Saturday, December 02, 2006

What was Al Haig smoking? And what were they smoking at Yale?

And where are they now? Hiding out incognito with the Tea Party?

Casper Weinberger, Ronald Reagan, Alexander Haig (1924 – 2010)

I originally posted this last December before The Valerie Palme affair: The Trail of Scooter Libby (sounds like a grand soap).

"Scooter" Libby off to jail, June 5, 2007

How could I have missed this stalwart Yalie? Well, I did. So now, Al, we got four guys from Yale, but we may still be counting. It ain't over. What follows is the original with the addition of "Scooter."

A few weeks before the November 2008 elections, on a Sunday morning pundit show, Al Haig blamed the War in Iraq on neo-con’s from Yale. I got curious and started some research. Given the new election cycle, I think that more sleuths need to start sniffing around.

I only found three (nope, make that four) Yale graduates, one in the running for the dumbest president in our history, and one, the worst post-war administrator since Reconstruction. We might put the entire blame on Allan Bloom, R.I.P., or a man I've never heard of but whose name kept showing up on Google, Albert Wohlstetter, a professor of mathematics at the University of Chicago.

Or we could assume responsibility for allowing the electoral system to become a joke.

Here’s a partial list of the neo-cons that Al might have had in mind, and their educational C.V.’s.

Elliott Abrams
Harvard College, B.A
London School of Economics, M.A.
Harvard Law School, J.D.

Richard Lee Armitage (born April 26, 1945)
United States Naval Academy, 1967

Paul Bremer
Yale 1963, BA
Harvard, MBA, 1966
Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po), Certificate of Political Studies
Worked for Kissinger and Al Haig

John Robert Bolton (born November 20, 1948)
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, recess appointment.
Yale University, B.A. summa cum laude,1970
Yale University, J.D., 1974.
Vietnam War, National Guard
"I confess I had no desire to die in a Southeast Asian rice paddy. I considered the war in Vietnam already lost."

Geo. W. Bush
Yale, 1968, BA
Skull and Bones, a secret society
Harvard BusinessSchool, 1976

Douglas Feith
Under Secretary for Defense Policy
Harvard College, 1975, Magna Cum Laude
Richard Pipes, mentor

Francis Fukuyama (born October 27, 1952)
Cornell University, B.A. classics
Harvard, Ph.D. Political Science
Johns Hopkins University.
Bernard L. Schwartz Professor of International Political Economy, Director of the International Development Program at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies
Telluride Association

Alexander Haig
University of Notre Dame one year
West Point, graduated, 1947.
Columbia Business School,1954-1955
Georgetown University, Masters degree in International Relations, 1961

Robert Kagan (born September 26, 1958)
Yale University in 1980
Skull & Bones
Kennedy School of Government, M.A.
American University, Washington, DC., Ph.D.

Zalmay Khalilzad
American University of Beirut, cc 1974
University of Chicago, Ph.D., 1979
Albert Wohlstetter, mentor

I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Jr. (born August 22, 1950)
Libby was born to "a prosperous family" in New Haven, Connecticut; his father was "an investment banker.”
Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts
Yale University, 1972 magna cum laude
Columbia Law School, Juris Doctor (J.D.), 1975
Paul Wolfowitz, a professor at Yale, mentor.

Richard Perle
Chair of the Defense Policy Board
University of Southern California, B.A. in English, 1964.
London School of Economics
Princeton University, M.A. in political science, 1967
Albert Wohlstetter, mentor (?)

Peter W. Rodman (born November 24, 1943).
Harvard College (A.B. summa cum laude)
Oxford University (B.A., M.A.)
Harvard LawSchool (J.D.).
Henry Kissinger, mentor

Donald Rumsfeld
Princeton University, A.B., 1954
Georgetown University Law Center, 1957, dropped out

Paul Wolfowitz
Cornell 1965, Mathematics and Chemistry
Allan Bloom, philosopher and neo-conservative mentored him
Member of Quill and Dagger, a secret society
University of Chicago, Political Science, Ph.D.
Albert Wohlstetter, mentor

Philip Zelikow, born 1954.
University of Houston
University of Redlands, B.A. History and Political Science
University of Houston, law degree
Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, Ph.D.

Robert Bruce Zoellick (born July 25, 1953)
Swarthmore College, 1975, Phi Beta Kappa
Harvard Law School, J.D.
Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, Master of Public Policy, 1981.

The First Amendment & Starbucks

In honor of my deeply felt hesitation over a no-brainer.

My local Starbucks is a small shop. For those with a few minutes to sit and sip their coffee, there are only 15 seats. I love to sit and read.

But a few months ago, the same three people always seemed to arrive just before I got there, and took up the letters of Paul in very insistent, self-assured voices: here’s what the Greek really says in this passage of his letter to the Romans. The three became 4 and then 5. The noise level of their conversation rose as they read, translated, discussed, and even sometimes voiced a slight objection. They also took my favorite chair in the corner, and sectioned off the comfortable corner for their dialectic.

At the time, ironically, I was rereading one of my college professor’s books on religious culture in the first century of the Common Era: First Century Judaism in Crisis by Jacob Neusner. He introduced me to the towering figure of Yohanan ben Zakkai, and the flowering of rabbinic Judaism after the destruction of the second Temple. This was a great place to get another perspective on Paul, or Rabbi Saul. And as it turns out, the latest unpacking of Paul's letters, reveals a rather unyielding portrait of the apostle who had a nasty rivalry with the disciples who knew the Jesus who lived and preached his gospel, the Paul who pulled the message of Jesus out of the confines of the Temple in Jerusalem and introduced it to a far-flung audience in the Greco-Roman world, perhaps even setting up his soap box in the coffee houses of Corinth and Rome!

After about a month of trying to be as tolerant as I could of Paul’s disciples, responding politely to their overtures and kind hellos, pondering the extent of the First Amendment, I had had enough. I asked for the manager and complained. She said that it was a very difficult and sensitive situation but that I was not alone and she would see what could be done. (Nothing was done, but that is another issue. I am not the only chicken).

I could have just stayed away. I could have just cut short my malicious thoughts about the evangelical highjacking of the Jesus record. I could have stopped my inner commentary about the idiocy of their suppositions. I might not have been vocal to almost everyone about the inappropriate use of a coffee shop - what are church halls for anyway? – when out of the offenders’ ear shot. But I did not. I just complained, not quite anonymously, but quietly when their backs were turned.

Perhaps just this post is again some confirmation of my guilt at having breached someone’s First Amendment rights.

Nah, I don’t need to hard on myself. They may have the right to speak, but I have the right not to be forced to listen.