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Condi Criminal Conspiracy Confession Caught on Camera!
May 4, 2009 2:53 PM   Subscribe

Recently, Fmr. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was asked some pointed torture questions by two Stanford students after an informal reception in a dorm building (transcript). Did she unwittingly confess to a role in a criminal conspiracy? Signs point to yes.

Writers like Dan Froomkin and Glenn Greenwald are staying on top of the torture beat even as the President prefers to look forward, and not back, because it's time to move on (and we're all responsible). For hard-hitting journalistic inquiry when it comes to U.S. torturers, it seems we must now turn to college students or 4th graders.
posted by Hat Maui (89 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Condie Rice is just our generation's Ollie North. Unless President Obama steps up, defends the US Constitution and instructs his AG to launch criminal proceedings, nothing much will come of this except well-paid careers on FOX News, talk radio and lecture circuits.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:59 PM on May 4, 2009 [11 favorites]



Condie Rice is just our generation's Ollie North.


The one upside of that is she doesn't look exactly like Treat Williams.
posted by Divine_Wino at 3:06 PM on May 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


A Perfect Candidate is pretty entertaining. Are there any good movies with Condi in them?
posted by box at 3:08 PM on May 4, 2009


If Obama goes after Bush administration war criminals with anything but the full torches and pitchforks backing of the American public, red and blue, it'll just be derailed as political revenge and it won't get done right or at all. If Republicans started calling for investigations, it could go forward, but that's not likely to happen.
posted by stavrogin at 3:09 PM on May 4, 2009 [8 favorites]


Unsurprisingly, RedState sees the exchange differently.
posted by Joe Beese at 3:11 PM on May 4, 2009


Blazecock, remember that Fox News still paid G. Gordon Liddy absurd amounts of money even though he was a convicted felon: a consipirator in an antidemocratic coverup. Republicans are only hard on crime when it's petty theft, but they're very much for it when it undermines the very foundations of democracy.

If Rice is ever tried and convicted for her crimes against humanity, she'll just eventually wind up on Fox News or talk radio, a hero of the right. There will be no justice until Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, and Powell are executed. And since that will never, ever happen, we'll just idly speculate while all of them retire to their beachfront compounds with their stables of underage "aides."
posted by Optimus Chyme at 3:12 PM on May 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


What's with all the condescending "dear" and "do your homework first" bullshit? He just asked straightforward, reasonable questions. And her suggestion that because "the Nazis didn't attack the homeland," Al Qaeda was a bigger threat is... really weird.

I can't believe I'm still surprised by the Bush administration's sheer craptitude.
posted by dosterm at 3:22 PM on May 4, 2009


Because nothing drives home the message that America doesn't tolerate cruelty like a group execution.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:26 PM on May 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


Because nothing drives home the message that America doesn't tolerate cruelty like a group execution.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:26 PM on May 4


At least they'd get a trial first, something they denied their hundreds of thousands of victims.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 3:29 PM on May 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'd rather see them on one of those highway cleanup crews.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:36 PM on May 4, 2009 [5 favorites]


Because nothing drives home the message that America doesn't tolerate cruelty like a group execution.

I'd like to pose the argument that what America really needs is a demonstration that we don't tolerate treason or war crimes even more than that we don't tolerate cruelty, but rather, I'll just follow the Rights own talking points:

So make it clean and painless. Haven't Republicans themselves have argued that modern forms of execution are not cruel or unusual because every effort is made to make the condemned not suffer?

Surely it would be ok with right-wing if we followed the example of Bush when he was Governor? Right?

I'm not actually sure that executions after prosecutions would be the answer here, but I have to admit, there is a certain symmetry that appeals to the baser side of my personality.
posted by quin at 3:40 PM on May 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


dosterm-I felt Condi lost credibility when she suggested that Al Qaeda was a bigger threat than Nazi Germany. I mean....what?
posted by HighTechUnderpants at 3:40 PM on May 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Do your fucking homework go fuck yourself. What would she say to the many people who could answer those questions and still think that we tortured people and it was wrong? It's insulting to hear her essentially say that the only reason why someone could disagree with her on drowning people is that they're ignorant.

And can we bury the idea that Islamic terror is especially dangerous, and demands all the unique moral compromises. I know 911 had the biggest civilian death toll but it isn't in the same league as world war I or world war II in terms of destruction of US lives. The specter of a terrorist attack is so much less intimidating than having sidewalks etched with your shadow in a nuclear holocaust. Terrorists aren't worse than Nazis. It's a serious problem, take it seriously, but it isn't an excuse to be monsters.
posted by I Foody at 3:42 PM on May 4, 2009 [5 favorites]


even as the President prefers to look forward, and not back

And yet, when asked about water-boarding, torture, and the rule of law at his 100th-day press conference, he looked all the way back to Britain's Finest Hour:
I was struck by an article that I was reading the other day talking about the fact that the British, during World War II, when London was being bombed to smithereens, had 200 or so detainees. And Churchill said, "we don't torture," when the - the entire British - all of the British people were being subjected to unimaginable risk and threat. And - and - and the reason was that Churchill understood, you start taking shortcuts, and over time, that corrodes what's - what's best in a people. It corrodes the character of a country.
If Obama's playing the long game, then he understands the stakes. If not, then we're going to have to keep bringing up these questions, even if only by a few, such as Andrew Sullivan, Glenn Greenwald, or Misha Lerner.
posted by Doktor Zed at 3:49 PM on May 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


dosterm-I felt Condi lost credibility when she suggested that Al Qaeda was a bigger threat than Nazi Germany. I mean....what?

