When the President Does It, That Means It is Not Illegal

Condoleezza Rice was recently speaking at Stanford when students asked her an excellent question on waterboarding and torture. They have her answer on tape and it isn’t pretty. Condi Rice absolutely pulls a Nixon.
Here are the relevant quotes:
“The president instructed us that nothing we would do would be outside of our obligations, legal obligations under the Convention Against Torture.”
Nothing we would do? Nothing? As I ask in the video above, what would happen if the president authorized you to murder someone, would it still not be illegal?
Next up, Condoleezza Rice denies any personal responsibility:
“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.”

Oh I see, she just conveyed the authorization. And how is that different than giving the authorization?

By the way, lest we forget she “conveyed” the authorization for waterboarding, which has been considered torture and illegal under any and all treaties and laws of the United States. That is exactly why this is a legal hot potato that no one wants to get stuck holding at the end of the day. Here she pushes the blame on to two different entities – President Bush and the Justice Department.


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