An Open Letter to the University of Colorado Regents Regarding Ward Churchill

As I write this letter, the fate of Ward Churchill’s employment rests in your hands. Undoubtedly, as I am sure it has been noted by others, you are in an unenviable position. No matter how you decide (be it to terminate a tenured professor, suspend him, or allow him to resume his duties unfettered) your decision will be reveled by some and reviled by others.

That said, I am writing to implore you to do the right thing and allow Professor Churchill to remain in his position as a faculty member at the University of Colorado. Let’s face it: the only reason you are currently in the position of deciding Professor Churchill’s fate is due to the simple fact that he had the audacity to make an especially politically incorrect statement in the wake of the 9-11 attacks. What he said initially in an essay entitled, “Some People Push Back: On the Justice of Roosting Chickens,” can be summed up by an observation that many of us have heard since childhood: violence begets violence. That observation (“violence begets violence”) is more than a mere truism. As a social psychologist who specializes in the study of human aggression, my understanding of the experimental and field research on provocation and aggression makes it clear: conditions of provocation (from frustration to outright physical attacks) often result in efforts to retaliate. What Churchill merely contends is that it should come as no surprise that the organizational and structural violence perpetrated against the Third and Fourth Worlds by US and Europe economic and military policies would lead to retaliation (e.g., terrorist attacks, guerrilla insurgencies, sabotage).

Having taken some time out of my busy schedule to examine the various reports regarding allegations of academic dishonesty, I am inclined to view the charges to be little more than a tempest in a teapot and to question the scholarly integrity of the “Report of the Investigative Committee on Research Misconduct at CU-Boulder Concerning Allegations of Academic Misconduct against Professor Ward Churchill.” As a scholar whose works have appeared in a number of peer-review journals and who has also served as an ad-hoc reviewer for a number of manuscripts, I am keenly aware of issues surrounding plagiarism and fraudulent data. At this juncture, the case against Churchill strikes me as weak and the case to dismiss Churchill as politically motivated rather than motivated by any principle of academic integrity. In my own line of research, I have increasingly focused my attention to applying a social psychological theory of aggression to genocide (I am currently a member of the International Network of Genocide Scholars) and have found Churchill’s writings on the topic to be instrumental in the development of my own thoughts, and have cited his work on genocide in at least one published manuscript thus far. If I had any reason to consider his work suspect, I would not be making the previous statement nor writing today in his defense.

At a time when academic freedom is under attack (as the effort to fire Churchill, as well as the recent DePaul University decision to deny tenure to Norman Finkelstein exemplify), I urge the Regents of the University of Colorado to do the right thing and allow Professor Churchill to resume his rightful position as a faculty member. Keep in mind that contrary to what Churchill’s detractors may be hoping, if Churchill is dismissed there are plenty of other scholars (myself included) who will carry on in his place, speaking those unpopular and politically incorrect but ever so necessary truths to the public.

Dr. James Benjamin is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Oklahoma Panhandle State University. He can be reached at: Read other articles by James, or visit James's website.

30 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Fred said on July 14th, 2007 at 11:43pm #

    Benjamin questions the “scholarly integrity” of 25 CU faculty, serving on four different committees, all of whom unanimously agreed that Churchill has committed multiple acts of serious research misconduct. Benjamin indicts these scholars without bothering to offer any reasoned analysis of their findings. Instead, he simply insults them. And instead of evidence, Benjamin asks us to believe him because he has published in peer reviewed journals and served as a reviewer. What incredible chutzpah!

    Does Benjamin not understand that publishing and reviewing for journals is not a terribly impressive accomplishment, but only the bare minimum entry level requirement for being a research professor? It hardly qualifies him to question the scholarly integrity of 25 tenured faculty at a major university, without offering the slightest bit of evidence to back up his charge.

  2. David said on July 15th, 2007 at 10:55am #

    Why do you persist in defending this liar? He lied about his scholarship. He lied about his ancestry. He even lied about his “art.” He has committed an enormous fraud against Native peoples (for which see Elizabeth Cooke-Lynn in Indian Country Today). You and your cronies have expended much effort in remaking this issue into academic freedom, which is the White Man’s issue. It’s an issue that the White Man uses to shore up his protected status. But out on the rez, the issue is about fraud, and since you defend fraud against skins, you are part of the same racist assault that’s been going on since 1492. Shame on you for that.

