Ward Churchill is the chairman of the ethnic studies program at the University of Colorado in Boulder. He is causing quite a ruckus in upstate New York because he will be speaking at Hamilton College in Clinton. In this day and age, what could be so controversial? How about harsh criticism of the victims of the September 11 attacks, and praise for the hijackers?

Following the Sept. 11 attacks, Churchill wrote an essay that hailed the “gallant sacrifices” of the “combat teams” that struck America. He said the World Trade Center victims deserved to die because they were a willing part of “the mighty engine of profit.” “True enough, they were civilians of a sort. But innocent? Gimme a break,” Churchill wrote.

Churchill went on to describe the victims as “little Eichmanns,” a reference to Adolf Eichmann, who organized Adolf Hitler’s plan to exterminate Jews during World War II.

Families of the 9/11 victims have embarked on an e-mail and letter writing campaign to the college to cancel Churchill’s speech. No dice.

….the school is committed to the free exchange of ideas and diverse opinions and believes it is an appropriate part of the liberal arts education process.

CU officials also say Churchill has the right to speak his views. Yesterday, though, two Colorado congressmen asked Churchill to apologize.