December 16, 2005

Witzel was forced to step down in 1995 for unprofessional conduct

Witzel was forced to step down in 1995 for unprofessional conduct
Published On Wednesday, June 07, 1995 12:00 AM

By JONATHAN A. LEWIN


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----------


In the words of more than one University Hall administrator, the
Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies is a mess.

A former lecturer is suing three professors and the graduate school
dean for unspecified damages, the Dean of the Graduate School has
been made the Department's chair, some graduate students say they are
considering leaving the Department and there is friction between two
of the Department's three tenured professors.

In addition, graduate students say the other tenured professor is ill
and some say they think the department's former chair has behaved
unprofessionally.

At least four graduate students (out of approximately 25) say they
may leave the department early, saying they are wasting some $30,000
on a "disgusting" education and that they have not even been told how
to prepare for an essay and oral exam, or whether their dissertation
prospectus models should be 10 or 30 pages long.

At a December meeting of graduate students, individual students
complained that teaching fellow selection appears to reflect personal
relationships more than merit, the more than half-dozen "fields of
interest" listed in the official graduate school catalogue
are "largely figments of the imagination."

These complaints are recorded in the meeting minutes, which have been
filed as an exhibit in the former lecturer's law suit at Middlesex
Superior Court.

Further, although masters and doctoral candidates are currently
required to take an exam in translation of a passage from the
Mahabharata, the students say there is no accredited course in the
subject because, according to the minutes, the only pertinent class
was designated by the Department's former chair as a "hobby" and
unaccreditable.

That department chair, Wales Professor of Sanskrit Michael E. J.
Witzel, has assailed those minutes as "misrepresentations, half-
truths, insinuations, accusations and blatant untruths that cannot be
left unanswered." Witzel's lawyer said Witzel would not be available
to comment for this story.

Anne Palmers, a departmental administrator, said that Witzel is in
Taipei and that she does not have phone numbers where he can be
reached.

Two faculty positions remain vacant and students do not know who will
set or mark their exams, nor do they "have anyone to go to help with
the thesis prospectus," a graduate student said.

One graduate student charged in December, according to the meeting
minutes, that "the faculty and administration, having time on their
side, may be in no particular hurry to reestablish the health of the
department. The students, however, who are spending in the order of
$30,000 a year for their graduate education, can brook no delay."

The Lawsuit

The two-week old lawsuit of Enrica Garzilli, a former lecturer who
says she was unfairly passed over for a lec- tureship and has now
been ordered to surrenderher Harvard identification, has finally
madepublic the department's troubles.

University Hall officials, including Dean ofthe Faculty Jeremy R.
Knowles, have refused tocomment on the record about the department or
thelawsuit, citing its personal nature and the factit is currently in
litigation.

Garzilli alleges in her suit that Professor ofComparative Religion
and of Indian Studies DianaL. Eck and former Assistant Professor of
SanskritJames W. Benson made demeaning and harmfulcomments about her
in faculty departmentalmeetings and thus blocked her application to
be alecturer.

An exhibit in her complaint is a November 1993letter to her attorney
from the department'schair, Witzel in which Witzel apologized
forBenson's "uncollegial, disruptive, and defamatoryoccurrences."

Garzilli's attorney, William P. Homans '41 hadwritten Witzel
requesting that he prevent Benson'sallegations from damaging her
career.

Witzel responded by telling faculty membersthat he wished to avoid a
lawsuit and thedisruption it would cause.

In an act that shocked some graduate students,Witzel undertook an
examination of both Garzilliand Benson.

He wrote in a statement also filed inGarzilli's lawsuit that
the "defamed" Garzilli wasa scholar of the highest ability, while in
asevere critique of Benson's work, he alleged that"the defamer"--
Professor Benson--had publishednothing but his dissertation and one
articledealing with the same topic as the thesis and thathis
conclusions were simply a "summary" of thescholastic discussion.

Witzel also alleged in his critique that Bensonhad made "some
derogatory remarks about women andItalian women and their scholarship
in general."

A month later, Witzel withdrew his letter,stating he "had acted
improperly in speculatingabout Professor Benson's motives and
inrepresenting to [Garzilli's attorney] that Iconducted an official
investigation of his viewson behalf of the department."

Benson, contacted last week at Oxford, tookserious issue with
Witzel's remarks and said thata "whole bunch of us had documented
them andgotten the University to force him to retractthem."

Benson was immediately critical of Garzilli theone time her name was
mentioned in a briefinterview, interrupting a question
about "Dr.Garzilli" with the remark, "No, she's not aDoctor. Her
degree is Italian and is theequivalent of an M.A."

Garzilli said Monday that in her field, theItalian degree is
equivalent to an American Ph.D.

Witzel wrote in an additional statement filedwith Garzilli's lawsuit
that the results ofGarzilli's "Ph.D. exams" at the "La
Sapienza"University of Rome had been almost perfect.

Benson said at first that he could tellhorrifying stories about the
Sanskrit Departmentand that "there is nothing [he'd] rather do,"
butafter talking with a University hall administratorsaid he could
not comment.

Garzilli also names Dean of the Graduate SchoolChristoph Wolff as a
defendant in her suit, saying"it is more probable than not that
ProfessorWitzel was forced by a senior officer of Harvard,the Dean of
the Graduate School of Arts andSciences, Dean Wolff, to write
the'withdrawal'..."

Garzilli says in her complaint that "n eachinstance of Dr.
Garzilli's exclusion from ateaching appointment... the proximate
cause of theexclusion was the opposition of Dr. Benson andProfessor
Eck, without academic justification, andthe opposition and power,
exercised by virtue oftheir positions in the University and in
theDepartment, of Dean Wolff and Professor Bol, alsowithout academic
justification."

Wolff refused to comment on the matter, as didassociate Dean Laura
Fischer, who has helped himmanage the Department, referring all calls
toUniversity Attorney Alan A. Ryan, Jr., who hasbeen assigned to the
case.

Ryan declined to comment further than sayingGarzilli's case has
little merit and he willaddress it in court.

Four graduate students said they believeWitzel's firm support of
Garzilli has hurt hisstanding in the department.

One graduate student said, according toFebruary meeting minutes, that
the department "isnow thought of all over the country as a locus
ofgreat conflict and disorganization..."

Of the nine graduate students contacted by TheCrimson, four spoke
against Witzel, four refusedto comment, and one spoke in his favor.

In addition, one undergraduate alumna calledThe Crimson and spoke
against Witzel, and HowardResnick, a graduate student, called and
voiced hissupport.

All of the graduate students who spoke againstWitzel spoke on
condition of anonymity, sayingthey feared retaliation if their names
werepublished.

Two graduate students interviewed said Witzelis not to blame for the
department's disarray.

Carlos Lopez, president of the graduate studentcouncil, said that his
experience in thedepartment has been excellent, although he saysthat
there is some friction at the faculty level.

"I think a lot of things here are hearsayrumors that students are
going on without lookingat the work," said Lopez, who is Witzel's
advisee.

The graduate students are divided over Witzel,Lopez said, with about
two thirds against him andone third in favor.

Most graduate students interviewed said thatonly three or four
students, including Lopez, arein favor of Witzel.

Four graduate students interviewed by TheCrimson said that Witzel
should lose his tenureand be removed from the University.

Garzilli was not the first person whom Witzelbrought into the
department and with whom anunusual situation developed, students say.

Homans says that in the past he represented aman whom Witzel had
allowed into the departmentand who was subsequently ordered to leave.

Students said they found the man disruptive anddid not understand why
he was there.

The graduate students held a meeting inDecember and took notes which
they sent to Wolff.The minutes said they did not record the names
ofstudents who spoke for "fear of retribution."

Witzel later threatened to sue Sarah LeVine, agraduate student who
recorded the minutes of themeeting.

In a newsletter to graduate students, Witzelwrote that "
nfortunately, an immediate concernis one that mostly is one of your
own making. Irefer, of course, to the Graduate Student meetingof
December 15 and the so-called 'minutes' thatyour
volunteer 'reporter', Ms. S. LeVine, hasproduced."

"The 'minutes' do more damage to the Departmentthan the incessant
rumor mongering of the past twoyears. In fact, great and irreparable
damage hasalready been done," Witzel wrote.

Witzel also wrote that "[a]s agreed by DeanKnowles and me last
Summer, I will, as of January30, return to teaching and research,
after havingbeen an administrator since July 1987."

Witzel wrote in the next newsletter, inFebruary, that "several times
I have asked you asa group and the 'reporter' as an individual
toclarify or revoke them. Nothing has been doneabout this, though I
know that some of you havewritten to the Deans about the matter. As
the caseremains unresolved, and from all that I hear willremain so, I
am no longer prepared to serve as theDirector of Graduate Studies."

According to LeVine at the February graduatestudents meeting, Wolff
and the University's"Legal Counsel" told Witzel that he should not
suea student, since students' freedom to criticizeteachers is
protected within the University.

Eric D. Mortensen, a graduate studentmoderating the meeting, read a
statement Witzelhad instructed be read, saying that "there is
nolawsuit yet," and that he and Garzilli had"separate issues,
procedures, aims, lawyers, andshould not be grouped together."

Witzel's statement also said that "his personalchampionship of Mrs.
Garzilli is an attempt torectify the harm James Benson did to her in
thepast, and to make up for the administration'sfailure to defend her
at that time. This is anissue with a history."

Mortensen said, according to the minutes, that"the roles of scholar
and professor wereindivisible."

"Thus in the view of some students the factthat, as a scholar,
Professor Witzel did good workdid not exonerate him from, as a
professor,intimidating students," the minutes continue. "Aprofessor
should be encouraging his students'intellectual development, not
threatening themwith libel suits!"

Mortensen wrote in a letter to graduatestudents that the matter of
the December minutes"has caused folks to consult legal counsel,
GlenWallis has formally resigned as yourrepresentative, there are
students who are furious(or have at least "had it") with other
students,folks are not speaking to each other, andaccusations and
threats continue to fill theambiance of the Sanskrit scene at
Harvard. This ismassively sad."

The Plaintiff

Although Witzel is not a party in the lawsuit,the case reflects the
scholarly and personaldivisions in the Department.

In her suit, Garzilli alleges that Eck said ata Department meeting
that "the 'Harvard community'does not want Dr. Garzilli."

When asked why Eck and Bol would want to harmGarzilli, as she alleges
in her complaint, Homansresponded: "That's the $64,000 question. We
havenever been able to figure out a motive."

"That's one of the problems with this lawsuit,"Homans said.

After the lawsuit was filed, Wolff toldGarzilli to surrender her
Harvard identificationand keys, according to Homans.

Garzilli said Monday that she has not turnedher Harvard
identification in, as Wolff told hershe could work in Pusey Library
and she needs herID card to enter the library.

