The very fact that Professor Williams feels the need to come on my blog and discuss Gonzales’s record is indicative of the need for dialogue surrounding Alberto Gonzales's prospective visit to Pomona.
Professor Willilams, in the comment section of my blog, has candidly expressed her views on Gonzales.
She drops my argument about the ticking time bomb terrorist because it is the strongest – that in an age of terror we ought to have the right to use wiretapping between domestic and international calls to identify terrorists before they strike. She tries to argue that monitoring the international calls of suspected terrorists, even if they go into the U.S., is somehow a violation and constitutes a widespread domestic spying program.
The net effect of discontinuing this NSA program would allow terrorists who come into the U.S. or who are grown here organically to use our laws against us as they plot a terrorist attack. As The New York Times reported early on the War on Terror, we know that terrorists use international phone calls in much the same way they use the internet: to recruit, to pass along information, and to coordinate attacks.
Professor Williams suggests that I am naïve for believing that U.S. government, specifically the N.S.A., would knowingly use wiretapping in some sort of expansion of executive power. She ignores that the Democratic Congress overwhelmingly approved the NSA-wiretapping program and that bills that seek to cut its funding have all failed. She further ignores that the courts have allowed the program to continue. Is it naïve to conclude that there isn’t some large conspiracy, but that each of those other branches of government has concluded that this isn’t the violation of civil liberties as Professor Williams contends?
Perhaps my alleged naïveté is one more reason why Pomona ought to bring Alberto Gonzales so that I may see from the alleged devil himself how awful he truly is for orchestrating a pan-governmental criminal conspiracy.
That pan-governmental conspiracy, unlike the alleged U.S. attorney scandal in which no one has been indicted or brought to trial, would truly be “criminal.” She argues that Alberto Gonzales is guilty of perjury, but no charges have been brought against him.
She further argues that this record of perjury makes him unable to come to Pomona. But where was Professor Williams’s criticism of the decision to bring President Bill Clinton to Claremont McKenna College? Clinton was impeached for perjury and obstruction of justice and yet Professor Williams has been silent about whether or not CMC should have invited Bill Clinton. Indeed Bill Clinton’s speech before Claremont McKenna cost much more than Alberto Gonzales prospective talk and Pomona, a school with an endowment almost twice as large as CMC, can probably afford a meager $30,000.
On the subject of cost, though $30,000 is indeed quite high, I have to question Professor Williams on consistency. She says to me in the comment that “if you want Gonzales to come speak, you fork over the 30 grand and pay for his dinner, too.”
But I wonder if Professor Williams has ever before used the cost argument to deny a speaker at Pomona? A thorough look through of her record reveals no such criticism.
Pomona Assistant Professor Heather Wiliams pulls out all the stops for why Alberto Gonzales shouldn’t come and speak. She intrudes on a student decision to bring Gonzales and writes on the blog of another student with the underlying hope that she might be able to stop Pomona from bringing a speaker she finds ideologically repugnant.
When I answer her accusations – that Gonzales is not a criminal – she insists on calling me naïve. Is this what Pomona considers reasoned discourse?
Pomona, stand for constructive dialogue. Bring Alberto Gonzales to speak!
RETRACTION: Clinton, who was brought to trial for his perjury unlike Gonzales, spoke for free at Claremont McKenna. I apologize to any and all for the slip up on my part.
On the issue of liars and dishonest people being presented at Pomona with school fees, a better comparison would be between Ward Churchill and Alberto Gonzales. Churchill lied about his tribe affiliation, compared the victims of 9/11 to Little Eichmann's, and later was found to have plagiarized some of his works. Churchill was an honored speaker at Pomona. Professor Williams was silent on his invitation.