Monday, May 4, 2009


The answer Condoleeza Rice gave to a Stanford University student when asked if waterboarding is torture was a perfect example of trying to deflect blame and guilt on to some higher-up (Bush). In effect Rice said that the president told her waterboarding was perfectly legal and not torture. So her conscience was clear. She went ahead and fully endorsed waterboarding which from then on she deemed legal and proper. She merely conveyed legitimate presidential policy.

We can all see through this answer. It was not my fault. The president said it was legal, and all my doubts were thus erased. Besides I never gave the orders, only served as a messenger of the president's policies.

Today Alec MacGillis writes in The Washington Post about another Rice obfuscation, this time involving a fourth grader asking a similar question about the U.S. policy on torture. Writes MacGillis:

"Then 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?

"Rice took the question in stride. saying that she was reluctant to criticize Obama, then getting to the heart of the matter.

""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."

"She added: "I hope you understand that it was a very difficult time. We were all so terrified of another attack on the country. September 11 was the worst day of my life in government, watching 3,000 Americans die. . . . Even under those most difficult circumstances, the president was not prepared to do something illegal, and I hope people understand that we were trying to protect the country.""

When we get around to calling all of the Bush flunkies to account, Condoleeza Rice needs to be one of the first to stand trial.

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