Garzilli said that she does not know what shewill do in the future.
She said she has beenoffered a temporary professorship in Italy,
butthat it does not pay enough to live on.

She said that she is filing her suit in searchof justice and academic
reform.

When asked why many graduate students appear tohold her in little
regard, Garzilli said it isbecause she is "a woman and a foreigner."

"I was one of the first feminists in mycountry," Garzilli said.

She said that Eck and Benson dislike Witzelbecause he is also a
foreigner.

"It is cultural bashing," she said.

She said she has never yelled at graduatestudents, as some have
alleged, and that in factthe reverse is true--graduate students,
includingWallis, have yelled at her.

Wallis said he had never yelled at Garzilli.

When asked why she has not included graduatestudents in her suit, she
said that she would notsue a graduate student.

"They are poor," she said.

Asked what she thought about Witzel's threat tosue LeVine, Garzilli
said that the oppositesituation was the truth--that Witzel had
neverthreatened to sue LeVine, and that LeVine had infact threatened
to sue Witzel, a charge thatLeVine denied.

In a January 24 letter to LeVine, Witzel'slawyer, James Pollock,
writes that the Decemberminutes "bring disrepute upon the name,
reputationand standing of Professor Witzel both as a teacherand as an
administrator. Accordingly, they fallinto the category of
libel....The possibility ofmalice on your part is not to be ruled out
giventhe unnecessarily hostile, unprofessional andnon-collegial
demeanor you have shown in any faceto face dealings with Professor
Witzel and thefact that your minutes omitted material presentedat the
meeting, the inclusion of which would havelent balance to the record."

Pollock wrote that he "call[ed] upon [LeVine]to avoid unnecessary
expense and other adverseconsequences from litigation by resolving
thismatter by circulating to each person who receiveda copy" of the
minutes a statement apologizing toWitzel.

Garzilli also said that one graduate studenthad side-checked her in
the Department's office inan attempt to provoke her and that another
hadtalked about her sex life in class and hadplagiarized a paper out
of a book.

The two graduate students strenuously deniedGarzilli's claims,
calling them ridiculous.Another graduate student said that Garzilli
is"out of her mind" to claim such things.

Garzilli said that she was surprised thatpersonal differences
interfere with academics atHarvard, but others said that it is
Garzilliherself who is injecting personal differences intothe
Department.

Homans said the lawsuit enters an unchartedarea of law.

On the one hand, the defendants must be able tojustify their actions,
Homans said. The plaintiffdoes not have to show malice. But, on the
other,the plaintiff is required to show that thestatements are
unjustified, he said.

While Eck and Bol's motives may not bemalicious, some graduate
students say Eck and Bolmay have reason not to wish to work with
Garzilli.

Professor Bol, who is currently on sabbaticalin Japan, said he was
brought in as an outside inan effort to restore order to the
department.

Bol said he was "amazed" when he was told ofthe lawsuit, but declined
to comment furtherwithout seeing the lawsuit.

Garzilli said she took her complaint toHarvard's Commission of
Inquiry, which is chargedwith redirecting complaints and inquiries to
thecorrect Harvard authority, but was told byProfessor of Philosophy
Warren D. Goldfarb, thecommittee's chair, that there were no grounds
forthe commission to become involved as both theDepartment of
Sanskrit and Indian Studies and theOffice of the Dean of the Faculty
of Arts andSciences (FAS) were already fully involved.

Ryan said that Homans has said he iswithdrawing his complaint and
filing another one.Homans said last week he is filing an amendment
toGarzilli's complaint, adding information aboutKnowles and Fischer.

Homans said it will take at least eight monthsfor the suit to come to
trial once filed. He hasrequested a jury trial.

Sources have told The Crimson that the numberof outside graduate
students being admitted to thedepartment has been lowered so as not
to aggravatethe department's current troubles.

In addition, the sources predicted that Witzelwill not be put in a
position of authority when hereturns in the fall.

Khan Professor of Iranian P. Oktor Skjaervowill be the Department's
chair, beginning thisfall.

Graduate students say that Wolff and Fischermade some improvements to
the Department thisspring, including advancing a faculty search toits
current ad hoc stage.

Professor Leonard der Kuijp's appointment iscurrently in ad hoc, and
he may be appointed afull professor in the department,
graduatestudents say.

But some students said they fear that whenWitzel returns from Asia he
will destabilize thedepartment.

"Nothing has really changed," one student said."When Witzel gets
back, everything'll be back tousual."

Other students said that enough improvementshave been made that
Skjaervo should be able toestablish order.CrimsonJonathan A. LewinThe
graduate students' mailboxes in theSanskrit Department.

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PREVIOUS PAGE page 1 of 3 NEXT PAGE


In the words of more than one University Hall administrator, the
Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies is a mess.

A former lecturer is suing three professors and the graduate school
dean for unspecified damages, the Dean of the Graduate School has
been made the Department's chair, some graduate students say they are
considering leaving the Department and there is friction between two
of the Department's three tenured professors.

In addition, graduate students say the other tenured professor is ill
and some say they think the department's former chair has behaved
unprofessionally.

At least four graduate students (out of approximately 25) say they
may leave the department early, saying they are wasting some $30,000
on a "disgusting" education and that they have not even been told how
to prepare for an essay and oral exam, or whether their dissertation
prospectus models should be 10 or 30 pages long.

At a December meeting of graduate students, individual students
complained that teaching fellow selection appears to reflect personal
relationships more than merit, the more than half-dozen "fields of
interest" listed in the official graduate school catalogue
are "largely figments of the imagination."

These complaints are recorded in the meeting minutes, which have been
filed as an exhibit in the former lecturer's law suit at Middlesex
Superior Court.

Further, although masters and doctoral candidates are currently
required to take an exam in translation of a passage from the
Mahabharata, the students say there is no accredited course in the
subject because, according to the minutes, the only pertinent class
was designated by the Department's former chair as a "hobby" and
unaccreditable.

That department chair, Wales Professor of Sanskrit Michael E. J.
Witzel, has assailed those minutes as "misrepresentations, half-
truths, insinuations, accusations and blatant untruths that cannot be
left unanswered." Witzel's lawyer said Witzel would not be available
to comment for this story.

Anne Palmers, a departmental administrator, said that Witzel is in
Taipei and that she does not have phone numbers where he can be
reached.

Two faculty positions remain vacant and students do not know who will
set or mark their exams, nor do they "have anyone to go to help with
the thesis prospectus," a graduate student said.

One graduate student charged in December, according to the meeting
minutes, that "the faculty and administration, having time on their
side, may be in no particular hurry to reestablish the health of the
department. The students, however, who are spending in the order of
$30,000 a year for their graduate education, can brook no delay."

The Lawsuit

The two-week old lawsuit of Enrica Garzilli, a former lecturer who
says she was unfairly passed over for a lec- tureship and has now
been ordered to surrenderher Harvard identification, has finally
madepublic the department's troubles.

University Hall officials, including Dean ofthe Faculty Jeremy R.
Knowles, have refused tocomment on the record about the department or
thelawsuit, citing its personal nature and the factit is currently in
litigation.

Garzilli alleges in her suit that Professor ofComparative Religion
and of Indian Studies DianaL. Eck and former Assistant Professor of
SanskritJames W. Benson made demeaning and harmfulcomments about her
in faculty departmentalmeetings and thus blocked her application to
be alecturer.

An exhibit in her complaint is a November 1993letter to her attorney
from the department'schair, Witzel in which Witzel apologized
forBenson's "uncollegial, disruptive, and defamatoryoccurrences."

Garzilli's attorney, William P. Homans '41 hadwritten Witzel
requesting that he prevent Benson'sallegations from damaging her
career.

Witzel responded by telling faculty membersthat he wished to avoid a
lawsuit and thedisruption it would cause.

In an act that shocked some graduate students,Witzel undertook an
examination of both Garzilliand Benson.

He wrote in a statement also filed inGarzilli's lawsuit that
the "defamed" Garzilli wasa scholar of the highest ability, while in
asevere critique of Benson's work, he alleged that"the defamer"--
Professor Benson--had publishednothing but his dissertation and one
articledealing with the same topic as the thesis and thathis
conclusions were simply a "summary" of thescholastic discussion.

Witzel also alleged in his critique that Bensonhad made "some
derogatory remarks about women andItalian women and their scholarship
in general."

A month later, Witzel withdrew his letter,stating he "had acted
improperly in speculatingabout Professor Benson's motives and
inrepresenting to [Garzilli's attorney] that Iconducted an official
investigation of his viewson behalf of the department."

Benson, contacted last week at Oxford, tookserious issue with
Witzel's remarks and said thata "whole bunch of us had documented
them andgotten the University to force him to retractthem."

Benson was immediately critical of Garzilli theone time her name was
mentioned in a briefinterview, interrupting a question
about "Dr.Garzilli" with the remark, "No, she's not aDoctor. Her
degree is Italian and is theequivalent of an M.A."

Garzilli said Monday that in her field, theItalian degree is
equivalent to an American Ph.D.

Witzel wrote in an additional statement filedwith Garzilli's lawsuit
that the results ofGarzilli's "Ph.D. exams" at the "La
Sapienza"University of Rome had been almost perfect.

Benson said at first that he could tellhorrifying stories about the
Sanskrit Departmentand that "there is nothing [he'd] rather do,"
butafter talking with a University hall administratorsaid he could
not comment.

Garzilli also names Dean of the Graduate SchoolChristoph Wolff as a
defendant in her suit, saying"it is more probable than not that
ProfessorWitzel was forced by a senior officer of Harvard,the Dean of
the Graduate School of Arts andSciences, Dean Wolff, to write
the'withdrawal'..."

Garzilli says in her complaint that "n eachinstance of Dr.
Garzilli's exclusion from ateaching appointment... the proximate
cause of theexclusion was the opposition of Dr. Benson andProfessor
Eck, without academic justification, andthe opposition and power,
exercised by virtue oftheir positions in the University and in
theDepartment, of Dean Wolff and Professor Bol, alsowithout academic
justification."

Wolff refused to comment on the matter, as didassociate Dean Laura
Fischer, who has helped himmanage the Department, referring all calls
toUniversity Attorney Alan A. Ryan, Jr., who hasbeen assigned to the
case.

Ryan declined to comment further than sayingGarzilli's case has
little merit and he willaddress it in court.

Four graduate students said they believeWitzel's firm support of
Garzilli has hurt hisstanding in the department.

One graduate student said, according toFebruary meeting minutes, that
the department "isnow thought of all over the country as a locus
ofgreat conflict and disorganization..."

Of the nine graduate students contacted by TheCrimson, four spoke
against Witzel, four refusedto comment, and one spoke in his favor.