This got me more than her usual absurd logic and apologia for barbarism.

So let me get this straight the Wehrmacht, all 18.2 MILLION of them — with a navy, mechanized infantry, Air Force and the logistical support equal to a modern super-power —being the most sophisticated, modern and highly trained military of it's day was LESS of a threat than a couple hundred (at MOST) cave hermits currently hunkered down in Pakistan making Youtube snuff videos?

Jeebus H. Chrost. Malcompetence. Right there. This woman was our Secretary of Frigg'n State! What a complete moron.
posted by tkchrist at 3:53 PM on May 4, 2009 [16 favorites]


Every county in the US of A has a Grand Jury of some type - outta all those people, none of 'em can get together and opt to issue a indictment? Does someone have to slip Condi a ham sandwich 1st?
posted by rough ashlar at 4:03 PM on May 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Surely it would be ok with right-wing if we followed the example of Bush when he was Governor? Right?

Sure, but the mental image I get - George W. Bush in an orange jumpsuit with the word PRISONER in black block letters across his back, standing in a median strip on I-95 with a garbage bag in one hand and a pointy stick in the other, a look of broken defeat on his face only momentarily interrupted when a passing motorist throws a half-eaten Meximelt at him - gives me far greater satisfaction than the thought of his execution does.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:07 PM on May 4, 2009 [16 favorites]


Even 4th graders are calling her on the carpet now.
posted by madamjujujive at 4:13 PM on May 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


I will say this for the Bush administration: they proved that diversity hiring is completely compatible with appointing the most venal, incompetent and evil personnel. Rice has taken a lot of pressure off of minority women who thought they had to be intelligent or wise or even honest in order to succeed in government.
posted by klangklangston at 4:15 PM on May 4, 2009 [4 favorites]


Duh - sorry Hat Maui - missed your last link there. I am found out - I did not read every link, I admit it!
posted by madamjujujive at 4:15 PM on May 4, 2009


Oh please you know damn well if Dubya was ever put on a chain gang it would be just like that scene in Cool Hand Luke where everyone eats a spoonful of his rice and beans on the way out. You'd have Limbaugh fans lined up to cleant the street with their tongues the night before Dubya even got to it
posted by spicynuts at 4:19 PM on May 4, 2009


George W. Bush in an orange jumpsuit with the word PRISONER in black block letters across his back, standing in a median strip on I-95 with a garbage bag in one hand and a pointy stick in the other, a look of broken defeat on his face only momentarily interrupted when a passing motorist throws a half-eaten Meximelt at him

How about five to seven years of that except with DEATH ROW in black block letters across his back until he exhausts his appeals?
posted by fleetmouse at 4:21 PM on May 4, 2009


Ultimately, I would be perfectly okay with someone, anyone, latching onto Rice with this little slip of hers, then getting her to roll over on her buddies. Yeah, there's a lot of baddies in the mix, but I think nabbing Bush, Cheney, maybe Gonzales, and a handful of puppeteers/influence peddlers would serve as a permanent reminder to those who might think of attempting this again.

I don't know if I'd go with execution. I'd just say that, should they still insist that it wasn't torture, 266 sessions of "hey-it's-not-torture" waterboarding would be appropriate. One a day. Hope that ticker holds out, Dick.

It's cruel, it's unusual, but it is pointedly fair. And I strongly suspect that, to the people involved, this wasn't "real torture" on "real people." Perhaps the only way they could understand that they have in fact orchestrated torture is to undergo it, because their evolution simply has not developed far enough to know this without direct, firsthand experience.

The other questions being, of course, what waterboarding a President and staffers would do for the evolution of the remainder of the country, and would it be worth the cost?

I desperately hope that Obama is playing a very long game, and that he will be "reluctantly" forced to investigate the issue by the public. It would still be partisan axe-grinding hell, but perhaps only one of the upper circles.
posted by adipocere at 4:37 PM on May 4, 2009


You'd have Limbaugh fans lined up to cleant the street with their tongues the night before Dubya even got to it

I don't know; it doesn't seem Republicans are these fiercely loyal creatures who stand by the disgraced in their ranks.

I have pretty strong feelings about the death penalty I guess. I'd much rather see that team doing hard time then either a) become victims of the cruelty we condemn or b) receiving the quiet, painless death their victims never received.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:44 PM on May 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


And the upside to Condi Rice not being G. Gordon Liddy is that you won't be constantly subjected to pictures of her gigantic balls practically bursting from a red, white and blue speedo.
posted by The Straightener at 4:44 PM on May 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Republicans are only hard on crime when it's petty theft, but they're very much for it when it undermines the very foundations of democracy.

