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September 27, 2007


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Lav, you raise a good point. Look at what a well oiled machine that Abu Ghraib MP unit was guarding the barracks.


Well, I agree with Prof.Stone except his opinion on president of U Columbia's speech. Of course that, as an individual Lee, Congressman or Senator can express any of his or her opinion on any issue in any way just as what we are doing now.But when there's no individual, but some kinds of organization or authority, the situation is differ. As an authority, especially as an division of the government of a country, which is granted certain kinds of power, Senate's any activities should be within the border set by Constitution. So when the Senate adopted a condemning resolution ,the Senate is using the power of government; and if this resolution is condemning individuals activities which is protecting by Constitution. Then, Senate break the Constitution twice or in two aspects. First, the representative nature of Senate;Second, abuse of power or privilege granted by constitution or intervene individual's right of free speech.

But president Lee's condemning is different form that of Senate's. U Columbia is a self governed organization,to which Constitution grant no power. It execute nothing but the order of Board of Director or the right under the Constitution, statute or his charter. So when president Lee make a public speech which condemning someone, it has nothing to do with the executing or abusing the power of this government.That is a civil activities not a government activities. So He has no the duties pre-set by constitution not to do something.


Mr Hamilton, the issue is not "condemn the constitutionality of the ad" or "condemned the ad", but whether the Senate's condemning activities is beyond the border set by Constitution, which set the principle that any division of government can only execute power granted by Constitution. There's no space for Senate to take any activities in the name of US government without authorization of Constitution.

But for either moveon.org or any individual, it is themselves that do what they wanna do and take use of any rights stated in Constitution but not limited by Bill of Right take responsibility for themselves.

So, I think you misunderstand two interrelated issue.

Frederick Hamilton

I do give the GAO report and the NIE the presumption of truth. My point is that it is OK to come to differing conclusions regarding the situation in Iraq but that it is clearly NOT OK to claim that General Petraeus is BETRAYING US (traitor) and that he is "coloring" his report. Any differences between General Petraeus's report and the GAO or NIE are able to be reconciled by careful analysis by men and women of good will.

MoveON.org are not men and women of good will and their attack on the integrity of General Petraeus was dispicable. Beyond the pale.

Your attempt to excuse and defend the ad is just as some 75 Senators and 360 Representatives said of the ad....dispicable. That's all.

It is ludicrous for Prof Stone to say that it is not legitimate for the House and Senate to condemn speech that is "constitutionally protected". What a bunch of balderdash. So if David Duke says it is OK to continue to lynch blacks and goes around the country saying such trash that our elected representatives are supposed to keep mum and simply say we don't dare condemn his comments because the constitution allows him to say it. Poor Professor Stone. Again, Joe Sixpack is better attuned to what our representatives should do about hate speech than the esteemed professor. There is nothing wrong or inappropriate for duly elected peoples representatives issuing a resolution condemning hate speech. It find it refreashing. To bad it doesn't happen more often. I guess it just makes it more uncomfortable for folks like Professor Stone to support the looney left that loaths the military. Too bad.


WOW, Roach, now that's powerful analytical reasoning! So the reason that Abu Ghraib happened was because they let women into the unit? Or is your implied reference to Garner/England affair all your answer? Really??? So Garner wouldn't do it if England weren't there or the other way around? And the other 9 convicted for their part in the abuse just did that to support their buddy Garner deliver his girlfriend a "birthday gift?" Cherche la femme, eh? Right. Just get rid of the women in the military and and the torture memos will fall into disuse. And how "patriotic" of you to disparage with this generalization the contribution of thousands of women serving their country honorably as we speak. Surely even "those military-loathing lefties" wouldn't take heresy that far. How ironic.


Frederick, you and the professor have a fundamental disagreement about the role of a legislature. That's fine. However, your name calling reveals more about you than it does about the professor.

Frederick Hamilton

I didn't call Professor Stone names, I said he is a supporter of the looney left who loath the military. I stand by that.

Professor Stone as noted above by one of the posters was against ROTC at Chicago and Professor Stone was and I believe still is opposed to military recruiters at Chicago and was a supporter of FAIR v Rumsfeld. So I would suspect that the military is not one of Professor Stone's favorite organizations.

It is a little creepy to see Columba and Lee Bollinger inviting Ahmadenijad to their campus and then doing all they can to keep the military off campus and banning ROTC. It seems to be OK for the liberal left to sip the cream of America but not to be supportive of the warriors who protect America. That is my point.

