Sunday, May 3, 2009

Condi Rice Interrogated at Stanford

Condoleeza Rice was meeting with students in a dorm at Stanford, where she intends to go back and teach, and several of them grilled her about Guantanamo. She was roasted in the Internet, and in the New York Times, for arguing, among other things, that waterboarding could not have been a violation of the Convention Against Torture because it was authorized by the president. The students' questions went on for at least seven minutes, and much of it is posted to YouTube.

I was going to post the video with a caption saying "And the children shall lead them". While these students certainly ask more critical questions than many reporters during the Bush era, I can't help but have some sympathy for Rice. Her answers about the most damning matters are very removed and legalistic. When asked if she authorized waterboarding, she said, "I didn't authorize anything. I conveyed the authorization of the administration to the agency that they had policy authorization subject the the Justice Department's clearance." She gets borderline emotional when saying students can't possibly imagine being in a position of authority after 9/11. This seems to be a major theme with her - she said on Leno that she doesn't want to comment on the Obama administration because she remembered people commenting on her actions who didn't necessarily know what was really going on. I once read a biography of Rice that suggested the attacks caused a shift in her thinking that lead her to endorse risky adventures like the Iraq War, before returning to the more cynical and but less insane realism. It's getting late, but more about this later in the week.

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