Or, as Bob Dylan wrote:

They say that patriotism is the last refuge
To which a scoundrel clings
Steal a little and they throw you in jail
Steal a lot and then they make you king
posted by flarbuse at 4:45 PM on May 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


And the upside to Condi Rice not being G. Gordon Liddy is that you won't be constantly subjected to pictures of her gigantic balls practically bursting from a red, white and blue speedo.

...

I am awfully glad there are corners of the internet I'll never see.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:46 PM on May 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Republicans are only hard on crime when it's petty theft, but they're very much for it when it undermines the very foundations of democracy.

Blowjobs. You forgot blowjobs.
posted by oaf at 4:49 PM on May 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


You can see the speedo here. WORK IT, DADDY-O!
posted by adipocere at 4:50 PM on May 4, 2009


For a long time, I was with Obama on the whole move past it thing. I am now rethinking this stance. While I think it is more important for the people of the United States to focus on pressing issues, like the economy, the there are a lot of other countries out there that are waiting for some justice. Maybe we can move on because it wasn't our husband, brother, or son tortured by a self-appointed world power. If the US is going to assume the title of world power, there has to be some accountability to the rest of the world.
posted by Foam Pants at 4:50 PM on May 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


Marisa, let me take you there.
posted by The Straightener at 4:51 PM on May 4, 2009


The other questions being, of course, what waterboarding a President and staffers would do for the evolution of the remainder of the country, and would it be worth the cost?

How would they know about it? That's what rendition and black sites are for, I thought.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:52 PM on May 4, 2009


I felt Condi lost credibility when she suggested that Al Qaeda was a bigger threat than Nazi Germany. I mean....what?

Maybe she meant that today, Nazis in Germany are probably a smaller threat than Al Qaeda. Of course, they're also a smaller threat than Nazis in Idaho, so it's not really a very useful comparison.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 4:52 PM on May 4, 2009


surely this....
posted by Afroblanco at 5:07 PM on May 4, 2009


Because nothing drives home the message that America doesn't tolerate cruelty like a group execution.

We execute people here in America every day, they are people who may or may not deserve death. One things for sure some people never get what the deserve this side of the grave, and some times those people have more right to execution than any of those we killed today and will kill tomorrow in the name of justice.
posted by nola at 5:23 PM on May 4, 2009


We must move forward, not backward. Upward, not forward. And always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom! (Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos)
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 5:44 PM on May 4, 2009 [5 favorites]


What's with all the condescending "dear" and "do your homework first" bullshit?

By most accounts, Condoleezza Rice is customarily patronizing to people who differ publicly with her, going back to her days in the 1990s as provost at Stanford. This behavior is nothing new for her, and in the case of interacting with a cheeky Stanford undergraduate, it's just like easing back into a comfy executive leather recliner.
posted by blucevalo at 5:48 PM on May 4, 2009


I think the only fair and moral use of the Death Penalty is for powerful elected officials and military who abuse their power and cause the death and suffering of untold thousands.

We loan these people the power of life and death. The only ethical and substantial punishment for abusing power at that level is to forfeit your own life. That should be deal going in.
posted by tkchrist at 5:51 PM on May 4, 2009 [5 favorites]


By most accounts, Condoleezza Rice is customarily patronizing to people who differ publicly with her

"War Criminal, please."
posted by tkchrist at 5:52 PM on May 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


WTF! Ok, even I was joking at first but I can't watch that interview without wanting to break things.

Really. I mean it's one thing to say "we committed necessary ugly evil acts but it had to be done" and quite another to quote "teacher said I could" with the fucking president as your answer to that particular question.

I've already had twice my daily quota of exercise. I need to find a drink.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 5:54 PM on May 4, 2009


I felt Condi lost credibility when she suggested that Al Qaeda was a bigger threat than Nazi Germany. I mean....what?

The mistake she made was responding to a question with zero lateral thinking. Of course Nazi Germany was a bigger threat, and we can all do the math. But a good thinker won't go down the road of trying to say X was bigger than Y, because then someone will say you're ignoring the very real dangers of Y.

The smart speaker would've judo-throwed the point. "Look, we had to deal with this threat right here, right now, in real time, so our decision was ABC. You can reflect and consider and think deep thoughts, but eventually, you have to act. We did."

Instead, she tried to measure the wrong shit and ended up comparing 3,000 to millions and millions and millions, so now we're all laughing at her. Correctly.

Hopefully, this ends her political career. But alas, I think that will require a stake through the heart.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:55 PM on May 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Wow, the condescension and the body language... she looks really, really uppity. The only reason to ever get that defensive is when you already know that you're wrong.

