Condoleezza Rice grilled over torture
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A Stanford University student grills former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice over the Bush administration's torture policy. Who sounds more convincing: Rice or Jeremy Cohn?
A Stanford University student grills ex-US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice over the Bush administration's torture policy. Who sounds more convincing: Rice or Jeremy Cohn?
Condoleezza Rice, former US President George W. Bush's security advisor and then secretary of state (2005-2009), returned to teach political science at Stanford University, where she was a professor before entering politics, in March.
The torture memos released by US President Barack Obama's administration in April revealed that highly-placed officials in the Bush administration, including Rice, legally approved the CIA's controversial torture methods. They also gave interrogators the green light to resort to techniques like waterboarding.
Rice was given a rather luke-warm reception at Stanford University on Monday, when she visited a dormitory where she was confronted by a group of students. Among them was Jeremy Cohn, a fourth-year student who did not hesitate to grill Rice. The scene was filmed by another student, who then posted it on YouTube. Rice denied personally authorising waterboarding and simply confirmed "communicating the administration's authorisation to the CIA."
"Many other students shared my opinion that she was evasive and got very defensive"
Jeremy Cohn is a student at Stanford. We see him questioning Condoleeza Rice in the video.
The strong points were when she was talking about the situation in the country soon after September 11. It's true that a lot of people were scared and we were facing a very difficult time. A lot of the things she said at the beginning [were good], especially when she said that we can't always choose our allies. It's true that the world is a very imperfect place and that tough decisions need to be taken. But the excuse isn't valid enough. If we entrust these officials with important responsibilties, it's because we want them to take decisions without being influenced by public opinion. In the end, she didn't really convince me. My question about the United States and how we're supposed to move forward with all of those secrets coming out just turned into a regular defense of all the basic talking points within the administration. Finally, many other students shared my opinion that she was evasive and got very defensive."