rikyrah already added a great video analyzing this story from the Young Turks in a recent Open Thread but I think it’s worth checking out the whole video. This video taken about a week ago has caused a real stir in the Bay Area which you can imagine is not the friendliest of territories for Bush-era war criminals.

Embarrassing black people everywhere, Condi gets visibly agitated and defensive during the discussion. At one point, I really thought she was might:

a) start popping her neck

b) start snapping her fingers in the student’s face, especially during the part where she says “You weren’t there!” in reference to 9/11

c) pull the race card to duck and cover (the students asking questions are white)

I hope every Bush administration official is forced to explain their ridiculous and illegal decisions to young people for the rest of the lives (though I’d prefer they do it from behind bars). Condi’s smart and the reason she’s upset is because, well she knows she’s talkin’ out the side of her neck and she’s sick of having to answer the same questions over and over from skeptical students and professors. She does claim the Nixonian defense that a decision the president makes must be legal because he makes it(?!) She also acknowledges the panicked decision-making of a Bush White House freaked out by 9/11. Yes, Condi, 3000 people did die on 9/11. It was a very bad, super-traumatizing day for all Americans to suffer an attack on U.S. soil. But you know what, actually I was there too on 9/11 in DC running for my life (so it seemed) that fateful day. I was also among the 30% of Americans (which included most African-Americans at the time) who thought then and now that invading Iraq was a really bad idea. Now in Iraq, the war we started for no apparent reason has killed over 4000 U.S. soldiers, close to 5000 Iraqi soldiers and almost 100,000 Iraqi civilians. The Bush administration has killed many times over the number killed on 9/11 with little effect except international suffering. The gall of it, honestly. How does she sleep at night — not well obviously. Especially since the failure to take Afghanistan & Pakistan seriously these past few years means the Taliban is closer than ever to getting nuclear weapons (shudder).

As for her defense on torture, she employs the classic Nazi defense that she was just carrying out orders essentially: “I didn’t authorize anything.” Sure, sister. She also points the finger at Abu Ghraib like it was a unique situation rather than what we know now through the de-classified memos to be a blanket Bush admin policy of torture. But again, Condi’s no slow study. Here’s what the Geneva Convention to which we and 193 other countries have agreed upon actually says, in case you’ve never read it:

No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion, may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatever. Prisoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted, or exposed to unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind.

“Enhanced interrogation techniques” like waterboarding and some of the other hijinks at Gitmo would clearly seem to be outside those limits. We agreed upon this in 1949 to protect our own soldiers from harm when captured. Smartypants Condi would have to know all about this which makes her brittle, belittling self-defense that much more sickening. Ms. Rice — if you want an academic career, be prepared to face the questions of the no longer over-awed public.

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