Ann Coulter

University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill has written that "unquestionably, America has earned" the attack of 9-11. He calls the attack itself a result of "gallant sacrifices of the combat teams." That the "combat teams" killed only 3,000 Americans, he says, shows they were not "unreasonable or vindictive." He says that in order to even the score with America, Muslim terrorists "would, at a minimum, have to blow up about 300,000 more buildings and kill something on the order of 7.5 million people."

To grasp the current state of higher education in America, consider that if Churchill is at any risk at all of being fired, it is only because he smokes.

Churchill poses as a radical living on the edge, supremely confident that he is protected by tenure from being fired. College professors are the only people in America who assume they can't be fired for what they say.

Tenure was supposed to create an atmosphere of open debate and inquiry, but instead has created havens for talentless cowards who want to be insulated from life. Rather than fostering a climate of open inquiry, college campuses have become fascist colonies of anti-American hate speech, hypersensitivity, speech codes, banned words and prohibited scientific inquiry.

Even liberals don't try to defend Churchill on grounds that he is Galileo pursuing an abstract search for the truth. They simply invoke "free speech," like a deus ex machina to end all discussion. Like the words "diverse" and "tolerance," "free speech" means nothing but: "Shut up, we win." It's free speech (for liberals), diversity (of liberals) and tolerance (toward liberals).

Ironically, it is precisely because Churchill is paid by the taxpayers that "free speech" is implicated at all. The Constitution has nothing to say about the private sector firing employees for their speech. That's why you don't see Bill Maher on ABC anymore. Other well-known people who have been punished by their employers for their "free speech" include Al Campanis, Jimmy Breslin, Rush Limbaugh, Jimmy the Greek and Andy Rooney.

In fact, the Constitution says nothing about state governments firing employees for their speech: The First Amendment clearly says, "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech." Firing Ward Churchill is a pseudo-problem caused by modern constitutional law, which willy-nilly applies the Bill of Rights to the states ? including the one amendment that clearly refers only to "Congress." (Liberals love to go around blustering "'no law' means 'no law'!" But apparently "Congress" doesn't mean "Congress.")