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About that “ISIS at Cornell” video

About that “ISIS at Cornell” video

NY Post asks: “the dumbest Ivy League bigwig ever or politically correct to a fault”?

James O’Keefe has released a sting video of an Assistant Dean of Students at Cornell University indicating to a purported potential foreign student that the school was amenable to pro-ISIS and pro-Hamas student clubs, and even training of “Freedom Fighters.”

I don’t know the Assistant Dean and never heard of him before this, as he’s not at the law school and we tend to be somewhat isolated from the rest of the University.

I became aware of the video late last night when my wife saw it on The NY Post website (emphasis added):

This guy is either the dumbest Ivy League bigwig ever or politically correct to a fault — for welcoming offers to bring ISIS and Hamas to Cornell University.

A video sting operation shows Cornell’s assistant dean for students, Joseph Scaffido, agreeing to everything suggested by an undercover muckraker posing as a Moroccan student.

Scaffido casually endorses inviting an ISIS “freedom fighter’’ to conduct a “training camp” for students at the upstate Ithaca campus — bizarrely likening the activity to a sports camp.

Is it OK to bring a humanitarian pro-“Islamic State Iraq and Syria” group on campus, the undercover for conservative activist James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas asks.

Sure, Scaffido says in the recorded March 16 meeting.

Scaffido doesn’t even blink an eye when the undercover asks about providing material support for terrorists — “care packages, whether it be food, water, electronics.”

How about supporting Hamas?

No problem at all, Scaffido said.

My first two impressions were:

  1. This guy is going to be the center of a major s–tstorm in the morning.
  2. I’m not sure he understood what he had just done, and probably didn’t know that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria was the dreaded beheaders of ISIS, or what Hamas was.

I wasn’t going to write about it, but I’ve been bombarded with emails and comments from readers calling it to my attention because … CORNELL.

Here’s the video:

What do you think?

I asked both Cornell and James O’Keefe to comment on the possibility that the Assistant Dean was just misinformed or underinformed.

James expressed doubt:

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

Here is Cornell’s response in the form of a “statement by Cornell University President David J. Skorton regarding the Project Veritas video”:

“As the president of Cornell University, I want to be clear that the notion that Cornell would allow ISIS training sessions on our campus is ludicrous and absolutely offensive.

“Project Veritas, the organization behind this shoddy piece of ‘journalism’ has been repeatedly vilified for dishonest, deceitful activity. It is shameful that any individual would pose as a student facing racial discrimination at another university, ask leading questions on hidden camera about Cornell’s tolerance for differing viewpoints and backgrounds, and then conveniently splice together the resulting footage to smear our assistant dean and our University. After speaking with Assistant Dean Scaffido, I am convinced that he was not aware of what he was being asked.

“Let me be clear: Cornell has an unwavering commitment to the free and responsible exchange of ideas. However, we remain vigilant in maintaining an appropriate balance of freedom of expression within accepted boundaries. Of course, incitement to violence is not protected and would never be tolerated on our campus.”

The NY Post asked: “the dumbest Ivy League bigwig ever or politically correct to a fault”?

What do you think?

Update: James has responded to the statement from Cornell’s President:

Dear President Skorton,

If your assistant Dean of Students has never heard of Hamas or the “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria,” Project Veritas should be the least of your concerns. We stand by our report about your university. There is more to come.

James O’Keefe
President, Project Veritas

More to come! I don’t know what that more will be, but based on the past, O’Keefe successfully has used an initial video sting as something of a teaser, to draw out statements or conduct by a target for which there is much more video already taken. There often are several rounds of that. We shall see.

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Comments

so it looks like cornell is going to try to blame okeefe ad not the actual person who said what he said?
thats what I expected honestly.

    MattMusson in reply to dmacleo. | March 25, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    “High above cayuga’s waters
    There’s an awful smell.
    Some say it’s cayuga’s waters.
    Some say it’s Cornel.”

    It’s the old blame the messenger, not the message.

    Hepcat in reply to dmacleo. | March 25, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    What are the chances that Ayaan Hirsi Ali would be allowed to speak at Cornell?