  3. Michael Dawson said on July 15th, 2007 at 12:16pm #

    And this is yet another stupendously dishonest whitewash of what Churchill said, which was certainly not merely “violence begets violence.” Upon actual reading, Churchill calls (almost) all Americans a “perpetrator population.” He describes the hijackers as “secular activists” engaging in a legitimate military campaign. He endorses collective punishment. And he most definitely says the WTC was full of legitimate targets.

    Read the article, where it says:

    “There is simply no argument to be made that the Pentagon personnel killed on September 11 fill that bill. The building and those inside comprised military targets, pure and simple. As to those in the World Trade Center . . .

    Well, really. Let’s get a grip here, shall we? True enough, they were civilians of a sort. But innocent? Gimme a break. They formed a technocratic corps at the very heart of America’s global financial empire—the “mighty engine of profit” to which the military dimension of U.S. policy has always been enslaved—and they did so both willingly and knowingly. Recourse to “ignorance”—a derivative, after all, of the word “ignore” —counts as less than an excuse among this relatively well-educated elite. To the extent that any of them were unaware of the costs and consequences to others of what they were involved in—and in many cases excelling at—it was because of their absolute refusal to see. More likely, it was because they were too busy braying, incessantly and self-importantly, into their cell phones, arranging power lunches and stock transactions, each of which translated, conveniently out of sight, mind and smelling distance, into the starved and rotting flesh of infants. If there was a better, more effective, or in fact any other way of visiting some penalty befitting their participation upon the little Eichmanns inhabiting the sterile sanctuary of the twin towers, I’d really be interested in hearing about it. “

  4. Michael Dawson said on July 15th, 2007 at 12:26pm #

    If you want to defend Churchill’s job, then the only honest way to do it is to admit that he’s a principle case of defending the principle of academic freedom only because the principle matters more than the person. What he says in his notorious essay is indeed utter rubbish, and it repeatedly displays a profoundly criminal and ultimately reactionary worldview. But he has tenure, despite his ridiculously bad credentials (only a master’s degree from a third-rate school). Hence, if he’s not a plagiarist, he deserves a winning defense, and CU just needs to swallow the fact that it simply goofed when it tenured him.

  5. Frank Bubo said on July 15th, 2007 at 5:18pm #

    The fundamental question in this entire discussion seems to be whether the World Trade Center was a legitimate target for attack by America’s enemies. It should be possible to objectively evaluate such a question, even by Americans who would naturally be sympathetic to the safety and lives of countrymen and residents of our nation.

    If a nuclear war had erupted or were to erupt, for instance, between the U.S. and Russia (or the old Soviet Union), would New York City or the World Trade Center be a target or not?

    What was the U.S. policy of strategic targeting in WWII and in more recent wars? The website at:

    provides some clues about what both Allied and Axis air forces did during WWII. The U.S. had no qualms about bombing worker housing quite deliberately during that war. Whole cities, including Tokyo and Dresden were firebombed by the Allies, just as London was bombed by the Germans, including cathedrals and government office buildings, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of noncombatants who were vital to the economic engines of all countries involved.

    In the recent wars against Iraq, infrastructure that was vital to the survival of the citizenry, including water treatment plants and electrical distribution grids for the residential populace were deliberately targeted. Iran is now targeted by the U.S. and Israel for future bombing, including with nuclear weapons — this includes many facilities where civilian noncombatants will indisputedly die in such attacks.

    Was the World Trade Center a legitimate military target for America’s enemies? Would bombing it cause harm to the American economy, the principal engine for America’s war machinery? America has divested itself of much of its manufacturing capacity and has emphasized the “information economy” and the financial sector as ultimate sources of American economic and military power. Protection of America’s economic welfare has long been used as a justification for American military interventions around the world. Former U.S. Marine Corps General and two-time U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor winner Smedley Butler declared in his famous essay that “war is a racket” and that he led U.S. Marines to Central America specifically to protect U.S. corporations and economic interests.

    Was the World Trade Center an international symbol and working hub of those commercial/financial interests which underly American military power and interests?

    The history of warfare is one of strategic targeting. America targeted Saddam Hussein’s palaces, and not for their military value. Al Qaeda did the same.

    Ward Churchill was honest about this. His detractors are not.

