Couric Challenges Rice: 'To Quote My Daughter, "Who Made Us the Boss of Them?"'

In a profile of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice which led Sunday's 60 Minutes, Katie Couric explained how Rice “rejects the notion that the U.S. is a bully, imposing its values on the world.” CBS then ran a soundbite from Rice as she sat a few feet in front of Couric: “What's wrong with assistance so that people can have their full and complete right to the very liberties and freedoms that we enjoy?” To which, Couric retorted by inserting one of her kids into the story: “To quote my daughter, 'Who made us the boss of them?'” (Couric has two daughters, one a teen and the other a tween, I believe.) Couric followed up: “You have said that your goal was, quote, 'To leave the world not just safer but better.' Right now Iraq doesn't seem safer, Iran and North Korea have not fallen into line. Do you honestly believe that the world is safer now?”

Earlier in the segment, Rice asserted about the Iraq war that “the idea that somehow because the intelligence was wrong, we were misleading the American people, I really resent that.” Rice's lack of guilt seemingly astonished Couric: “Really? Because that's what so many people think.” At least “so many” in Couric's Manhattan news media orbit.

Two excerpts from the September 24 60 Minutes:
Katie Couric lectured Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice: "You used your credibility to rally the American people behind this. Now it turns out there were no weapons of mass destruction. Do you regret using that?"

Rice: "I don't regret at all overthrowing Saddam Hussein."

Couric: "But that's not the question."

Rice: "Do I wish the intelligence had been better? Absolutely. I've wished every day since we learned. The idea that somehow because the intelligence was wrong, we were misleading the American people, I really resent that."

Couric, seemingly surprised: “Really? Because that's what so many people think.”

Rice: “No, I resent it, because the administration was using the best available intelligence. And so everybody thought that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. He'd used them, for goodness sakes."

....

Couric: “But these days she’s consumed by waging war and promoting democracy. And when she defends her position, this former Stanford professor can at times sound like she’s lecturing a class.”

Rice: "I'm a true believer in the process of democratization as a way to overcome old wounds. And I believe that if we don't do that, then people who've had their differences, people who've resolved their differences by violence or by repression, are never going to find a way to live peacefully together."

Couric to Rice: "Is it really priority number one in terms of philosophically and pragmatically for the United States to be spreading democracy around the world?"

Rice: "Well, first of all, the United States is not spreading democracy. The United States is standing with those who want a democratic future."

Couric: “And the future is what she focuses on. A passionate student of history, Condi Rice believes turmoil often precedes periods of peace and stability. And she rejects the notion that the U.S. is a bully, imposing its values on the world.”

Rice: "What's wrong with assistance so that people can have their full and complete right to the very liberties and freedoms that we enjoy?"

Couric: "To quote my daughter, 'Who made us the boss of them?'"

Rice: "Well, it's not the matter of being the boss of them. It's speaking for people who are voiceless."

Couric: "You have said that your goal was, quote, 'To leave the world not just safer but better.' Right now Iraq doesn't seem safer, Iran and North Korea have not fallen into line. Do you honestly believe that the world is safer now?"

Rice got the last word of the story: "The world is safer because we're finally confronting these terrorists. We're finally confronting this challenge. And so I think we are safer. We're not yet safe. And I know that I'm not going to see the final outcome of the Middle East that we described as democratic and prosperous and, in that way, truly stable. But all that I can do on my watch is to try to lay a foundation so that that will become the Middle East of the future. And I think we've done a great deal to begin to lay that foundation."
The online version, with video, on CBSNews.com's page for 60 Minutes.
Foreign Policy Iraq 60 Minutes
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