She should get some "playing it cool" lessons from Dick Cheney or Karl Rove.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:10 PM on May 4, 2009


And yet, when asked about water-boarding, torture, and the rule of law at his 100th-day press conference, he looked all the way back to Britain's Finest Hour:

I was struck by an article that I was reading the other day talking about the fact that the British, during World War II, when London was being bombed to smithereens, had 200 or so detainees. And Churchill said, "we don't torture," when the - the entire British - all of the British people were being subjected to unimaginable risk and threat. And - and - and the reason was that Churchill understood, you start taking shortcuts, and over time, that corrodes what's - what's best in a people. It corrodes the character of a country.


Sounds good, but not exactly accurate.
posted by drjimmy11 at 6:37 PM on May 4, 2009


By most accounts, Condoleezza Rice is customarily patronizing to people who differ publicly with her, going back to her days in the 1990s as provost at Stanford. This behavior is nothing new for her, and in the case of interacting with a cheeky Stanford undergraduate, it's just like easing back into a comfy executive leather recliner.

i am glad you and other metafilter posters noted this, because it went largely unremarked-upon in even the critical coverage of the incident. i couldn't believe how haughty she was with a freaking undergrad, like his straightforward and civil questioning of her was illegitimate -- how DARE you insult me, her majesty queen condi, with your plebian catechizing -- and it was very unseemly and ugly. ordinary citizens don't have the right to question their superiors, apparently. she felt she had to browbeat him into submission with irrelevant counters and by talking over him, and he clearly was intimidated (although he held his own pretty well for awhile) by her status even as she bludgeoned him about the head with it. redstate saw a kid get taken to school, most of the rest of us saw joan crawford up in arms about wire hangers.

just amazing the extent to which she is in a bubble which brooks no dissent from commoners, and when she's called to account by an entity that is more able to go toe-to-toe (like '60 Minutes') her tone changes to that of the beleagured but well-meaning public servant who puts a good face on the bush crimes out of duty.
posted by Hat Maui at 6:44 PM on May 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


I don't think Dr. Rice will be taking any speaking engagements in Spain any time soon.

It's a shame, really. They have such a fine collection in the Prado.
posted by Joe Beese at 7:00 PM on May 4, 2009


By the way, a big fat THANKS to the two posters who linked to the photo of G Gordon in his freedomwear. I found his sandals far more disturbing.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:25 PM on May 4, 2009


"just amazing the extent to which she is in a bubble which brooks no dissent from commoners"
Fanaticism. It doesn't care how smart you are.
Y'know, she's right in the sense that certain terrorism outfits could have been far more dangerous, to the U.S., if they'd had weapons of mass destruction. And all the logic that she follows makes complete sense. Of course, it all falls down if, y'know, reality doesn't match the model.

"I didn’t authorize anything. I conveyed the authorization of the administration to the agency."
- I think she want to get caught. I really do. Somewhere in there, there is a conscience. Weak, and feeble, and atrophied because of lack of use, but she's not the robot monster Cheney is.

“I'd rather see them on one of those highway cleanup crews”

Oh that'd be sweet.

Cheney: Waterboardin’ it up here boss?
Man with no eyes: Waterboard it up there Dragline.
Strother Martin: What we’ve got here is failure to comuni*gulgh!gugglghphgs!gugldggddggahgg!!*
----
Cheney: I can shoot 50 people in the face, and have them apologize.
Bush: Nobody can shoot 50 people in the face..
Rumsfeld: Hey, Babalugats. We got a bet here!

----

Rove: Them political appointments got numbers on them. You remember your number and always lobby for the ones that has your number. Any man forgets his number spends a night in the Gitmo. These here subpoenas you keep with you. Any man responds to his subpoena spends a night in the Gitmo. There's no playing grab-ass with Jeff Gannon or responding to the press in the building. You got to release a story, you release it Saturday afternoon just before a big story breaks Monday. Any man playing grab-ass with Jeff Gannon or responding to the press in the building spends a night in the Gitmo. First bell's at five minutes of eight when you will dismiss U.S. Attorneys. Last bell is at eight. Any man who has not dismissed a U.S. Attorney at eight spends the night in the Gitmo.
There is no leaking the identities of CIA agents in a public position from office. To leak you must have both reporters covering you, one of which must be Robert Novak. Any man caught revealing the identities of covert CIA operatives publicly from the White House will be ... uh, pardoned.
You get two comments. Every Monday, you make a comment that puts 9/11 on top of the news cycle... the top comment on Iraq goes on the bottom of the news cycle... and the bottom comment you turn in to the press secretary. Any man vets in the wrong comment spends a night in the Gitmo. No one'll sit in the ranks with the dirty liberals. Any man with dirty liberals on voting or in their ranks spends a night in the Gitmo. Any man don't bring back his empty pop bottle spends a night in the Gitmo. Any man don’t torture or says waterboarding is torture spends a night in the Gitmo.
You got questions, you come to me. I'm Carl Rove, the floor walker. I'm responsible for order in here. Any man don't keep order spends a night in...

Obama: (mouthing) 'The Gitmo'

Rove:* eyes Obama * Mister, I hope you ain’t gonna be trouble next election cycle.

