Monday, May 4, 2009

Rice Tries to Have it Both Ways But Even 4th-Grader Knows We Tortured

Photo: School Children 1920 New York Public Library

The Washington Post
has a story today called 4th-Grader Questions Rice on Waterboarding. Apparently Ex-Secretary Rice was visiting a local Washington grade school when she was asked the following question by Misha Lerner, one of the 4th graders.

What did Rice think about the things President Obama's administration was saying about the methods the Bush administration had used to get information from detainees?

Rice told him that she was "reluctant to criticize Obama" and that Bush had authorized nothing illegal. She then went on to say:

"I hope you understand that it was a very difficult time. We were all so terrified of another attack on the country. September 11 was the worst day of my life in government, watching 3,000 Americans die. . . . Even under those most difficult circumstances, the president was not prepared to do something illegal, and I hope people understand that we were trying to protect the country."

Why would Condi Rice feel the need to say that she hoped people understood that they were trying to protect the country if she really believes that Bush did nothing illegal as she stated? She wouldn't. She's trying to have it both ways. Her statement attempts to deny torture while at the same time giving an excuse for why it was done. It's pretty clear by her statement that she knows that what they did was illegal or she wouldn't try to justify it. You wouldn't feel the need to justify legal things being done, only illegal things like torture.

"Misha's mother, Inna Lerner, said the question her son had initially come up with was even tougher: "If you would work for Obama's administration, would you push for torture?"

"They wanted him to soften it and take out the word 'torture.' But the essence of it was the same," Lerner said.'

When even 4th graders know that we tortured why do we still have so many adults in this country who just can't or won't admit to themselves that it happened or who think that if we just don't call it "torture" that it will somehow mean that we didn't torture? How sad that we have so many people in this country who just can't face up to reality, even now and who would rather teach our children to obfuscate reality than to admit what we did.

Update: Jesselyn Radack also noticed Condi trying to have it both ways on torture in her post at Daily Kos

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