In addition, one undergraduate alumna calledThe Crimson and spoke
against Witzel, and HowardResnick, a graduate student, called and
voiced hissupport.

All of the graduate students who spoke againstWitzel spoke on
condition of anonymity, sayingthey feared retaliation if their names
werepublished.

Two graduate students interviewed said Witzelis not to blame for the
department's disarray.

Carlos Lopez, president of the graduate studentcouncil, said that his
experience in thedepartment has been excellent, although he saysthat
there is some friction at the faculty level.

"I think a lot of things here are hearsayrumors that students are
going on without lookingat the work," said Lopez, who is Witzel's
advisee.

The graduate students are divided over Witzel,Lopez said, with about
two thirds against him andone third in favor.

Most graduate students interviewed said thatonly three or four
students, including Lopez, arein favor of Witzel.

Four graduate students interviewed by TheCrimson said that Witzel
should lose his tenureand be removed from the University.

Garzilli was not the first person whom Witzelbrought into the
department and with whom anunusual situation developed, students say.

Homans says that in the past he represented aman whom Witzel had
allowed into the departmentand who was subsequently ordered to leave.

Students said they found the man disruptive anddid not understand why
he was there.

The graduate students held a meeting inDecember and took notes which
they sent to Wolff.The minutes said they did not record the names
ofstudents who spoke for "fear of retribution."

Witzel later threatened to sue Sarah LeVine, agraduate student who
recorded the minutes of themeeting.

In a newsletter to graduate students, Witzelwrote that "
nfortunately, an immediate concernis one that mostly is one of your
own making. Irefer, of course, to the Graduate Student meetingof
December 15 and the so-called 'minutes' thatyour
volunteer 'reporter', Ms. S. LeVine, hasproduced."

"The 'minutes' do more damage to the Departmentthan the incessant
rumor mongering of the past twoyears. In fact, great and irreparable
damage hasalready been done," Witzel wrote.

Witzel also wrote that "[a]s agreed by DeanKnowles and me last
Summer, I will, as of January30, return to teaching and research,
after havingbeen an administrator since July 1987."

Witzel wrote in the next newsletter, inFebruary, that "several times
I have asked you asa group and the 'reporter' as an individual
toclarify or revoke them. Nothing has been doneabout this, though I
know that some of you havewritten to the Deans about the matter. As
the caseremains unresolved, and from all that I hear willremain so, I
am no longer prepared to serve as theDirector of Graduate Studies."

According to LeVine at the February graduatestudents meeting, Wolff
and the University's"Legal Counsel" told Witzel that he should not
suea student, since students' freedom to criticizeteachers is
protected within the University.

Eric D. Mortensen, a graduate studentmoderating the meeting, read a
statement Witzelhad instructed be read, saying that "there is
nolawsuit yet," and that he and Garzilli had"separate issues,
procedures, aims, lawyers, andshould not be grouped together."

Witzel's statement also said that "his personalchampionship of Mrs.
Garzilli is an attempt torectify the harm James Benson did to her in
thepast, and to make up for the administration'sfailure to defend her
at that time. This is anissue with a history."

Mortensen said, according to the minutes, that"the roles of scholar
and professor wereindivisible."

"Thus in the view of some students the factthat, as a scholar,
Professor Witzel did good workdid not exonerate him from, as a
professor,intimidating students," the minutes continue. "Aprofessor
should be encouraging his students'intellectual development, not
threatening themwith libel suits!"

Mortensen wrote in a letter to graduatestudents that the matter of
the December minutes"has caused folks to consult legal counsel,
GlenWallis has formally resigned as yourrepresentative, there are
students who are furious(or have at least "had it") with other
students,folks are not speaking to each other, andaccusations and
threats continue to fill theambiance of the Sanskrit scene at
Harvard. This ismassively sad."

The Plaintiff

Although Witzel is not a party in the lawsuit,the case reflects the
scholarly and personaldivisions in the Department.

In her suit, Garzilli alleges that Eck said ata Department meeting
that "the 'Harvard community'does not want Dr. Garzilli."

When asked why Eck and Bol would want to harmGarzilli, as she alleges
in her complaint, Homansresponded: "That's the $64,000 question. We
havenever been able to figure out a motive."

"That's one of the problems with this lawsuit,"Homans said.

After the lawsuit was filed, Wolff toldGarzilli to surrender her
Harvard identificationand keys, according to Homans.

Garzilli said Monday that she has not turnedher Harvard
identification in, as Wolff told hershe could work in Pusey Library
and she needs herID card to enter the library.

Garzilli said that she does not know what shewill do in the future.
She said she has beenoffered a temporary professorship in Italy,
butthat it does not pay enough to live on.

She said that she is filing her suit in searchof justice and academic
reform.

When asked why many graduate students appear tohold her in little
regard, Garzilli said it isbecause she is "a woman and a foreigner."

"I was one of the first feminists in mycountry," Garzilli said.

She said that Eck and Benson dislike Witzelbecause he is also a
foreigner.

"It is cultural bashing," she said.

She said she has never yelled at graduatestudents, as some have
alleged, and that in factthe reverse is true--graduate students,
includingWallis, have yelled at her.

Wallis said he had never yelled at Garzilli.

When asked why she has not included graduatestudents in her suit, she
said that she would notsue a graduate student.

"They are poor," she said.

Asked what she thought about Witzel's threat tosue LeVine, Garzilli
said that the oppositesituation was the truth--that Witzel had
neverthreatened to sue LeVine, and that LeVine had infact threatened
to sue Witzel, a charge thatLeVine denied.

In a January 24 letter to LeVine, Witzel'slawyer, James Pollock,
writes that the Decemberminutes "bring disrepute upon the name,
reputationand standing of Professor Witzel both as a teacherand as an
administrator. Accordingly, they fallinto the category of
libel....The possibility ofmalice on your part is not to be ruled out
giventhe unnecessarily hostile, unprofessional andnon-collegial
demeanor you have shown in any faceto face dealings with Professor
Witzel and thefact that your minutes omitted material presentedat the
meeting, the inclusion of which would havelent balance to the record."

Pollock wrote that he "call[ed] upon [LeVine]to avoid unnecessary
expense and other adverseconsequences from litigation by resolving
thismatter by circulating to each person who receiveda copy" of the
minutes a statement apologizing toWitzel.

Garzilli also said that one graduate studenthad side-checked her in
the Department's office inan attempt to provoke her and that another
hadtalked about her sex life in class and hadplagiarized a paper out
of a book.

The two graduate students strenuously deniedGarzilli's claims,
calling them ridiculous.Another graduate student said that Garzilli
is"out of her mind" to claim such things.

Garzilli said that she was surprised thatpersonal differences
interfere with academics atHarvard, but others said that it is
Garzilliherself who is injecting personal differences intothe
Department.

Homans said the lawsuit enters an unchartedarea of law.

On the one hand, the defendants must be able tojustify their actions,
Homans said. The plaintiffdoes not have to show malice. But, on the
other,the plaintiff is required to show that thestatements are
unjustified, he said.

While Eck and Bol's motives may not bemalicious, some graduate
students say Eck and Bolmay have reason not to wish to work with
Garzilli.

Professor Bol, who is currently on sabbaticalin Japan, said he was
brought in as an outside inan effort to restore order to the
department.

Bol said he was "amazed" when he was told ofthe lawsuit, but declined
to comment furtherwithout seeing the lawsuit.

Garzilli said she took her complaint toHarvard's Commission of
Inquiry, which is chargedwith redirecting complaints and inquiries to
thecorrect Harvard authority, but was told byProfessor of Philosophy
Warren D. Goldfarb, thecommittee's chair, that there were no grounds
forthe commission to become involved as both theDepartment of
Sanskrit and Indian Studies and theOffice of the Dean of the Faculty
of Arts andSciences (FAS) were already fully involved.

Ryan said that Homans has said he iswithdrawing his complaint and
filing another one.Homans said last week he is filing an amendment
toGarzilli's complaint, adding information aboutKnowles and Fischer.

Homans said it will take at least eight monthsfor the suit to come to
trial once filed. He hasrequested a jury trial.

Sources have told The Crimson that the numberof outside graduate
students being admitted to thedepartment has been lowered so as not
to aggravatethe department's current troubles.

In addition, the sources predicted that Witzelwill not be put in a
position of authority when hereturns in the fall.

Khan Professor of Iranian P. Oktor Skjaervowill be the Department's
chair, beginning thisfall.

Graduate students say that Wolff and Fischermade some improvements to
the Department thisspring, including advancing a faculty search toits
current ad hoc stage.

Professor Leonard der Kuijp's appointment iscurrently in ad hoc, and
he may be appointed afull professor in the department,
graduatestudents say.

But some students said they fear that whenWitzel returns from Asia he
will destabilize thedepartment.

"Nothing has really changed," one student said."When Witzel gets
back, everything'll be back tousual."

Other students said that enough improvementshave been made that
Skjaervo should be able toestablish order.CrimsonJonathan A. LewinThe
graduate students' mailboxes in theSans

Clamour to deny River Saraswati

Oped-Pioneer

Earthquakes and other natural phenomenon caused the 'Naditama', or River Saraswati, to dry up over two millennia ago. Now, says Makkhan Lal, it's a man-made disaster what with pseudo-secularists and Communists out to deny it ever existed

The Parlia- mentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture has, in its 91st Report submitted to the two Houses of Parliament on November 25, virtually "detoxified" the Saraswati Heritage Project (SHP). This is a rude blow to the first ever comprehensive archaeological study commissioned on tracing the flow of a subterranean river whose discovery has already been confirmed by geologists.

LANDSAT imageries provided by NASA and Indian satellites have also provided clinching evidence that there was nothing "mythical" about the Saraswati. It really did exist and even today its revival, though prohibitively expensive, is technically possible.

In 2002, the Vajpayee government had started SHP as a multidisciplinary study based on scientific principles with stress on archaeological research in which the help of prestigious institutions like IITs and the Birbal Sahni Institution was taken. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) undertook excavations at 10 places - Adi Badri, Thanesar, Sandhauli, Bhirrana, Hansi (in Haryana); Baror, Tarkhanwala Dhera, Chak 86 (in Rajasthan) and Dholavira and Juni Karan in Gujarat. The project's Action Taken Report stated that during the excavation remains from pre-Harappan civilisations were discovered.

Yet, the Communist chairman who heads the Standing Committee, Nilotpal Basu, has rubbished SHP as a waste of money. Mr Basu has betrayed not only an allergy for anything connected with the heritage of India, but also utter ignorance of basic History by stating: "The Committee understands that existence of River Sarasvati (sic) is purely a mythological one and a scientific institution like ASI has not correctly proceeded in the matter."

