Dallas Hyatt Regency Hotel, November 5, 2014 – Students spoiled a $70/plate UNT luncheon featuring former NSA director Keith Alexander by showing up with a banner quoting Edward Snowden, whose whisteblowing led to Alexander’s resignation last year. The banner read: “Every border you cross, every purchase you make, every call you dial, friend you keep, site you visit, subject line you type is in the hands of a system whose reach is unlimited, -Edward Snowden.”
After the students with the banner had been removed from the hotel, lunch was served and Keith Alexander started his speech on “terrorism” and the need for “cybersecurity”. At that point, another protester stood up from a table, yelling that Alexander is the real terrorist, that unlimited surveillance is terrorism and that UNT shouldn’t welcome war criminals.
The protester, who preferred to remain anonymous, later explained, “Keith Alexander should be booed off stage anywhere he goes. He’s a terrorist and a criminal who broke every rule of decency and democracy, presiding over torture at Abu Ghraib and lying to all of us about the NSA’s illegal pursuit of total surveillance. My skin crawled just being in the same room as such a disgusting war criminal – not to mention all the wannabe war profiteers and corporate crooks who showed up to hear him speak.”
The event was part of the University of North Texas’s Kuehne Speaker Series on National Security. It was also the fourth time that UNT students have disrupted university-hosted speaking events by Bush-era war criminals, including George W. Bush himself, Robert Gates, and Condaleeza Rice.
“Students don’t want our money being spent to host warmongers like Keith Alexander. UNT needs to stop giving these Bush-era criminals a platform,” said UNT student Jon Adams.