Tag Archives: condoleezza rice

US Officials Used Torture

1 May


Juan Cole argues that the U.S. has made its own security worse by engaging in torture.

The political reality of the United States in the world is that of blowback. Blowback is a term of art in the intelligence community for what happens when a covert operation goes bad and comes back to bite you on the ass. The US spent the 1980s encouraging Muslim radicals to engage in ‘freedom fighting’ against the leftist government of Afghanistan, and that policy certainly is implicated in the creation of al-Qaeda. We have been suffering with lack of security ever since. And what would have happened if Washington had just left the Communist government in place? Wouldn’t it have gone the same way as the former Communist regime of Tajikistan or Kyrgyzstan? Which of you feels threatened by those former Soviet Socialist Republics?

The policy of deliberate deployment of torture by US officials, in Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib (Iraq) and Bagram (Afghanistan), as well as black sites in Poland and elsewhere, during the past decade, has spawned a whole new wave of blowback.

It’s conclusive: the United States in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks engaged in torture (via Lawfare).

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Rice Is No Political Scientist

19 Dec

At least, US Secretary of State is consistent – a consistent embarrassment and disappointment. No, she didn’t just trash my college major?

QUESTION: Do you regret your role in the Iraq war?

SECRETARY RICE: I absolutely am so proud that we liberated Iraq.


SECRETARY RICE: Absolutely. And I’m especially, as a political scientist, not as Secretary of State, not as National Security Advisor, but as somebody who knows that structurally it matters that a geostrategically important country like Iraq is not Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

She could have blamed it all on the stress of the job, stabbed a colleague in the back, apologized, or just claimed ignorance. Instead, she had to insist on some bizarre standard of intellectual quality.

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Riding the Subcontinental Tiger

28 Jul

Cato Institute’s Malou Innocent sums up the problem with the US giving $239 million to Pakistan

While cooperation with Pakistan is crucial, cooperation does not warrant a blank check to Pakistan’s army or the upgrading of sophisticated weaponry that only feeds Pakistan’s rivalry with India.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice supported the plan in these terms:

“What we are trying to do is solidify and extend relations with both India and Pakistan, at a time when we have good relations with both of them — something most people didn’t think could be done — and at a time when they have improving relationships with one another,” Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in an interview at The Washington Post.

“If you look at it in terms of the region,” she added, “what we are trying to do is break out of the notion that this is a hyphenated relationship somehow, that anything that happens that is good for Pakistan is bad for India, and vice versa.”

So, how does that fit into the plan to remake India into an American ally in East Asia? Might this be just a little too much for New Delhi? Or, is this all just a really awful cover story to continue both trashing the NPT and IAEA and feeding the ISI?

Finally, can the Bush administration stop itself if it wanted? Could it change both its India and Pakistan policies?

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