of guilt*

Every occupation has its share of sociopaths. They can be very efficient in what they do, with no concern whatsoever for the outcome of their actions. It is not at all unusual to see sociopaths in high office.

Donald Rumsfeld fits the profile, perfectly. He isi the "goos bureaucrat" who follows order, with great skill, and god help those downstream from his actions, or anyone who disagrees with his views.

Again, my question to John Hennessy. "Why do you permit a known political failure and sociopath to grace the hallowed ground ofo one of the best universities in our nation"

Hennessy needs to answer that question, and come up with better reasons that Rasich why Rumsfeld is at Stanford.

This is essentially HENNESSY'S decision now; let's see where his political sensibilities lie, as well as how much he portends to care about the long-term reputation of the university that he is administering.

Posted by alumnus, a resident of Professorville
on Sep 25, 2007 at 1:57 pm

stanfords shame --- get a life.

I would like to hear opinions about the proposed ROTC at Stanford.

Posted by Stanford's Shame, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 25, 2007 at 2:33 pm

alumnus, perhaps you could relay that message to the thousands of unnecessary deaths that Rumsfeld caused for nothing other than sheer hubris. Perhaps you might carry a sign around campus that chouts "Welcome! Donald Rumsfeld", and see how much "life" there is in the opposition to Rumsfeld.

About ROTC, why not sign up? Shrub needs you to fight terrorism.

Posted by alumnus, a resident of Professorville
on Sep 25, 2007 at 2:38 pm

No to Rumsfeld" Response

Something is wrong with our elite universities when the visit of the most influential actor in international terrorism in the world today (President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran) to Columbia receives less of a protest than the appointment of one of the most decorated public servants of this generation (former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld) to the Hoover Institution.

While stressing the virtue of "disinterested enquiry," the "No To Rumsfeld" petition leaves out Mr. Rumsfeld's unparalleled record of service to his country in favor of baseless, ad hominem attacks. Born into modest means, Mr. Rumsfeld earned an ROTC scholarship to Princeton, where he graduated with honors; served in the Navy; was elected to the House of Representatives at 29, where he served four terms; has been a high-level advisor to every Republican president since Dwight Eisenhower; was the U.S. Ambassador to NATO; has been both the youngest and oldest Secretary of Defense; and has held distinguished fellowships at numerous universities and think tanks.

Any fair-minded person, regardless of his opinions of Mr. Rumsfeld's policy decisions, cannot deny that this man's life has been dedicated to patriotic service. More than almost any person alive, he has had a front-row seat to high-level policymaking in the post-war period.

Any person who knows Rumsfeld, regardless of his political opinions, would reject the implication of the petition that the man's motivations are in any way evil. Unlike the vast majority of professors who signed the petition, Rumsfeld's ideas and policies were taken out of the ivory tower and applied to the unpredictable, chaotic and brutal world during one of the most consequential periods in American history. Implications that Mr. Rumsfeld's motivations for his policies were different from the goal of achieving greater security for our country and world simply contradict the entire history of his life. While heated debate and disagreement over his decisions should, of course, be welcomed, outright vilification of Mr. Rumsfeld's motives betrays the academic spirit that the petition — and Stanford — espouses. Rumsfeld's presence gives the Stanford community a fantastic opportunity to engage in intellectual discussion about the history that has unfolded before our eyes — the joke will be on us if we lose this opportunity due to juvenile, unjustified vilification.

Calley Means '08

Poltical Science and History

Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 25, 2007 at 2:56 pm

For those who buy into the "sociopath" nonsense, here is a tidbit from an interview with Rumsfeld:

"There are a lot of people who think that you guys are cold and callous, I say, that you don't hear criticism, that it doesn't seem to affect you when you see the death toll every day coming out of Iraq.

"Oh." It's more of a moan than an "oh."

Why is that?

"Probably ignorance."

But it has to affect you.

"Oh." The moan again. "Off the recordů" And he tells a story that, frankly, should be on the record. It's personal and pretty heart-wrenching, the kind of thing that people who despise Donald Rumsfeld might be surprised to hear.

Why do you want this oČ the record?

"I just do. I don't like to talk about myself."

Days later, I ask if I could put the story he told me on the record. And he responds with one of his dictated memos. ("Subject: Lisa's Questions on Hospital Visits.") What follows is several paragraphs of efficient, sterile prose utterly devoid of the seeming emotion I sensed when he talked at the kitchen table about visiting wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Hospital with Joyce. But that is Rummy. Given the chance—even a second chance—to show a pulse, he chooses not to."