    Frank Bubo

  6. Max Shields said on July 15th, 2007 at 7:38pm #


    I just don’t get it. You know I think Allen Dershowitz is the worst thing that has happend to academia. He supports with all the strength his position at Harvard affords him to support the brutality of apartheid by Israel against the Palestinians. He hounds and denounces anyone who speaks out about this apartheid with epithets such as “anti-semitic”. He’ll go to the ends of the earth to see that a scholar like Finkelstein doesn’t get tenure. This is truly a sociopathic paranoid if ever there was one. A boil on academia.

    And yet, I’ve never thought that he should be fired. I kinda think neither has Finkelstein.

    You seem to have a deep intolerance for academic freedom.

    Fred , I too, wish Mr. Benjamin had done a more thorugh job with his apologia. It would have helped understand (since I can’t find a copy of the “Report of the Investigative Committee on Research Misconduct at CU-Boulder Concerning Allegations of Academic Misconduct against Professor Ward Churchill”.

  7. Hue Longer said on July 15th, 2007 at 9:08pm #

    Pretend all, that Churchill was blasting any sympathy given the Germans working in the financial infrastructures during the allied bombings…laughing down all who made claims of their innocence (I know, nobody makes that claim).

    To all Eichmanns (it’s ok! I’m one too!)…Hell, at least stop pretending you give a flying fuck about his alleged plagiarism or qualifications…Just come out and say he’s burning at the stake for your offended patriotism and guilt.

  8. Hue Longer said on July 15th, 2007 at 9:18pm #

    Does Fred understand that the writer brought up peer review not to impress -but to relate that he had knowledge of what constitutes plagiarism? Maybe if you were to ask him to expound upon his findings concerning the charges against Churchill, you could suggest that it was an appeal to an authority you didn’t trust?

  9. Scruggs said on July 15th, 2007 at 9:41pm #

    Fred, your argument is internally contradictory. You cite tenured status as a source of credbility while denigrating the route to it. That’s poor logic and poor politics too. You’ve undercut the qualifications of the people you’re attempting to excuse. Unanimity as an argument is dubious to begin with and now you’ve destroyed even that.

    Max, the people Dr. Benjamin is addressing already know the facts and supporting documentation and they’ve already made up their minds as to the validity of the charges against Churchill. So there’s no need to rehash them for Dr. Benjamin’s purpose. That’s been done. It’s come down to the status of who makes a defense of Churchill and the number of people who do so — the ugliest form of politics.

  10. Max Shields said on July 16th, 2007 at 7:07am #


    But he’s posted it in an open forum where those of us who are not privvy to the “facts” are left to wonder. When a case is made, it would be helpful if the “open letter” was footnoted, or linked at the bottom with specifics or related documents – that was my only complaint.

    As should be clear from other threads, I support academic freedom. I support the generic premise that Churchill is making. In fact, I’ve stated, and will take this opportunity to do so again, until WE (American empire citizens) make the connection between our governments policies, the murder and hayhem created by them, then we are doomed to endless war, and blowback.

    Hue, I would disagree with your characterization of Eichmann (that you are one too) and I don’t think Churchill made the point so broadly 9I haven’t read his book, just his apologia). I don’t think the German people during WWII were all little Eichmann’s. It’s a gross exaggeration. Eichmann represents a certain kind of mindlessness such as Hanah Arendt noted as the “banality of evil”. You, and most other posters here at DV, do not fit that categorization. We are, for sure, integrated into an empire that does atrocious acts in our name, and we are therefore complicit. But not in the same sense that Eichmann, or Bush, or Cheney, or Gonzales, et al are. There are distinctions.

    The Eichmann syndrome has a more direct role in carrying out the atrocities of empire; but in a mindless, non-reflective way. Or as some have referred to it as ” Desk Murders”. Bush is a desk murder. He and others routinely order, or take orders, to kill and torture.

  11. Max Shields said on July 16th, 2007 at 7:15am #

    I would add that “plagerism” seems to be tossed about with the same fervor as anti-semitism these days. Christ, Jimmy Carter was trounced on by the Zionist Dershowitz because he used an Internet map of illustrating the apartheid walls. When calling an ex-president (the only one to help broker a peace with Israel and two major Arab nations) an anti-semite doesn’t do the trick, just say he’s a plagerist for using a public document.

    Afterall, what is “plagerism” in a world of constant emergence? A world of community discourse? I’m sure the lawyers will tell us. But a polemic is really about taking “ownership” of an opinion. Again, I don’t have the Regents’ complaints to understand whether it is trivial (“tempest in a teapot”) or not.

