Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The ISIS Tape: Cornell Blames the Messenger

Hat tip Legal Insurrection

“If you have an assistant Dean of Students at an Ivy league University that doesn’t know what Hamas is or the Islamic State is, perhaps you need to redefine the qualifications for University leadership.”
-James O'Keefe, Project Veritas

Cornell Professor of Law William Jacobson has commented on the breaking story over a Project Veritas video in which the Asst. Dean of Student Activities, Joseph Scaffido, told an undercover reporter that it would be OK to set up a student group that supported the Islamic State (ISIS).

Professor Jacobson, who doesn't know Scaffido, is being objective here. This story has yet to play out. It is true that the undercover reporter, who was posing as a prospective student from Morocco, used the term, "Islamic State in Iraq and Syria" instead of ISIS. Possibly, Scaffido was not paying full attention although he should have given the state of world affairs today. The undercover reporter also referred to Hamas, which is a US-designated terror organization. Thus, O'Keefe's response regarding the apparent ignorance of Scaffido makes perfect sense.

Thus, the reaction of Cornell's president to attack O'Keefe and his group is disingenuous. The tape speaks for itself, and as Jacobson hints, there may be more tapes out there.

Do I think Scaffido is an ISIS sympathizer? Of course not. More likely he was not giving enough scrutiny to what the UC reporter was saying and was just lumping it in with the usual anti-Israel, pro-Arab agenda on college campuses. However, I think it is fair to say that he should have been more on guard and when he heard references to Islamic State, he should have recognized it as ISIS and promptly thrown the guy out of his office.

So now he and Cornell have to deal with it. They are already under scrutiny after having been selected by David Horowitz's Jew Hatred on Campus blog as one of the top ten most anti-Semitic universities in America. Now this.


Siarlys Jenkins said...

OK, having followed the links to the actual video...

1) O'Keefe has a long resume as a bold faced liar, mendacity with an ax to grind, and really isn't to be trusted.

2) The assistant dean shows profound ignorance and a dangerously relaxed approach to his job and answering questions.

3) O'Keefe's operative chose language that was obviously intended to be rounded at the edges, carefully avoiding highlighting what he meant to imply when the video was posted. A more honest investigator would have followed up the initial question with something like:

'You know, its important to support the new Caliphate in northern Mesopotamia in its efforts to exterminate Christians, Jews, Shias, and apostates... so the university wouldn't have a problem with educating students on why God calls on ISIS to behead these people to morally purify the region?'

I am quite certain that the laziest and most obtuse college assistant dean would think twice before saying "Oh yeah."

But O'Keefe wants to have his cake and eat it too -- speak vaguely, catch the man off guard, then read in all kinds of stark, unambiguous implications.

That said, one would think that the reference to "Hamas" would give the man pause.

Still, the presentation relies heavily on O'Keefe & Friends giving an off the record distortion of what they said to the assistant dean, interspersed with the most general selection of the man's live responses, to create a manufactured scenario.

Not a piece of work for anyone to be proud of.

Gary Fouse said...

"I am quite certain that the laziest and most obtuse college assistant dean would think twice before saying "Oh yeah."

Meet Dean Scaffido.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Gary, are you near sighted, or merely side stepping an inconvenient observation?

You teach English, yes? You know how sentences and paragraphs are constructed.

The observation "I am quite certain that the laziest and most obtuse college assistant dean would think twice..." follows a summary of what O'Keefe & Friends SHOULD have said, but DID NOT.

Yes, Scaffido is lazy and obtuse... but an honest presentation would have caught even his attention.

Gary Fouse said...

Go back and read my comments.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

With what porpoise?