True, the Rg Veda praises the Saraswati River as: Ambitambe naditambe devitambe Saraswati, or, "the best of mothers, best of rivers, best of goddesses, Oh Saraswati". That seems to be crime enough in the perverted outlook of India's Communists. The Standing Committee's Report is one more piece of inglorious evidence of what Independent India's masters can do to undermine her own people's collective interest. What contributes pathos to the whole affair is that our colonisers had more regard for our heritage.

It was India's British masters who first decided to investigate the veracity of the vast body of referential material found in iterary sources from ancient India about the existence of a mighty river flowing from Punjab to the Arabian Sea. They initiated not only archaeological but also geological studies. The credit for publishing not only the first comprehensive paper but also survey maps locating the course of the dead river and its tributaries goes to CF Oldham and RD Oldham. The former wrote in 1874 in "Notes on the lost river of the Indian Desert" (published in Calcutta Review, Vol.59, pp 1-27; 1993, "The Saraswati and the lost river of the Indian Desert", Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, New Series, Vol. 34, pp. 49-76:

The waters of the Saraswati (are) continuous with the dry bed of a great river (Hakra), which, as local legends assert, once flowed through the desert to the sea. On the basis of physical surveys of the area, they established that the ancient Saraswati was once fed by mighty rivers like the Sutlej and the Yamuna. Due to the westward movement of the Sutlej and eastward movement of the Yamuna, the Saraswati dried up.

Sir Auriel Stein, who conducted extensive surveys of the ancient Saraswati's course, concluded that the main reason for the demise of the Saraswati was the shift in the course of the Sutlej, its main tributary ("An Archaeological Tour along the Ghaggar-Hakra River", Geographical Journal, Vol. 99, pp 173-82). The efforts of these pioneers have been vindicated by NASA and ISRO.

A joint paper presented by geologists of the Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda, and ISRO's Space Application Centre at a conference on Marine Archaeology held at Panjim in October 2005 hinted at the existence of an ancient river course extending up to 250 km in the Gulf of Cambay with its mouth veered towards Saurashtra. RV Karanth, a MSU geologist was quoted by The Indian Express (Ahmedabad edition, October 18, 2005) as saying: "It is too early to say what it is, we need more scientific studies. But it does indicate the likelihood of a river course which could have supported a human settlement in the region."

Had we been still under British rule, I am certain Dr Karanth's pursuit of the truth would have yielded dividends. But now, we are under the crush of a Government whose only chance for survival depends on its ability to exacerbate, even pamper, Communist paranoia. India' Reds, who are still obsessed by the globally-rejected ideology of Marxism-Leninism, are driven crazy by the fear that someday the people of India would realise the deeper meaning of their civilisational ethos. They goaded the HRD Minister Arjun Singh to banish the NCERT textbooks within weeks of the formation of the UPA government. The priority they placed on their disingenuous "detoxification" project only proves their lunacy.

In my textbook for Class XI students (Ancient India, NCERT, 2002), I had corrected the misperception about the "Indus Valley Civilisation" by redefining it as the "Indus-Saraswati civilisation". The Communist historian, Irfan Habib, had written: "There is no proof that the Ghaggar-Hakra was ever known as Saraswati, since the small Saraswati stream is far smaller than Ghaggar, of which it is, in the raining season, a tributary" (History in the New NCERT Textbooks - a Report and an Index of Errors published by Indian History Congress, 2003). Of course, I had no problem refuting this in Fallacies in the IHC Report (NCERT publications, 2003), but I wish to point out that the same Habib had, in a paper which he submitted to the same IHC at its 52nd session in 1992, written:

Here the present Sarasvati (sic)-Hakra of the Survey of Indian maps must be meant with the towns of Sirsa still attesting by its name the lower course of that river. This is also the sacred Sarasvati (sic) of the later Vedic and post-Vedic literature.

The same Irfan Habib contributed to Geographical Journal in 1952 a research paper that identified the Ghaggar River in Haryana and Rajasthan as the ancient Vedic Saraswati on the basis of the description given in Tabkat-I-Nasiri, a 12th Century Persian document. This only goes to prove that Marxist scholars adopted two different sets of standards with historical evidence. When dealing with pure research, they wish to avoid being the laughing stock of the global historical community. If they are exposed as infected with Communist dogma, they know they will be treated as lowly scum by fund-rich Western universities. But when it comes to writing for children, they take recourse to obfuscation - so that impressionable minds are not "saffronised" with the truth. This stems from a basic policy to keep our future generations ignorant of their heritage.

But, what particular grudge do they nurse against Saraswati. Of course, we know full well about their hatred for the Goddess of Learning (their defence of MF Hussein's obscene paintings of Saraswati in the nude is still fresh in the national collective conscious), but their justification for denying a river carrying that name is simply hilarious. RS Sharma, who had authored Ancient India (NCERT) before me wrote in "Advent of Aryans in India" (New Delhi, 1999: page 35):

The fundamentalists (read people like me) want to establish the superiority of the Sarasvati (sic) over the Indus because of communal considerations. In the Harappan context they think that after partition the Indus belongs to the Muslims and only the Sarasvati (sic).

Has anybody ever come across any "fundamentalist" claiming that one river can be "superior" to another? Only Communist genius can produce such a jewel. And now, we have a Nilotpal Basu doing the coup de grace. Cry beloved country.

December 14, 2005

Hindus are Sandwiched between Baloch Nationalists and Pak Millitary

Reports from Balochistan say that situation is grim and Millitary is taking tough measures against Nationalists and millitants . "We fear a major millitary action , already scores of nationalists were taken into custody and are been tortured " said President of BSO-NA ( Baloch Society of North America http://bso-na.org ) Dr.Wahid baloch from Florida to IntelliBriefs .

Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP) chief Nawab Akbar Bugti tokd BBC , the number of Frontier Constabulary personnel had been increased to 15,000 and that a part of the operation had started on a limited level in Turbat, Nushki and Kalat.

Sources in Balochistan confirmed to IntelliBriefs that the Frontier Constabulary (FC) has started a search operation for suspected militants hiding in the mountainous areas between Kalat and Naushki .Speaking to reporters Nawab akbar Bhugti said “Sibi, Tilli, Machh, Bolan and Shoran were singled out and these areas are the electoral colleges of PML-Quaid parliamentarians,”

Attaullah Mengal another prominent Nationalist said to reporters that the government had shut down all political options and was now using force. He said he was ignorant about the Baloch Liberation Army and Baloch Liberation Front, but that he supported them morally as they are working for Balochistan’s cause.

Situation of Hindus in Balochistan is miserable ,they primarily live under the protection of Baloch nationalists and tribes .They have already paid a heavy price this year , 22 innocent lives mostly women and children, on March 17 millitary attacked with artillery shells and rockets on Akbar Bhugti house . It is now confirmed that 600 different kind shells were lobbed on different parts of his house guest room and sitting area and on Hindu Mohallah . IntelliBriefs learned from sources that there is a Video Cassette of this whole incident available with Akbar Bhugti , and Hindu activists and Human Rights groups are trying to get hold of this Video .

Few weeks back FC officials and civil district officer have threatened Hindus and Hindu Panchayat in Balochistan to vaccate their place and hinted March, 17 incidents could happen this time again . Some questions that need to be asked by Hindus in India and abroad to their leaders are , whether they will be mute spectators this time again to the attrocities committed on Hindus , or bring to the notice of Human rights groups and force Indian government to take a stand on the events in Pakistan , or presume that this would tantamount to interference in internal affairs of Pakistan and be silent .

Hindus are sandwitched between Nationalists and Millitary .

December 13, 2005

Yes, Dick, You Are a Liar

Yes, Dick, You Are a Liar
by Jeffrey Steinberg

Vice President Dick Cheney spent the second half of November ranting against Administration critics who dare accuse him of lying the United States into a disastrous war with Iraq. Speaking on Nov. 21 at the American Enterprise Institute, Cheney snarled that anyone making such accusations is "reprehensible" and practically guilty of high treason. His scheduled 90-minute appearance at the primo neo-con think-tank in Washington, where his wife Lynne is a resident fellow, lasted a total of 19 minutes. Cheney came, he ranted, and he departed, without taking a single question.

The Vice President is a man with something to hide. The simple truth is: Cheney did lie, repeatedly, to bludgeon the U.S. Congress into approving an unnecessary and disastrous invasion and occupation of Iraq. According to several eyewitness accounts, Cheney personally lied to scores of members of the U.S. Senate, claiming that the White House had rock-solid proof that Saddam Hussein was close to building a nuclear bomb, and that war was the only option. No such evidence existed—and Cheney knew it.

Cheney's favorite Iraqi liar, Dr. Ahmed Chalabi of the Iraqi National Congress (INC), now a deputy prime minister, all but gloated over his and Cheney's war-by-deception scam in an infamous Feb. 19, 2004 interview with the Daily Telegraph. Confronted on the piles of INC-fabricated intelligence that helped lead the United States to war in Iraq, Chalabi shrugged his shoulders, and said, "We are heroes in error. As far as we're concerned, we've been entirely successful. That tyrant Saddam is gone and the Americans are in Baghdad. What was said before is not important."

Not so. Now, despite Cheney's campaign of obstruction, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) is scheduled to produce a Phase II report on the role of policymakers, starting with the Vice President, in the so-called "intelligence failures" leading up to the Iraq invasion. No doubt, there were some significant intelligence failures—notably, failures of nerve by senior intelligence community bureaucrats, to resist White House pressure to "spin" the intelligence to justify invasion. But the overriding factor in the rush to war was a campaign of lies by Cheney, and by what Col. Lawrence Wilkerson (USA-ret.), former Secretary of State Colin Powell's former chief of staff, dubbed the "Cheney-Rumsfeld Cabal."

In a Los Angeles Times op-ed on Oct. 25, 2005, Colonel Wilkerson declared: "In President Bush's first term, some of the most important decisions about U.S. national security—including vital decisions about postwar Iraq—were made by a secretive, little-known cabal. It was made up of a very small group of people led by Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.... Its insular and secret workings were efficient and swift—not unlike the decision-making one would associate more with a dictatorship than a democracy.... But the secret process was ultimately a failure. It produced a series of disastrous decisions and virtually ensured that the agencies charged with implementing them would not or could not execute them well.... It's a disaster. Given the choice, I'd choose a frustrating bureaucracy over an efficient cabal every time."

While the SSCI probe is expected to take months, and a parallel investigation by the Pentagon's Inspector General into the role of former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith in intelligence fakery is not expected to be completed until March, there are already public caches full of "smoking guns," proving that the Cheney-Rumsfeld Cabal wittingly lied America into the Iraq War. And many of those lies had already been refuted by the U.S. intelligence community before the first bombs dropped on Baghdad on March 19, 2003.
Saddam and al-Qaeda

Senate Democrats have demanded that the White House provide the SSCI with the text of a Sept. 21, 2001 President's Daily Briefing (PDB), and a more in-depth CIA analysis delivered to the White House shortly afterwards, dealing with the alleged links between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. The White House has refused.

