A 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
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.