    I’m sure protests from a student groups would make Cornell rescind the invitation, it it were even extended in the first place.

ISIS has got to be the most misogynist group you could get, yet it is okay with this Dean (and the school will even help fund it).

But if Ted Cruz was ever scheduled to speak at Cornell…all hell would break loose.

    walls in reply to EBL. | March 25, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    All Hell broke loose when Ann Coulter, a Cornell ’84 graduate, spoke at the school. Of course, all Ann needed to be accepted was a tampon pair of earrings.

    Awing1 in reply to EBL. | March 26, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    You can honestly say you would understand a student saying:

    “I think it maybe, be nice to start a humanitarian group that supports distressed communities, a humanitarian group in the Middle East, northern Iraq and Syria. I think it would be important, for especially these people in the Islamic State Iraq and Syria, the families — the freedom fighters in particular, and their families … to maybe just educate, but to maybe send them care packages whether it be food, water, electronics,”

    As asking about sending care packages to ISIS?? Without being primed by O’Keefe’s voiceover, or his captioning that labels it ISIS? Hell, if anything, it sounds like he’s asking about sending things to resistance fighters against ISIS.

Does it have to be an “or”? Can’t it be both!!

“Let me be clear: Cornell has an unwavering commitment to the free and responsible exchange of ideas. However, we remain vigilant in maintaining an appropriate balance of freedom of expression within accepted boundaries.”

1. statement of principle

2. immediate contradiction of previous statement

And THIS is precisely the problem of American (and British) universities.

As far as having a ISIS representative on campus, I have no issues as far as the the ideas go. They’re already on campus.

As a practical matter, it would be a fun way to lure an ISIS killer or their supporter out into the open. Immediate capture should follow.

Hamas, kinda the same deal. The ideas are already all over campi. You could find any number of professors who would gladly serve as their spokesholes.

Nobody, including US should be afraid of ideas, or want to suppress them. It won’t work, for one thing. And, if were to take back our universities, THAT has to be the UNIVERSAL commitment everyone makes. Idea? BRING it.

And nobody gets to whine.

legalizehazing | March 25, 2015 at 1:39 pm

I haven’t commented in a while and I really wasn’t planning on it… Until I read Cornell’s response..

Ivy League starts off the response with an Ad Homine attack on Vertias, dishonest villains and shoddy journalists. Then he pulls the race card.. Excuse me, Fuck that. An honest response would have garnered my sympathy. Say the guy didn’t know what ISIS or Hamas were. Say it’s gotcha journalism. His response TRIGGERED loathing. These people deserve it.

legalizehazing | March 25, 2015 at 1:42 pm

Also, the new mobile format is great so far

The President’s remarks are worse than the video:

“As the president of Cornell University, I want to be clear that the notion that Cornell would allow ISIS training sessions on our campus is ludicrous and absolutely offensive.

“the organization behind this shoddy piece of ‘journalism’ has been repeatedly vilified for dishonest, deceitful activity. It is shameful that any individual would pose as a student facing racial discrimination at another university, ask leading questions on hidden camera about Cornell’s tolerance for differing viewpoints and backgrounds, and then conveniently splice together the resulting footage to smear our assistant dean and our University”

Shorter: “how dare you expose us!”

Subotai Bahadur | March 25, 2015 at 1:44 pm

The attempt by the President of Cornell [not a disavowable flunky] to blame Project Veritas for openly asking the Dean questions, which the Dean openly and presumably honestly answered pretty well defines the President as being in CYA mode. And there is a logical inference that if they had known that it was Project Veritas; they would have deliberately given a different and false answer. i.e. He lied his gluteus maximus off.

The Dean told the truth as he saw and believed it. While the choice between ignorance and PC is a close one, I have to go with PC. There has been too much publicity over the last year or so about Hamas, ISIS, etc. and especially with Emperor Buraq -I commenting however incoherently. He knows who ISIS is. And on the PC side, it is extremely un-PC to deny the Islamist urges and activities of an Arab Muslim. That would be Islamophobia. And the Dean believed his questioner was Moroccan.

