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View Diary: Obama Said That He Didn't Agree with Much of What Medea Benjamin Said. Well, What Did She Say? (109 comments)

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  •  Why was the speech made at this undemocratic site? (3+ / 0-)

    The president chose to make what was billed as a major policy speech at the "National Defense University" which is a government-supported university unlike any with which I am familiar. Incoming students receive a welcome packet outlining how to obtain the appropriate security clearance to attend classes.

    The idea that a university can co-exist with a military environment in which staff and students are all under orders strikes me as more suitable to the old Soviet system than to our own. Presumably, if a student talked to the press about a topic from class, that student might find him or herself under arrest for violation of the Espionage Act if a civilian or under court martial if active military. And raising a difficult question in class might lead to a damaging notation in one's file.

    The President clearly chose this environment, rather than an open and free public venue, to avoid just the kind of embarrassing questions raised by Medea Benjamin. Whoever slipped her an invitation to join this otherwise captive audience is probably already a target for federal investigators.

    If my soldiers were to begin to think, not one would remain in the ranks. -Frederick the Great

    by Valatius on Sat May 25, 2013 at 10:32:48 AM PDT

    •  Security clearance to attend classes? WTF??? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Incoming students receive a welcome packet outlining how to obtain the appropriate security clearance to attend classes.
      That's totally antithetical to the core academic values of free and open inquiry.


      •  It is a graduate school for top ranking officers. (0+ / 0-)

        They discuss things that are classified. That is nowhere near the worst part of this speech or policy

        •  They should not call themselves a "university". (0+ / 0-)

          A university is something else.

        •  Incidentally, I make no claims here that... (0+ / 0-)

          ...whether or not this particular institution deserves to be called a "university" is somehow more important than the fact that we are murdering incident people (including children) with our drone policy, or other issues with regards to either our policy or the President's speech.

          It's just that for those of us who teach at universities, the lack of openness and free enquiry is also a major issue, quite independent of politicians who might decide to give policy speeches at our universities.

        •  I might argue, however, that if the arguements... (0+ / 0-)

          ...murdering children were made openly, rather than under the cloak of secrecy and classification, that counterarguments might more easily find their way into the classrooms.

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