Do you believe Rice when she says Bush wouldn’t have authorized anything illegal?
May 4, 2009
Do you believe Rice when she says Pres. Bush wouldn’t have authorized anything illegal?
Posted: 04:00 PM ET
FROM CNN’s Jack Cafferty:
Add Condoleezza Rice to the growing list of former Bush officials weighing in on the torture debate. The Former Secretary of State got into it with a fourth grader over the weekend who asked her what she thought about what the Obama administration is saying about the harsh techniques used under President Bush.
Rice defended Bush’s policies on the interrogation of terrorism suspects, saying the president wouldn’t have authorized anything illegal: “He was also very clear that we would do nothing — nothing — that was against the law or against our obligations internationally.”
Rice added how difficult the time after the 9/11 attacks was; and even though they were terrified of another attack on the country, the president wasn’t “prepared to do something illegal.”
Rice’s latest comments come days after telling students at Stanford University: “We did not torture anyone.” She insisted that waterboarding was legal “by definition if it was authorized by the president.”
Huh? sounds a heck of a lot like Former President Richard Nixon who claimed: “When the president does it, that means it is not illegal.” And we all know how well that worked out for him.
Meanwhile a recent Senate report shows Rice was among the top Bush officials who approved the use of waterboarding, which has been considered a form of torture for centuries. This may be why she, much like Former Vice President Dick Cheney, has been making the rounds these days.
Here’s my question to you: When it comes to the torture debate, Condoleezza Rice says President Bush would not have authorized anything illegal. Do you believe her?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
After Condi dropped the ball on 9/11, her only recourse was to green-light torture. How else could she and her fellow Bushies establish a non-existent link between the attacks and Iraq/Saddam Hussein? If we Americans don’t have the guts to put these monsters (Rice, Cheney, Bush) on trial, we should play it their way and ship them off to a country that will do it for us.
Mack from Michigan writes:
How pathetic is it that the former Secretary of State is reduced to arguing semantics with a fourth grader to try and justify the harm and disgrace she and the other neo-cons have inflicted on the United States?
Kai from Portland, Oregon writes:
Well, let’s see, waterboarding is torture and it is illegal (look it up!), and Bush authorized it, right? So, doesn’t that mean in the real world what he did was illegal? What am I missing here?
Susan from Idaho writes:
I believe Rice believes it. If one suspects their superior is not on the up and up, it’s pretty difficult to believe in their own credibility. There was a real good reason Powell left and one would have thought Rice would have wised up then.
Larry from Georgetown, Texas writes:
She is living in a place where there is no U.S. Constitution and they think they’re god, establishing laws out of fear and based on the presumption that they can do no wrong because of who they think they are. It is sickening to me that these people were elected to protect us and in the long run caused so much damage that it may never be set right unless they are prosecuted and sent to prison.
David from North Carolina writes:
It’s a shame that the administration she represents spent the last 8 years speaking to all of us like we’re 4th graders.
Cafferty File: Tell Jack how you really feel Blog Archive - Do you believe Rice when she says Pres. Bush wouldn’t have authorized anything illegal?
she is covering her ass nothing else.
I don't believe anything anyone ever said as a member of the Bush Administration, with the lone exception of Robert Gates. I don't even believe Colin Powell, someone I have (had, actually) a lot of respect for. Condi Rice is the main architect of one of the worst foreign policies in American history. Even aside for the torture, secret detention camps and wiretapping, let's face it. Not finishing the Afghan war quickly and decisively has created the dangerous mess we're in now - with the Taliban invading land just 60 miles from the capital of Pakistan, a nuclear-armed nation. And the meaningless war in Iraq has hamstringed our ability to fix the Afghan mess once and for all and tackle real national security issues like Somalia - whose piracy threatens a major chunk of international shipping. And all this makes the Bill Clinton foreign policy - of trying to assassinate Osama bin Laden directly and bring order to Somalia (black hawk down) - as actually quite far-sighted.
