YouTube: Condoleezza Rice meets with some students...

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while a larger group protests outside:

Students grill former Secretary of State

By: Devin Banerjee

The Stanford Daily Thursday, April 30, 2009

Hoover Fellow and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Monday faced questions from students regarding her role in the Bush administration's approval of waterboarding terror suspects, denying both her personal authorization of the interrogation techniques as well as the qualification of those techniques as torture.

"I didn't authorize anything," Rice told a group of Roble students in a conversation that surfaced on YouTube Monday night. "I conveyed the authorization of the administration to the [CIA] that they had policy authorization subject to the Justice Department's clearance."

see also Condi Rice Pulls A Nixon...

and Actually, Condi, When the President Breaks the Law...

(continuation of "Students grill former Secretary of State") 

The Associated Press (AP) reported last week that following Rice's nod of approval to then-CIA Director George Tenet, the Justice Department approved the use of waterboarding in a top-secret Aug. 1, 2002 memo. That month, alleged al-Qaida terrorist Abu Zubaydah underwent waterboarding at least 83 times.

After 2005, the CIA voluntarily crossed waterboarding off of its list of interrogation techniques, according to the AP.

On Monday, Rice, who served as National Security Advisor to the President before being appointed Secretary of State in 2005, defended the Bush administration's actions against the label of torture, citing the United Nations Convention against Torture, which entered into force in 1987 and was signed by the U.S. in 1988.

"The President instructed us that nothing we would do would be outside of our obligations -- legal obligations -- under the Convention against Torture," Rice said. "So, by definition, if it was authorized by the President, it did not violate our obligations under the Convention against Torture."

On Guantanamo Bay, Rice denied the use of torture at the terrorist detention camp.

"We did not torture anyone," she said. "The ICRC [International Committee of the Red Cross] also had access to Guantanamo, and they made no allegations about interrogations at Guantanamo."

The ICRC did question the indefinite detention of terror suspects, Rice noted, but the former Secretary of State defended the detention by referencing the delays in military trials that resulted from the Supreme Court's internal debate on whether the President actually had the authority to try suspects at Guantanamo Bay.

The Monday evening conversation was captured by Roble resident Reyna Garcia  '11, who recorded a six-minute segment on her digital camera and then uploaded it to YouTube. Rice visited the four-class dorm to dine with some 20 residents selected by lottery.

"We wholly recognize that whenever we are in public, given modern technology, there is always the possibility that [we] are being photographed, filmed or recorded," said Colby Cooper, Rice's chief of staff.

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This page contains a single entry published on April 30, 2009 7:20 AM.

Judge Baltasar Garzon: memos reveal "systematic programme" of torture was the previous entry in this blog.

debate over Mr. Yoo's presence at Berkeley has taken on new urgency is the next entry in this blog.

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