Thursday, April 30, 2009

Condoleeza Rice plays the 911 card when asked about torture

Condoleezza Rice meets with some students at, her old alma mater, Stanford University

Is Condoleezza Rice Like Nixon? Says Presidential Authorization Overrides Torture Rules
Former secretary of state says presidential authorization nulls convention against torture.

By The Staff at
© AP

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice echoed Richard Nixon this week when she told a Stanford student that presidential authorization essentially transcends existing laws.

Asked whether waterboarding is torture, Rice replied, "The United States was told, we were 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."

Many readers will recall that Nixon had a similar response when asked about Watergate, and told the reporter David Frost, "When the president does it, that means it is not illegal."

Rice also insisted that she did not authorize waterboarding: "I didn’t authorize anything. I conveyed the authorization of the administration to the agency, that they had policy authorization, subject to the Justice Department’s clearance. That’s what I did." A 2002 report, however, says Rice asked the CIA to pursue the interrogation method, which has been described as torture.


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