To the Editor:

School esteem skyrocketed when Georgetown beat Duke, and it was a proud day to be a Hoya. However just days later, the acts of a radical minority would bring shame to our school and once again place us in the headlines.

On Jan. 24, 2006, students at the Georgetown Law Center were privileged to have our attorney general, Alberto Gonzales, speak to a class of aspiring lawyers. Yet their conduct was unassuming of future lawyers and soon took on the appearance of unruly defendants.

It was on that day, when I saw the first Associated Press images being released that I felt, for the first time ever, ashamed to be a Georgetown student. How could a school of such high standards let itself be embarrassed in front of the nation by a group of students who misquoted Ben Franklin to justify their ill-informed cause? Had they used Franklin’s actual quote, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety,” instead of a paraphrase, their cause would not have been as well served.

The group realized that a made-for-TV image would have shock value, and indeed it did. However, it was seen by many as a slap in the face to authority, with a total lack of respect or courtesy to a guest speaker. Instead of directing questions to the Attorney General in a Q&A session that was to follow, they took their opinion to the cameras during the middle of his speech.

Their misguided cause would attempt to place limits on the National Security Agency from monitoring people with connections to terrorism. They feel it unnecessary for our government to monitor people who have regular communication with Al Qaeda and its sympathizers. Having been in D.C. during Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, I believe that such actions are completely irresponsible and reprehensible given the threat that we still face.

Complacency has taken hold in a handful of minds, yet many of us in Washington are reminded on a daily basis that we are fighting a war on terrorism – a war that we must win and a war that is being attacked by those on our own campus with radical agendas who would assume that the `see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil’ model is a practical approach to world affairs. Grow up and debate these issues. Don’t act like children hoisting a banner as the U.S. attorney general speaks. We should all be ashamed.

Liam Walsh (GRD ’07)

Jan. 26, 2006

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