Obama: *shakes head* *Grins*
posted by Smedleyman at 7:55 PM on May 4, 2009 [6 favorites]


I don't know what to say about this crap anymore. I am starting to lean toward this argument. The idea that America doesn't tolerate war crimes, or torture, or cruelty is complete bs. Anyone with even a cursory understanding of American history can see that those things are exactly what we do best. How do you think we took over a continent? Of course, all of that stuff was "legal". We've been deluding our selves for decades with this "America is the greatest country on Earth" crap. We've done a lot of shitty things, but we're not all shitty. Seems to me that if we can't or haven't come to terms with a past defined by racism and ethnic cleansing then it will be a long time before we come to terms with this latest fiasco.
posted by IvoShandor at 7:57 PM on May 4, 2009 [4 favorites]


"If you were there in a position of authority, and watched Americans jump out of 80-story buildings because these murderous tyrants went after innocent people, then you were determined to do anything that you could that was legal to prevent that from happening again."

Very nearly funny.
posted by stinkycheese at 7:59 PM on May 4, 2009


Wow, the condescension and the body language... she looks really, really uppity.

Um, I'm no particular fan of Condoleezza Rice (see my comment above), but is "uppity" the best word to describe her behavior? Out of the thousands of possible adjectives that apply?
posted by blucevalo at 8:10 PM on May 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


She looked like she was about to throw down for a few seconds there, where she started waving her fingers in the guy's face.
posted by stinkycheese at 8:12 PM on May 4, 2009


WHAT
THE
FUCK
AMERICA?

(Also, note the sudden perfect silence and rapt attention and tension that develops in the room at the 60 second mark. You can't script dramatic tension and foreshadowing like that.)
posted by loquacious at 8:19 PM on May 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


this is the most revealing part of the video, right off the bat

"first of all" *shakes head yes* you do what's right - that's the most important thing" *shakes head no*

i watched the rest of it, but i really didn't need to - that alone is a pretty good sign she's lying through her teeth

and condi -

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

why don't you do YOUR fucking homework? - i did along with millions of other americans - that's why your party is no longer running things
posted by pyramid termite at 8:45 PM on May 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Given all the rope stockpiling that certain people seem to be doing, I'm starting to wonder if "looking forward, not back" isn't the best method of prosecution possible. I mean if a democrat or the press makes Cheney or Rice out to be a war criminal, the right will go into overdrive doing their best to blackwash anyone involved.

What are they going to do when Dick Cheney brags about it?
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 8:56 PM on May 4, 2009


And her suggestion that because "the Nazis didn't attack the homeland," Al Qaeda was a bigger threat is... really weird.

she's wrong about that, too

furthermore, her statement "So if you need Saudi Arabia to fight al Qaeda internally -- which is by the way where al Qaeda came from" is another little slip - something she would have never dared say while in office for fear of offending the saudis AND revealing that the "al qaeda in iraq" was not truthful - as saddam's government had kept them out until we overthrew him

actually, she probably ought to try this little act of hers in front of congress - if congress has the guts to put her up there
posted by pyramid termite at 8:59 PM on May 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


About a year ago there was a report released on FBI involvement in interrogations.

It included little nuggets like a prisoner being hospitalized for low core body temperature.

The cute euphemism of (poo poo, boo hoo) exposure to cold included inducing hypothermia. Perhaps his chattering teeth were sending out Morse coded messages ... and the Empire was saved 5 or 6 times. (The waterboarding focus, in some ways, minimizes the extent and depravity of the torture program.)

Anyway, Mueller was called to testify. The Republicans held up the virtuous interrogation technique of putting womens panties on a prisoners head. Clearly not torture, then railed that the FBI was a bunch of weak willed pussies for being offended and not employing the female underwear headgear technique. Seriously. This is how soberly Republicans take the issue.

The Democrats took up the undergarment effectiveness debate and defended the FBI abstention. Claimed Mueller was; the man, the real deal, had teabagged a vat of molten steel as a baby, basically. The cock sucking was tremendous.

Taking abuse and adulation with bland stare, Mueller monitored the time ticking away.

Finally someone seemingly awoke, rubbed their eyes and asked the simple question; "Why did the Federal Bureau of Investigation not, you know, investigate?"

Mueller wiggled around being sure other departments had different rules (not his protocol) but not a clue what those rules were (not his protocol) the legality of or authorization for those special rules (not his protocol) so remaining ignorant and oblivious was, according to him, strict following of FBI protocol.

Actually the FBI didn't have clean hands. They were vying for position and some agents crossed lines as the torture program got started. They were scared off by the mention of possible prosecution for these actions. Any further investigation would have revealed FBI players, so they shut their eyes to everything.

Things got tense for a second or two when the "War Crimes" dossier the FBI had begun building was mentioned ... Mr. Protocol looked confused and claimed this was a harmless mis-naming that some bad apple agent had started under a misguided assumption about international laws and it didn't really reflect the contents.

Answer accepted. Hearing adjourned. Investigation of the investigators done and forgotten.

