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    RicePelosiA few days ago, we mentioned in a post that some faculty members at Rutgers University at New Brunswick are protesting their school's invitation of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for the commencement address.

    A resolution passed by the Faculty Council claims that, as a member of the George W. Bush administration, Dr. Rice "played a prominent role" in the effort to mislead Americans "about the presence of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) in Iraq and the existence of links between al Qaeda and the Iraqi regime. 

    In other words, these faculty members are demanding that Rutgers rescind its invitation to Dr. Rice because they believe that, among other things, she: 1. Lied about Iraq's possessing WMDs, and 2. Lied about the relationship between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein's regime.

    Let us then examine these two points through the record of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, who has been invited by the Eagleton Institute at Rutgers for an event on March 24 about women and public policy.

    In 1998--following President Bill Clinton's authorization of a bombing campaign against Iraq to destroy the country's biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons facilities--Pelosi proclaimed, "Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process." In 2002, well after the Bush administration began discussing the possibility of war with Iraq, she stated on NBC's Meet the Press, "Yes, he has chemical weapons, he has biological weapons, he is trying to get nuclear weapons...Saddam Hussein certainly has chemical and biological weapons. There's no question about that."

    Regarding al Qaeda's relationship with Iraq, Pelosi went on the record in 2004 to agree with the Bush administration that the terror network of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi--at the time, the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq--"used Baghdad as a base of operations to coordinate the movement of people, money and supplies." She ultimately agreed--indeed, argued--that the Iraq War was "part of the ongoing global war on terrorism." In other words, according to Pelosi, al Qaeda and Iraq were most certainly related.

    The group of faculty members protesting Dr. Rice's invitation has not demanded with the same fury the Eagleton Institute's rescission of Congresswoman Pelosi's invitation. However, if these academics' convictions dictate that Dr. Rice lied, then they must logically dictate that Pelosi did the same. One is forced to wonder whether this double standard is a function of ignorance or bias. Neither is acceptable. 


    Raj Kannappan is the Program Officer for Young Americans for Freedom. 

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