In case you missed it | Pigskin preacher


Pigskin preacher

The University of Colorado is diligently searching for a qualified individual to run its most important program. No, it’s not the Nobel Prize-winning physics program. Nor is it the internationally recognized aerospace engineering program. It’s the football team.

With the departure of Dan Hawkins, CU is hoping to find someone who can turn those gridiron yawns to wins. And on the list of possibles is none other than former CU head coach Bill McCartney.

For those of you who are recent imports, McCartney is the one who decided that being head coach gave him duties beyond coming up with a winning game plan. Somehow he felt being head coach also made him head preacher and gave him a pulpit from which to spew his sexist, anti-gay interpretation of Christianity. And he didn’t hold back.

He proselytized to his team members, causing some of them to complain. He proclaimed that homosexuality was an “abomination against almighty God.” He informed us that women should live “in submission” to their husbands because men are meant to be the undisputed heads of their households (and everything else). He founded Promise Keepers, an allegedly Christian men’s organization that initially seemed to exist to bash feminists and gays.

In the meantime, 24 Buffs were arrested on charges ranging from minor stuff like trespassing to major crimes like sexual assault and his daughter got pregnant twice by two different players — in 1989 by Sal Aunese, who shortly thereafter died of stomach cancer, and in 1993 by Shannon Clavelle.

But, hey, those were the glory days, right? McCartney brought 11-1 seasons, division championships and Orange Bowl glory to CU, which translated into big money, so who cares if he’s sexist and homophobic?

We do. If the search committee brings him back, let’s hope they make him keep this promise: to remember he’s just a football coach, and not a minister.

Wrongful secrecy

Reading the headlines, it’s easy to get the impression that, the website that on Nov. 28 began publishing 251,287 leaked U.S. embassy cables, is on a mission to compromise the security of the United States and its allies. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, even accused WikiLeaks of having blood on its hands by exposing intelligence gathering techniques and combat techniques to “our enemies.”

But the harsh U.S. government reaction, which includes potentially going after the media for publishing leaked secret papers, is more likely the result of acute embarrassment than any true damage to national security or risk to our troops.

Among the published documents are reports on the partying habits of the Italian prime minister — certainly not the sort of thing that’s going to get anyone killed.

Daniel Ellsberg, a former Pentagon employee, points out that the same allegations were made when he leaked some 7,000 pages of classified government documents that exposed the behind-the-scenes history of the Vietnam War. But, in fact, the leak may have saved lives by helping galvanize public opposition to the war.

Ellsberg said during the interview that he admires whoever is behind the leaks. (Army Pvt. Bradley Manning, an intelligence analyst who is being held at Quantico Marine Base, is believed to be the leak behind these documents, as well as the shocking video of a helicopter gun crew attacking and killing innocent Iraqis, including a journalist.)

“It’s the wrongful secrecy of information like this that got us into Vietnam and Afghanistan and Iraq or has kept the war going in Afghanistan,” Ellsberg said. “So if there’s any chance of shortening that it’s worth a person’s life.”

Certainly, national security is important. But what we’ve repeatedly seen is a tendency on the part of the U.S. government to take advantage of its ability to hide “secrets” to conceal facts from the public. Especially when the hawks at the Pentagon want a war.

It would be wrong of any government to harass or prosecute Wikileaks for publishing documents it did not steal. If the U.S. government wants to deal with the real problem, it should start by looking at its lame security. When an army private can sit at his desk downloading allegedly sensitive documents, then the problem belongs to the government, not Wikileaks.