- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Questions continue to mount for Yale University regarding its decision last year to admit a former member of the Taliban. On Sunday, four U.S. soldiers were killed on the eastern border of Afghanistan in an attack claimed by Taliban insurgents. So, one more question would be: What does Yale think about admitting Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi, when his former employers continue to battle U.S. troops in the Afghan mountains? But so far Yale has stonewalled.

Our inquiries to Yale’s Office of Public Affairs confirmed that Yale plans to continue refusing interview requests. Yale’s only official comment remains a brief explanation of Mr. Rahmatullah’s student status. Otherwise, Yale says it is university policy to avoid commenting on current students.

However, Richard Shaw, then-dean of undergraduate admissions at the time of Mr. Rahmatullah’s admittance, commented freely to the New York Times last month on Mr. Rahmatullah’s status. He even offered a hint as to why Yale considered Mr. Rahmatullah a valuable addition in the first place. As we recounted yesterday, Mr. Shaw said a student of “Rahmatullah’s caliber” had chosen Harvard instead, and that he “didn’t want that to happen again” in the case of Mr. Rahmatullah.

Campus observers have come to expect this kind of attitude from elite universities. Perhaps if Yale were a little more accommodating when it came to the military, a “no comment” defense wouldn’t elicit such a strong public outcry. But it arrogantly refuses to explain its own acceptance standards, while righteously criticizing the government’s. Were the government hiring former Taliban officials, we would be too.

Over the next several weeks, high-school students everywhere will be receiving acceptance and rejection letters from the colleges of their choice. Every one of Yale’s few slots is coveted by the nation’s top high-school students, a vast majority of whom will not be admitted. That being a paid apologist for a murderous regime qualifies as a preferred extracurricular activity is another stain on Yale’s once noble traditions.

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