So I am betting it was Islamophilic PC, and that it is not confined to the Dean, both up and down the chain of command.

EBL mentioned misogyny. I think it is a pretty fair, albeit not University-level PC, assumption that ISIS and Hamas are anti-Semitic in the extreme. If the very existence of males on campus constitutes misogynistic micro-aggression; what does this incident say to Jewish students and staff?

>>“Project Veritas, the organization behind this shoddy piece of ‘journalism’ has been repeatedly vilified for dishonest, deceitful activity.>>

Like a good college presidnet, he’s flogging the “Narrative.” Notice he doesn’t cite a case of Veritas’s “dishonest, deceitful activity” but instead refers to the fact its been vilified. Of course, that’s what really matters — that all the correct people have vilified it.

Being a total jackass and PC goes hand in hand. So he’s both. I’m sure he thinks he’s some sort of Einstein but sure looks to have an IQ somewhere between dirt and a rock. Now watch the liberal rats in Admin scurry to cover his and their asses

    Old0311 in reply to kimosaabe. | March 25, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    Hey there! I have the IQ of a rock and am deeply offended unless you were referring to sandstone. Probably that feller worked his way up from Cornell’s winery and needs to go back to being head cork soaker.

“I’m not sure he understood what he had just done, and probably didn’t know that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria was the dreaded beheaders of ISIS, or what Hamas was.”

How about…does Cornell’s LGBT and Feminist clubs know that ISIS and Hamas are the dreaded executioners of gays and slave traders of women?

The Prez of Cornell said this: “Project Veritas, the organization behind this shoddy piece of ‘journalism’ has been repeatedly vilified for dishonest, deceitful activity.”

For OKeefe this should be fighting words. To be sure this is exactly what one could expect from any of the lefty groups outed by OKeefe.
As far as I know Project Veritas has produced accurate video stings supported by the release of the full video’s. Prez of Cornell is acting like a smear merchant.

    Another Voice in reply to richardb. | March 26, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    O’Keefe Part I: O’Keefe did respond to Skorton with just that. He informed him that he stood by the video and there was more to be released to support the first. Now just waiting for the 2nd. shoe to drop…..Part II.

Skorton’s response is what I’d expect from a child, not the Cornell University President.

Carol Herman | March 25, 2015 at 2:21 pm

I doubt if Ann Coulter will ever leave a dime to Cornell! (As to her experiences there as a student, she says she was drunk. And, I believe her.)

There are no good colleges left. They’re all infested with these types of administrators. Which leaves the biggest on-campus fights to obtaining parking spaces.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that ostensibly good colleges hire idiots as Assistant Deans and moral lepers as Presidents to cover for them.

If you signed up for the beheading workshop, could you please remember to bring your orange jumpsuit? And for Allah’s sake, no clapping afterwards — it’s an anxiety trigger!

Hey, give the Asst. Dean a break, geez. He probably thought the student was a well connected Islamist who could pay full freight and whose family would likely contribute to the school’s endowment.

The fact that the prospective student seemed allied with a murderous psychopathic strain of Islam doesn’t mean his money is no good.

pablo panadero | March 25, 2015 at 2:42 pm

James O’Keefe gave a talk at the “We The People Convention”, in Columbus in 2012 (I booked all the speakers). He talked about his first sting operation, where he recorded his session with his college’s administration when he wanted Lucky Charms banned from the cafeteria because it insulted his Irish heritage. Yes, he was able to get it banned! They did not realize it was a sting.

Consequently, he knows that colleges would be ripe ground for a simple sting like this. He could probably repeat this at every Ivy League university. My guess is that is what he has done.

Well done, James! The stupidity of liberals is remarkably easy to expose.

So the problem isn’t that the Dean of Students is a dumbass, the real problem is that one of the unwashed exposed his nitwittery!

LukeHandCool | March 25, 2015 at 3:02 pm

It’s a long way … to the top if you wanna rock ‘n roll.

It’s a small step … from BDS to pro-ISIS campus clubs if you want radical Islam in control.

