Question for discussion: H.R. 3077 and Postcolonial Studies

There has been much discussion of a bill now pending in the U.S. Congress called H.R. 3077. It is aimed at monitoring Middle East Studies at universities that receive federal funding, but some of its advocates have specifically targeted postcolonial theory as anti-American.

It seems there are two issues here.
First, what is the significance of the gap between what was said at the Committee hearings on HR 3077 and the text of the bill now under consideration? Critics of the bill have said that it is undoubtedly going to result in partisan allocation of funding, and de facto government censorship. But the bill itself has some clauses suggesting this is not the purpose of the 'advisory board' that will be created to oversee Middle East Studies if the bill is to pass. What does the bill really say and how do we interpret it?

Second, what is the role of postcolonial studies in this? One of the witnesses who appeared before the house committee on HR 3077, Stanley Kurtz, singled out postcolonial theory and Edward Said in particular as a hub for anti-American ideology. Here is an excerpt from his statement:

The ruling intellectual paradigm in academic area studies (especially Middle Eastern Studies) is called "post-colonial theory." Post-colonial theory was founded by Columbia University professor of comparative literature, Edward Said. Said gained fame in 1978, with the publication of his book, Orientalism. In that book, Said equated professors who support American foreign policy with the 19th century European intellectuals who propped up racist colonial empires. The core premise of post-colonial theory is that it is immoral for a scholar to put his knowledge of foreign languages and cultures at the service of American power.

In his regular columns for the Egyptian weekly Al-Ahram, Said has made his views about America crystal clear. Said has condemned the United States, which he calls, "a stupid bully," as a nation with a "history of reducing whole peoples, countries, and even continents to ruin by nothing short of holocaust." Said has actively urged his Egyptian readers to replace their naive belief in America as the defender of liberty and democracy with his supposedly more accurate picture of America as an habitual perpetrator of genocide.

Kurtz is obviously misstating the intention and purpose of postcolonial studies, and egregiously distorting Said's argument in Orientalism (he may be right on Said's views of the role of America's foreign policy as expressed in his journalistic writings). If one disagrees with Kurtz, what is the best way to counter his smear? He cannot be ignored as a right-wing crank. He is highly influential, and these remarks were delivered to the U.S. congress. One has to respond to his comments on their merits.

Here are some other documents that might be helpful in sorting out these issues.

Here is the text of the bill that has passed the U.S. House and is now going to be considered by the Senate

Here is the text of the section of the bill requiring the creation of an advisory board to monitor academic research in institutions receiving federal grants.

Here is a page with many links. Here is the Campus Watch page. Here is a National Review article defending H.R. 3077.