Condi Rice: If The President Does It, It’s Legal
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was asked by a fourth grader at the Jewish Primary Day School in DC what she thought of President Obama’s view on how his predecessor treated detainees. Rice replied that President Bush did whatever he could to protect the country, but would do “nothing that was against the law” or violated international agreements.
“Let me just say that President Bush was very clear that he wanted to do everything he could to protect the country. After September 11, we wanted to protect the country,” she said. “But he was also very clear that we would do nothing, nothing, that was against the law or against our obligations internationally. So the president was only willing to authorize policies that were legal in order to protect the country.”
She added: “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.”
This follows an appearance at Stanford last week where Rice proclaimed, “We did not torture anyone.”
“The president instructed us that nothing we would do would be outside of our obligations, legal obligations, under the Convention Against Torture,” Rice said at Stanford, before adding: “And so, by definition, if it was authorized by the president, it did not violate our obligations under the Convention Against Torture.”
Rice was clearly channeling Richard Nixon, who infamously said, “When the president does it, that means it is not illegal.”Click here for reuse options!
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