Vol. 23, No. 3                                                                                       January 10, 2005


For the benefit of those who missed it, the Patriot Returns is pleased to provide you (below) with a copy of a letter to the editor of The New York Post, published December 24, 2004. The letter, authored by Professor Susan O'Malley, was entitled "Defending the Terrorist Prof". Responses to her letter were published several days later, one from a CUNY Trustee and three from members of the community, including Michael Gorman of Whitestone, Owen Allen of Stony Point, and Elio Valenti of Brooklyn. The responses were different, but were universally critical in that there was a belief expressed that defense of terrorists is not helpful to the functioning of the university, the image of the university, or to its students.

Courtesy Of The New York Post

O'Malley's Letter

"December 24, 2004 --

I have always been proud that one of the goals of the U.S. criminal justice system is rehabilitation ("Terrorist-Prof No More," Editorial, Dec. 18).

A person who has served time for a crime is supposed to be integrated back into society after being released from jail.

Unfortunately this has not been the case for Susan Rosenberg. A writer, Rosenberg has team-taught a course on prison writing at John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY over the last four years. She has never hidden her felony conviction.

Because of complaints to Jeremy Travis, John Jay's new president, by the Police Emerald Society, which objects to Rosenberg's association with people convicted for the 1981 Rockland County Brinks robbery she herself was never tried for that crime Rosenberg is not being allowed to teach again at John Jay College.

Rosenberg did, in fact, serve 18 years for the possession of a large quantity of explosives and guns in her apartment discovered 23 years ago.

She has been evaluated satisfactorily by her department, which had planned for her to teach next fall. This action by the John Jay president is particularly ironic as President Travis is a renowned expert on the re-entry of prisoners into society.
Decisions as to who should be teaching at a college should not be based on the wishes of groups external to the college.

Susan O'Malley

Chair, CUNY Faculty Senate


Following Responses

December 30, 2004 -- Susan O'Malley, the current chair of the CUNY Faculty Senate, does the body's reputation little good by parsing the circumstances of Susan Rosenberg's guilt ("Defending the Terrorist Prof," Letters, Dec. 24).

From a trustee's point of view, it makes little difference whether she was guilty of the armed robbery itself or collected the explosives and guns in her apartment for the same purpose.

Perhaps things were different prior to this administration, but as long as the current crop of CUNY trustees govern this great university those appointed by Gov. Pataki, Mayor Bloomberg and Rudy Giuliani there will be a unanimity or majority to oppose appointments for the Rosenbergs of the world.

It's the same reason we fought against an honorary degree for terror-defender Lynne Stewart at CUNY Law School a year ago.

The trustees of CUNY are not external to the university, as is the Police Emerald Society, but we stand with it.

I, for one, do not recognize "rehabilitation" for terrorists and their supporters.

It's time our more left-wing professors and Professional Staff Congress (the professors' union) stick to their profession and get out of the revolution business.

Jeffrey S. Wiesenfeld
Trustee, CUNY

O'Malley made a ridiculous argument in support of ousted John Jay College professor and convicted terrorist Susan Rosenberg.

How could O'Malley support this dangerous radical and convicted felon who would still be in prison but for Bill Clinton's pardon?

Her criticism of Jeremy Travis, president of John Jay, is unfair and outrageous.

He is a true scholar and a tough advocate of creative criminal-justice ideas and methods.

He did the right thing in firing Rosenberg.

Michael Gorman

I find it startling in the wake of 9/11 that a professor with a terrorist past would be permitted to teach at John Jay College.

O'Malley should realize that this isn't an issue of integrating a so-called "rehabilitated felon" back into society.

The concern is about allowing someone with Rosenberg's past terrorist ties poison the minds of our youth with her sick philosophy.

Owen Allen
Stony Point

In her letter, O'Malley correctly notes that one of the goals of the U.S. criminal-justice system is rehabilitation.

However, she fails to mention that this grandiose goal is rarely accomplished, which is the major reason why most of our criminals are repeat offenders.

Rosenberg served 18 years for the possession of a large quantity of explosives and guns in her apartment and was associated with the people convicted in the 1981 Brinks robbery, in which two cops and a security guard were killed.

There seems to be a pattern with CUNY and terrorists.

Last year, CUNY Law presented its annual Public Interest Lawyer of the Year Award to Lynne Stewart.

Stewart stands indicted for allegedly helping Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman (of 1993 WTC bombing fame) to illegally communicate with his terrorist followers.

O'Malley states that "Decisions as to who should be teaching at a college should not be based on the wishes of groups external to the college."

I'm a taxpayer, so my taxes pay for O'Malley's salary and for that of Rosenberg.

Elio Valenti

With their leftist ideology and attempts to enact a global agenda, the University Faculty Senate and the PSC leadership have tarnished the image of the entire CUNY faculty in the eyes of the public. This may have significantly negative consequences in terms of student and faculty recruitment, as well as contract negotiations. We - both faculty and students - suffer. We are pleased that The Patriot, after many years of untiring effort at informing the CUNY community of the true agenda of these radical faculty "leaders", has now been joined by members of the public.

We urge the PSC leaders to refrain from asking faculty to join them in demonstrating against John Jay's correct decision not to rehire adjunct Susan Rosenberg, who was convicted "for the possession of a large quantity of explosives and guns...and was associated with the people convicted in the 1981 Brinks robbery, in which two cops and a security guard were killed." We also appeal to the conscience of the PSC's radical leaders not to waste member dues in defending Rosenberg in grievance procedures. They should have the good sense to know that when professors are involved in murder, they shouldn't be in the classroom, educating young minds.

The PSC has already wasted thousands of dollars - our dues money - defending Mohammed Yousry in arbitration (AAA Case No. 13-390-00960-03) - a case that was not only lost for Yousry, but which resulted in loss of important rights for all CUNY adjuncts (see Patriot Vol 23 No. 2). Please DON'T waste any more of our hard-earned dues dollars.

Sharad Karkhanis, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus

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