Frederick Hamilton

Oh I forgot, yes I guess we do have a different opinion on the role of our elected representatives. There is no doubt that one of their functions is to legislate. I also see one of their functions to be leaders of the nation. Supporters of military officers putting their lives on the line for Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives. General Petraeus was a fine dedicated soldier when President Clinton was the Commander in Chief and he carried out his missions then with distinction, courage and valor. Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, for a man or woman in the military they perform courageously for all Americans. Petraeus didn't betray us. When the Congress sees a brave soldier slimed in the press I see it as part of their leadership responsibilty to defend his honor and reputation. Especially as he is presently leading soldiers into battle.

MoveOn.org made a serious mistake by thinking they could attack a fine brave officer in the midst of a war. Congress did the right thing. If Prof Stone disagrees with what Congress did that is his right also. It may be a little telling on his part regarding the military.

Interestingly also in Prof Stone defending Bollinger and Columbia, I would like to point out this telling situation. Bollinger and Columbia were so proud of their courage and convictions in inviting Ahmadenijad to speak at their Distinguished Lecture Series that they did not have Columbia University's name or plaque awywhere on the podium or background or anything that in the future would show Ahmadenijad at Columbia. A little odd don't you think? Telling? Freudian slip?


Mr. Hamilton, you write:

"Your attempt to excuse and defend the ad is just as some 75 Senators and 360 Representatives said of the ad....dispicable"

Could you please cite where I attempted to excuse or defend the ad? I have not done so. In fact, I consider the ad to have been in poor taste, because I regard all political mudslinging to be in poor taste, regardless of which side does it -- and I regard your own mudslinging to be in poor taste.

I'd also like to lecture you a moment on an elementary point of good manners: "Attack the sin, not the sinner". It is bad manners to make declarations about the character or personality of another. It is perfectly proper to denigrate actions taken by another. I believe that the strongest statement I have made in this regard is that Mr. Petraeus is a "political general" -- and I certainly don't intend that statement to be denigratory. You are welcome to call a specific statement of mine "despicable", but Miss Manners will have your head if you call ME "despicable".

Two more points: you skirt the issue of the major discrepancies between Mr. Petraeus' testimony and the evidence provided in many other sources by writing:

"Any differences between General Petraeus's report and the GAO or NIE are able to be reconciled by careful analysis by men and women of good will."

OK, you're a man of good will; I'm a man of good will. Let's reconcile them. How do you reconcile the difference between Mr. Petreaus' claim that civilian casualties have declined by 75% and the data from many other sources showing no substantial decline?

Lastly, you assert that the Congress is in no wise out of line by condemning the political speech of the MoveOn ad. Is this a universal principle? Would Congress have been out of line had it condemned (just prior to the election) the Swift Boat attacks on Mr. Kerry as despicable?


[Deleted due to double-posting]

Frederick Hamilton

Good points and I apologize for mischaraterizing you as supporting the ad. I thought you were and I was wrong.

And of course I don't consider General Petraeus a "political" general any more than Eisenhower or Patton or MacArthur or Schwarzkopf or Clark were political generals. They were generals leading our troops in war and to any of them their performance didn't hinge on who their Commander in Chief was and what political party he belonged to.

As to any differences in casualities, the military and not Petraeus have been counting the caualities in Iraq the same from the beginnng. If there is a difference in numbers I don't quite know how to address that now. I do believe from all I have read over the past 3 - 6 months that both Iraqi civilian and Amreican/Iraqi military casualties are down significantly. I believe al Qaeda caualities may be rising (hopefully).

Yes, indeed, Congress would have been out of line as an institution to criticize the Swift Boat ads against Mr. Kerry. Mr. Kerry was a politician running for President of the United States. General David Petraeus is the commanding general of the troops fighting a war on behalf of Mr. Kerry, Mr. Bush, you and I in Iraq. The difference between the two is a huge part of my point.

Americans have a very special place in their hearts, immagination and gut for our military. Deservedly so.

To attack a poltician running for office in a hostile and sometimes vile manner sadly seems to go with the territory. The ad of a black man being dragged in chains against George W. Bush in 2000 also comes to mind.

So to equate the smear of General Petraeus with the Swift Boat ads against Senator Kerry is not apt.

I would be just as mad at any conservative organization attacking the military or Petraeus as I am at MoveOn.org and as is 3/4 of the Senate and House. Dispicable and beyond the pale.

