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For those of you outside the Beltway who may have missed this, former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice was found defending the Bush administration's torture policies to a fourth grader here in D.C.  Echoing what she told Stanford students last week (which echoed Nixon's infamous, "When the president does it, that means it is not illegal"), Rice explained that waterboarding was legal

by defitinion if it was authorized by the president.

 She gave little Misha Lerner, a 4th grader at the Jewish Primary Day School of the Nation's Capital, the lame one-two combo about only "authorizing policies that were legal" and only "to protect the country."  The Washington Post article is here:

Misha Lerner, wise beyond his years, asked former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice what she thought about the things the Obama administration was saying about the methods Bush used to get information from detainees.  (Initially, Misha was going to ask,

If you would work for Obama's administration, would you push for torture?

but the school apparently made him soften the question by removing the word "torture."  Gotta handled those Bushies with kid gloves. . .)

So as not to mince words or misquote anyone, here are Condi's exact words:

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.

Okay so far, but here's the wind up to the big lie . . .

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 gilded the lily:

[T]he president was not prepared to do something illegal, and I hope people understand that we were trying to protect the country.

So, which is it, Ms. Rice?  You didn't do anything illegal?  Or you did, but it was in order to protect the country?

Apparently, her defense is the first.  As she told the Stanford students,

We didn't torture anyone.

 Despite the findings of the International Committee of the Red Cross--the very organization tasked with identifying torture.  Despite admissions of some of the military's top brass.  Despite torture apologias from Cheney and her other fellow "Vulcans."  

Which begs the question: if she is confident in her belief that we did nothing wrong, then why the whiny, repetitious pleading that "I hope people understand that we were trying to protect the county."

Originally posted to Jesselyn Radack on Mon May 04, 2009 at 04:51 AM PDT.

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