  12. R Gaylor said on July 16th, 2007 at 10:32am #

    I wrote a brief essay suggesting the issue everyone was unhappy about in the article that has made Ward Churchill famous was the underlying issue of complicity. As a result I recieved all sorts of email suggesting that I was right on track or mentally unstable. I suppose both could be true.
    But the issue remains … if we do not resist what we descry we are complicit. Innocence is a virtual non-event.
    So, why do I tolerate the ‘fact’ that Churchill committed plagiarism? The answer, not ‘blowing in the wind’ is simple … Churchillian plagiarism did take place … but I will suggest rather forcefully that if the same standards were applied to every person in academia there would be precious few still standing.
    Because no matter how unique we think our contributions to be they are built upon the foundations of others. The strict manner of poking holes in the works of Churchill point out this fact … he stood on the shoulders of others. Some pretend to use footnotes to dodge the whole attribution problem by footnoting each and every paragraph with a general work on the topic, thus dodging the bullet of being accused of plagiarism.
    They are complicit in the world of the academic cover up, or pretense that there is little plagiarism. Such is not the case … lectures throughout academia are built upon the learning of others and not footnoted at all. Is this not, by strict definition, plagiarism?
    Condemn Churchill all you want. Just, please, admit that you are part of the reason (as am I) for the realities leading to blow back. And while you are at it, those of you who labor in the fields of academia, admit that plagiarism could be applied against you if a strict definition were to be enforced. With regard to native americans disliking the fact that Churchill may not represent them … so what? Carson didn’t represent me against the Navajos and yet my culture (white folk) supported his efforts.


  13. Michael Dawson said on July 16th, 2007 at 10:38am #

    Frank Bubo: Past criminal practice does not convert past practice into present legality. Would you accept that argument from somebody who murdered one of your friends? Nope, not a chance.

    The history of war is one of increasing criminality. In fact, war itself is a crime, under the UN Charter. The only legal military action is self-defense against military personnel invading one’s home. Bombing to cripple economies and scare/punish civilians is a war crime.

    Ward Churchill is not an Indian, btw, as David rightly points out. This whole damned mess is an absolute disaster for the left and for efforts to shut down this war.

  14. Frank Bubo said on July 16th, 2007 at 12:13pm #

    If this war is a crime (and I agree that it is), then why does anything Ward Churchill says about it make a bit of difference as to whether a stop is put to it? The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were pre-planned long before 9/11 and this is well-documented. Churchill’s rhetoric is (perhaps) overheated, but that is no crime.

    BTW, as a white guy who supports the American Indian Movement in the San Francisco Bay Area, I once attended a Ward Churchill speech in Berkeley and was, in fact, asked by local AIM sponsors of the speech to help guard the stage against interference by other Native Americans who were opposed to the local AIM chapter and to Ward Churchill. No Native Americans that I saw at that event on either side of the issue disputed Ward Churchill’s “indianness”. If Native American activists, such as Russell Means, accept Ward as one of their own, I think that is good enough for me. A fair number of African Americans (and others) question the “blackness” of Barack Obama, despite photos of his father. This shows me that defining someone’s ethnicity by someone else’s standards can be problematic no matter what the truth is, and politics makes for subjective realities to begin with.

    Ward Churchill is first and foremost an activist regarding Native American issues. He is belligerant and can be obnoxious, but he does his homework, is generally truthful and has compiled a valuable body of work within his speciality that stands on its own merit, not unlike that of Noam Chomsky, Bill Blum, Norman Finkelstein or others who specialize in particular aspects of social justice. His value is not at all dependent on whether “progressives” approve of him or not, but it does benefit from his position within academia. Firing him would be a travesty in my view and would interfere with academic freedom in a world where pressure against dissent and against academic roots of dissent is growing all the time.

    Frank Bubo

  15. Fred said on July 16th, 2007 at 12:13pm #

    Scruggs utterly misses the point. Benjamin disqualifies himself from indicting other scholars through his disdain for reasoning from evidence. The evidence demonstrating Churchill’s misconduct is overwhelming, and every honest scholar can see it. Benjamin brushes it away without engaging in analysis and without offering any evidence of his own.

    But Benjamin’s crime is even worse than that. Not only does he dismiss the case against Churchill by means of a hand wave; he then proceeds to indict those who disagree with his non-analysis as lacking scholarly integrity. In other words, he’s a fool, and it’s no wonder he’s stuck out in th Oklahoma boondocks of academia. He’s lucky to have that job, given the limited intellectual capabilities he demonstrates here.

