The Fordham University College Republicans strongly support an intellectually rigorous, lively, and passionate debate among all members of the Fordham community on the intelligence gathering practices employed by the Bush administration in the post 9/11 era. With these methods now being brought to the forefront by those opposed to Fordham’s selection of John O. Brennan as its commencement speaker, we have found the ensuing discussion on their merits, or lack thereof, to be fruitful and thought-provoking.
That is why we are so disappointed and saddened by the direction that this discussion has taken. While we strongly encourage passionate debate on these practices, which include enhanced interrogation methods, we also feel compelled to question the indecent and hateful rhetoric that seeks to denigrate the United States and its citizens. We feel that the assertions being made by a number of those engaged in this debate, especially those seeking to justify the tragic September 11th attacks and the motives behind them, to have no place at an esteemed university such as Fordham. By simply visiting the “Action Against Brennan on Graduation,” one can find comments such as that 9/11 was “retaliation to a greater, initial wrong.” “rather it was an attempt to counter a greater injustice done by the folks over here at America,” “just because America was attacked on its own soil doesn’t make this event any more tragic than the 9/11s and atrocities that American and Israel commit against innocents,” as well as comments that seek to demagogue and vilify Fordham ROTC students.
We feel sufficiently compelled by these comments to ask for Michael Pappas and Sogand Ahmadi Afkari, the administrators of the Facebook event for the protest against John O. Brennan at commencement, to come out and formally condemn the indecent and hateful rhetoric on their page. Furthermore, we also feel compelled, as politically engaged voices on Fordham’s campus, that the dialogue on torture and water boarding be a respectful one that refrains from hateful and indecent rhetoric. Most importantly, though, we ask the protestors to not stomp on what the most important goal of Saturday’s commencement ceremonies are: to show our appreciation and thanks for the many accomplishments of the Class of 2012.
Theodore Conrad- President
Emily Harman- Vice President
Joseph Campagna- Treasurer
John Mantia- Secretary