Here's the transcript:
OLBERMANN: Have we been looking at this through the wrong end of the telescope, that the president‘s rush, fury to get this done in only his way is not about getting new information, about protecting against new threats, but about somehow trying to make the way we‘ve already treated detainees retroactively OK? Is he covering his own backside with this?
HURLEY: Quite frankly, I think that there‘s evidence to say he is. You know, the thing that is ticking here, in terms of a clock, is the fact that these 14 guys that were recently transferred just arrived not that long ago in Gitmo in Cuba. They are going to be, or have been, interviewed by the Red Cross. Most people believe that waterboarding, they where (ph) you are held underwater until you think that you‘re going to drown. That is undeniably torture under the international standard.
If that occurs in the coming days, the United States, and specifically the president, will be accused of committing a very serious violation of international law. Torture is one of the top three or four things that the international law is designed to prevent.
And so the reason there‘s this move to try to get legislation as fast as possible is because I think the administration senses that there‘s a lot of trouble coming down this mountain.
OLBERMANN: How would some sort of Senate authorization to adjust the Geneva Conventions, our end of it, after we‘ve signed the document, how would that, though, protect the president or anybody involved in the waterboarding or anything else they might be accused of?
HURLEY: Well, he would retroactively define what he did not to be a violation. That‘s pretty good, if you‘re going to commit a violation of law, to go and get the legislature to retroactively say what you did was not a violation.
But remember, the president stands accused of 30 felonies in the NSA controversy. Many of us believe he committed felony crimes there. If now he‘s going to be accused of intentionally and knowingly ordering serious violations of international law, it‘s not going to go well for the United States.
We‘re already viewed as a rogue nation around the world. But here‘s something the president most likely knew about and condoned.