  16. Fred said on July 16th, 2007 at 1:17pm #

    Here is the official CU report

    Here is another good analysis of Churchill’s fabrications:

  17. Max Shields said on July 16th, 2007 at 2:01pm #

    “Because no matter how unique we think our contributions to be they are built upon the foundations of others. The strict manner of poking holes in the works of Churchill point out this fact … he stood on the shoulders of others. Some pretend to use footnotes to dodge the whole attribution problem by footnoting each and every paragraph with a general work on the topic, thus dodging the bullet of being accused of plagiarism.”

    Precisely my piont. Given the rash of calling out “plagerism” one must begin to be a bit suspect.

    I find it a specious argument to be stating that Churchill is hurting the “left”. First, who in the hell reads Churchill and considers him THE spokes person for the Left? David Horowitz?

    Second, no one on this thread and other “Churchill” threads has specified exactly what it is that Churchill has said that “crosses” some line.

    It is true, that given the treaties and charters the US has signed right through the 1990s, war is all but outlawed, and we have broken just about everyone of those treaties/Federal laws. Morally, there is no justification for killing, including retribution…it is also illegal. But, Al-Qaeda is just a tag, for a diffused and angry world. Some of that anger is suppressed. Some of it is suppressed to the point of compliance with US demands. But some of it, leaks out.

    Osama bin Laden was explicit in his reasons for attacking the WTC. He had 3 clear reasons. They were all about what the US had physicially, forcefully, illegally, and immorally done in the Middle East; and that war machine was brought against civilians (and still is). To equate OBL with US superpowerdome and empire hegemony, is laughable, however horrible the results of his “actions”.

    Those of you who want to blame Ward Churchill because you think he’s a plagerist, are in complete and utter denial. Ward Churchill isn’t even the issue.

  18. James said on July 16th, 2007 at 2:58pm #

    Well, my simple open letter seems to have acted as something of a Rorschach test, though I’m not entirely surprised. From Fred we get appeals to authority, popularity (unanimity), and in one of his latter comments, personal attacks; from some others we witness the use of personal attacks, red herrings, and poisoning the well (David and Michael, both of whom I believe are academicians, right?). All this nonsense regarding Churchill’s “character”, ethnicity, etc. have no bearing on the current situation. Several of the commenters here grasp that basic insight, and at least one or two recognize that a simple open letter is not intended to be a lengthy footnoted treatise. Scruggs rightly notes that such documentation is readily available for public consumption – one would hope at bare minimum that the CU Regents are cognizant of those documents.

    Sadly, the whole Churchill spectacle should have been nothing more than a tempest in a teapot. In fact, there would be nothing happening today had it not been for those whose beliefs in the notion of American Exceptionalism were challenged or offended by what Churchill had to say in the wake of 9-11. Allegations of plagiarism were merely the ruse necessary to attempt to silence Churchill.

  19. Fred said on July 16th, 2007 at 4:01pm #

    What nonsense, James. When you attack the scholarly integrity of 25 professors without bothering to make an argument or provide any evidence, you are beyond the pale. Saying “Oh well, it was just a little letter” doesn’t excuse your actions. Some nerve you have complaining about ad hominem, after your drive-by attacks on those faculty in what you aptly describe as a “simple” letter.

    Your last para is also nonsensical. Most of the commenters in this thread, including me, more or less agree with the jist of Churchill’s crude analysis of what you label “American exceptionalism.” For you to thus dismiss the well-reasoned arguments from Michael Dawson et al shows a fundamental lack of reading comprehension on your part.

    It is becoming apparent why you are attracted to simple-minded polemicists such as Churchill. You apparently lack the cognitive skills to deal with more subtle arguments.

    Am I resorting to ad hominem? You bet. If you want to make an argument from logic and evidence, you can take a crack at it. But I don’t think you have the intellectual chops to pull one off.

  20. Frank Bubo said on July 16th, 2007 at 4:06pm #

    Well, this turns out to be more interesting and complex than I thought! I continue to believe that Ward Churchill had every right to speak of the causes and consequences of 9/11 as he did. However, the report by the University of Colorado makes it seem clear that Churchill’s comments in that realm were not part of the investigation of his scholarship and not the ultimate cause of the decision to fire him.

