Clarke’s testimony offers up contradictions

To the Daily:

This letter is in response to Louie Meizlish’s column
(Puncturing the silence, 0326/04). I think it’s
important to apply some logic and reason to the Richard Clarke
“media barrage.” I use that term to illuminate the
increasingly cynical practice of former civil servants to parlay
their experiences into personal fortune and job advertisement. The
timing of Clarke’s book publication was exploitative and
shameful.

Can anyone point to a single book, either from the right or left
of the political spectrum, that is a serious work of scholarly
history, rather than self-indulgent revisionism intended to cast
the author in the best possible light? I certainly can’t.

Clarke’s statements, past and present, are at best
contradictory. How can they be useful to the Sept. 11 committee?
They are a worthless illustration of a typical Washington
bureaucrat whose moral compass has lost its magnetism. By
Clarke’s own admission, he withheld his true feelings from
President Bush because of politics. Translation: My own future as a
Washington insider, who gives interviews on news shows and obtains
lucrative book contracts, outweighed my civil obligation to say
what I really felt about domestic terrorist threats. So much for
standing up for what you believe in and suffering the
consequences.

On a personal note, I found Clarke’s demeanor in front of
the Sept. 11 committee (I actually stayed up to watch his full
testimony on C-SPAN) disingenuous, pathetic, dripping with hubris
and his Cheshire cat grin was unnerving and inappropriate for a
subject as somber as the disaster in New York. I think
Meizlish’s column should have addressed these issues, and I
would encourage students at Michigan to switch channels to C-SPAN
this week and form their own opinions.

Kenneth Longo

Research scientist,

Medical School

 

Safe spaces at ‘U’ must be maintained for
students

To the Daily:

Whenever I read an article from a Young Americans for Freedom
member, I find myself forgetting whether the “F” stands
for freedom or fascism. In Laura Davis’s letter to the editor
(‘U’ should provide academic instruction, not
unrelated student services
, 03/25/04) on the state of student
affairs was thoughtless, insensitive and hypocritical.

The Division of Student Affairs website claims to celebrate
“diversity in a safe and considerate environment.” That
safe environment includes places like the Office of Multi-Ethnic
Student Affairs, William Monroe Trotter House and the Office of
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Affairs. These safe spaces
for students are being threatened, and it is the job of students to
fight these threatening changes.

The University does not only provide safe spaces for
marginalized groups. Young Americans for Freedom is a safe space
for wealthy, white Republicans to gather and spend time with
like-minded people. Does the University fund YAF? Maybe this money
could be put to better use.

I found Davis’s comments regarding the Sexual Assault
Prevention and Awareness Center to be particularly offensive.
Sexualized violence happens on this campus, and the services that
SAPAC gives to these survivors are of too much importance to be
referred to as a “nursery school” or
“babysitter,” and they are of too much importance for
the University to fragment these services.

Jeff Rezmovic

LSA junior

Member, Student Voices in Action and Our Voices Count

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