LukeHandCool (who would use as an example of the fragility of the sanity of a society, illustrating his Punctuated Equilibrium Evolution Theory of Societal Change, disproving once and for all the Gradual Evolution of Society Model … the amazing fact that the Beatles went from “I Want to Hold Your Hand” to “Why Don’t We do it in the Road?” in just 4 short years).

Midwest Rhino | March 25, 2015 at 3:13 pm

I like to think that our universities have contact with FBI liaisons for incidents like this, and that actual attempts to infiltrate our colleges are monitored vigorously.

But outwardly at least, it seems much of the academic left is producing fruit shaped like Obama, full of anti-American spit and vinegar. Of course we train students from our geopolitical foes routinely. Perhaps Hamas got their Palestinian tunnels engineered via an Ivy League education.

    Valerie in reply to Midwest Rhino. | March 25, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    I like to think that our universities have contact with FBI liaisons for incidents like this,

    IIRC, the flight schools did not, then, so why should universities have it now?

      Midwest Rhino in reply to Valerie. | March 25, 2015 at 5:32 pm

      Well, 9/11 is why they SHOULD, the old “see something say something” concept. But the PC diversity religion turns them into Sgt Schultz … “I see nothing”.

    mariner in reply to Midwest Rhino. | March 25, 2015 at 8:03 pm

    I like to think that our universities have contact with FBI liaisons for incidents like this, and that actual attempts to infiltrate our colleges are monitored vigorously.

    I’m sure they do, and they’re very successful — do you know of any conservative groups who have infiltrated our colleges?

    I didn’t think so.

“As the president of Cornell University, I want to be clear that the notion that Cornell would allow ISIS training sessions on our campus is ludicrous and absolutely offensive.”

Well, now. Suppose Scaffido had been caught on film making a racist joke. I doubt that President Skorton would have been so dismissive and contemptuous of the filmmaker as he was with O’Keefe.

American academia is sick. Deeply, profoundly sick. I teach mathematics at a community college, and I have seen enough flat-out evil being committed in the name of “diversity and tolerance” that I refuse to defend Skorton and his minions.

Dejectedhead | March 25, 2015 at 3:42 pm

I certain side with O’Keefe on this. If an assistant Dead of Students at the university isn’t aware about these sorts of modern topics, he’s woefully ill prepared to even grant permission for any such activities.

Henry Hawkins | March 25, 2015 at 3:43 pm

Thank God I was spared an Ivy League education.

    No kidding. Glad I stayed home at Carolina. When one of my sons was getting recruited by the Ivy’s, I asked him, do you not want to at least consider them? His answer, “Dad, are you joking?”. I was happy.

      Henry Hawkins in reply to Barry. | March 26, 2015 at 10:59 am

      I have a daughter finishing junior year at UNC. She was looking at a couple Ivy schools, briefly, before going instate at UNC. Absolutely thank goodness.

To render assistance or counsel. Any act that deliberately strengthens or tends to strengthen enemies of the United States, or that weakens or tends to weaken the power of the United States to resist and attack such enemies is characterized as aid and comfort.
Article 3, section 3, clause 1 of the U.S. Constitution specifies that the giving of aid and comfort to the enemy is an element in the crime of Treason. Aid and comfort may consist of substantial assistance or the mere attempt to provide some support; actual help or the success of the enterprise is not relevant.

inspectorudy | March 25, 2015 at 4:13 pm

One of my favorite word games is to swap an unPC group with the left wing group mentioned in any article and try to imagine the same out come. Like KKK for Hamas or Nazi for ISIS and watch the change in demeanor! Even this oblivious dolt would have understood that.

casualobserver | March 25, 2015 at 4:24 pm

Is it so hard to imagine he was aware of ISIS and Hamas but only versed in what he heard within the walls of Cornell? In other words, he may not have been aware of every atrocity, but could have heard a lot about how Bush, Cheney, Israel, Jews, etc., were responsible for their formation and their actions. For example, how rare is it when rockets are fired from Gaza that Jews/Israel are blamed first?

Can’t know for sure, but I won’t be surprised if we find how he had some background about these groups. Just a “different” one.