History will be the judge of events and actors ... nobody else seems to want the fucking job. Proclamation is somewhat, hopefully, gross exaggeration.
posted by phoque at 9:31 PM on May 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Soufan, Zelikow to Testify On Torture
posted by homunculus at 9:45 PM on May 4, 2009


actually, she probably ought to try this little act of hers in front of congress - if congress has the guts to put her up there

Do we need scapegoats - didn't Congress sanction the invasion of Iraq, and all that went with it? The United States has experienced a fundamentally sick period of political culture.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:01 PM on May 4, 2009


It looked to me that she was about to break out in tears for a bit. That crackling, warbling cadence in her voice. I've done the very same thing, but only when I've felt trapped in blame for something for which I felt I was innocent. So, as much as she's always struck me as an anthropomorphized lizard, I might venture that she's subconsciously well aware of the blood on her hands, but is unable to accept the responsibility, and expends a great deal of mental effort fortifying an idealized version of herself and the events. I could almost sympathize with our modern day Lady Macbeth, but more than any other crime, torture demands justice. But she'll be well looked after in her ivory tower, despised by everyone around her, while growing old and irrelevant. Perhaps a segment on Fox News here and there. No justice, but perhaps no peace. I hope she is haunted by the furies for the rest of her life.
posted by cytherea at 10:18 PM on May 4, 2009 [4 favorites]


actually, she probably ought to try this little act of hers in front of congress - if congress has the guts to put her up there

Condie Rice or Oliver North?

1. "I was authorized to do everything that I did."
2. "We are at war, and our security as a nation depends on winning that war."
3. "I believe the President was aware and approved of my activities."
4. "Does anybody think these people were just sitting around drinking tea?"
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:22 PM on May 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


she looks really, really uppity.

Seriously?
posted by Bookhouse at 10:31 PM on May 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


I just wanted to mention that I was hitting the "random" button above and came up with this 2002 Metafilter thread debating whether we needed to go to war with Iraq. It's kind of amazing...it now reads almost like that parody that guy wrote about Metafilter during a nuclear attack.
posted by Kirklander at 10:42 PM on May 4, 2009


"No, Dear, You're wrong. "

I haven't been handed that since my closest GF, but but certainly by my Mom.
posted by sourwookie at 11:57 PM on May 4, 2009


Shaking her head horizontally while saying"First of all you do what's right" was the cue that I can't take what she says from this point on seriously.

Geez. And I don't know shit about body language.
posted by sourwookie at 12:05 AM on May 5, 2009


"uppity?"

Oh, dear.
posted by sourwookie at 12:13 AM on May 5, 2009


Um, I'm no particular fan of Condoleezza Rice (see my comment above), but is "uppity" the best word to describe her behavior? Out of the thousands of possible adjectives that apply?

Merriam-Webster definition for "uppity": putting on or marked by airs of superiority

Which is EXACTLY what I meant. It is the most accurate adjective to describe my view of her behavior. Hunting for subliminal meanings doesn't mean that they're there.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 4:20 AM on May 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


I guess reading ALL of the comments that there's a consensus building that "uppity" is a taboo word even when it's accurate. Seriously, I thought about the connotations of it before I posted it, but sometimes, the shoe does fit. The definition of the word matches my impression of her actions, being condescending and falsely superior.

I'm not the kind of person who would post a loaded term without realizing that it's loaded, but I'm also not going to shy away from using a word that means what I mean to say. I guess sometimes words become so loaded that we forget what they actually mean, and this might be one of those times. I meant no harm and saying "She's really condescending and totally putting on airs" is a lot LONGER and less precise than saying "She's being really uppity."
posted by grapefruitmoon at 4:26 AM on May 5, 2009


Also, bullshit on "we're all responsible".

The neocon cabal is responsible. Opportunistic vermin like Dershowitz and Alter are responsible. Everyone who voted for Bush in 2004 is responsible.

The tens of millions of people who loudly (if impotently) denounced torture all along are not responsible.
posted by Joe Beese at 5:29 AM on May 5, 2009



I guess sometimes words become so loaded that we forget what they actually mean, and this might be one of those times. I meant no harm and saying "She's really condescending and totally putting on airs" is a lot LONGER and less precise than saying "She's being really uppity."



Please hit the dictionary before thinking you are correct in your word usage.
Uppity is not being condescending.

You are accusing her of thinking she is above her station when she held a position that is Fourth in the presidential line of succession. You really can't get much higher than that.

Not to mention that the notion of "station" is fundamentally offensive.


You probably inadvertently blew a dog whistle and now you are digging in to defend it when you should probably say something like "oops".
posted by srboisvert at 5:58 AM on May 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm sure as hell not responsible. I told them not to do it. And when they didn't listen and did it anyway, I told them to stop. I even wrote a letter.

Don't fucking nail this one on me, guys.
posted by RockCorpse at 6:12 AM on May 5, 2009


Holy fuck, it's not torture because the president said it wasn't torture. I was ready to move on but I am starting to think all this needs to be made public. She couldn't be more obnoxious.
posted by zzazazz at 6:53 AM on May 5, 2009


We execute people here in America every day

No, we don't. Not that I'm defending capital punishment, but I don't believe it helpful to misstate the number of executions.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:22 AM on May 5, 2009


Jeebus H. Chrost. Malcompetence. Right there. This woman was our Secretary of Frigg'n State! What a complete moron.

