Condi Can't Shake the Torture Rap - NBC New York

Condi Can't Shake the Torture Rap

Group claims Rice, Cheney, Bush, Yoo are war criminals



    Condi Can't Shake the Torture Rap
    NBC Bay Area
    A small but vocal group of protesters stood outside the Fairmont in San Jose Thursday, where Condoleeza Rice gave a speech.

    Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is still evoking raw emotions in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she spent many years at Stanford University -- first a professor then as the school's provost.

    Rice delivered a speech Thursday on the global economic crisis to a large gathering of business executives in San Jose.

    Rice's hour-long keynote address on "Effective Leadership and Global Diplomacy" at a conference sponsored by the business software company SAP at the San Jose Fairmont Hotel, was interrupted by three women with red-painted hands, who stood up near the stage and accused Rice of being a "war criminal."

    Police quickly escorted the protesters out of the room as they yelled, "Torture is illegal!" The audience booed disapprovingly.

    A small group of protesters gathered outside the venue with signs calling Rice a war criminal. A couple of the protesters wore black pillowcases over their heads, depicting prisoners from Abu Ghraib. Another man wore a tie-dyed T-shirt with a "Wage Peace" logo on the front.

    "We're protesting Condi Rice giving advice nationally and internationally on the subject of global politics," said Mary Ann Thomas, with the group World Can't Wait. "She's a war criminal and should be prosecuted."

    Thomas says Stanford should fire Rice.

    "She needs to be held accountable for what she did, what she said, what she advocated." Thomas said. "It may be out of people's minds but history repeats itself."

    Rice is the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution and professor of political science at Stanford University. She was the university's provost from 1993-99.

    This is not the first time Rice has faced opposition in the Bay Area.

    In May, a Stanford student made international headlines for grilling Rice about her role in the Bush administration's use of enhanced interrogation. A week later, members of the April 3rd Movement marked their anniversary at Stanford by calling for the school to sever its ties with Rice.

    Thomas also says former vice president Dick Cheney, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, former President George W. Bush and UC Berkeley law school professor John Yoo, who served as an attorney to the Bush administration should be prosecuted as war criminals.