Don Rumsfeld is a caring person, but he does not wear it on his sleave. He has a level of humility, when it counts.

Web Link

It is truly sophomoric to make statements like "sociopath", when talking about Don Rumsfeld. Worse, it is a reflection of deep personal problems on the part of those who spout such craven nonsense. Almost as bad is that such people claim to represent Stanford.

Posted by Stanford's Shame, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 25, 2007 at 3:23 pm

Gary, a sociopath, especially an intelligent sociopath, will say anything to accomplish his purpose - evn oif that purpose is to make people believe he "cares"

I could care less about the length of Rumsfeld's service, because all I see from that "service" is human carnage and waste, and brutal policies implemented on the whim of his superiors.

to Calley Means, there is a difference betwen the outcomes of "patriotic service" from one individual to another.

Donald Rumsfeld LIED to send our young people to war - to die. Justify that under the phoney rubric of "patriotism", if you will.

Donald Rumsfeld KNOWINGLY kept sufficient troops from the battlefield in Iraq to save his superior's reputation.

I iwon't argue that Runsfeld thuoght he was a patriot, but let's look at the RESULTS of his patriotism.

We don't need Rumsfeld's (of George Bush) kind of patriotism here. If some other patsy university wants to disgrace the tradition of intellectual freedom, by using it as a cover to hire deep political failures, let them.

You show a blindness to history, and a deep sense of moral relativism by insisting that someone with the deeply disturbing record of deception - leading to the DEATH of felloe Americans - shuold have anything to do with Stanford.

Let Rummy publish his papers; you can learn from that - assuming he tells the truth, even there, whhich is highly doubtful

John Hennessy has a lot to answer for if he lets this go.

It's amazing how people like Rumsfeld and Kissinger, who both, under cover of democracy, committed the most horrible acts. That those acts were said to help Americans be "free" is reprehensible.

Intelligent people should know better, and act better.

Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 25, 2007 at 3:31 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 25, 2007 at 3:56 pm

Dang - now I need to clean my monitor - Stanford and intellectual freedom should never be mentioned in the same essay, let alone in the same paragraph. It makes me happy that my record no longer exists on campus.
I suspect Stanford foolishness killed a lot more people that anything Rumsfeld did.

Posted by Stanford's Shame, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 25, 2007 at 4:54 pm

Gary, [portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.] I note yuor comments - and some others - are replete with the kind of one liners that Rumsfeld, in his sickness, has been famous for.

You really do seem intent on defending this most sociopathic of individuals, along with the other sociopaths Rove, Bush, and a few others, who simply by dint of the fact that they hold high political office somehow makes you think they are not subject to mental illness.

I especially enjoy reading your assumptions and "insider" knowledge on the intentions of people like FDR. That's a hoot.

Donald Rumsfeld is a sick man, period. How else would you describe a person who sent thousand sof people to their certain deaths, all the while refusing to tolerate opinions that might have changed that fact? Calling people like Rumsfeld "Patriot" might have worked for a few months after 9/11 (when he and the rest of the Bush gang were busy plotting how to use American fear to their political and personal advantage), but not any more.

Americans need to start setting a new example. Sure, we'll allow anyone to speak, but we won't honor their speech with compliant nods just because certain individuals used their intelligence and skill to climb to the top and commit crimes against humanity, lie to their own people, and so on. Rummy is a bad, bad dude, period. How could anyonen argue otherwise, based on his RESULTS, and the PROCESS he used in getting those results.

Here's a guy who sanctioned (along with Bush and company) TORTURE, and the SUSPENSION of habeus corpus, for AMERICANS. To that, all I can say is "WOW!!" in amazement - and in further amazement wonder how this guy is receiving any accolades at all, and wonder why he hasn't been universally pounded for the inhumanity that he has visited on Americans, and many other folk.

And Hennessy wants him at Stanford? You have to be kidding. Hennessy is a better guy than that, or so I thought. His actions in these next few days will reveal a lot about his politics, his humanity, and his ability to discern freedom of speech from sanctioning the actions of a torturing sociopath who happened to "make it" all the way to to DoD.

I think it's interesting that our society pulls punches on political leaders, and other highly placed individuals (with an exception held out for luminaries in the entertainment world).

We have to learn to admit we made mistakes by letting some of these people get too far into our polis, and influence us. That's a painful thing to realize, but we have to do it, or else we're liable to repeat the same mistakes, again.

John Hennessy, are you listening?

Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 25, 2007 at 5:27 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Stanford's Shame, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 25, 2007 at 5:44 pm

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
Rumsfeld's comments are made to confirm the great lie, that we needed to go to war with Iraq in the way that we did, causing the needless deaths of thousands.

