Condoleezza Rice Pt. 2

  • Aired:  11/01/11
  •  | Views: 21,435

Condoleezza Rice talks about the long-term threat posed by Saddam Hussein prior to and during the Bush administration. (5:26)

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> Jon: WELCOME BACK.

WE ARE HERE TALKING TO FORMER

SECRETARY OF STATE CONDOLEEZZA

RICE.

NOW, MY THEORY ABOUT IRAQ WAS

THAT PRESIDENT BUSH INVADED IT

BECAUSE HE DOESN'T LIKE WORDS

THAT END WITH "Q."

HE FEELS IT'S AN OUTRAGEOUS

ABDICATION OF SEMANTICS AND

SPELLING.

(LAUGHTER)

IF YOU WERE TO SHINE A SPOTLIGHT

AND MAKE A CASE FOR IRAN AS A

TERRORIST-SUPPORTING STATE AND

WORKING ON WEAPONS OF MASS

DESTRUCTION AND EVEN SAUDI

ARABIA TO SOME EXTENT, COULDN'T

YOU HAVE JUSTIFIED INVADING A

WHOLE HOST OF VARIETY OF

COUNTRIES IN THAT AREA?

>> WELL, LET ME SET IRAN ASIDE

BECAUSE IRAN IS A SPECIAL CASE

UNTO ITSELF.

BUT REMEMBER THAT SADDAM HUSSEIN

DRAGGED US INTO THE WAR BY

INVADING KUWAIT.

WE THEN EXPELLED HIM.

FOR TEN YEARS HE VIOLATED THE

TERMS OF THE AGREEMENTS THAT HE

SIGNED TO END THE WAR, INCLUDING

IN 1998 PRESIDENT CLINTON

ACTUALLY LODGED CRUISE MISSILES

AT IRAQ BECAUSE WE COULDN'T GET

SATISFACTION ABOUT WHAT WAS

GOING ON WITH HIS PPLD.

THE INSPECTORS NEVER THEN GO

BACK INTO THE COUNTRY.

HE HAD, IN FACT, BEEN SUCH A BAD

THREAT THAT THE UNITED STATES

CONGRESS PASSED SOMETHING CALLED

THE IRAQI LIBERATION ACT IN 199

THAT SAID BASICALLY THAT PART OF

THE WORLD WOULD NEVER BE SAFE

UNTIL SADDAM HUSSEIN WAS GONE.

SO THIS WAS NOT A FIGMENT OF

SOMEBODY'S IMAGINATION IN 2003.

WE HAD TRIED WHEN WE FIRST CAME

IN TO STRENGTHEN THE CONTAINMENT

REGIME AROUND SADDAM HUSSEIN.

I REMEMBER A SUNDAY AFTERNOON,

LONG SUNDAY AFTERNOON MEETING IN

WHICH WE WERE TRYING TO FIGURE

COULD WE HAVE SOMETHING TO DO

SMART SANCTIONS THAT WOULD HURT

THE REGIME AND NOT THE PEOPLE?

WE HAD THESE NO-FLY ZONES WHERE

OUR AIRCRAFT WOULD FLY TO KEEP

HIS AIRCRAFT ON THE GROUND.

HE WOULD SHOT AT THEM.

I REMEMBER THE PRESIDENT SAYING

"WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO IF HE

SHOOTS DOWN AN AMERICAN PILOT?"

AND, OF COURSE, HE PUT

400,000 PEOPLE IN MASS GRAVES

AND WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION

WERE NOT A THEORETICAL ISSUE

WITH HIM, HE'D USED CHEMICAL

WEAPONS AGAINST HIS OWN PEOPLE

AND AGAINST THE IRANIANS.

SO HE WAS A THREAT.

WHAT CHANGED AFTER 2003 IS THAT

AFTER YOU'VE GONE THROUGH

SOMETHING LIKE 9/11 WE DON'T

WANT TO LET THREATS SIT THERE

AND MATERIALIZE AND HE HAD BEEN

ONE OF THE BIGGEST THREATS ON

THE LIST FOR A LONG TIME.

WE TRIED TO DEAL WITH IT

DIFFERENTLY BEFORE 9/11 AND THEN

AFTERWARDS PUT HIM ON NOTICE

THROUGH THE U.N., RESOLUTION

1441 PASSED UNANIMOUSLY THAT HE

WAS A THREAT TO INTERNATIONAL

PEACE AND SECURITY, HE HAD TO

COME CLEAN OR HE WOULD FACE

SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES.

