Wednesday, July 8, 2009

"the highest standards of excellence in higher education"

So says the Texas Tech University mission statement. The university has made great strides in accomplishing "high standards of excellence" with its most recent hire: Professor Alberto "Judge" Gonzales.

I received multiple reader emails requesting a comment/post on this topic. I'm not sure I have a lot to say about the subject that wouldn't immediately come to the mind of anyone who: (1) isn't the most partisan of Republican bootlicks, and (2) has been paying the remotest of attention to the news of the last several years. (Not to mention regular readers of this blog.)

I mean, after all, a search for the term "alberto gonzales perjury" returns 42,600 results. The Judge is a perfect example of an apparatchik. He was responsible for facilitating all manner of criminality during the Bush administration, including the marketing -- on completely false pretenses -- of a war that killed hundreds of thousands, the wholesale subversion of at least half of the Bill of Rights, the near-complete conversion of the Justice Department from a publicly-minded, justice-seeking organization into a political tool of sociopaths bent on ridding the U.S. government of everyone who might harbor some dissent against Karl Rove's "permanent Republican majority", and -- last but not least -- the bureaucratization and normalization of torture as a legitimate tool of what was -- formerly, at least -- a country which stood as a beacon of freedom and human rights. The Judge is an evil little man, without principles, who sought only approbation from his bosses and who didn't mind that he was, in the process of securing pats on the head, ensuring pain and suffering for many and dishonor for all.

While he was George W Bush's yes-man in Texas, he performed the function of writing "slapdash, incomplete and inaccurate" memos in support of executing 57 death row inmates (100% of the cases he "investigated") while ignoring "glaringly obvious" evidence that would have shown innocence or incapacity on the part of those folks, um, killed on the basis of his memos. This man is a piece of shit, the likes of which haven't been seen at the highest levels of U.S. government since at least Spiro Agnew.

A fact which is understood well among all law firms, law schools, universities, and non-governmental organizations (none of which would hire him), and, well, people in general, with the notable exception of, apparently, Texas Tech University. Full disclosure dictates that I identify myself as a graduate of one of the, er, professional schools associated with TTU. Am I ashamed of this hiring? Sure. Just as ashamed as I was when they recently hired Karen Hughes to give their commencement address. Just as embarrassed as I was when they recently hired Karl Rove to give the commencement address at their law school (look: forget about the fact that he's a slimeball who got GWB elected (twice!) and cemented abject cynicism as the SOP in our country's electoral politics: the dude isn't even a fucking lawyer!). Texas Tech is a lower rung academic institution which apparently believes that a good way to further its influence and reputation (rather: notoriety) is to pay money for the (academic?) services of thoroughly discredited has-beens who made their names destroying our great country in furtherance of nothing more noble than the disgraceful political agenda of the most despicable presidential administration in the history of the United States.

This isn't quite the same as Boalt Hall hiring John Yoo. Because, let's face it, that was a school that actually had a high reputation to uphold -- or tarnish, as the case may be. TTU is a podunk backwater institution that arguably has little to lose by hiring persons of questionable backgrounds (Bobby Knight, anyone?) in order to increase its visibility. Still, though, I can't imagine that this pleases its faculty much -- however right-wing they may be on the whole. Because aggressive war, warrantless surveillance, perjury, general criminality, and torture aren't really what I would consider partisan issues. And one thing even the lackluster students who attend school at such a place should be entitled to expect from their teachers is that they haven't spent the last several years publicly disgracing themselves and making a mockery of our country's values and legal traditions.

So, shame on you, Texas Tech. Here's hoping your funding gets cut, your enrollment goes down, and your football team goes 1-11.


Anonymous said...

This is awful

HHL said...

my post? or the subject matter?

Gleemonex said...

Gotta be the subject matter, because the post is a Thing Of Beauty.

[whistles in awe]

Kingfish said...

Right on HHL!

The local news here would make your head spin. They herald this hire as some sort of coup for Tech. Which in and of itself is a multi-dimensional mind fuck.

I'm thoroughly ashamed. Mostly at the lack of outrage and the welcoming rhetoric from the People's republik of Jesus-stan.

Yet another example of just when you think things can't get worse.

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