    Obviously, the furor resulting from Churchill’s 9/11 comments led to attempts to find cause for firing him. I know from personal experience and observation of other people’s circumstances that upsetting the status quo can result in efforts to destroy one’s career. I once called a law enforcement officer a moron and insulted him and I paid dearly by being put through a lengthy law enforcement “investigation” that led to a prosecution later thrown out by the courts, but which was a definite payback for my insubordinance.

    My reading of the University of Colorado report is that Ward Churchill proves to be a fraud as an academic and deserves firing on that basis.
    I will never believe products of his “scholarship” again and I do not have time to read all his cited references to determine the accuracy or relevance of his work. But the investigation by his peers at the University of Colorado seems thorough and fair and honest to me. It is not an issue of academic freedom any more, but of academic misconduct.

    The chickens have come home to roost for Ward Churchill, I am afraid. The system works that way at times. They convicted that Chicago mobster whose name escapes me right now for tax evasion, not murder. Ward Churchill bucked the system but he will be fired, not for that, but for his academic fraud and misconduct, which is his own fault and not to be blamed on others. There was plenty of fault to find in the treatment of indigenous by the U.S. government and Churchill decided to embellish stories based on his imagination and without evidence.

    I doubt Ward Churchill can resume a career in scholarship on Native American issues, but maybe he can switch over to anti-imperialism. But his credibility will be forever questionable in terms of is proved tendency to fabricate, mislead, and torture the truth.

    This case illustrates the dangers inherent in activism. But the reality is that the system will always be unfair in one way or another. Finkelstein was innocent of plagiarism and denied tenure without adequate cause. Churchill was originally hired because of activism, but finally fired because of scholarly misconduct, but not related to his primary scholarship. If you rock the boat, they will find a way to toss you off one way or the other. My personal view is that Finkelstein’s case is still worth fighting for. Churchill made his bed and now he has to lie in it.

    Frank Bubo

  21. James said on July 16th, 2007 at 5:08pm #

    Huh. There’s nothing to “excuse” Fred. Apparently you feel the need to play games. Whatever. Speaking of single-minded polemicists, you failed, Fred, to present the other side for balance: here and here.

    Beyond that, since old Fred thinks I just fell off the turnip truck, I’ll let my record speak for itself.

  22. Frank Bubo said on July 16th, 2007 at 7:51pm #

    Well, it looks like I may have to eat crow regarding my prior posting. Further research shows that serious academics are going on the record to support Ward Churchill against each and every charge of plagiarism and to, in turn, accuse the University of Colorado investigating committee of its own research misconduct. Apparently, the university team utilized accusations against Churchill by a biased individual and then refused to acknowledge exculpatory evidence and contradictory evidence within their own testimonies and evidentiary data. According to Churchill’s defenders, a university team investigating alleged fraud in academic performance which may result in termination or other harm to the person being investigated, have in themselves an even higher standard of proof than the academic they are investigating, particularly in scholarly areas of controversy or where varied opinions may legitimately result from consideration of scanty historic evidence.

    Here is a link to some of this discussion:

    This indicates to me that the issue of plagiarism and academic misconduct on Churchill’s part is unresolved, as is the issue of academic misconduct on the part of the investigating committee of the University of Colorado at Boulder. The counterevidence presented by Churchill’s defenders is strong.

    In light of all this, I retract my position that Ward Churchill deserves to be fired. I do not know how this should be resolved in a fair manner, but clearly the investigation of Churchill itself was intrinsically biased and possibly flawed, perhaps fatally.

    I think I have a solution — let’s get Professor Finkelstein to review the case and issue a binding opinion. He is honest, thorough, and not afraid to take a stand…

    Frank Bubo

  23. James said on July 16th, 2007 at 8:37pm #

    Good on you, Frank, for checking out the case Churchill’s supporters made too.

  24. Hue Longer said on July 17th, 2007 at 1:42am #

    Frank needs to be cited during examples given to victims of cognitive dissonance…myself and people whom I find agreement with should look at what this man just did and understand that no one owns or creates truth…you made my day, Frank…you’ve given me cause to drink my own medicine with pride

  25. Hue Longer said on July 17th, 2007 at 4:58am #

    wow, how horribly written! I meant to infer that you were an example of one who doesn’t see his adopted beliefs as more important than truth and that it was a good example to show to others who do. Sorry for my inebriated description of my appreciation….and James? are you an Aussie?

  26. Max Shields said on July 17th, 2007 at 7:47am #

    Interesting support for Churchill.

