Speaking with a group of Stanford students Monday, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice declared that al Qaeda is a greater threat to the United States than Nazi Germany was because Germany “never attacked the homeland of the United States.” In a defensive exchange with a student, she also insisted that the Bush administration had always wanted to hold trials for detainees, but the Supreme Court wouldn’t let them:
RICE: Now, the ICRC [International Committee of the Red Cross] also had access to Guantanamo. And they made no allegations about interrogations in Guantanamo. What they did say was that indefinite detention, where people didn’t know whether they’d come up for trial — which is why we tried under the military commissions system to let people come up for trial. Those trials were stayed by who? Who kept us from holding the trials?
STUDENT: I can’t answer that question.
RICE: Do your homework first. … It was the Supreme Court.
Of course, the Supreme Court “stayed” the Bush administration’s military commissions because they were woefully inadequate. The Court — three separate times — required the administration to come up with meaningful judicial review of suspects’ detentions. Indeed, last June the court held that military commissions “are not an adequate and effective substitute for habeas corpus” and thus “operates as an unconstitutional suspension of the writ.”
–By Ali Frick on Apr 30th, 2009 at 12:53 pm