Well, we already knew this about her. When the 9/11 commission asked her why she hadn't taken any action based on the PDB titled "Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US", her reply was that no one had told her what to do...
posted by Mental Wimp at 7:23 AM on May 5, 2009


Grapefruitmoon—Hey, I'm not trying to beat you up here, but "uppity" has a nasty history. More.

It's part of the coded language of racism, and is considered a faux pas. For future reference, you may also be challenged if you call a black person "articulate," or liken them to a monkey, even if you believe it's accurate.
posted by klangklangston at 7:48 AM on May 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Everyone who voted The president of Diebold to promised to deliver Ohio for Bush in 2004 is responsible.

FTFY.
posted by hippybear at 8:06 AM on May 5, 2009


Oh, here, I found it: If there was any reason to believe that I needed to do something or that Andy Card needed to do something, I would have been expected to be asked to do it.
posted by Mental Wimp at 8:13 AM on May 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Re: "uppity"

Can you imagine the backlash if the video showed excessive frugality and someone described her as being "niggardly"?
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 9:36 AM on May 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


From the transcript: Guantanamo Bay, by the way, was considered a model "medium security prison" by representatives of the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe who went there to see it.

Why does she do this?

She knows there's a camera there, she knows that people are going to be fact-checking her, she knows that they're going to easily find out that the guy she's cherry-picking this (three year old) quote from "was not employed or commissioned by the OSCE," and that the OSCE's stance at the time was actually exactly the opposite of what she's implying: they said "the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility is continuing to seriously tarnish the reputation of the United States in the world" [pdf, page 268] and "recommends to the US authorities that they announce as soon as possible the disbandment of the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility" [same pdf, page 269]. She knows that to anyone who's paying the slightest bit of attention to what's going on, she's going to look like a bald-faced liar.

Is her little moment of rhetorical "do your homework, young man!" flourish really worth that?
posted by ook at 10:33 AM on May 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


She knows there's a camera there

Well, the story is that neither she nor the student who was questioning her knew that a second student (whose video is the one that subsequently appeared on YouTube) was videotaping the entire exchange. FWIW.
posted by blucevalo at 10:54 AM on May 5, 2009


blucevalo, I don't see anything that suggests this was a hidden camera; where are you getting that from?
posted by ook at 11:41 AM on May 5, 2009


“We've been deluding our selves for decades with this "America is the greatest country on Earth" crap.”
Well, it’s an ideal that many folks work towards, not a reality that’s been realized.
The problem is that people pushing that “we’re the greatest” never seem to recognize that it’s always been IN SPITE OF them, not because of them, that advancement towards the ideals of truth and justice and liberty for all have been made.
People like Rice tend to objectify the country, as though it were a static symbol that isn’t affected by what’s done in its name rather than a living thing that requires work and maintenance and embodiment of virtue rather than just lip service.
So they think of it as a thing apart. “The greatest.” And therefore something they can act in any way to preserve, defend, etc. etc. Same syndrome among the zealots. Kill or torture in the name of God, as though one’s own actions have no effect or the greater good is a thing apart.
I think that’s the thing, they don’t feel as though they’re a part of the country. They feel above it, or at best, self-sacrificing. That’s the mindset behind torture. The exaggeration of that otherness. Self-isolation. All that. As though the ideals weren’t universal. As though man was made to serve them and not vice versa. Freedom isn’t a concept to be protected, but a reality to be exercised and experienced.
I mean look at Rice – think she has any real life in her at all? I pity the victims of torture and my empathy lay with them, but I pity her as well. I pitied the Somali pirates who took hostages recently too. Oh, I’d’ve killed them myself, but you just look at them and the situation they’re in, the barriers they’ve built for themselves, and the environment they were thrust into, so many things they didn’t know, just a shame, the waste.
In Rice’s case it’s perhaps worse considering the resources she’s been given, you’d expect more from her. But one environment isn’t more (or less) corrosive than another simply because of the absence of wealth. And someone having more intelligence or talent or willpower doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily not respond from fear or ego.
It takes a lot more to live without regard to the myriad coercive elements around us all the time. Humility maybe. I dunno. Whatever it is, she doesn’t have it.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:03 PM on May 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


blucevalo, I don't see anything that suggests this was a hidden camera; where are you getting that from?

From here (I didn't say it was a hidden camera; I said the story was that they didn't know they were being videotaped):

"Curiously, Cohn wasn't performing for the cameras. In fact, he had no idea he was being videotaped.

"'I actually didn't even know she was there until the YouTube video showed up,' Cohn said referring to his dorm mate Reyna Garcia, who shot the video.

"'I wasn't expecting it at all, I was surprised by that,' Garcia said. 'The whole room went quiet and everyone started listening to her and I just kept rolling.'"
posted by blucevalo at 12:48 PM on May 5, 2009


OK, I hadn't seen the CBS interview with the student. But it doesn't say or suggest that Rice didn't know she was being taped, only that the student asking her questions didn't.

