Misha Lerner may only be in the fourth grade, but he is years ahead of many who consider themselves professional journalists. Throughout most of this decade, the press was reticent to ask tough questions of Bush Administration officials, especially those who were high up and had been involved with making the United States into a country that tortures, even if the glorious leader denies it. What only a few press credentialed individuals have done, so too has Bethesda, Maryland's young Misha Lerner.
From The Washington Post:
It's too bad that Misha couldn't do a follow-up question, because not only did Rice lie to Misha about breaking the law, she used the horrible tragedy of September the 11th to reinforce a terrible justification for torturing other human beings. Misha was only two years old when it happened, but I hope he understands (or his parents make mention of it to him) that you can't trust all grown-ups, especially those that have worked for George W. Bush.
Then Misha Lerner, a student from Bethesda, asked: What did Rice think about the things President Obama's administration was saying about the methods the Bush administration had used to get information from detainees?
Rice took the question in stride. saying that she was reluctant to criticize Obama, then getting to the heart of the matter.
"Let me just say that President Bush was very clear that he wanted to do everything he could to protect the country. After September 11, we wanted to protect the country," she said. "But he was also very clear that we would do nothing, nothing, that was against the law or against our obligations internationally. So the president was only willing to authorize policies that were legal in order to protect the country."
She added: "I hope you understand that it was a very difficult time. We were all so terrified of another attack on the country. September 11 was the worst day of my life in government, watching 3,000 Americans die. . . . Even under those most difficult circumstances, the president was not prepared to do something illegal, and I hope people understand that we were trying to protect the country."