THE BLOG
05/01/2009 03:52 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

CONDI OWES RICHARD NIXON AN APOLOGY

CONDI OWES RICHARD NIXON AN APOLOGY
Stanley Kutler

Condolezza Rice is stealing Richard Nixon's lines. Thanks to the miracle of video tape, we had a peek at her teaching performance at Stanford. Responding to a student's query on President George W. Bush's approval of torture, she said: ". . . [I]n terms of the enhanced interrogation and so forth, anything that was legal and was going to make this country safer, the president wanted to do," Rice said. "Nothing that was illegal," she added.
In other words, Professor Rice in effect said: "When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal," as a former President famously told us in defending his record authorizing illegal break-ins of a private citizen's office. Richard Nixon insisted he had to do this to protect national security.
Teachers are obligated to tell the truth, and when citing a particular idea, he/she must duly note the source of the material. Without Richard Nixon to kick around these days, apparently one has license to steal his best lines. As Joe McCarthy once said, "this is the most unheard of thing I ever heard of."

Stanley Kutler is the author The Wars of Watergate, and other writings.