I also find it beneath honorable for a number of universities and university professors to try and get back at the U.S. government by treating with disdain military recruiters or the ROTC.

The military is doing the bidding of the American people and the American political leadership and to be the whipping boy of the liberal looney left is an outrage. As I said, to sip the cream of American life and not be supportive of American warriors that allow you that pleasure is plain wrong. If our elected representatives in Congress want to change the military in any direction, they have the power to do so. Leave the men and women of the military alone. (unless of course if they break the law, but the military is pretty good at military justice historically).


Mr. Hamilton, you write,

"It seems to be OK for the liberal left to sip the cream of America but not to be supportive of the warriors who protect America"

A university is not a Sunday flea market; it is not a bazaar for anybody to set up a table at and sell anything they want. It is an intellectual bazaar, not a sales bazaar. Its purpose is to provide a broad spectrum of ideas for exploration. If somebody from the military wishes to present a course on military history, such a proposal would be given the same consideration as any other. But if somebody wants to come on campus and sell something, then the university has no fundamental reason to oblige them. You confuse commercial operations (and military recruitment is a commercial operation) with intellectual ones.

I'd also like to comment on your sanctification of the military. You describe soldiers in hagiographic terminology. I see no reason to canonize soldiers nor do I see any reason to vilify them. They are people doing a difficult job. They do some good things and they do some bad things; all in all, I do not consider them to be worthy of idolization.

Frederick Hamilton

Idolitry of the military is not one of my values. Respect and due deference is. I think most of America is with me on that.

The commercial value of recruiting on campus has to be as fair to the military as it is to anyone else. That is the law. By an 8-0 vote of the Supreme Court it is very settled law. Universities have the option of not allowing it to be as fair to military recruiters as any other recruiters if they will simply forgo accepting any federal dollars for their institution. Why should it be so? Because the freedoms of even the liberal left looney universities are protected by the military our nation, elected leaders and citizens want. If the universities want our tax dollars for their benefit, then they can open their doors to the military for the nations benefit.

Univ of Chicago can either adhere to the conviction of their prinicipals regarding their disdain for the military and refuse federal pieces of silver and gold or quit whinning like the little babies they seem to be. What should they do?

The universities do have a fundamental reason to oblige the military recruiters. Again, it is easy to understand:


Mr. Hamilton, you write,

"As to any differences in casualities, the military and not Petraeus have been counting the caualities in Iraq the same from the beginnng."

Yes, and several other groups have been counting casualties using constant methodologies as well. Yet, where other methodologies yield results that show no substantial change, the Army's numbers show a 75% drop. Don't you find that in the least bit suspicious?

You argue that Congress would be out of line criticizing political arguements but is not out of line criticizing the MoveOn ad. I conclude from this that you regard the military as above all political criticism from the citizenry. You are asserting that it is wrong for any citizen to criticize any official statement made by any member of the military, even if that statement is contradicted by evidence from other sources. Have I characterized your position fairly?

Frederick Hamilton

[Deleted due to double-posting]

Frederick Hamilton

Sorry sent it twice


Is the University of Chicago in violation of the law regarding military recruiters? Are there any universities that are in violation of the law regarding military recruiters?

Frederick Hamilton

No, you have characterized my position unfairly. Any person or group can critize any military person at any time. They just don't have a free reign to call military leaders traitors without engendering the oprobrium that they deserve.

Petraeus didn't betray us. That slime doesn't get it. And that slime will get you blasted by Congress and the American people, as it should.

How about this, how about the Democrats saying they all agree with MoveOn.org regarding the General Petraeus ad? How do you think that will play out in the voting booth?

Slime is slime against a commanding officer. If you want to parse it so it sounds better, good luck.

Frederick Hamilton

I do believe the Univ of Chicago pre the Supreme Court decision was in violation of the law and some other universities were also.

I hope the government takes the final Supreme Court decision (I hope you've read it, it is a wonderful read, well crafted regarding free speech....I linked to it two or three times) and holds all universities feet to the fire that aren't in compliance with the Solomon Amendment.


"They just don't have a free reign to call military leaders traitors without engendering the oprobrium that they deserve."

OK, so your one and only objection to the MoveOn ad was the headline? You have no objection to the content of the ad, which presented evidence that Mr. Petraeus was not being truthful? Would you then have been just as happy with the Congressional resolution if it had condemned ONLY the words "Betray Us"?