    It’s aways wise to obtain as much context as possible. Ad hominem attacks are usually the basis of alleged pretexts (plagery). In other words is the argument about academic scholarship or about what Churchill’s scholarship presents? I suspect the latter.

  27. Frank Bubo said on July 17th, 2007 at 7:55am #

    I must say that I don’t quite understand some of the rhetoric used here regarding unexplained personal feelings of contributors. All I can say is that I am a truthseeker and a justice seeker, not only for individuals but for society as a whole. You have to go where the evidence leads, and sometimes the evidence seems convincing until you hear the other side of the story.

    I like Ward Churchill to the extent that he expresses a side of the story that does not often get told. I almost never like the way he expresses it.
    A clue to the integrity of those demanding that he get fired is their relentless switching of reasons to fire him, not unlike the switching of reasons to “fire” Saddam Hussein after the U.S. originally arranged to put him in power in Iraq and propped him up and actually were complicit in his evil deeds for which we later saw fit to arrange his execution through a puppet Iraqi government and puppet legal system.

    No, I am not saying Ward Churchill performed evil deeds reminiscent of Saddam Hussein, but I am saying that in both cases, when their presence was deemed no longer tolerable, any justification was used to remove them from positions of authority and power, including rotating targets as justifications.

    After reading the discussion about Ward Churchill’s scholarship on the issue of the U.S. Army allegedly giving smallpox-infested blankets to Indians as a form of deliberate genocide, my own take of the situation downgrades Churchill from a first-rate scholar to a third-rate scholar. I find it strange that he would have ghostwritten articles under the name of his wife and/or other living acquaintences. This is not the stuff of a great scholar.

    But these foibles should be addressed within the realm of published literature and not by firing him, especially at this late stage of the game.

    Clearly, Ward Churchill is a politico posing as an academic, but the University gave him tenure for this very reason. They liked having an academic agitator on staff until the heat got too hot in the kitchen and then they shriveled like cheap bacon.

    Ward Churchill is what he is and he is what he was. The University of Colorado knew what he was when they hired him and they knew what he was when they granted him tenure in a move that was quite non-traditional at the time.

    So, this handwringing by the university now is a bit like Rumsfeld in his dealings with Saddam Hussein. Rumsfeld got away with it and it remains to be seen whether the University of Colorado will. A similar situation exists at DePaul.

    If I was a betting man, and I am not, I would not put my money on justice. But I will fight for it just the same.

    Frank Bubo

  28. Dwight said on July 17th, 2007 at 5:56pm #

    It looks as if no one here has bothered to compare Churchill’s defense against the evidence arrayed against him. Nearly all of Churchill’s complaints are already answered in the CU Misconduct Committee report. In short, Churchill’s defense crumbles when you actually take the time to test it against the evidence.

    For example, his complaint that the committee took evidence from an individual biased against Churchill is totally irrelevant. The scholar in question, John LaVelle, is biased against Churchill because Churchill fraudulently misrepresented the contents of the Dawes Act. But the misconduct committee did not take LaVelle’s word for that. Instead, they went to the evidence that LaVelle cited to make their determination. Thus LaVelle’s bias is irrelevant. It’s an ad hominem defense that fails to deal with the actual evidence.

    Churchill’s claim that the committee refused to hear relevant evidence is unfounded. Even if it were true, Churchill has brought no new evidence forward that would exonerate him.

    You folks–Frank Bubo especially–need to read the relevant documents and compare them, carefully. Instead, you are picking sides based on political sentiment, or based on the last thing you read. Either way, it’s a superficial way to resolve the debate.

  29. AhClem said on July 25th, 2007 at 1:07pm #

    Thanks to Frank and James for providing links. This has been a rough morning of weeding through the paraphrasing press-barbecue, searching in vain for answers, so it’s a relief to finally see the actual documents.

    Dwight, far more substantial arguments are presented in the case against the committee than the bias of LaBelle, in both documents Frank provides. Why the May 10 document opens with the LaBelle business, which I agree is weak, is unclear, but the other charges in that document are worthy of consideration, and the May 9 document is far more explicit and convincing in its charges of withholding, supressing, distorting, inflating and fabricating evidence. The bulk of the committee’s report is refuted. It’s questionable whether or not what remains un-refuted constitutes enough dirt to reccomend dismissal, but it seems the committee didn’t think so, and padded their case heavily.

  30. AhClem said on July 25th, 2007 at 1:10pm #

    Correction: My comment should say “May 28” where it says “May 9.”