Why? One of Dick Cheney's favorite arguments for invading Iraq and overthrowing Saddam was that Iraq was behind the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington. And according to news accounts, the Sept. 21, 2001 PDB made clear that there was no evidence of any Saddam/al-Qaeda ties. In fact, the intelligence estimate presented to President Bush, Cheney, and other top national security officials on Sept. 21, was that Saddam was an arch enemy of al-Qaeda, and had spied on it.

Despite this, and the more in-depth CIA study on why the Saddam/al-Qaeda ties were bogus, Cheney and company kept on lying that Saddam was behind 9/11.

Now, Lynne Cheney has brought the White House deception campaign to a new low. Appearing on Nov. 28 on National Public Radio, she launched into an hysterical defense of "her man," claiming that "Dick never said" that there were any links between Saddam Hussein and the 9/11 attacks! Nothing could be further from the truth.

The Sept. 21, 2001 PDB came in response to demands from the White House for all available evidence of a Saddam link to the authors of the 9/11 attack. Five days before the PDB was delivered, President Bush had convened a War Cabinet meeting at Camp David, where the planned attack on Afghanistan was finalized. At that meeting, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, speaking for the Cheney-Rumsfeld Cabal, had called for an invasion of Iraq, claiming that Saddam was at the center of global terror and should be America's first target. The next day, President Bush signed a secret order, authorizing the military campaign against Afghanistan, but also ordering the Pentagon and CIA to begin plans for future action against Iraq.

On Sept. 19, the Defense Policy Board (DPB), a Pentagon advisory panel then chaired by neo-con Richard Perle, and populated by a collection of like-minded war hawks, convened a closed-door session. Both Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz attended the meeting, which was addressed by INC head Ahmed Chalabi and Dr. Bernard Lewis, the octogenarian British intelligence Arab Bureau spook, who was a longtime booster of Chalabi. The topic was the need to overthrow Saddam Hussein in retaliation for 9/11. As the direct result of the session, one DPB member, former CIA Director R. James Woolsey, was dispatched on a mission to London, to round up evidence that Saddam was behind the recent terror attacks, as well as the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. London was the headquarters of the INC.
Atta in Prague

Shortly after Woolsey's first Defense Policy Board sojourn to London, the first news stories appeared, alleging that 9/11 plotter Mohammed Atta had been in the Czech capital, Prague, on April 8, 2001, meeting with Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani, the Second Secretary of the Iraqi Embassy and an officer in the Iraqi foreign intelligence service. The "Atta in Prague" urban legend would serve as Cheney's favorite "smoking gun" on the issue of Saddam's hand in 9/11.

The ostensible source of the information was an "Arab student," working undercover for Czech intelligence, who had spotted the two men in a restaurant. The "student" would later relocate to London, raising some speculation that he may have been part of the INC disinformation machine from the outset. Later versions of the story claimed that Czech intelligence had photographed the meeting, because al-Ani was under surveillance as the result of an earlier alleged terror plot against American targets in the Czech capital. One well-placed U.S. military intelligence source recently told EIR that Czech intelligence had indeed surveilled the meeting, but had later determined that the man with al-Ani was not Atta.

Despite conflicting evidence, showing that Atta was in the United States on the date of the alleged Prague meeting, Vice President Cheney was among the first Bush Administration officials to jump the gun and proclaim the Atta-Baghdad ties. On Dec. 9, 2001, in an appearance on "Meet the Press," Cheney declared, "It's been pretty well confirmed that [Atta] did go to Prague and he did meet with a senior official of the Iraqi intelligence service in Czechoslovakia last April, several months before the attack."

On April 30, 2002, FBI Director Robert Mueller gave a speech in San Francisco, in which he publicly refuted the Atta-in-Prague story, citing the FBI's detailed evidence that Atta was in Virginia Beach, Va. on that date. "We ran down literally hundreds of thousands of leads and checked every record we could get our hands on," he explained.

The FBI trashing of the Atta links to Iraq did nothing to deter Cheney. On another "Meet the Press" appearance on Sept. 8, 2003, the Vice President reiterated, "There has been reporting that suggests that there have been a number of contacts over the years. We've seen, in connection with the hijackers, of course, Mohammed Atta, who was the lead hijacker, did apparently travel to Prague on a number of occasions. And on at least one occasion, we have reporting that places him in Prague with a senior Iraqi intelligence official a few months before the attack on the World Trade Center." Cheney went so far as to describe Iraq as "the geographic base of the terrorists who have had us under assault for many years, but most especially on 9/11."
Cheney's Parallel Intelligence Stovepipe

To further counter the assessments of the official U.S. intelligence establishment that there were no Iraqi ties to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, in October 2001, the Cheney-Rumsfeld Cabal created a secret "Iraq intelligence unit" in the office of Undersecretary Feith, Wolfowitz's policy deputy. This Policy Counter-Terrorism Evaluations Group (PCTEG) initially consisted of two well-known neo-cons with no intelligence backgrounds: David Wurmser and Michael Maloof. They produced scores of reports, based on a combination of "cherry-picked" raw intelligence from the community's data base, and information gathered from outside sources, particularly from the Iraqi National Congress. Their reports claimed that the CIA, DIA, and other agencies had ignored "proof" of Saddam's role in the 9/11 attacks, and similar "proof" of Saddam's nuclear weapons and other WMD programs. Wurmser would later serve as executive assistant to John Bolton, the State Department's top arms control official and a leading neo-con, and then move on to Cheney's office as the key Mideast aide, a post he still holds.

Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz kept the existence of the PCTEG secret for over a year, to conceal the fact that they had created a parallel intelligence organization, working behind the back, and at cross-purposes with the official agencies, including the Pentagon's own Defense Intelligence Agency. On Oct. 24, 2002, Rumsfeld finally admitted that he had commissioned "a small team of defense officials outside regular intelligence channels to focus on unearthing details about Iraqi ties with al-Qaeda and other terrorist networks."

Chalabi/INC-generated disinformation was "stovepiped" to Feith's office and to senior staff in the Office of the Vice President. Even when the Chalabi fabrications were passed to the CIA and DIA for official vetting, they often appeared in Cheney speeches before the agencies did their work. More often than not, DIA and CIA detailed vetting efforts showed that the purported intelligence was fabricated, grossly exaggerated, or impossible to independently corroborate.

A most revealing handwritten note by Dick Cheney has recently surfaced on a PCTEG document from the period. It reads: "This is very good indeed.... Encouraging.... Not like the crap we are all so used to getting out of CIA."

The Feith stovepipe ultimately became a bone of contention between the Administration and the Congress—especially after it was learned that officials of the Office of Special Plans (OSP), an Iraq war planning cell in the Office of Near East and South Asia (NESA), had given power-point intelligence briefings to Cheney's Chief of Staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, and Deputy National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley behind the back of the CIA and DIA. NESA/OSP, which was housed in Feith's office, was headed by William Luti, a transplant from Cheney's staff, who boasted to colleagues that he reported "directly to Scooter." Luti has since returned to Cheney's office.

On Sept. 16, 2002, as Cheney was cranking up the agitprop for an Iraq invasion, OSP briefers presented the "proof" of a Saddam/al-Qaeda connection—retreading the already-discredited Atta-in-Prague gibberish. What highlighted the briefing, however, was a diatribe against the CIA, for "flawed" intelligence gathering and analysis methods. It was not until July 8, 2004—16 months after the invasion of Iraq—that Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, was able to get the Pentagon to declassify one of the three slides in question. It was headlined "Fundamental Problems With How Intelligence Community Is Assessing Information." The slide accused the intelligence community of applying too high a standard in vetting intelligence leads; and of overstating the frictions between "secularists and Islamists."

Following Rumsfeld's admission that he had created his own parallel intelligence and analysis team, the SSCI demanded that Feith submit a classified report, detailing the findings of the unit. Feith stalled for months, but finally produced a 16-page memo, citing 50 itemized instances where the PCTEG had found intelligence citations of the Saddam/al-Qaeda links.

That Oct. 27, 2003 memo was not just passed to Senators Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), the ranking members of the SSCI. It was promptly leaked to Stephen F. Hayes, a reporter for the neo-con Weekly Standard, who was, according to intelligence community sources, then working on a book on Saddam's alleged ties to the 9/11 attacks.

Hayes virtually supercopied the classified document, and published it in the Nov. 24, 2003 issue of the Weekly Standard, with annotated comments. The article was brashly titled "Case Closed," implying that there was no longer any question that the Saddam/al-Qaeda connection was real. Hayes began his story by summarizing the fractured fairy-tale case presented in the Feith memo: "Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein had an operational relationship from the early 1990s to 2003 that involved training in explosives and weapons of mass destruction, logistical support for terrorist attacks, al Qaeda training camps and safe haven in Iraq, and Iraqi financial support for al Qaeda—perhapse even for Mohammed Atta—according to a top secret U.S. government memorandum obtained by THE WEEKLY STANDARD."

In a highly unusual move, the Department of Defense issued a News Release, responding to the Hayes article, which read in part: "News reports that the Defense Department recently confirmed new information with respect to contacts between al Qaeda and Iraq in a letter to the Senate Intelligence Committee are inaccurate." Directly citing the classified annex which had been leaked and published by Hayes, the News Release asserted that the document "was not an analysis of the substantive issue of the relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda, and it drew no conclusions."

Six weeks after the Hayes story hit the newsstands, and well after the Defense Department refutation, Dick Cheney gave an interview, on Jan. 9, 2004, to the Rocky Mountain News, in which he regurgitated the contents of the Feith memo, and commended Hayes and the Weekly Standard by name, for setting the record straight on the Saddam/al-Qaeda links. "One place you ought to go look is an article that Stephen Hayes did in the Weekly Standard a few weeks ago, that goes through and lays out in some detail, based on an assessment that was done by the Department of Defense and forwarded to the Senate Intelligence Committee. That's your best source of information," Cheney told the paper.

In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee on March 9, 2004, CIA Director George Tenet, in response to questioning from Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) about the Jan. 9 Cheney interview, said, "Senator, we did not clear the [Feith] document. We did not agree with the way the data was characterized in that document."

