June 30, 2005

Ward Churchill - Advocates Murder

The University of Colorado's Professor Ward Churchill, who previously compared the 9/11 victims to "little Eichman's", now advocates the murder of U.S. officers:

"For those of you who do, as a matter of principle, oppose war in any form, the idea of supporting a conscientious objector who's already been inducted in his combat service in Iraq might have a certain appeal. But let me ask you this: Would you render the same level of support to someone who hadn't conscientiously objected, but rather instead rolled a grenade under their line officer in order to neutralize the combat capacity of their unit? ...Conscientious objection removes a given piece of cannon fodder from the fray. Fragging an officer has a much more impactful effect." - Ward Churchill, Portland, Oregon- 6/23/05

For the video, click here.

I am all for free speech and, quite frankly, I think it is important that idiots like Churchill be allowed to speak their mind. After all, it allows us to find out how deranged someone like this is. This being said, however, I tend to draw the line where a speaker actively advocates murder. The law does not protect speech that incites others into criminal action.
On the way home from work, I was listening to the Bill O'Reilly radio show. I am not a big fan of Bill O'Reilly, but occasionally, there are interesting topics on the show. Anyway, he was discussing whether or not Churchill's comments actually constituted treason. His argument was that advocating killing U.S. soldiers would be treason as it would aid the enemy. Treason, which is a legal term of art, essentially means the act of giving aid or material support to the enemy. It is kind of a stretch, but I guess you could make the argument.
I am having a difficult time understanding how he continues to be employed by a major state university. Aside from the allegations that he faked his claims of indian ancestry and that he plagiarized other writer's works, his outrageous comments have been a rather huge public embarrassment for the university. Aside from merely being insensitive and inflamatory, they tend to destroy any credibility he may have as a serious academic.
More troubling, however, is that people actually attend Ward Churchill's lectures and that there are some people that will pay to hear him talk. He is somewhat popular with the radical left because he is anti-Bush and against the "War on Terror".
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