Professors voice concern about Cheney’s visit

Posted: March 31st, 2007 by Militant Libertarian

MiliLib Note: VP DICK Cheney has been invited to make the commencement speach at Brigham Young University this coming graduation and there’s a lot of hoopla over it. This letter/op-ed was published in the local Deseret News:

We are deeply disturbed BYU has invited Vice President Dick Cheney to speak
at Spring commencement. Invited commencement speakers should exemplify all
that is “virtuous, lovely, or of good report.” In our estimation, Vice
President Cheney does not demonstrate these qualities.

From all indications, Cheney is responsible for the manipulation of
intelligence used as a pretext for declaring war on Iraq, the abuse of
prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and domestic wiretapping. There is every reason
to question Cheney’s ethics including the conviction of his former chief of
staff, Scooter Libby, Halliburton’s financial gain from bloodshed and many
other scandals.

Using a national cross-sectional sampling strategy, scholars now estimate
650,000 Iraqis have died unnecessarily as a consequence of the war. In our
study of the Book of Mormon, we find no evidence God condones preemptive
war. In fact, the Book of Mormon demonstrates the opposite: God rebukes
nations that attack other nations without just cause. We feel Vice President
Cheney does not embody the ideals taught by The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints nor Brigham Young University and inviting Cheney to
address students at graduation violates long-standing Church and BYU
policies regarding political neutrality and sanctions the actions of a
prominent political figure that demonstrates questionable ethics. We should
not honor such an individual.

We call upon BYU’s administration to retract its invitation to the Vice
President. It would be far more appropriate to have a general authority
address students. We are not against Vice President Cheney coming to campus
but feel the best venue would be a university-wide forum where prominent
individuals from all parties (Libertarian, Democratic and Green among
others) have an open exchange of ideas about future directions for our
country, not commencement. We ask other concerned faculty and students to 1)
urge the same 2) write editorials to local and state newspapers, and 3)
identify additional ways of peacefully protesting Dick Cheney’s visit.

Kirk Dearden, Department of Health Science
Ralph Brown, Department of Sociology
Marie Cornwall, Department of Sociology
Tim Heaton, Department of Sociology

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