As a graduate of Miami University, I was shocked and saddened to read online in the Miami alumni news that the Anderson Distinguished Award Lecturer in March will be Condoleezza Rice. By writing this piece, I hope to garner a dialogue, a protest or whatever it takes to inform Miami students of her past criminal activity.
As former secretary of state and national security adviser under President George W. Bush, not only did she help authorize and aggressively push for an unlawful and preemptive war on Iraq, but she also was one of the chief architects responsible for the torture that took place in Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and other CIA “black sites.”
Read any of the writings of Seymour Hersh, Philippe Sands or Jane Mayer. Or, watch the film American Faust: From Condi to Neo Condi produced by Sebastian Doggart. He is willing to answer any questions from anyone at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, I have oodles of articles to pass on.
It has been well documented that Ms. Rice was one of a half-dozen Bush officials who met as part of the White House “Principals” group led by Dick Cheney and his desire for using the “dark side” methods. Laws and treaties were broken. State-authorized torture devastates our country by corrupting our policies and laws, by rendering treaties irrelevant and by instituting cruelty through implementation of unethical acts.
I actually remember some words spoken at a ceremony the day of my graduation from Miami in 1959. The speaker spoke of how we had now gained knowledge and knowledge is power. He said with this knowledge we can do good or do evil. This was not too many years after World War II and Hitler used his power for evil.
By honoring people who have authorized evil (torture), what are we saying about ourselves, about Miami?
THE MIAMI STUDENT. Oldest university newspaper in the United States, established 826. Volume 138. Miami University, Oxford, Ohio
Patty’s letter, published in the student newspaper, got two responses. The first response was from a professor at the college.
Dear Ms. Patricia Fowler Guerrero:Please accept my thanks for your recent Letter to the Editor raising concern about our upcoming campus speaker, Condoleezza Rice. Her lecture has raised concerns among some on campus — myself included. Thank you for pointing students to readings and materials to learn more about her activities and policies during the Bush administration. I too hope that your letter — along with other discussions — will inspire students to engage the issues, to think critically, and to reflect and act accordingly. I have spotted several fliers on campus recently questioning record. (I do not know who made or posted them.) Some in the community — both on and off campus — seek to register our concerns as well.Thanks for engaging the community via the Miami Student. With my best wishes,
assistant professor of american studies
119 macmillan hall
oxford, ohio 45056
The second letter was from a student.
From: “DiTurno, Kelly”
Date: March 3, 2011 3:56:31 PM CST
Subject: Thanks and “what’s next?”
My name is Kelly DiTurno and I am a senior American Studies major at
Miami University as well as Treasurer of the Miami University College
Democrats. While there are many things I’d like to thank you for, the
first is simply for your patronage of the Miami Student, which even I,
a current student, can’t be bothered to pick up most days. Your
support reminds me of the kind of student and alum I like to think I
strive to be.
Second, I would like to thank you for being so brave as to denounce
Miami’s decision to host Condoleezza Rice. My organization is small,
but outspoken on campus and while we were planning on attending the
talk in order to maintain our reputation as thoughtful and willing to
hear all sides of an argument, we are very impressed and excited by
your bold statement and admire your message so very much.
I would like to formally invite you to come chat or at least
correspond with the College Democrats through email. Your letter will
be a topic of discussion at our next organizational meeting, Wednesday,
March 17 2011 at 8pm in Harrison 302. Please call or email
me with any concerns.
We would be overjoyed to see you at our meeting,
but if you cannot attend, please send me any info you’d like me to
share with my friends.
Love and Honor,Kelly M. DiTurno
Miami University 2011
American Studies Department