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Stanford Faculty objects to Rumsfeld's Appointment at Hoover Institute; Letter from Petition Coordinator Prof. Pam Lee

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Stanford Faculty objects to Rumsfeld's Appointment at Hoover Institute; Letter from Petition Coordinator Art Historian Pam Lee (with thanks to Bill Berkowitz. His oustanding column "Conservative Watch" documents the strategies, players, institutions, victories and defeats of the U.S. Right---I highly recommend regular reading of this brilliant column). 

Rumsfeld's ultimate undoing was the Iraq quagmire; it was the Republican Party's crushing electoral defeat in November 2006 that sealed his career's doom. Now, he's been selected for a well-funded post at a right wing think
tank.  Stanford University's Hoover Institution recently announced that Rumsfeld will be a visiting fellow at the Institution. According to Director John Raisan, Rumsfeld will participate in the institution's new task force
of scholars studying post-Sep. 11 terror. 

"It is a moral disgrace," said Stanford American history Professor Bart Bernstein, an opponent of the war in Iraq. "He is not a person of intellectual merit; he is not an academic. As a policy-maker, his only claim to fame was, at best, flawed and morally corrupt. On the grounds of intellectual judgment and moral character, he would seem to be a markedly inappropriate choice. This should be treated as a collective embarrassment."

(Senator Rick Santorum, defeated Pennsylvania Republican, signed on to head up a new program called "America's Enemies." Paul Wolfowitz, neocon architect of the Iraq war, returned to the Washington-based American Enterprise Institute, premier conservative think-tanks).

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The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford has a 25- million-dollar annual budget, possesses a 250-million- dollar endowment, and employs some 250 people, in a "public policy research center devoted to advanced study of politics, economics, and political economy -- both domestic and foreign, as well as international affairs." The Institution was founded in 1919 by Herbert Hoover, who later became the 31st president of the United States, as a collection of documents on World War I and later grew to "became one of the largest archives and most complete libraries in the world devoted to political, economic, and social change in the twentieth century."

Rumsfeld has had a long career both inside and outside of government. A congressional staffer during the Eisenhower administration, a four-term elected congressman from Illinois, Rumsfeld resigned to serve in the Richard Nixon administration as the director of the United States Office of Economic Opportunity, assistant to president, and a member of the Cabinet. In 1971, President Nixon was recorded saying about Rumsfeld: "He's a ruthless little bastard. You can be sure of that." Henry Kissinger described him as the "most ruthless man in America."


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After Nixon resigned over Watergate, Rumsfeld joined the Ford Administration as White House Chief of Staff and later as the 13th U.S. Secretary of Defense. Rumsfeld left government for the private sector during the Carter administration, as CEO of G.D.Searle, where his most infamous achievement was forcing the approval of his own candidate for FDA Commissioner, Dr. Arthur Hull Hayes, leading in short order to FDA approval for the neurotoxic artificial sweetener, Aspartame, despite the prior 15 years of objections at the FDA, based on the rudimentary toxicity of this chemical, for at least $25 million in personal profit. As Reagan's special envoy to the Middle East in late 1983 through May 1984, Rumsfeld was the main conduit for crucial U.S. military intelligence, hardware and strategic advice to Saddam Hussein, then fighting Iran in the Iran-Iraq war.

Rumsfeld was a founder of the Project for the New American Century, a neoconservative organization dedicated to Saddam Hussein's overthrow by military force. Rummy signed the 1998 letter sent to President Bill Clinton urging "regime change" in Iraq. After being confirmed as defense secretary in 2001, Rumsfeld tried to transform the military into a "leaner, lighter fighting force." 

After  9/11, he capitalized on Afghanistan and Iraq. The Rumsfeld Doctrine -- high technology combat systems, reliance on air forces, and nimble ground forces -- worked in Afghanistan. Ultimately, however, it was ineffectual in Iraq, after the insurgency launched its operations. Rumsfeld will be best remembered for the disaster in Iraq where he failed to provide enough U.S. troops from the beginning; where torture at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo became commonplace; where extended tours of duty and stopgap orders overextended the U.S., military and wore out reservists and the National Guard. 

What began as linguistic flourishes charming neoconservative pundits turned into bitter denunciations of anti-war critics. Rumsfeld compared Iraq war critics to Hitler appeasers and Stalinists, calling them "quitters"
who "blame America first" and "cannot stomach a tough fight"; he said they are "trying to appease a new type of fascism," and they were being manipulated by Osama bin Laden's "media committees." In his first public interview since leaving the Pentagon, Rumsfeld says in the October issue of GQ magazine that Afghanistan has been "a big success."

"In Afghanistan, 28 million people are free. They have their own president. They have their own parliament. Improved a lot on the streets," he claims.

Rumsfeld will now sort out his ideas from the comfort of Stanford University. Do not be surprised if Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice joins him there in 2009...

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Stanford Petition against Donald Rumsfeld as Visiting Fellow, signed by more than 2500 professors, graduate students, research assistants, and students

"We, the undersigned members of the Stanford community, strongly object to the appointment of Donald Rumsfeld as a 'distinguished visiting fellow' at Stanford's Hoover Institution. We view the appointment as fundamentally incompatible with the ethical values of truthfulness, tolerance, disinterested enquiry, respect for national and international laws, and care for the opinions, property and lives of others to which Stanford is inalienably committed. Sincerely, the Undersigned"

Letter from Pam Lee, Professor of Art History at Stanford to Santa Fe Sun News Editors (this article appeared first in the Santa Fe Sun News) 

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