WASHINGTON (CNN) – Top Bush administration officials gave the CIA approval to use waterboarding, a controversial interrogation technique, as early as 2002, a Senate intelligence report shows.
On July 17, 2002, Condoleezza Rice, former secretary of state and then-national security adviser, said the CIA could proceed with "alternative interrogation methods," including waterboarding, when questioning suspected al Qaeda leader Abu Zubaydah.
The decision was contingent on the Justice Department determining its legality. A week later, the attorney general had determined the "proposed interrogation techniques were lawful," the report says.
The same techniques also were used in the interrogations of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri - the first person charged in the United States in the 2000 attack on the USS Cole in Yemen that killed 17 U.S. sailors - and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed - thought to be the mastermind behind the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice signed a deal to write two memoirs over the next few years, one on her time in the White House and another about her family, Crown Publishers announced Monday.
Rice’s first book, tentatively scheduled for release in the fall of 2011, will be about her eight years in former President Bush’s White House, including four as Secretary of State. Crown Publishers V.P. and Executive Editor Rick Horgan called Rice “one of history’s trailblazers.”
“Her vantage point was unique, and there is tremendous curiosity regarding her private assessment of what occurred, as well as her informed view of where global relations are headed,” Horgan said in a statement.
In her second memoir, set to come out a year later, Rice will talk about growing up in segregated Birmingham, Alabama. Random House will simultaneously publish a young-adult version of the book.
“We feel doubly fortunate to also be publishing Secretary Rice’s account of her upbringing, which promises to be wonderfully evocative and inspiring,” Horgan said.
Crown Publishers would not say how much Rice was offered for the book deal, although reports have placed it in the seven-figure range.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley will host a private dinner Monday night for their likely successors, Sen. Hillary Clinton and Gen. James Jones, according to senior State Department officials.
Nobody else will be in attendance at the meeting.
Clinton and Rice have met a couple of times since Clinton was nominated by Obama for the position of secretary of state.
(CNN) – Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that despite President Bush's low approval ratings, people will soon "start to thank this president for what he's done."
So we can sit here and talk about the long record, but what I would say to you is that this president has faced tougher circumstances than perhaps at any time since the end of World War II, and he has delivered policies that are going to stand the test of time," Rice said in an interview that aired on CBS' "Sunday Morning."
The secretary of state brushed off reports that suggest the United States' image is suffering abroad. She praised the administration's ability to change the conversation in the Middle East.
"This isn't a popularity contest. I'm sorry, it isn't. What the administration is responsible to do is to make good choices about Americans' interests and values in the long run - not for today's headlines, but for history's judgment," she said.
"And I am quite certain that when the final chapters are written and it's clear that Saddam Hussein's Iraq is gone in favor of an Iraq that is favorable to the future of the Middle East; when the history is written of a U.S.-China relationship that is better than it's ever been; an India relationship that is deeper and better than it's ever been; a relationship with Brazil and other countries of the left of Latin America, better than it's ever been ...
"When one looks at what we've been able to do in terms of changing the conversation in the Middle East about democracy and values, this administration will be judged well, and I'll wait for history's judgment and not today's headlines."
Asked by CBS' Rita Braver why some former diplomats say Americans are disliked around the world, Rice said that's "just not true."
(CNN) - The State Department is staying mum when it comes to the details of Sen. Hillary Clinton's private dinner with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Monday night.
State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the two met for two hours at Rice's Watergate apartment in downtown Washington, and discussed a range of issues.
"They talked just very generally about policy – the challenges, the opportunities, talked a little bit about the job of secretary of state; talked about the quote-unquote 'building' here – managing a big operation," McCormack said.
But McCormack declined to get into specifics, saying instead he expects Clinton and Rice to hold several more meetings.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Sunday took partial responsibility for the troubled occupation of Iraq, saying the government was not properly structured to handle the problems the United States faced after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein's regime.
When asked by Fox News' Chris Wallace if former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had mismanaged the occupation in Iraq, Rice said the war started well but that it was a mistake not to give responsibility for the occupation solely to the military.
"I take responsibility for that, too," she said. "We just didn't have the right structure."
Rice was President Bush's national security adviser when the U.S. invaded Iraq in the spring of 2003 and was responsible for coordinating the activities of the Defense Department, the State Department and other national security agencies.
Rice, however, said she believes that the overthrow of Hussein would eventually be viewed as a "great strategic achievement" for the Bush administration and the United States.
"You now have a young democratic, multi-ethnic, multi-confessional Iraq that has just signed an historic agreement with the United States establishing a long-term relationship. ... That's a trade up," she said.
Rice also echoed the sentiments of her boss, President Bush, saying she wished the intelligence about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs had been better.
"I would give anything to be able to go back and to know precisely what we were going to find when we were there," she said. "But that isn't the way that these things work."
But Rice said the administration's decision to invade Iraq was the right one at the time, saying the risk that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction was unacceptable.