The videocamera is being held at eye level directly in Rice's line of sight, in a room full of people snapping photographs of the entire exchange. It's a small point, perhaps, but to suggest that she wasn't aware that the exchange could be or was being recorded stretches plausibility quite a bit.
posted by ook at 1:49 PM on May 5, 2009


Look, I meant what I said in my previous defense of my previous comment. To squash the derail can I just go with "shrill" or are the feminists going to start hitting me for that one?

Yeah, I get it, foot in mouth. My point still stands that the word, given its dictionary meaning, describes the behavior exhibited. I'm not making any accusations based on race, gender, shoe style, hair color, or anything else. Just that she was acting like a total tool. Is it better if I insult her personally? Is that preferable?
posted by grapefruitmoon at 2:40 PM on May 5, 2009


"Do we need scapegoats - didn't Congress sanction the invasion of Iraq, and all that went with it?"

Given that Congress was defrauded ( in violation of 18 USC 371, et. al. ) , I think it's safe to say that Congress was unable to perform oversight due to the criminal conspiracy of Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, Powell, et. al. to specifically prevent that oversight.

Going on national TV, KNOWING that there's no WMD application for"Aluminium Tubes", but asserting that they're ONLY for WMD projects -- that's a crime.
posted by mikelieman at 6:22 PM on May 5, 2009


It's a small point, perhaps, but to suggest that she wasn't aware that the exchange could be or was being recorded stretches plausibility quite a bit.

I don't think it's a small point, and you may well be right that she knew she was being taped. All I'm saying is that the story seems to imply that only the videotaper knew that the exchange was being videotaped, and in the context of your original comment, it would seem to make more sense that Rice didn't know she was being taped than it would that she did know, unless I'm misunderstanding what you were saying.

Unless she were having some sort of sudden rupture in which the student's questions rendered her apoplectic to the point of utterly forgetting her usual fastidious caution in front of the camera, I'm not completely convinced that she knew that she was being taped.

It's possible that she had that sort of moment of rupture, to be sure, and maybe that's why the tape is so compelling.
posted by blucevalo at 6:23 PM on May 5, 2009


homunculus
(First, a bit of love, all your linking and great posts ... swoons in manly manner.)

Yeah, I know Congress grinds slow and isn't really done with the FBI. Soufan, I am definitely looking forward to the hearing but my point (and I know I tend to convey thoughts in fairly opaque manner) was more about the useless nature of having a hearing with Rice.

The woman knows how to exhaust a hearing. She prattles on and on about context only to get indignant if interrupted for babbling without foreseeable point. Then hauls out the second time-burning tactic of; "Do you want my answer or not?". The delivery can be either maligned victim act or ... fueled by a fucking hoard of apparitions ... depending on questioner. The structure of hearings is part of the problem. The lack of coordination in questioning is another. But I love the proceedings as they expose small things, unexpected tidbits that do expand the picture, so wouldn't oppose it, just ...

There is little that is unclear at this point about how everything transpired. So to have the countries' "top cop" (my FBI story) show suppression and surrender of his explicit duty to enforce federal law and the body charged with oversight ... it is a naked mess of tactic approval. Every time a more dispassionate view is brought, Congress asks "What can we do?", they are told to seek an outside, independent council / investigation. (Years have now passed and they still hum and haw when presented with the notion ... work versus words and all that.)

Perhaps we are at a tipping point but there aren't many more shoes left to drop and the Rice revelation that Bush authorized everything making it legal. Well, when John Yoo was called to testify and asked if he really believed the President could crush a child's testicles.
He said "Yes. He believed the President had the legal authority to do that if he believed it would protect the nation."
The Representatives asked "Really?!?"
"Yes, yes, really." replied Yoo.
"Okay dokay" rang the assembled chorus.

The repercussions for this utter loony toon mockery of law ... not a single straitjacket in sight. And definitely no member prepared to strap it on. Although, if he gets disbarred, as he might, perhaps he did hang himself. (Wonderful, I have just unmade my point. Screw it, posting muddlement anyway.)

Also little bit of side note, as I may have gone a tad heavy in my previous comment; I don't think all Republicans (elected members of the party (with much idol and little ideology (not to be confused with conservatives (many whom are fine folks;) )))) are evil incarnate who would eat their young if left unsupervised.
posted by phoque at 6:24 PM on May 5, 2009


It's obvious grapefruitmoon didn't mean anything other than the dictionary definition of "uppity." I know it's sometimes attached to an ugly racial slur, but whenever it's been used in my presence it was to describe a Caucasian and/or their behavior.
posted by Devils Slide at 11:58 PM on May 5, 2009


It's a circular argument: According to Cheney, whatever the president does is legal. So, when torture is authorized by the President, it is legal.

Also, I am wondering how many Americans died when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. According to WikiAnswers, 2,403.

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_people_died_in_the_attack_on_Pearl_Harbor
posted by annsunny at 10:50 AM on May 6, 2009


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