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Condoleezza Rice echoes Nixon
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TurnpikeGates



Joined: 30 Jun 2003
Posts: 517
Location: Bay Area
Condoleezza Rice echoes Nixon  Reply with quote  

"The president instructed us that nothing we would do would be outside of our obligations, legal obligations, under the Convention Against Torture," Rice said at Stanford, before adding: "And so, by definition, if it was authorized by the president, it did not violate our obligations under the Convention Against Torture."
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/03/AR2009050301739.html

Sounds a lot like "When the president does it, it's not illegal."

She said that at Stanford University. The article is more about a question she got later from a 4th-grader, but interesting read nonetheless.

What do you guys think? Is this the bottom of the barrel argument... do they really feel so up against the wall that they're resorting to this kind of circular logic? Or was this just a slip-up?


Last edited by TurnpikeGates on Wed May 06, 2009 1:38 am; edited 1 time in total
Post Wed May 06, 2009 1:34 am
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Embryo



Joined: 31 Dec 2002
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Thus is their entire logic. It's always been that desperate, which is why they tried so hard to keep it quiet. It's going to get even more interesting.
Post Wed May 06, 2009 1:36 am
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TurnpikeGates



Joined: 30 Jun 2003
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Embryo wrote:
Thus is their entire logic. It's always been that desperate, which is why they tried so hard to keep it quiet. It's going to get even more interesting.


You really think so? I think they dissemble more successfully when they pin their argument on interpretive matters, like what is or is not "torture," who is or is not a "soldier," "enemy combatant," etc. It's way easier to get from A (Condi's quote) to B (they honestly think they're above the law) on this one.
Post Wed May 06, 2009 1:40 am
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the mean
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 Reply with quote  

Someone's been reading dailykos.
Post Wed May 06, 2009 6:44 am
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Captiv8



Joined: 25 Aug 2006
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 Reply with quote  

This kind of fallacious reasoning kills me. So everything with presidential sanction is legal now? This is on some failing high school debate team shit.
Post Wed May 06, 2009 6:47 am
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Embryo



Joined: 31 Dec 2002
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TurnpikeGates wrote:
Embryo wrote:
Thus is their entire logic. It's always been that desperate, which is why they tried so hard to keep it quiet. It's going to get even more interesting.


You really think so? I think they dissemble more successfully when they pin their argument on interpretive matters, like what is or is not "torture," who is or is not a "soldier," "enemy combatant," etc. It's way easier to get from A (Condi's quote) to B (they honestly think they're above the law) on this one.


right -- those word games are how they have kept the spotlight from shining directly on their base logic.

but their base logic literally follows directly from their belief in a unitary executive. and torture is a classic tool for pushing that because it becomes a self-justifying feedback loop. it lets them draw people away from the issue with side questions like efficacy, doomsday scenarios, whether or not the geneva conventions apply. and they clearly felt that it would help them generate false proof of a tie between iraq and 9/11. but their high-level thinking on why this all was OK, is exactly what rice articulated here. that's as deep as it gets. which means, i think, we are almost at the bottom of the rabbit hole.
Post Wed May 06, 2009 9:45 am
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Embryo



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the mean wrote:
Someone's been reading dailykos.


hopefully more than one of us.
Post Wed May 06, 2009 9:46 am
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ObliO



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Slow down condi
Post Wed May 06, 2009 10:20 am
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sequence



Joined: 21 Jul 2002
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Condi is just one of the many members of the Bush administration who have a robust understanding of the nature of sovereignty, at least insofar as it has been practically administered in the U.S. for the last few decades.
Post Wed May 06, 2009 3:10 pm
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TurnpikeGates



Joined: 30 Jun 2003
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the mean wrote:
Someone's been reading dailykos.


Digg, actually. Shit blew my mind a little bit though, because I'd never seen the Bush administration's justification laid so bare before.

Though, Embryo, I agree with your analysis. I just wonder why she decided right now was a good time to let that drop... and it sounds like it has something to do with mounting a personal defense that doesn't necessarily protect Bush or the Justice Department, but does cover her ass. As though she actually expects something might be coming down.
Post Wed May 06, 2009 4:13 pm
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badjerk



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This is the footage. The whole thing is pretty interesting/appalling, but the parts referred to begin around 5:30.

These stanford kids let her off the hook, and thats unfortunate.
Post Wed May 06, 2009 4:29 pm
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sequence



Joined: 21 Jul 2002
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Dude she's heated. And acting like a properly righteous fucker. And also constructing an argument that anyone with a functional appendage could knock over.
Post Wed May 06, 2009 5:06 pm
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Dan Shay



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I think Congress has been complicit and former administrations would be implicated in violations of various treaties if people keep digging up graves.

Dubya didn't invent the practice of 'rendition'.

The US been handing people over to regimes like Syria for years.

The intelligence and defense committees know whats up. Congress is going to be unlikely to see this thing through.

The actual legal mumbo jumbo justification for rendition is as long as something isn't illegal in the place you're doing it, and you're not doing it directly, it's legal.

Allegations of human rights abuse in Cuba going on decades?

Open up your detainment center there and leave the room when your independent contractor asks 'questions'.

It's unimaginable that this was actually a program to extract intelligence. Thats the public relations aspect. A country that has the death sentence does something like this to send a message to 'evil doers' everywhere.

Some of the people swept up in this system were merely political opponents of parties in power the US is allies with.

Just like Mossad killed journalists.

The hammer dropping is either gonna have to be the Supreme or International courts and I wouldn't hold my breath on the Supreme.

Otherwise a completely new Congress could do the job.

So yeah, international courts.
Post Wed May 06, 2009 5:18 pm
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TurnpikeGates



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 Reply with quote  

Dan Shay wrote:


The hammer dropping is either gonna have to be the Supreme or International courts and I wouldn't hold my breath on the Supreme.

Otherwise a completely new Congress could do the job.

So yeah, international courts.


Yeah, it's easy to get wrapped up and forget how long the history of U.S. complicity in torture and murder goes back (not counting pre-emptive war). But, what do you think about international courts in terms of REAL effectiveness. Honestly, right now, the ICC seems like a potentially awesome institution whose limited real-world power relegates it to bullying easy targets, latching onto third-word dictators, etc. As it stands, they will never get George W. Bush (or hell, Henry Kissinger) in a courtroom, but WHY aren't there warrants out on these guys? I like the idea of universal jurisdiction, if it is backed by due process, but it's kind of pointless if universal means "whoever we can get our hands on."


Also, anyone have good reading recommendations on multilateralism, international law, international justice, etc?
Post Wed May 06, 2009 7:01 pm
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Embryo



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Turnpike, I feel that. That's why I think we need a democratic world government. (no infowars)

We're not signatories to the ICC, so Americans can't be charged and prosecuted in that court. It's really too bad, but it won't change until a lot of other things do.
Post Wed May 06, 2009 10:15 pm
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