That's the clear sign of his sociopathology, in that he uses patriotism, love of country, and the solidarity of the working soldier to bolster and rationalize his own sick plans, so as to keep his plan respectable.

Rumsfeld cannot escape what he is, a sociopath, because all sociopaths rationalize away the harm they do, and use the emotions of those close to them, or that they control, to their advantage. Too bad there isn't a pill.

Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 25, 2007 at 6:09 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Stanford's Shame, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 25, 2007 at 6:14 pm

Eisenhower did not LIE, or TORTURE. He warned against people like Rumsfeld. Yuo remember the "military industrial compex" that Eisenhower warned against, I assume.

Perhaps you should read a few eisenhower speeches about the cost of war. It appear that Bush, in his shallow education at Yale, and Rumsfeld, in his eager need to please his lying superiors, didn't read them either.

Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 25, 2007 at 6:36 pm


Eisenhower manipulated all sorts of generals and politicians during WWII. Get a grip! He also gave the green light to Montgomery to go forward with Market Garden, even though he knew that it would cost thousands of casualities...because he did not want to ruffle Montgomery's ego. Ike understood that support for Patton would make more sense, but the sacrifice of a few thousand allied dead was a cheap price to pay in the big picture.

BTW, Ike lead a force in Europe that DID torture, in order to get intel. He also turned a blind eye to his best killers doing dirty deeds to the enemy (no prisioners). SS, you are SO naive!! Wake up!

Posted by Tim, a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 25, 2007 at 7:41 pm

Wow, now you don't want Mr. Rumsfeld to even live in Palo Alto. Why don't we just tar and feather him and be done with it. Glad I'm not your neighbor!

Posted by Pati, a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 25, 2007 at 8:07 pm

I have no doubt that Rumsfield has a great deal of experience, is very bright, and all the rationalizations being made for hiring him. This isn't a freedom of speech issue, "leftist control (Stanford ???? you've GOT to be kidding), republican, democratic issue, or ANY of the other comments the supporters of this appointment have made. It isn't a political issue.

This is about a man given a position at Stanford deserving honor and respect. RUMSFIELD ??????!!!!!

He manipulated intellegence and LIED again and again.

He disrespected (and currently disrespects) the military from top to bottom. The generals that dissagreed with him were sacked - the soldiers on the street were told to "make do" with inadequate body armor, equipment, and sheer numbers. An intellegent person listens to experts - doesn't sack them.

His behavior has shown nothing but utter contempt for the Constitution of these United States, and all the citizens of it - save his handful of friends.

I have no doubt that he has a wealth of experience that would be wonderful to share; and if there were some magic "truth serum" that could be administered to him I would be among the first to listen to every word. Why anyone would believe a word the man says defies common sense.

It makes me ill to think Stanford has given him this appointment.

Posted by Stanford's Shame, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 25, 2007 at 8:08 pm

Tim, good idea! Guess what? we ARE neighbors, and better for it. At least we don't lie and torture people.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
Ike, as a *general principle* did NOT encourage torture, as Rumsfeld did. Ike did not lie about the pretexts for the Korean war, as Rumsfeld did. Ike did not hold back troops to make himself look good, as Rumsfeld did. Ike was ikn favor of the Marchall plan, unlike Rumdfeld, who didn't even WANT to save Iraqi infrastructure.

We're talking about a degree ofo the violation of human rights - extended to his own people - that Rumsfeld permitted, and encouraged. He never took responsibility for AG. Why not?

What about Gitmo? Not ONE terrorist from that insult. Momst of those poor souls were farmers turned over by jealous neighbors.

Where's Osama, Gary? Ike managed to take out Hitler. Truman managed to take out then-imperialistic and warmongering Japan. But there's Osama, still walking around, and using the transparent incompetence, sociopathological-induced-mistakes-born-of-the-hubris-of-a-mentally-ill-Donald-Rumsfeld (he's to be pitied, and forgiven, because he can't help himself) - yes, there's Osama USING the bungling caused by Rumsfeld and Bush and that pathetic litter of sick puppies, against America, as Propaganda!

Wow! you seem to want to conflate real heros in our culture with Rumsfeld. That's like saying George Washington was as bad as Rumdfeld, because he made a few mistakes.

Rumsfeld lied and manipulated - CONSISTENTLY, OVER HIS ENTIRE CAREER. Just look at his "handling" of Saddam, at the cost of more than a million Iranian and Iraqi youth,

Rumsfeld has blood on his hands; he should go to confession in McNamara's confessional; it would do him good.

President Hennessy, we're waiting for you to show some courage.

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