Monday, May 4, 2009

Condoleezza Rice Presents Torturous Explanation To Fourth Grader

Condoleezza Rice recently stated at Stanford University that President Bush's authorization of an interrogation method implies that it was not torture: "...the United States was told...nothing that violates our obligations under the Convention Against Torture. And so by definition, if it was authorized by the president, it did not violate our obligations under the Convention Against Torture."

Rice was asked again about the Bush administration's torture policies–this time by a fourth grader–and gave the same answer:

Rice, in her first appearance in Washington since leaving government, was at the Jewish Primary Day School of the Nation's Capital before giving an evening lecture at the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue.

...Misha Lerner, a student from Bethesda, asked: What did Rice think about the things President Obama's administration was saying about the methods the Bush administration had used to get information from detainees?

..."Let me just say that President Bush was very clear that he wanted to do everything he could to protect the country. After September 11, we wanted to protect the country," she said. "But he was also very clear that we would do nothing, nothing, that was against the law or against our obligations internationally. So the president was only willing to authorize policies that were legal in order to protect the country."

Rice again states that the president's authorization is proof that the methods were not torture. Since Bush said that we wouldn't torture, anything that he approved was not torture. That would presumably include the methods described in four recently revealed CIA memos: waterboarding; slamming into walls, prolonged sleep deprivation; dousing with water as cold as 41 degrees, placing detainees in a dark, cramped box, and placing insects in the box to exploit fears.

Rice also contends her remarks do not resemble Richard Nixon's famous statement, "When the president does it, that means it's not illegal": "I said at one point that it was ahhh, given, right that if the president authorized it, it was legal. This was not a 'Nixon/Frost' moment. What I intended to say or what I meant to say about this is: The president said I won't authorize anything that is illegal. It's not that because he authorized it, it was legal..." (h/t Crooks and Liars)

Got that? It's clear that Rice is tying herself up in rhetorical knots with torturous explanations that evade the truth: President Bush and his administration, including former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, authorized torture.

1 comment:

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