‘War Criminal!’: Students Harass Retired Gen. David Petraeus Before First CUNY Lecture

Leah Barkoukis

9/12/2013 3:15:00 PM - Leah Barkoukis

Never mind that he’s an American patriot and retired four-star general who had an incredibly distinguished career in the military and CIA—to these far Left anti-war activists at CUNY, David Petraeus is a “fascist,” “disgusting imperialist,” and “war criminal,”  among other things.

The students followed him to his first class, hurling insults along the way, and at one point began chanting “every class, David,” suggesting they will continue to heckle him so long as he teaches at the school. The level of disrespect and harassment is unbelievable, yet Petraeus remains composed throughout the whole ordeal, not acknowledging the students at all.

Warning: Explicit language  


Ann Kirschner, dean of the Macaulay Honors College at CUNY told NPR in a statement:

"Our university is a place where complex issues and points of view across the political and cultural spectrum are considered and debated in the hopes that we might offer solutions to the problems in our world. In order to advance reasoned debate on such issues, it is important that multiple points of view be heard."

"Great universities strive to connect their students with remarkable leaders and thinkers so students can examine a variety of ideas, debate them, and form their own opinions. Those perspectives find expression through discussion in and out of the classroom."

"We may disagree, but we must always do so in a spirit of mutual respect and understanding. While the college supports the articulation of all points of view on critical issues, it is essential that dialogue within the academic setting always be conducted civilly."

A statement about civility is one thing, but what is CUNY going to actually do to ensure this doesn’t happen to Petraeus “every class” as the students threatened?

The retired general and former CIA director is teaching a course at the honors college this fall titled, “Are We on the Threshold of the North American Decade?” His salary was reduced from $200,000 to $1, after professors and politicians expressed outrage over his six-figure salary. “Once controversy arose about the amount he was being paid, he decided it was much more important to keep the focus on the students, on the school and on the teaching, and not have it be about the money,’ Petraeus’ lawyer, Robert Barnett, said in July.