"While it's fine to go back and say what might we have done differently, the truth of the matter is we don't have that luxury. And we didn't at the time," she said.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Sunday that she believes Sen. Hillary Clinton will "do a great job" as secretary of state.
In an interview with CNN, Rice also addressed President-elect Barack Obama's victory, saying she believes Americans were "wise in wanting change."
Speaking to CNN's "Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer," Rice said she has spoken with Clinton since Obama named the former first lady as his pick to be the nation's top diplomat.
"I talked with her and we're going to sit down, and I'm really looking forward to it. I've known her a long time and she is someone that I admire."
Though the two are from opposite political parties, Rice seemed to spare no praise for Clinton, who lost her battle for the Democratic presidential nomination to Obama.
"I've known her for a long time, ever since she brought her freshman daughter to Stanford, when I was provost at Stanford. I think she's going to be terrific," Rice told ABC's "This Week."
She added, "President-elect Obama has made his choice, and he's made a terrific choice. Hillary Clinton is somebody of intelligence, and she'll do a great job. She also has what's most important to being secretary of state, and that is that you love this country, and you represent it from a basis of faith in its values. And I know that she will do that.
"I've watched her - I watched her do it at the conference in Beijing on women. I know that she was someone who felt strongly about the Balkans and the need to stop that terrible killing there. So, from that point of view, she's going to be great."
In her interview with CNN, Rice described Obama's national security team as "people I know, and they are all people of substance. And the most important thing is that they are all people who are going to have the fundamental interests and values of the United States at the core of what they do."
Having grown up in segregated Birmingham, Alabama, Rice said Obama's election was "quite a moment. It means this country has come an enormous distance. "It means that the United States of America is what it claims to be, which is a place of opportunity for all. I don't think, by the way, that we're still color-blind. It's remarkable that we have an African-American president.
We've had back-to-back African-American secretaries of state. We have African-American heads of major corporations. "But still, we see race and that's fine. But increasingly we don't see race as all-defining, of who one is and what one can be. As long as we pay attention to opportunity - to making educational opportunities available, which is really what got me to where I am and I think President-elect Obama would tell you the same thing."
Asked whether she would help Obama if he asks, Rice responded, "He is not going to need my help. He has got plenty of help. But of course, he is someone that I admire. He was on my committee, the Foreign Relations Committee. We have talked a number of times. He is going to do very well for the country.
"But eight years is a long time. The American people are wise in wanting change. Two terms is plenty. And I'm going to go back to California and on to other things."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - He has thrilled sports fans for over twenty years with his hitting and fielding exploits. But can Major League baseball star Ken Griffey, Jr. hit a grand slam for the State Department?
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice named Griffey a public diplomacy envoy Tuesday, tasking the All-Star slugger with spreading "the values of the United States" in large part by helping to spark "interest in America and in our culture."
"Public diplomacy must be a dialogue," Rice said after meeting with Griffey in Washington. "This dialogue must extend to every citizen in every country, especially to young people."
She noted that Griffey is uniquely qualified to engage young people given his stature as one of the best-known players in what is arguably the country's most famous sport.
"This is quite an honor," Griffey noted. "I think youth is the most important thing. (I am) looking forward to this opportunity to teach kids (and help) develop them."
(CNN) – Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice gave CNN praise for prospective Republican vice president Sarah Palin’s qualifications this weekend.
“She’s governor of a state here in the United States,” Rice told CNN’s Zain Verjee. Asked whether Palin’s experience had adequately prepared her for the foreign policy challenges she’d face as president, she added that “there are different kinds of experiences in life that help one to deal with matters of foreign policy.”
Last month, Rice offered unqualified praise of opponent Joe Biden’s diplomatic credentials. “Biden is obviously a very fine statesman.”
The contrast fuels questions that have hung over Rice’s political loyalties this cycle, as she maintained silence over her presidential pick.
Two months ago, she told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that she had made a decision on which candidate would get her vote this fall – but that she wasn’t prepared to share who that might be.
(CNN) - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she knows who she’s voting for in the presidential election, but she’s keeping quiet about her pick.
“Have you decided who to vote for?” CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked in an interview that aired Sunday on “Late Edition.”
“Wolf, uh, yes,” Rice said.
Asked if she wanted to share her decision, Rice simply responded, “No.”
In the wide-ranging interview, Rice praised Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign and said having him as the Democratic presidential nominee has been “great for our country.”
“I do think it says that we've come a long way,” she said when asked to respond to comments from her predecessor Colin Powell, who congratulated Obama for knocking down barriers for African Americans.
“It's interesting that it's from Colin Powell. He knocked down a few barriers of his own. He knocked down the barrier of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He knocked down the barrier to the first black Secretary of State.
“Yes, I've knocked down a few too. It just shows that our country has been doing this for a while, and it's great that this last barrier, perhaps, has also come down.”
Rice also made clear that she has no desire to be vice president.