July 23, 2019 | 71° F

Speaker does not deserve honor of delivering Rutgers address

Letter to editor

I am appalled that any institution would consider honoring Condoleezza Rice. For those too young to remember, this is a person who made her reputation — and early fortune — by being Chevron’s “fixer” in some of the poorest and most corrupt parts of the world. Rice’s job was to persuade the local kleptocracy to arrange for oil wealth to flow to them and Chevron rather than to the citizens whose countries were being exploited. For these services, they named an oil tanker after her and put her on the Chevron Board of Directors.

As National Security Advisor during the first term of former president George W. Bush, she pursued a Cold War-era missile defense plan while the terrorist threat was right under her nose. She pointedly ignored CIA warnings of a domestic attack prior to 9/11 and 3,000 innocents paid the price. Thereafter, she beat the drums for an invasion of Iraq based on evidence that was demonstrably false. She delivered the administration’s endorsement of waterboarding to the CIA and as Secretary of State presided over a shameful period of American foreign policy characterized by torture, kidnapping and a cynical disregard of the rule of law.

If Rutgers University invites Rice to debate foreign policy or to answer questions about her time in government, I would welcome her in the interest of a free exchange of ideas. Instead of exposing her and her past to light, my alma mater proposes to shade her with laurel. Rutgers is poised to honor a person whose words and deeds have caused untold misery in the service of lies — and it’s a shame.

Richard P. Crossin is a 1974 Rutgers College alumnus.

By Richard P. Crossin

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