Can’t wait for the other shoes to drop!

Richard Aubrey | March 25, 2015 at 6:29 pm

SPLICED???
Don’t these clowns know by now that Veritas lets them claim that–iow saw at the limb–until things get really embarrassing and then release the entire vid which shows the teaser was correct? Geez.

What do you think the chances of Ayaan Hirsi Ali being allowed to speak at Cornell?

The NY Post asked: “the dumbest Ivy League bigwig ever or politically correct to a fault”?

What do you think?
___________________________________

I don’t think the two are mutually exclusive.

In fact, “incredibly stupid Ivy Leaguer” and “politically correct to a fault” often seem to travel together.

    LibraryGryffon in reply to Observer. | March 25, 2015 at 11:34 pm

    As a blogger I know says when faced with these “or” questions: “Embrace the power of ‘and’!”.

Carol Herman | March 25, 2015 at 7:04 pm

By now don’t people know what James O’Keefe looks like?

Where did he hide his camera?

How does James O’Keefe keep a straight face? I’d have fallen out of my chair in hysterical laughter.

Oh, and I wonder what the letters going out to alumni, asking for donations, looks like. When it was cheap to go to college; but you needed good grades. Math skills. And, perhaps Latin. You’d graduation and then when you did well you’d receive letters from your old alma mater.

These days? What happens when you see this? Do people do “face plants” any more?

As usual, Professor Jacobson is a shing beacon of sanity and reason at Cornell, while the President of Cornell embarrasses himself by a silly attempt to deflect the message by smearing the messenger!

I’m a huge local fan of this blog and look forward to your visit on April 2, professor!

Incidents like this are why I keep posting the link to the Hamas Covenant. Hamas says who they are, where they come from, and what they plan to do.

http://middleeast.about.com/od/palestinepalestinians/a/me080106b.htm

I may be the only person here that believes the guy had no idea about who Hamas or ISIS are. To me, that statement is entirely credible, because the people who have a job responsibility to know and understand who they are dealing with, either have not read it, or do not take it seriously.

Barack Obama, for example, has his “senior WH officials” blaming Bibi Netanyahu for the lack of peace with the Palestinians, when the Palestinian government is dedicated to genocide.

He looked at his list of “Forbidden Conservatives, Republicans, and Zionist Entity Supporters”, didn’t see ISIS, and figured they would be great.

In the likely event Joseph Scaffido decides to take some time off to spend more time with his family, there is likely a position waiting for him in marketing at Starbucks.

Progressives are so darned predictable (and stupid). Veritas releases a video… they claim it’s misleading and edited. Project Veritas then releases the full, unedited file which is even more damning and the left shrieks like a gaggle of 4 year old girls.

Given O’Keefe’s penchant for lying and editing videos, I don’t believe anything he presents unless he presents the raw, uncut original. Anyone who does is a fool.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Awing1. | March 26, 2015 at 11:01 am

    LOL

      Do you really deny it? Here’s a Texas special prosecutor’s dissection of one of his videos: https://www.scribd.com/doc/216868925/Special-prosecutors-review-of-complaints-in-Texas-v-Battleground-Texas. I’ve posted above what Breitbart himself said about O’Keefe’s ACORN video, a video he was sued over and settled for $100,000. He’s an all out “ends justify the means” political operative that believes it’s ok to destroy peoples lives by making a forgery of what they said, as long as it furthers his personal cause. When he posts the raw, completely unedited video (and I mean completely, where he doesn’t caption “ISIS” when someone actually says “Islamic State” because he knows the latter is a much less recognized term than the former), I’ll accept that video.

      What possible reason is there for holding it back, as he has so consistently done in the past? Does he believe his intended audience can’t think for themselves?

2nd Ammendment Mother | March 26, 2015 at 2:45 pm

Prof…. Isn’t it about time to consider moving to Texas? We’ve got lots of top law schools, 40% fewer nitwits and shorter winters. Just saying, you could be pretty sure the guy sitting in the front row in a Texas law course doesn’t run a lemonade stand for Hamas on the weekends.

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