There's no way to finish the Afghan war "quickly and decisively", as you put it. There's too long of a stretch of unsecured frontier to put a boot on the ground for every mile there. We've already tried blowing the place apart with Daisy Cutters and that didn't work, to secure the border would require a boot on the ground and in every tunnel for miles. Russia couldn't do it and the U.S. won't be able to, it will take protracted attrition of Taliban forces to wear them down.
As for Pakistan, it's got one of the strongest armies in the region. It can take care of itself when pushed, as it recently showed.
I agree with the issue of Iraq though.
However, Somalia is not a "national security" issue. It's not on the U.S. alone to secure a region three times the size of Texas, in fact it would be nearly impossible to do so. To stop Somali piracy would require us being involved on the ground in Somalia, something that Clinton didn't show any taste for doing after the BHD incident. The truth is that killing General Adeed in Mogadishu would have only created a power vacuum, once that his son filled and that others were fighting to fill. You can argue against our involvement in Iraq, but it would take the same level of involvement in Somalia to accomplish what you're saying we should tackle.
I completely agree with your assessment, Jason R. I'm trying to paint a picture, rather, of how Bill Clinton's priorities and accomplishments had us heading in a very promising direction (peace in N. Ireland, resolution of the Balkan war, peace accords in Palestine) and in just 8 short years, thanks to war hawks like Condi Rice, we go in the complete opposite direction and undue years of positive American reputation and standing.
As for Afghanistan, I think that if the Bush Administration had set forth from 9/11 with the singular purpose of destroying all remnants of the Taliban, and infused the same scale of resources utilized in Iraq, that we wouldn't be still talking about them now, some 8 years after 9/11. We had the support of the international community and even NATO forces (its important to note their presence in Afghanistan but not Iraq), and if we had actually "followed Osama bin Laden to the gates of Hell" like our wonderful ex-vice president had promised, we wouldn't be having this conversation. But in yet another Bush-era analytical blunder, we basically took the capital Kabul, chased them in the hills a little, and then said "Well, job well done guys."
As for Somalia, I think that at the time of BHD, there clearly wasn't enough of a mandate for large-scale invasion. Sadly, humanitarian tragedies simply aren't enough reason to get involved in distant land wars. But as international piracy has risen from the ashes of the failed government perched advantageously at the horn of Africa, that mandate would've gotten much, much larger. You say that piracy in the Gulf of Aden is not a matter of national security, but I beg to differ. One of the biggest stories of last year was that hijacked Ukrainian vessel loaded with heavy Soviet-era weapons such as tanks, mechanized vehicles, rocket launchers, etc. It's a scary thought that weapons like that could fall into the hands of terrorists, not to mention the 100's of millions of dollars they collect from ransoms. Just recently a North Korean vessel narrowly escaped capture, rescued, ironically, by a South Korean gunship. Who knows what ships from countries like North Korea and Iran and others are secretly smuggling all over the world? What if the pirates had succeeded in capturing that North Korean vessel and it turned out there was fissile material aboard? North Korea might even been hesitant to warn the international community of the theft until it was too late. Not to mention that ships attempting to smuggle illegal weapons probably wouldn't follow designated "safe channels" or join in convoy with other ships.
I think an invasion of major coastal cities/regions in Somalia would've been far easier than full invasion and occupation of Iraq. It would've required NATO and U.N. participation, of course, something that was even possible in Iraq had Bush been willing to compromise (yes, I know that's a dirty word some people out there). Instead, under the advice of Rice, they plowed ahead, ignoring condemnations from the U.N. (i.e. the rest of the WORLD) with the Iraq war and paid a much heavier price than simply the raw material, money, and lives lost. We also lost our international standing, our diplomatic leverage, and our ability to combat actual threats to our national security. I mean, these are the kind of mistakes you read about in history books that lead to the downfall of once-mighty and invincible empires. The more I think about it, the more issues like torture, while very repulsive, pale in comparison. Even Russia and China would have trouble objecting to security council resolutions with their own ships under attack. But we so grossly alienated our own allies as well as our "friendships" with Russia and China, that it's beyond comprehension to imagine America as a forger of international resolve anymore.
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