What's more, on July 1, 2004, Director Tenet provided a more extensive written answer to Senator Levin's question about the CIA's assessment of the Atta/al-Ani meeting and the overall Iraqi role in the 9/11 attacks. On the Prague meeting, Tenet stated, "we are increasingly skeptical that such a meeting occurred.... In the absence of any credible information that the April 2001 meeting occurred, we assess that Atta would have been unlikely to undertake the substantial risk of contacting any Iraqi official as late as April 2001, with the plot already well along toward execution." Several paragraphs later, Tenet also dismissed an Iraqi role in 9/11 (see box).

Cheney's open embrace of the classified document leaked to the neo-con weekly had already triggered yet another firestorm. On Jan. 28, 2004, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a watchdog group, wrote to President Bush, demanding an investigation into the Vice President by the White House Counsel. The letter pointed out that it is a crime to publicly confirm information illegally leaked. "Further," the letter read, "the Counsel should investigate whether any damage to national security was done by Mr. Cheney's statement." To this date, no action has been taken on the demand.

On Feb. 12, 2004, Senator Levin wrote to the Vice President, demanding to know whether the statements attributed to him in the Rocky Mountain News interview were accurate.
The Libby Draft

Another White House document demanded by the Senate intelligence panel but refused by Cheney, was the draft UN testimony for Secretary of State Colin Powell, written by Scooter Libby, Cheney's chief of staff and chief national security aide until his indictment on Oct. 28, 2005 in the Valerie Plame Wilson case.

According to numerous news accounts, two separate Libby drafts, totaling more than 90 pages, were tossed in the garbage by Powell, after he reviewed them with intelligence community analysts and senior officials, on the eve of his appearance at the UN Security Council on Feb. 5, 2003.

The Libby drafts contained allegations against Iraq that were not backed up by intelligence community data—including the allegations of Mohammed Atta's Iraqi intelligence ties. Where did Libby get the bogus information? The answer to that question, sources report, has Cheney sweating bullets. It may be the "smoking gun" that proves that Cheney was running his own rogue disinformation operation, to fake the case for war.

Much of the evidence of Cheney's conniving is fortunately available, because Secretary Powell had delegated his chief of staff, Colonel Wilkerson, to assemble and run the task force of intelligence community specialists, who would prepare the Feb. 5, 2003 UN Security Council testimony. In a series of news interviews, Wilkerson spelled out a chronology of skirmishes between his task force and the "Cabal."

On Jan. 25, 2003, Scooter Libby and John Hannah, Libby's deputy national security aide and a former vice president of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), the think tank of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), delivered a briefing on their proposed UN testimony at the White House situation room.

According to a Sept. 29, 2003 account of that session in the Washington Post, by Dana Priest and Glenn Kessler: "On Jan. 25, with a stack of notebooks at his side, color-coded with the sources for the information, Libby laid out the potential case against Iraq to a packed White House situation room. 'We read [their proposal to include Atta] and some of us said, Wow! Here we go again,' said one official who helped draft the speech. 'You write it. You take it out, and then it comes back again.'... Other officials present said they felt that Libby's presentation was over the top, that the wording was too aggressive and most of the material could not be used in a public forum. Much of it, in fact, unraveled when closely examined by intelligence analysts from other agencies and, in the end, was largely discarded. 'After one day of hearing screams about who put this together and what are the sources, we essentially threw it out,' one official present said."

Four days after the Jan. 25 situation room session, Libby and Hannah presented Powell with a 48-page draft text. Powell turned it over to Wilkerson and instructed him to take it to the CIA headquarters and scrub it for accuracy. Within 48 hours, the document had been shown to be based almost exclusively on sources the intelligence community had trashed as unreliable.

Libby came back with a second draft, this one 45 pages, containing much of the same material. Soon, this draft, too, was in the trash can, after careful scrutiny by Wilkerson and the team of CIA and DIA analysts assembled to vet the speech. "We fought tooth and nail with other members of the administration to scrub it and get the crap out," Wilkerson told Gentlemen's Quarterly on April 29, 2004.

In an interview with author James Bamford, Wilkerson added another tantalizing piece to the picture. Still describing Libby's efforts to shape the Powell testimony, the colonel complained, "It was all cartoon. The specious connection between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, much of which I subsequently found came from the INC and from their sources, defectors and so forth, [regarding the] training in Iraq for terrorists.... No question in my mind that some of the sources that we were using were probably Israeli intelligence. That was one thing that was rarely revealed to us—if it was a foreign source."

By the time that Secretary of State Powell had settled on a final draft for his UN testimony, sans much of the "bullshit," the Cheney Cabalists were beside themselves over their failure to convince the Secretary to go with the Atta-Saddam links. On the morning of Feb. 5, 2003, as Secretary Powell was resting in a suite at the Waldorf Astoria, awaiting his UN Security Council appearance, a frantic Lewis Libby repeatedly phoned Colonel Wilkerson, to make one final pitch to get Powell to go with the "Saddam did 9/11" hoax. Wilkerson was already at the United Nations. In a Nov. 22, 2005 interview with Democracy Now's Amy Goodman, Wilkerson said, "I didn't take the call from the Vice President's chief of staff, Scooter Libby. I referred it to someone else." Nevertheless, Wilkerson did confirm that the purpose of the call was to press for inclusion of the bogus Saddam/al-Qaeda links.
Curveball

In his Security Council testimony, Powell cited what he claimed as hard evidence that Saddam had developed mobile biological weapons labs, which were producing weapons that posed a grave threat to the region. Powell has since called that testimony the low point of his long career.

The sole source on the mobile labs was an Iraqi informant codenamed "Curveball," who was controlled by the German intelligence service BND.

On Nov. 20, 2005, the Los Angeles Times published an exposé, based on interviews with five BND officials, revealing that the German government had warned repeatedly that "Curveball" was a fabricator and a drunk, his information highly suspect. Subsequently, German state radio and other German news outlets elaborated on the "Curveball" story, providing further details of repeated German intelligence warnings to the Americans that they increasingly viewed their source as thoroughly unreliable, and perhaps "crazy." The CIA later issued its own warnings that Curveball was yet another frontman for Chalabi's INC. As of 1996, the CIA had written off the INC as a collection of corrupt losers and fabricators.

The "Curveball" disinformation was another of Cheney's favorite fibs. Well after the Iraq invasion, and well after the CIA and the Defense Human Intelligence Service (Defense Humint) had concluded that "Curveball" was a liar, and that there was no evidence that Iraq had the so-called mobile bio-weapon labs, Dick Cheney appeared on National Public Radio and declared: "We know, for example, that prior to our going in, that he had spent time and effort acquiring mobile biological weapons labs, and we're quite confident he did, in fact, have such a program. We've found a couple of semi-trailers at this point which we believe were, in fact, part of that program. Now it's not clear at this stage whether or not he used any of that to produce, or whether he was simply getting ready for the next war. That, in my mind, is a serious danger in the hands of a man like Saddam Hussein, and I would deem that conclusive evidence, if you will, that he did, in fact, have programs for weapons of mass destruction."

Cheney's love affair with "Curveball's" fabrications was, at least partly, explained by the fact that Doug Feith's spin machine alone had produced 75 intelligence reports, based exclusively on "Curveball's" debriefings, which were passed into the hand of U.S. intelligence through Defense Humint, and were accessed by Feith's cherry-pickers.

The Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction, otherwise known as the Silberman-Robb Commission, issued its final report to the President on March 31, 2005. The report contained a 31-page chapter dealing exclusively with "Curveball," detailing the battles that took place within the intelligence community over the vetting of that source. Ultimately, both CIA and Defense Humint concurred with the BND that "Curveball" was a liar. But the Silberman-Robb Commission catalogued a string of failures by the relevant intelligence services to communicate to policymakers that they had issued a "burn notice" on "Curveball" until after the disastrous Powell UN appearance and the start of the war.
Rendon Group's Info Warfare

After the CIA's mid-1990s dumping of Chalabi, the convicted bank swindler kept up his ties to such neo-con outposts as the American Enterprise Institute and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA). When Bush-Cheney came into office in 2001, the Pentagon picked up the INC franchise, and gave a lucrative contract to a Beltway PR firm, The Rendon Group, to promote the overthrow of Saddam. The Rendon Group had literally created the INC back in 1992, on a secret CIA contract to begin covert operation to overthrow Saddam.

Under Bush-Cheney, the Rendon Group and INC ran a Pentagon-funded program, the Information Collection Program, through which Iraqi defectors were debriefed on Saddam regime crimes.

In December 2001, the INC promoted a defector, Saeed al-Haideri, who claimed to have worked at dozens of secret WMD sites in Iraq. A CIA polygraph exam exposed him as a liar. Yet, within weeks of submission of the CIA assessment, the New York Times' Judith Miller and Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Paul Moran were publishing "exclusive" stories based on interviews with al-Haideri. Cheney gave a series of speeches based on the Miller article.

On Sept. 8, 2002, as Cheney was gearing up the war drive, Miller wrote another "exclusive" INC-sourced story, claiming Iraq had purchased aluminum tubes that could only be used for centrifuges, a key component of a nuclear weapons program.

The State Department intelligence unit and the Department of Energy strenuously objected to the story. But based on Miller's article, and already-discredited reports that Iraq was seeking to buy yellowcake uranium from Africa, Cheney et al. forced the war down the throat of Congress with images of "nuclear mushroom clouds."

This article is the first in a series of in-depth reports on Cheney's lies, being developed by an EIR task force which includes Michele Steinberg, George Canning, Mark Bender, Scott Thompson, Carl Osgood, and Judy DeMarco, all of whom contributed to this first part.

BJP sweeps civic polls in Gujarat

BJP SWEEP in Gujarath
ia.rediff.com/news/2005/d...&file=.htm

BJP sweeps civic polls in Gujarat

December 13, 2005 21:38 IST

The Bharatiya Janata Party stormed to power in all the five municipal corporations of Surat, Vadodara, Rakot, Bhavnagar and Jamnagar, the elections to which were held on December 11, according to reports on Tuesday evening.

The Congress was completely washed away in all the five civic bodies, including Rajkot, where it had ruled, and had to be satisfied with just ten seats out of 69, the results of which were declared on Tuesday.

The counting began on Tuesday morning, amidst tight security in the five cities of Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot, Bhavnagar and Jamnagar.

The BJP wrested power in Rajkot from Congress, which had ruled it for five years, after having won 44 seats out of 69 in the last elections in 2000.

In Vadodara, the BJP recorded a third consecutive win in the civic body. Of of the 84 seats, results of 81 were declared, in which the BJP secured 74 seats and the Congress six. One seat went to an independent and the results of three more seats were yet to be declared.

In Rajkot, the BJP won 59 of the 69 seats and the Congress ten, while in Jamnagar, out of 51, BJP emerged victorious in 37, Congress nine, Bahujan Samaj Party one and independents in four. In Bhavnagar, BJP secured 39 seats out of 51 seats followed by Congress, which won 12.

