Rice avoids protesters, doesn’t address torture questions
Some audience members at a speech by Condoleezza Rice were upset Sunday that the former secretary of state didn’t address her role in the Bush administration’s authorization of torture.
Rice spoke at a synagogue in Minneapolis as about 100 protesters outside called for her to explain her role in the torture of terrorism suspects. But inside, Rice didn’t address the controversy and focused her remarks on defending the Bush administration’s aggressive actions post-911.
“Every day, terrorists plotted and they planned,” Rice told the audience. “We had to recognize that they had to be right only once, and we had to be right 100 percent of the time and that was an unfair fight.”
The Minnesota Daily reported that Rice avoided the controversial subject of harsh interrogations authorized by the Bush administration.
During the question and answer segment that followed Rice’s speech, she answered queries relating to the United States’ stance on the Iranian nuclear weapons program, Chinese-U.S. relations and the importance of education, among other topics.
Kaitlyn Steffenhagen, a St. Louis Park High School senior, said Rice did not address questions about her involvement in authorizing torture during her role under the Bush administration, which angered some of the attendees.
Protesters carried signs saying “Try Condi Rice for war crimes” and “Would Jesus waterboard?,” among other things.
While Rice ignored the protesters’ calls for comment, she supported their right to demonstrate. “I’m glad we’re in a democracy where [people] can protest, and I’m very glad that the people of Iraq and Kabul can too,” said Rice as she was leaving the speech.
This video is from The Uptake, broadcast Nov. 8, 2009.