February 15, 2011, - 10:49 am
What is the University of Connecticut trying to hide?
An important case before Connecticut’s Court of Appeals is getting scant attention. But the outcome of University of Connecticut v. Freedom of Information Commission et al. could decide whether you and I can which foreign Muslim caliphates and other terrorism supporters are funding our public universities. Plaintiff Jonathan Pelto, a University of Connecticut alum and former elected Connecticut state legislator, is seeking the donor list of his alma mater. FYI, he’s a liberal Democrat, who was a rising star in Connecticut politics in the early ’90s.
Sunshine is the Best Disinfectant, Though Maybe Not w/ Islam
As you probably know, most public institutions are subject to one or more of various state and federal freedom of information acts, otherwise known as FOIAs. But the University of Connecticut is trying to circumvent those rules, claiming that its donor list is proprietary information and a “trade secret.” The university claims that if its donors’ identities are made public, other organizations and entities will try to poach the list. That’s nonsense, especially in the information age and a world where the wealthiest individuals and donors are well known to most fundraisers.
Plus, most donors to universities have particular motivations–such as having graduated from a particular donee institution . . . or an agenda, such as Saudi billionaire and Palestinian terrorism telethon donor Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal, who’s endowed many a Middle Eastern Studies chair and/or department at several American universities. And therein lies the danger of keeping donors’ identities secret. We have a right to know who is giving money to tax-funded, public universities . . . and who is trying to shape what is being taught and how. If the Saudis or, perhaps even HAMAS itself, is trying to pay off universities to get professors to teach students what and how to think about the Middle East, we need to know that. And if that money is going to a public university, we have a right to know that.
There is also the danger that Communists, such as the Chinese, could secretly fund university engineering departments, for instance, in order to get their hands on important technology. There are already allegations that the Chi-Coms have been easily obtaining such information from the University of Michigan. Remember, at issue here is a public university, not a private one. And we know the Saudis (including the prince) and others are already contributing gobs of money to both private and public institutions of higher learning. I wonder how much they’ve given to U-Conn. When someone goes to court to keep information a secret, you wonder what they are hiding.
It’s trite but true: sunshine–including information obtained from FOIA requests–is always the best disinfectant. If we’re not allowed to obtain this information, we won’t know who is infecting our public institutions. On the other hand, one could argue that even sunshine hasn’t been very successful against Islam, as America and the rest of the West continues to turn a blind eye to all of the information it’s seen and learned about Islam even recently, including 3,000 Americans murdered in cold blood, the Shoe Bomber, the Fort Hood massacre, the Undiebomber, the Times Square Bomber, all of the Saudi and other Islamic money thrown around America, etc. None of that info has made a dent. Still, it’s important the information is out there and available.
With regard to U-Conn, the university already won the latest battle to keep its donors’ info private. Let’s hope Connecticut’s appellate court reverses that unfortunate decision. Just like campaign contributions to those running for office, we should be able to see who is contributing to the salaries of people like pan-Islamist Juan Cole at the University of Michigan. I’d bet there are plenty like him at Connecticut. It’s just as important to see who is influencing those who propagandize America’s future generations in the name of “education” as it is to see who is financing America’s lawmakers.
And it’s not just foreign donors that should bother us. If some wealthy conservative or allegedly anti-jihadist, pro-Israel American is donating to a place like the University of Michigan–which willingly hosted Islamic terrorist Sami Al-Arian and, for a long time, refused to give credit to students studying abroad in Israel–I want to know who that individual is and try to hold that person accountable. In this case, Pelto leads a University of Connecticut watchdog group and wants to be able to communicate with U-Conn donors about malfeasance at the university. If the university were honest, it would admit that it doesn’t want Pelto to communicate this to donors who might not give if they know what’s really going on at the place. It really has nothing to do with trade secrets and poaching of donors. That’s just baloney.
Again, this isn’t just a Connecticut case. All public universities and other institutions are carefully watching this case. If the University of Connecticut is ultimately victorious, you can expect every public institution to shut down the free flow of information regarding donors. . . and you can expect the free flow of Muslim and Chi-Com dollars to run rampant at our public universities and colleges. Although some state FOIA laws differ, most have the same language as Connecticut’s law, as they are all based on the same model laws.
And public universities nationwide aren’t just watching the case, they’re rooting for Connecticut to win its fight to keep this information secret. Isn’t it interesting how colleges and universities–the places that willingly host Islamic terrorism supporters in the name of “the free and open exchange of information and ideas”–are suddenly so opposed to the free and open exchange of information?
The minute the sunshine is blocked out, these places will become even more infected. Bet on it.
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