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Politics & Current Affairs

The Week in Torture

Condi’s freak-out comes midway through a Q & A on American foreign policy under Bush in a Stanford University dorm. One contrarian student decides to replay a scene from Smackdown, but Condi’s got some fight in her yet.

The student knew his history–more or less–but when he turned the conversation toward torture under Rice’s mandate as Secretary of State the mood soured. When told the U.S. tortured enemy combatants in Guantanamo Bay, Condi promptly told the student, “No dear, you’re wrong.”

Rice’s statement would seem to refute many of the internal memos released by the Justice Department last week, but perhaps the public simply doesn’t know the full context of Rice’s obligations in the post-9/11 environment. As she reminded the young people around her at Stanford, “Foreign policy is full of tough choices, very tough choices.”

Rice was not the only high-level individual caught up in the torture debate this week. A tape of Sheik Issa Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, filmed in 2002, was released to CBS news. In it the Sheik, member of the Emirates’ royal family, tortures an Afghan trader with a cattle prod before driving him over with a truck. A UAE government investigation found no violation of national law.

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