From the Washington Post:
Speaking of Iraq, the Georgetown Hoya newspaper last week quoted a student saying she was “displeased that university officials have not asked” former Pentagon undersecretary Douglas Feith”to return to teach next year.”
Asked about Feith’s status, Robert Gallucci, dean of Georgetown’s foreign service school, told us that when Feith was hired — something that caused an uproar among the faculty — it was understood he “was on a two-year appointment.”
Word is that keeping Feith on beyond the two-year term again would have infuriated a number of faculty members.
Hmmmm, let’s dig a little bit more….
From The Hoya (Georgetown University’s Newspaper April 18, 2008):
Students from Georgetown Peace Action gathered Wednesday in front of the Mortara Center for International Studies at 36 and N Streets to protest a lecture by School of Foreign Service professor Douglas Feith, due to his alleged support for interrogation techniques that some have deemed to be torture.
About a dozen students carried signs, shouted anti-war chants and spoke to passersby as Feith, who served as under secretary of defense for policy from 2001 to 2005, discussed his new book “War and Decision,” which details the information and conversations leading up to the war.
Protesters from GPA, which was formed five years ago in opposition to the war in Iraq, criticized Georgetown for employing Feith. The organization claims that he has supported policy that allows for torture, asserting that he tried to reinterpret the Geneva Convention’s statements against torture.
From The Georgetown Voice (March 13, 2008):
An institution has got to live by a code. That goes for Georgetown, too, and its Jesuit ideals.
[…]the University has chosen to host a number of former government officials as professors. Among them is Douglas Feith (LAW ’78), who was Undersecretary of Defense for policy from the start of the Bush Administration until August 2005.
Feith, the man responsible for post-war planning in Iraq, takes hits not only from those against the war but also those who prosecuted it, earning him perhaps the most famous epithet of this century thus far, General Tommy Franks’ “the fu¢king stupidest guy on the face of the earth.” But it’s time for him to cover his rear, and to that end, he is publishing a memoir of his time in office this April. The Washington Post, which obtained a draft manuscript, reports that “Although [Feith] acknowledges ‘serious errors’ in intelligence, policy and operational plans surrounding the invasion, [he] blames them on others outside the Pentagon.”
And yet, Douglas Feith is one of our “Distinguished Practitioners in National Security Policy.” Which raises the question: what practices, exactly, distinguished him? During the run-up to his controversial hiring, a majority of SFS faculty opposed bringing him to the school, but SFS Dean Robert Gallucci decided to offer him the job anyway. At the time, Gallucci told me that “[Feith] could defend, as well as explain, those decisions [behind the Iraq War]. Not many faculty on campus would attempt to defend them, myself among them.” And so Feith teaches one class: National Security Policy of the Bush Administration.
It’s too late an hour to see Feith off; we can only hope that the school will not renew his contract.
A tip of the hat to the lovely jenn for informing me of the good news!