"I do believe the Univ of Chicago pre the Supreme Court decision was in violation of the law and some other universities were also."

And once the matter was clarified by the Supreme Court, did they not immediately change their policies to conform to the law? Are there any universities that are presently in violation of the law?

Frederick Hamilton

Last part first, I don't know the exact status of the Univ of Chicago and what their decision making was and I have constantly asked Prof Stone in these blogs to address the status of Chicago and military recruiters and the universities decision making and deliberations regarding FAIR v Rumsfeld, military recruiters et al. To date no response. I find that unsetteling and sadly typical. They hyped FAIR before they lost and now they won't explain the denouement as it pertains to the Univ of Chicago.

Well of course my main objection with the ad is the betray part. For a military man to betray the country is to be treasonous.

I also quarrel with their statement of facts. Every independent report on the ground doesn't show the surge has failed for instance. In fact the opposite is true. Most independent reporters say the surge is making a difference.

Deaths by car bombs do count. The front and back of the head bullet wounds is a myth.

And they say the "General Petraeus will not admit what everyone knows: Iraq is mirred in an unwinnable religous civil war." He won't say that because he doesn't believe it and it indeed may not be true. As the two Brookings Institute experts (both Democrats) said "this war may be winnable".

So yes, there is much more to the ad I disagree with, but if they hadn't accused General Petraeus of being a traitor I wouldn't give much of a wit about the ad.


OK, so your only objection was to the insinuation of treason. Let me probe just a bit further: suppose that they had called him a liar, and presented evidence demonstrating the untruthfulness of his assertions? [I'm not asking you to concede that this evidence be true, merely that they offered some credible evidence to back up their mudslinging.] Would you in such a case believe that a Congressional resolution condemning the ad would be appropriate? What if they have called him "slime" or some such?

So you don't really know if the University of Chicago is in violation of the law. Don't you think that, were they in violation of the law, they would already have lost Federal funding? I think it appropriate for you to concede that there is no university presently preventing military recruiting on campus in a manner that is illegal. So why don't you just drop that point?

Frederick Hamilton

No, I told you above my objections about the ad. Certainly Betray was the main issue with the ad that caused the House and Senate to go bonkers. Appropriately so.

A Congressional ad may have been appropriate if the ad said Petraeus was lying to the Congress and the American people.

Eras, please. You must at some point acknowledge that their should be respect and decency shown to the field commander of US troops in a war.

Sure, slime, lying, all of that would be grounds for considering a resolution to let MoveOn.org know that the Congress considered their tactics odious, dispicable and beyond the pale.

We are you so intent on parsing the ad? Congress did the right thing. Get over it.

Of course I don't know if the Univ of Chicago is in violation of the Solomon Amendment now. I presume they are not. Disdainful and disrespectful of the military? Sure, I think they are that, but stupid they are not. So I would presume they are in compliance with the Solomon Amendment. Could be wrong, don't know.


OK, so what this all boils down to is that you demand that everybody else show a level of deference to the military greater than that required of other people. Certainly you demand that other people show the military a greater degree of deference than you show other people.

In this, I disagree. I do not believe that military service grants a cloak of immunity against criticism. I believe that, if a general lies, it is appropriate to criticize him for lying. The evidence is strong that Mr. Petraeus lied to Congress. Not in the legal sense of perjury, but in the substantive sense of offering misleading testimony. I believe it is not only appropriate but necessary for a citizen to publish the truth when Congressional testimony is false. Do you disagree?

Frederick Hamilton

No I don't demand anything. Man you're making this difficult. 3/4 of the Senate and House simply said the MoveOn.org ad was to be condemned.

I don't demand that people show any more respect to the military than they are due. Does someone in the military by simply being in the military enjoy a level of respect possibly greater than an average citizen? Not really.

They do deserve not to be treated like the MoveOn.org ad treated General Petraeus. Thats all I am saying and I suspect the vast majority of Americans would agree with the 3/4 of Congress. That's all. Nothing more.

Your statement "that the evidence is strong that General Petraeus lied to Congress....offering misleading testimony" is like the MoveOn.org ad, over the top. So I conclude you are very wrong and very disrespectful of the general. So be it. You fit right in with the "loath the military" crowd. In America you are free to be as vile and disrespectful as you want. Go for it.

I don't think there is one member of Congress who has said General Petraeus lied to either the House or the Senate. Your thoughts on the matter are on the fringe of lunacy. Part of the looney left. You're in strange company Eras.

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