What Fresh Hell Is This?

April 30, 2009

Condoleezza Rice: No Torture

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was taped at Stanford University recently in off-the-cuff discussion of torture. The video:

The full text can be found here.

I'd like to start about 4 minutes in to the video. The discussion is swirling around torture and the questioner points out that the US didn't torture any German POW. To which Secretary Rice says:
And we didn't torture anybody here either. Alright?
When it was pointed out that there was torture at Guantanamo Bay, Rice became rather patronizing:
No, no dear, you're wrong. Alright. You're wrong. We did not torture anyone. And 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.
Dear? Oh, to be called "dear" by an accused war criminal! Anyway, while Rice instructs her interrogator to "do your homework," she evidently hasn't done her own.

Here's the report about how Guantanamo is a "model" prison:
Inmates at Guantanamo Bay prison are treated better than in Belgian jails, an expert for Europe's biggest security organization said on Monday after a visit to the controversial U.S. detention center.

But Alain Grignard, deputy head of Brussels' federal police anti-terrorism unit, said that holding people for many years without telling them what would happen to them is in itself "mental torture."

"At the level of the detention facilities, it is a model prison, where people are better treated than in Belgian prisons," said Grignard.

And here's OSCE's "clarification" about Monsier Grignard:

The OSCE Spokesperson said that, in the light of these reports, he wished to make it clear the Organization itself had not sent an expert to Guantanamo: "The person quoted in several of the stories as "an OSCE expert", Professor Alain Grignard, accompanied the delegation despatched by the Parliamentary Assembly, based in Copenhagen, but he was not employed or commissioned by the OSCE."

Without commenting on the views expressed by any members of the delegation at the press conference in Brussels, he added that the statements should therefore not be taken as being made on behalf of the 55-nation body, which is headquartered in Vienna. [emphasis added]

In fact, Anne-Marie Lizin, Special Representative of the President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, issued a report on June 30, 2006 that notes:
...that the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility is continuing to seriously tarnish the reputation of the United States in the world and enabling its enemies to devalue the fight against terrorism by substantiating the idea that it is incompatible with respect for the rule of law and for human rights. (page 18)
In consequence of the foregoing, [Lizin] recommends to the US authorities that they announce as soon as possible the disbandment of the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility by publicizing in July 2006 an accurate and detailed timetable for the transfer of the detainees and for the organization of the practical modalities of the closure. (page 19) [emphasis added]
And yet Secretary Rice said the OSCE said it was a "model" prison.

Perhaps, dear, you should do YOUR homework.

Then there's this:
Now, the ICRC also had access to Guantanamo, and they made no allegations about interrogations at Guantanamo.
Interesting, here's what the ICRC DID say about Guantanamo bay:
The allegations of ill-treatment of the detainees indicate that, in many cases, the ill-treatment to which they were subjected while held in the CIA program, either singly or in combination, constituted torture. In addition, many other elements of the ill-treatment, either singly or in combination, constituted cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.
And finally when asked whether she considered waterboarding torture, she replied:
...by definition, if it was authorized by the president, it did not violate our obligations under the Conventions Against Torture.
There you have it. Didn't work for Nixon. It shouldn't work for Bush.

Investigate and prosecute the torture.

1 comment:

aironlater said...

I was watching Fox"News" this morning when Doocy and Kilmeade played 41 seconds of this clip and claimed that Rice "schooled" the guy asking her the question about torture. I nearly spewed milk out my nose.