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Richard Armitage On Torture: I Should Have Resigned From Bush Administration (Video)

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Richard Armitage, the second in command at the State Department under President Bush, told Al Jazeera English in an interview to be aired Thursday that had he known then what he knows now about the torture of detainees, the right thing to do would have been to resign.

"I hope, had I known about it at the time I was serving, I would've had the courage to resign," Armitage said in an interview, according to a transcript provided to the Huffington Post.

"Fault Lines" host Avi Lewis pressed Armitage about remaining in the administration. "So when you knew that the administration of which you were a part was departing from the Geneva Conventions and sidelining them, why didn't you quit?"

"In hindsight maybe I should've," said Armitage. "But in those positions you see how many more battles you have. You maybe fool yourself. You say how much worse would X, Y, or Z be if I weren't here trying to do it? So torture is a matter of principle as far as I'm concerned. I hope, had I known about it at the time I was serving, I would've had the courage to resign."

The interview will air at 2:00 a.m. eastern time April 16th, but is available almost nowhere in the United States because cable and satellite providers have declined to work with Al Jazeera English. We'll post video of the interview when it's available.

Read the transcript:

ARMITAGE: We'd lost the discussion about the terminology and the Geneva protections. Did not know, to the best of my knowledge anyone in the Department, that torture was going on.

LEWIS: But you suspected it. You must've.

ARMITAGE: We did know that we lost the terminology question in Geneva. We did know of course because the [International Committee of the Red Cross] would come to see me and Secretary Powell. We certainly knew that they had suspicions.

LEWIS: So when you knew that the administration of which you were a part was departing from the Geneva Conventions and sidelining them, why didn't you quit?

ARMITAGE: In hindsight maybe I should've. But in those positions you see how many more battles you have. You maybe fool yourself. You say how much worse would x, y, or z be if I weren't here trying to do it? So torture is a matter of principle as far as I'm concerned. I hope, had I known about it at the time I was serving, I would've had the courage to resign.

UPDATE: A reader writes in to say he regularly watches AJE live-http://www.livestation.comstreamed at LiveStation.com.

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