SO THAT'S THE SEQUENCE ONE NEEDS

TO UNDERSTAND.

>> IT IS UNDERSTANDABLE.

I THINK IT'S HARD TO LOOK AT IT

AND NOT SEE OTHER DICTATORS OF

EQUAL THREATS THAT ALSO ARE IN

THE REGION AND ALSO HAVE THAT

NORTH KOREA, IRAN, THOSE THINGS.

BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY IT SEEMED

TO ME THAT THERE WAS A CERTAINTY

ABOUT THE WEAPONS OF MASS

DESTRUCTION AND THAT REALLY WAS

THE FOCUS OF... YOU KNOW,

EVERYBODY ALWAYS ASKS FOR YOU

KNOW WHAT YOU KNEW NOW, WOULD

YOU STILL HAVE GONE IN?

AND PEOPLE ALWAYS SAY "OH,

ABSOLUTELY, I'M GLAD HE'S GONE."

MY QUESTION WOULD BE IF YOU KNOW

WHAT WE KNOW NOW ABOUT THE

WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION DO

YOU THINK THE AMERICAN PEOPLE

WOULD HAVE ALLOWED US TO GO TO

WAR?

BECAUSE I THINK THAT IS THE

ESSENCE OF THE QUESTION.

I THINK THE COMPLAINT PEOPLE

HAVE IS THEY FELT THE

ADMINISTRATION WAS VERY

EFFICIENT AT SELLING US ON THE

IDEA OF THE DANGER THAT HE

PRESENTED WITH VERY SPECIFIC

THOUGHTS OF WEAPONS OF MASS

DESTRUCTION THAT TURNED OUT TO

BE NOT THE CASE.

>> THE REASON I GIVE YOU THAT IS

THAT SADDAM HUSSEIN WAS A

FULL-BLOWN THREAT TO THE

INTERNATIONAL SYSTEM WELL BEFORE

WE CAME TO OFFICE.

AS I SAID, NECESSITATING

MILITARY FORCE AGAINST HIM

BEFORE.

AND THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER IS

WHAT YOU KNOW TODAY CAN AFFECT

YOU YOU DO TOMORROW BUT NOT WHAT

YOU DID YESTERDAY.

NOW THE FACT IS THE INTELLIGENCE

REPORTING SAID HE HAS

RECONSTITUTES HIS BIOLOGICAL AND

CHEMICAL WEAPONS.

THAT WAS A UNANIMOUS VIEW OF THE

INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY.

IF HE'S LEFT TO HIS OWN DEVICES,

HE WILL RECONSTITUTE HIS NUCLEAR

PROGRAM IN EITHER A YEAR IF HE

GETS FOREIGN HELP OR BY THE END

OF THE DECADE.

NOW YOU KNOW HIS HISTORY.

HE'S TRIED TO ASSASSINATE GEORGE

H.W. BUSH, HE'S TAKEN US TO WAR,

USED WEAPONS OF MASS

DESTRUCTION.

YOU DON'T WANT TO LET THAT

THREAT SIT THERE.

>> Jon: WELL, I REALLY

APPRECIATE YOUR COMING BY AND I

DO FEEL LIKE I HAVE A BETTER

SENSE OF WHY WE DID MAKE THAT

HUGE MISTAKE.

(LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE)

"NO HIGHER HONOR" IS ON THE

BOOKSHELVES NOW.

CONDOLEEZZA RICE.

YOU PROBABLY NOTICE PROBABLY

THAT INTERVIEW GOT CUT OFF THERE

BECAUSE IT'S REAL LONG.

SO WE PUT THE REST OF IT UP ON

THE WEB AND DON'T WORRY IT GETS

MORE INTERESTING AND THEN LESS

INTERESTING AGAIN AND THEN...

(LAUGHTER)

SORT OF WEIRDLY ROMANTIC AND

THEN KIND OF TENSE AGAIN AND

THEN THERE'S AN ARM WRESTLING

AND THEN... THEN WE BOTH SLEEP

AND

(LAUGHTER)

THEN THERE'S AN OMELET BAR AND

THEN...

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