In Surat, BJP has won 90 seats out of 102 seats, Congress 11, while one seat went to an independent.

Against the backdrop of fresh dissidence against his leadership, Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday attributed the triumph to the 'teamwork' of party workers, rather than to himself.

Addressing a gathering of party workers at Khanpur, after the party had triumphed over the Congress, Modi said, 'though a newly-constituted young team had managed the entire election campaign, there was no environment of rebellion or ill-feeling among the elder party workers'.

"It is not a victory of a single person," Modi said, adding, "It is, rather, the triumph of all the party workers in the state who have toiled day in and out."

Modi asked party workers to guard against propagandist elements who were attributing the victory to him. The chief minister also did not lose a chance to hit out at the media.

"When there was some problems in the party, some of them (media) had predicted that the party would split into ten parts," Modi said. "These results are a slap in the face for such elements spreading false propaganda," he added.

More news: Gujarat

The Global Jihad's Internet Front

Stephen Ulph

Western analysts speculate on the crucial role of the Internet in the propagation of the jihad, and how in many cases the Internet front takes second place only to armed confrontation. All the more interesting is the succinct definition of the role of the Internet taken from the point of view of the mujahid, as appeared on the al-Safinat forum [www.al-saf.net/vb] on November 28, authored by one Abu al-Asbat al-Athari:

"There is no doubt that the jihadi forums play a critical role in providing aid to the mujahideen on the battle field. Who could have thought that it would convey up to the minute statements from the mujahideen, as is happening now? Who could have thought that it would break the ring of steel that the Crusaders and Jews have attempted to erect in order to conceal the voice of the jihad, and cover up their humiliations on the battlefield?"

That role has progressively increased in importance, as groups such as al-Qaeda have been disappointed by the media coverage from the regional satellite channels, which, though relaying sections of the supplied audio or video tapes, fail in the eyes of the mujahideen to provide enough air time to fulfil their propaganda aims. The commentator on the al-Saf forum goes on to describe "the Zionist-Crusader domination of the world's media" and the collaboration of the regimes in the Arab and Islamic nations in tarnishing the image of the jihad as a barbarian terrorism. "Few can escape from this infernal ring of steel, from this asphyxiating media siege," he complains. "But the jihadi forums have emerged," he says, "to break the ring … The [media controllers] are at a loss, confused as to what to do. They censored the sites, prosecuted their owners, expelling [the sites] from their servers." All to no avail, however: "they were unable to shake them from [performing] their role, or turn them away from their objectives."

Given the cat and mouse game that characterizes much of the media competition, the tendency now is for the major terrorist groups to seek a more permanent Internet base for distribution of news, statements and visual materials. This has been the stated aim of Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi's Organization of al-Qaeda in the Land of the Two Rivers, when it announced that it was soon to initiate a permanent site for the distribution of news on its anti-U.S. operations in Iraq. Such a need was highlighted in particular by the London bombings last July. The authorities, al-Athari observes, were "sent into a panic … so that they had recourse to a final solution: pressurizing the servers to expel these sites." If only it had stopped there, he laments, "but they went beyond this to strike at their own laws, and took a copy of the statements' database of the al-Qal'a forum (may God bring it back to us) and recorded the [names of] its members and supervisors."

"They carried out a massacre of the forums," al-Athari explains. "What a great pity for the Ansar [forum], for Ikhlas, for al-Qal'a, for Islah, which was our solace for the loss of al-Ma'sada! … The vileness and depravity of it all! … Where's that democracy you boast of? Where's the freedom you sing about? The justice you claim?" The solution sought by al-Zarqawi may actually turn out to be counter-productive. Opponents of jihad will probably prefer that the jihadi websites attain some stability since sites that are forced to migrate continually are far more difficult to track.

For now, the al-Safinat commentator urges the participants to stand firm. "Be aware, dear friends, that on these forums you are aiding your brothers on the front lines … Every letter you write in support of your brothers is a jihad, every news item about them you circulate gains the Lord's favor. O Lord, give us back our forums…" [www.al-saf.net/vb].

Hindus in Pakistan

The Pioneer Edit Desk

December, 9, 2005

The recent abduction and conversion of three Hindu girls in Pakistan clearly shows that, despite the isolated example of a Danish Kaneria playing for the country's cricket team, Hindus there are a marginalised and persecuted lot stalked constantly by insecurity. The details are shocking. The three - Reena (21), Usha (19) and Rima (17) - who lived in Karachi's Punjab Colony along with their parents and two other siblings, went missing from October 18, 2005.

As the local police station refused to lodge an FIR, they approached the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Clifton, who forced the Station House Officer to register a case. Accordingly an FIR was recorded on October 22 and three young men of the locality were mentioned as suspects. Almost immediately thereafter, the family began receiving threats and, within days, it received, through courier service, three affidavits by the three girls stating that they had converted to Islam on their free will and wanted to live separately.

They had been, according to the affidavits, renamed Ahsan, Anam and Nida and were living in a hostel of madarsa Taleem-ul-Quran and were instructed by a local moulvi. That the affidavits were signed under duress became clear when the parents, Sanno and Champa Amra, finally managed to meet their abducted daughters following a court order on November 10 directing the police and the administration of the madarsa to arrange a meeting.

In the presence of a dour woman, a moulvi and several cops, which most certainly prevented the girls from speaking their mind, the three, covered head to foot in burqa, and with only their eyes visible, said in subdued voices that they wanted to stay where they were. The youngest girl's eyes were bloodshot with crying.

The unfolding of events has been recalled in some detail because it underlines two things. The first is the tragedy of three young girls, abducted, forcibly converted and made to live in the hostel of a madarsa - where no one knows what is being done to them - away from their parents and siblings.

The second is the reminder they provide of the continuing persecution of minorities - mainly Hindus, Christians and Ahmadiyyas - in Pakistan who live hunted and terrorised lives in the shadow of the threats of prosecution under the Blasphemy Act which carries a death penalty, desecration of their shrines, forcible conversions and physical violence.

All civilised Governments must pressure Pakistan to have the three girls restored to their parents, punish their abductors and provide an environment in which the minorities can live in peace and honour. The Government of India and the human rights organisations in this country, which have been hyper-active in defence of minority rights and condemnation of "communal" elements, have a bounden duty to take up the case of the three girls and minority rights with Pervez Musharraf's regime - and in all international fora should it prove unresponsive.

Silence and inaction on the ground that it is Pakistan's internal matter and making an issue of it will have an adverse bearing on India-Pakistan relations which are on the threshold of a stunning improvement, will not wash.

If such considerations have not prevented Islamabad from trying to internationalise the totally spurious issue of human rights violation in Jammu & Kashmir, there is no reason why India's United Progressive Alliance Government should not make a global issue of the case of the three girls and persecution of minorities in Pakistan.

www.dailypioneer.com/arch...2%5Cdec905

Swedish girls design anti-rape belt

A group of Swedish teenage girls has designed a belt that requires two hands to remove and which they hope will deter would-be rapists, one of the creators told AFP on Tuesday.

"It's like a reverse chastity belt," one of the creators, 19-year-old Nadja Björk, told AFP, meaning that the wearer is in control, instead of being controlled.

The military-style buckle has a latch that the wearer has to move through a labyrinth into the correct position in order to unlock the belt.

"You need two hands to open it, so the rapist can't hold you down and open it at the same time. It takes a while to figure it out if you don't know what you're doing," she said.

The product was designed as part of a high school project in entrepreneurship and the girls have already sold 300 of the belts in Sweden, priced at 150 kronor.

Björk and one of her partners now plan to start a business to mass produce the belts and are currently in negotiations with potential partners.

"But I'm not doing this for the money," she said. "I'm really passionate about stopping rape. I think it's terrible."

The Swedish media have in recent months given wide and descriptive coverage to rape attacks, though experts' opinions vary on whether there has been an actual rise in the number of such crimes.

www.thelocal.se/article.php?ID=2546


“It is not as wrong raping a Swedish girl as raping an Arab girl,” says Hamid. “The Swedish girl gets a lot of help afterwards, and she had probably $ucked before, anyway. But the Arab girl will get problems with her family. For her, being raped is a source of shame. It is important that she retains her virginity until she marries.”

No security checks: After Dalai Lama, Robert Vadra only one named in VIP list

No security checks: After Dalai Lama, Robert Vadra only one named in VIP list

SOURAV SANYAL

Sunday, November 13, 2005
http://www.indianexpress.com/
full_story.php?content_id=81873
&headline=No~security~checks~
at~airports~for~Sonia%27s~Son-in-law


NEW DELHI, NOVEMBER 12: So far, Nobel Laureate, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, is the only “individual” named in the list of “VVIPs/VIPs” who don’t have to go through a security check at domestic airports across the country.

Now there is a new name to that list: Shri Robert Vadra.

Son-in-law of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Vadra’s name was added to the list on September 28 in a circular issued nationwide by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) under the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

The list mentions that Vadra is exempted from security checks “while travelling with SPG (Special Protection Group) protectees.”

As husband of Priyanka Gandhi, who is an SPG protectee like her mother and brother Rahul, Vadra does get SPG protection when he travels with either of them. But no other spouse or family member of any SPG protectee has been so named in the list. Vadra is the 23rd entry in the list, the other 22 identify positions and categories including President, Vice-President, Prime Minister, former PMs, Speaker, CJI, Leaders of Opposition in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, CMs, Ambassadors and all SPG protectees.

Why is he the only spouse named in the list? BCAS Commissioner S R Mehra declined to comment despite a faxed questionnaire sent five days ago.

On November 10, when The Sunday Express contacted his office, Deputy Commissioner R D Gupta said: “We have no official reply. BCAS just took out the order as advised by the Ministry. Please talk to MCA Under Secretary L Haokip for clarification,” he said. When contacted by this newspaper Haokip refused to comment.

December 12, 2005

Fiasco of Harvard Indologist's campaign

Harvard Indologist's campaign to have his Aryan theories taught in California schools ends in fiasco.

N.S. Rajaram

In what could prove to be a major embarrassment to Harvard niversity, California educational authorities rejected the recommendations made by the Harvard Indologist Michael Witzel. The commission of experts
advising the California Board of Education rebuffed his efforts to have his theories on Aryans and the Aryan invasion included in the school curriculum on India and Hinduism.

The German-born Michael Witzel is known in India for his media campaigns in favor of the discredited Aryan invasion (which he now calls migration) and his crusade against scholars who oppose his theories claiming
Indian civilization to be seeded by an "Aryan invasion". Mr. Witzel, a linguist, not a historian or archaeologist is better known for his publicity campaigns than any contribution to Sanskrit literature or history.

