Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Exchange Between Condoleezza Rice and Two Stanford Students

by Dee Newman

On April 27 Condolessza Rice met with some young but very bright Stanford students at a dormitory reception. It seems in the exchange that the school’s former provost may have met her match. In fact her last words in the give and take may one day come back to bite her in a court of law.

When asked if waterboarding is torture, she asserted with an air of condescension, "By definition, if it was authorized by the President it did not violate our obligations under the convention against torture." The exact same defense Nixon and his apologist used to justify their high crimes and misdemeanors.

This exchange highlights the reason why we cannot simply let these illegal acts fade into the past. For they are not and never will be in the past as long as the culprits and their crimes continue to be defended and justified as "altogether fitting and proper" acts of national security.

The legal investigations and prosecutions of wrong-doing must not be circumvented. The wrongdoers must be brought to justice. Otherwise, we will one day, once again, be lead by another administration of incompetent, corrupt cowards who believe the end justifies the means.

The legal inquiry should not be partisan nor political. Therefore, it needs to be conducted independent of any suspicion of either. President Obama should let it be known to all that he will neither pursue nor obstruct any legal investigation into this matter. Once justice has been served, then and only then, should he intervene to pardon anyone.

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