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`American Faust’ critique of Condoleeza Rice Plays in Denver

February 13, 2010

Link to post-film discussion with Alan Gilbert and Doug Vaughan


Rice’s Denver Connection

Condoleeza Rice, the former Secretary of State

Condoleeza Rice and Jendayi Frazer(left) . Frazer taught at D.U. for a short time. She became Rice's Undersecretary of State for Africa and was, for a while the US Ambassador to South Africa.

and National SecurityAgency head during the Bush years, and one of the key high level people in the Bush Administration to authorize the use of torture of prisoners of war in `the war on terrorism’, has a strong connection with Denver. She lived here for many years; her father was a dean at the University of Denver from where she got both her bachelor’s degree and PhD. I hardly knew her. A friend, now chair of the Political Science Department at Metro State College, relates that Rice accompanied him to a talk I gave in defense of a film Vanessa Redgrave made on the Palestinians  some thirty years ago. Another friend dated her. He found her uptight and rather boring.

A number of the profs, my colleagues at the Korbel School of International Studies at DU,taught her or were on her phd thesis committee. (Art Gilbert, Alan Gilbert, Jonathan Adelman among them. Her name is still invoked rather frequently along with that of Madelaine Albright, whose father, Joseph Korbel founded the Korbel School. Adelman often mentions his connection with Rice. He has been on 15 international speaking tours for the State Department, most of them during Rice’s tenure in the Bush cabinet. The Gilberts have been more critical. Alan Gilbert has published several critical pieces about Rice noting her evolution from a left of center graduate student at D.U. who cried over revelations of US Vietnam war crimes to a leading neo-conservative figure in the Bush Administration defending the war on terrorism, Israel’s 2007 Lebanon invasion and authorizing the use of torture. After an insipid interview (rather an insipid intervierer) that focused on how Rice dress and whether or not she was `popular’ in college, Arthur Gilbert, interviewed on MSNBC about a year into the Iraq War spoke of the war in Iraq as `the biggest blunder in US diplomatic history.’

Given all this, it should not be surprising that `Rice’s legacy’ would be the subject of great interest here in Colorado both for national and local reasons.

  • A bout a year ago – I don’t remember the exact date – Alan Gilbert debated a conservative Republican state senator on the question `Should Condoleeza Rice Be Indicted For War Crimes’. It was organized by D.U. students, the administration was nervous about it but the event went ahead anyway. It was well attended and the debate well organized. I do remember Rice’s Republican defender arguing `Why single out Rice? Shouldn’t others be targeted as well?’ The rest of his arguments were not particularly convincing but I did agree with that point.
  • More recently, a film about Rice played for two weeks in a local Denver theater. American Faust documents Rice’s political evolution. As the title suggests, it is not a pleasing portrait of the former Secretary of State, suggesting hers is a career of rank opportunism, fawning to the Bushes, father and son, and in the end, not being a particularly good Secretary of State or head of the National Security Agency.

After one of the Denver showings, two of the films `stars’ took question from a packed house of maybe 100 people. Doug Vaughan, investigative journalist and oscar winning film co-producer (The Panama Connection) was a fellow graduate student with Rice. Alan Gilbert, as mentioned above, was one of her profs. The two of them field questions and give commentary about the film and Rice’s role.

For the link, click here.

it can also be reached by clicking on Alan Gilbert’s blog on the right side of the screen

3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 9, 2010 9:55 pm

    Hmm that’s interessting but to be honest i have a hard time determining it… wonder how others think about this..

  2. April 6, 2010 7:35 am

    That harpie! Ferk Condoleeza! Crickey, you could teach me something in keeping a blog… Do you think that worldpress com has been a good internet blogger provider, or have I got it wrong? I’m on ‘’, and have some troubles in getting peoples feedback, not that anybody is reading my blog yet, still as an exericise in keeping a journal of somekind, I suppose I could be using my time in less productive ways…

    Keep up keeping up! Luv: Nelson and Pipa.

    • April 6, 2010 8:12 am

      I like WordPress. A friend helped me set it up. I like it because
      1. it is easy to use and entries can be made from anywhere
      2. you can follow the sites where there are `hits’ – how many. you can also see the searches people do to get to your site
      3. you can monitor the comments – ie – eliminate silly stuff, spam, limit the number of times someone responds
      Concerning getting responses – it comes slowly. Takes time and we are all impatient for feedback aren’t we. it will come.
      If you are interested in changing to WordPress let me know and I’ll contact my friend who knows how to do this
      Best, – love to you and Pipa

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