A Rutgers University history professor says he helped circulate a petition to ban former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice from giving this year's commencement address because she allegedly promoted torture and lied about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
"We believe she was deeply co-involved in the authorization of what she [called] extended, expanded or enhanced interrogation but which we call torture and in violation of international human rights," Dr. Rudolph "Rudy" Bell told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"We also think that she played a critical role in perpetrating the misinformation and outright lies concerning weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, which led to a war for no purpose.
"[It] resulted in the deaths of 100,000 Iraqis. So, we don't think she's an appropriate commencement speaker."
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On Friday, Rutgers University President Robert Barchi reaffirmed the selection of Rice as commencement speaker.
"On May 18, we will welcome former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to deliver the 2014 Rutgers University–New Brunswick commencement address," Barchi wrote in a note to the university.
It was his first comment on Rice's upcoming appearance since a faculty group called on Rutgers to pull the invitation.
Bell said his information is based on "a variety of sources" including New York Times reports and official documentation.
"Certainly, nobody doubts that there was water boarding," he said.
Bell added that he is not against Rice visiting Rutgers on other days.
"She's welcome to come to campus tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, any day she wants. Anything but commencement, I welcome her," he said.
"We welcome academic freedom. She is welcome to give a talk and we should then in response ask her questions. That's what academic freedom is about. Not being a commencement speaker."
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