Just got an e-mail from Clinton Watson Taylor of the “Nail Yale” blog, which is currently offline while Town Hall works out the bugs. A reporter from the New York Times called him this afternoon for reaction to the news that Yale has reached a decision on whether Rahmatullah Hashemi, the former ambassador-at-large for the Taliban who’s been studying in New Haven under a student visa, should return to campus in the fall.
Clint asked me not to blow the guy’s scoop by revealing the outcome; I told him I wouldn’t if he’d write something for us once the story appears later tonight. And so it was agreed. Keep your eyes on the Times and on this space for further details.
Update: Simple, but sweet.
Update: We gave the Times a fair chance, but it’s seven hours later and there’s still nothing on their site. And we promised you a scoop. Clint Taylor breaks the news below. Please note that Alan Finder, the reporter from the Times with whom Clint spoke, didn’t ask him to keep it secret so no confidences are being betrayed here.
The New York Times’ education reporter, Alan Finder, told me that he has been in contact with the Boola Boola Mullah’s financial backers , and they say he hasn’t been admitted to the regular degree program at Yale. He may have a few credits left in his current program, so he might be back for one more semester or so in the fall, but he won’t graduate from Yale.
This is a bizarre, freakish chapter in Yale’s history, and even though I’m glad Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi is leaving, I actually hope the story isn’t over. I hope that Yale will continue to examine the root causes of this awful decision. Right now Yale is a place that forbids ROTC from training on campus on one hand, but at the same time welcomes an unrepentant high official of one of the vilest regimes in recent history. In 2002, Yale turned down an opportunity to admit a group of academically qualified Afghan women, but a couple of years later they admit their oppressor. There’s something culturally wrong with a place that tolerates that sort cognitive dissonance and I hope they try to fix it.
One would think the Left would celebrate this as a victory for liberal values. They won’t. I’ve tried to give them every opportunity to get on board what I thought ought to be a bi-partisan issue. Everyone hates the woman-beating, finger-chopping, head-hacking, gay-smashing, terrorist-abetting Taliban, right? Apparently, not as much as they hate Fox News and John Fund. With a very few exceptions, they have done nothing but complain about how the right has tried to score points off this issue, even as they tried to score points off of the conservative media. So let me anticipate two of their reactions to Hashemi’s rejection:
First, they will say that Yale has politicized its admissions process in response to criticism. But I say they politicized the process when they first admitted a high official of an evil regime we are still at war with, one that is still killing our troops in Afghanistan. If they couldn’t see the country being outraged, they’re unspeakably naïve.
Second, they’ll say that Hashemi was just a poor little lamb who had gone astray, and he has repented of his Taliban service. I addressed the first objection in these two columns (these are google caches until Townhall gets its archives back on line), but as for his being repentant: I challenge anyone to show me anything he’s done or said to prove he’s repented of his service to the Taliban. The most they can show is a mild dissent from a few pronouncements of the hard-line cleric, and as we all know, dissent is the highest form of patriotism. Hashemi has done far less to oppose the Taliban than…
…well, than The New York Times’ Eric Lichtblau and James Risen have done recently to assist them.
There is a lot of soul-searching my alma mater needs to do before they can begin to regain the trust and respect that America once placed in it. There is still a lot of good stuff about Yale, and I started this campaign in order to help it, not to tear it down. Now Yale has to figure out what it is that it really stands for. You know that song, “You’ve got to stand for something, or you’ll fall for anything?” Yale fell for a Taliban diplomat’s smooth talk, and frankly, I think they wanted to be deceived. Let’s hope they learn from their mistake.
Thanks to the Hot Air people for giving me this space to blow off a little steam. Thanks to all of you who have followed the issue and especially to those of you who wrote in to Yale and sent in those press-on nails. Hopefully my Townhall blog will be up and running again soon for a victory lap.
And kudos to the Times’s Alan Finder. The scoop is his.
Update: Here’s the Times’s article. He’s been denied admission to the degree-granting program for nontraditional students. He can continue to take classes, up to a maximum of 18 (he’s already taken five or six). Quote:
Mrs. Maxwell said she and Mr. Hashemi’s other backers hoped he could apply again next year to the degree-granting program.
If he ultimately cannot pursue a degree at Yale, he will probably try to do so at another university in the United States, she said, adding that a number of alumni and others not connected to Yale had come forward to offer to help Mr. Hashemi after he became a controversial figure this spring.
Update: Clint Taylor, media star! CT e-mails to say he’ll be on Tammy Bruce’s radio show at 1:30 ET/10:30 PT, and on Hannity & Colmes tonight. Tune in.