Harvard greatly cherishes its liberal tradition. This has taken a beating in recent months following Harvard President Dr. Lawrence Summers's comments suggesting that women scientists are less industrious and dedicated than their male counterparts. Mr. Witzel's high profile propaganda campaign peddling his Aryan theories in the ethnically sensitive California schools is unlikely to add luster to Harvard's liberal image.

Theories based on the so-called Aryan race were widely popular in nineteenth century Europe leading to Nazism and Hitler. Because of this association, Western scholars studiously avoid any reference to Aryans and
Nazi era theories associated with race. But Mr. Witzel, who seems to have imbibed these ideas while growing up in his native Germany in the 1940s and the 50s has emerged as the leader of a small group of Western academics who aggressively propagate theories based on them.

What made Mr. Witzel jump into California school politics that led to this fiasco is a matter of conjecture; but this much is known. California, home to America's largest and ethnically most diverse school system has a significant number of students of Indian origin. Their parents felt that the California school curriculum contained descriptions of India and Indian religions, especially of Hinduism and Sikhism that were
inaccurate and insensitive.

To address their concern, the California Board of Education appointed a Commission to revise the curriculum by removing offending passages and obsolete material. The Commission submitted the changes to the California Board in early November. One of the sections that came under the scanner was the Aryan invasion theory, dear to Mr. Witzel's heart.

It was at this point that Mr. Witzel jumped into the fray as the head a panel of 'International experts' on India and Hinduism. In a letter written on the imposing official Harvard letterhead, Mr. Witzel charged that
the recommended changes were motivated by 'Hindutva' forces and would "lead without fail to an international educational scandal if they are accepted by the California's State Board of Education."

The panel met with some initial success, with the California Board and its appointed Commission taking Mr. Witzel's charges in good faith. But soon things began to go wrong. Some academics on the Commission saw that arrayed behind Mr. Witzel's Harvard professor façade-and Harvard stationery-were some questionable individuals and outfits with political agendas. These included self-appointed 'Indologists' like Steve Farmer, Marxist historian
Romila Thapar, Islamic groups and even the Communist Party of India, whose magazine Frontline has carried their articles.

The Commission members seem also to have been put off by Mr. Witzel's condescending attitude and the shoddy manner in which his panel made its recommendation, often without reading what the Commission had to say. They saw it is as little more than a gratuitous attempt to peddle their own prejudices in the guise of 'scholarly consensus.'

Dr. Metzenberg, a California biologist, minced no words when he rejected Mr. Witzel's claims with pointed reference to his Aryan theories: "I've read the DNA research and there was no Aryan migration. I believe the hard evidence of DNA more than I believe historians." He also described Mr. Witzel's portrayal of Hinduism as 'insensitive' and something that Hindus themselves would be unable to recognize.

In the end the California Board of Education threw out almost all of Mr. Witzel's recommendations except for some cosmetic changes to save his face.This fiasco is likely to hurt not only Mr. Witzel's dwindling credibility
but also Harvard's liberal image.

Behind this surreal political drama is the harsh truth that Western Indology today is a dying discipline. The so-called Sanskrit Department where Mr. Witzel teaches is having difficulty attracting students. The quality is so
pathetic that most of his graduate students would have difficulty passing a Sanskrit course in an Indian high school. Mr. Witzel often teaches summer courses in Sanskrit to visiting Japanese students who learn little more than the Sanskrit alphabet.

Indology took root and flourished in the West under the patronage of German nationalists and British colonial authorities. The BBC, in a recent program admitted as much. Even the position Mr. Witzel holds at Harvard, the Prince of Wales Professor of Sanskrit, is a colonial anachronism. The large and affluent Indian population in the West has no use for this 'Indology.' Hence the campaign to impose it on their unwitting children.

The truth of the matter is that the brand of Indology that Mr. Witzel and his group represent has outlived its purpose and is on its way to extinction. Desperate campaigns of the kind that led to the recent fiasco
are unlikely to reverse it.

______________________________________

ANNEXURE ON THE ARYANS: SCIENCE, HISTORY AND POLITICS

By

Dr. N.S. Rajaram

Background

The recent controversy surrounding the curriculum revision in California schools, particularly with regard to Harvard linguist Michael Witzel's attempts to influence the curriculum has created the need for a proper understanding of the issues involved. The present document summarizes different aspects of the issue- the latest scientific evidence and the historical position.

The author of this report is not associated with any group or institution. He is a former U.S. academic with more than twenty years experience as a faculty member and administrator in Indiana, Ohio and Texas. He is currently an independent researcher and author on the ancient world including India.

Scientific evidence

Before we go into the history and the politics of the controversy that let to Mr. Witzel insist on his 'Aryan' version of the history being included in the California school curriculum, it is useful to have an idea of what science has to say about Aryans and the Aryan invasion (or migration). It essentially boils down to the following two questions:

1. Was the civilization of India, the Vedic civilization in particular, the result of an 'Aryan invasion' (or migration) in secondmillennium B.C.?

2. Is there such a human group identifiable as 'Aryan'?

The answer to both these questions is an emphatic NO.

Taking up the first question, Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza, Emeritus Professor at Stanford University and widely regarded as the world's foremost population geneticist, notes that the people of India, whatever their
present ethnic identity, are largely of indigenous origin, going back to the Pleistocene, or the last Ice Age. The exact words used by Cavalli-Sforza and his colleagues in a recent paper are:

Indian tribal and caste populations derive largely from the same genetic heritage of Pleistocene southern and western Asians and have receivedlimited gene flow from external regions since the Holocene.

In non-technical language, this means their current genetic heritage goes back to the Ice Age (Pleistocene), or more than 50,000 years. Further, they have received limited external gene flow since the Holocene meaning they are not the result of any major invasion or migration since the Ice Age ended more than 10,000 years ago.

This is what Dr. Metzenberg, who served on the Commission appointed by the California's State Board of education, was referring to when he said: "I've read the DNA research and there was no Aryan migration. I believe the hard evidence of DNA more than I believe historians."

Similar views have been expressed by many others like the geneticist Stephen Oppenheimer of Green's College at Oxford University. This, and not Mr.Witzel 's Aryan theories, represents the scientific consensus today.

In the face of this overwhelming evidence, it is presumptuous to say the least for Mr. Witzel or anyone else to claim that the exclusion of his favorite Aryan theories would "lead without fail to an international educational scandal if they [curriculum changes] are accepted by the California's State Board of Education."

Next, is there an Aryan race, or, does such a thing as race exist at all? Again, the answer of science is a resounding NO. Here is what Sir Julian Huxley, one of the great biologists of the twentieth century had to say as
far back as 1939:

In England and America the phrase 'Aryan race' has quite ceased to be used by writers with scientific knowledge, though it appears occasionally in political and propagandist literature.. In Germany, the idea of the
'Aryan race' received no more scientific support than in England. Nevertheless, it found able and very persistent literary advocates who made it appear very flattering to local vanity. It therefore steadily spread, fostered by special conditions.

In other words, the whole idea of 'Aryan' is a myth. The passage cited above sheds light on two factors (shown in italics) that have kept this discredited and indefensible idea alive, especially in academia: (1) political and propagandist interests; and (2) special conditions. This is what is examined next.


The Aryan myth fostered in 'special conditions'

Having looked at the so-called Aryan problem from the scientific angle, we may next take a brief look at the 'special conditions' (as Huxley called it) that led to this scholarly pathology being foisted as a central dogma of ancient historiography. These conditions grew out of nineteenth and twentieth century political currents arising out of German nationalism and British imperial needs.

The notion that Indians are one branch of a common stock of people who lived originally in Central Asia or in the Eurasian steppes arose in the late eighteenth century. It began as a linguistic theory to account for similarities between Sanskrit and classical European languages like Greek and Latin. From this modest beginning it soon acquired a life of its own when scholars, especially in Germany, concluded that Europeans and ancient
Indians were two branches of a people they called Aryans and later as Indo-Europeans. A whole new academic discipline called Indo-European studies came into existence whose very survival is now at stake following scientific discoveries.

The Aryan theory, which began life as a linguistic theory soon acquired a biological form. Scholars, mostly linguists, began to talk about not just Aryan languages, but also an Aryan race. Since Indology had its greatest flowering in nineteenth century Germany, it is not surprising that racial ideas that shaped German nationalism should have found their way into scholarly discourse on India. The Indo-European hypothesis and its offshoot
of the Aryan invasion (or migration) theory came to dominate this discourse for over a century.

It is important to recognize that the people who created this theory were, and are today, linguists (like Michael Witzel), not biologists. We have already seen that scientists, including German scientists, have no
use for it. Its perpetuation then and its survival today is the result of 'special conditions.'

These 'special conditions' were the rise of Nazism in Germany and British imperial needs in India. While both Germany and Britain took to the idea of the Aryan race, its fate in the two countries was somewhat different. Its perversion in Germany leading eventually to Nazism and its horrors is too well known to be repeated here. The British, however, put it to more creative use for imperial purposes, especially as a tool in making their rule acceptable to Indians. A recent BBC report admitted as much (October 6, 2005):

It [the Aryan invasion theory] gave a historical precedent to justify the role and status of the British Raj, who could argue that they were transforming India for the better in the same way that the Aryans had done thousands of years earlier.

That is to say, the British presented themselves as a 'new and improved brand of Aryans' who were only completing the work left undone by their ancestors in the hoary past. This is how the British Prime Minister
Stanley Baldwin put it in the House of Commons in 1929:

Now, after ages, .the two branches of the great Aryan ancestry have again been brought together by Providence. By establishing British rule in India, God said to the British, "I have brought you and the Indians together after a long separation, .it is your duty to raise them to their own level as quickly as possible .brothers as you are."

After this, nothing needs to be said. Today it is sustained by other 'special conditions', like vested interests in the survival of Indo-European studies in Western academia. It is only a matter of time before this vestige of colonial politics disappears from the scene making way for a more enlightened approach to the study of ancient India.

Mr. Witzel's campaign to have his Aryan theories made part of the California school curriculum is simply a last ditch effort to keep alive his academic discipline from sinking into oblivion under the impact of science.

The 'scholarship' that is being put forward in its cause is little more than "political and propagandist literature" (as Huxley put it) dressed up in academic jargon.

In drawing lessons from this distasteful episode, it is necessary to go beyond the immediate causes and effects of Mr. Witzel's campaign by placing it in the proper moral and ethical context. When we do
so, one fact stands out above all: Mr. Witzel's reckless disregard for the sensitivities of young minds in his effort to use them to serve his personal interests. Can there be education without human feeling?

The California State Board of Education has done the right thing in not giving in to the lobbying pressure from Mr. Witzel and his group.
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Dr. N.S Rajaram, formerly a U.S. academic, is the author of several books on ancient history. He is currently working on Mekong to Indus: A natural history of the Vedic Age.