“It is not clear yet exactly what this administration is or isn’t doing. We’re getting all kinds of mixed messages,” Clinton said. “I don’t think we’ll know the truth until we have a new president. I think [until] you can get in there and actually bore into what’s been going on, you’re not going to know.”
Greg Sargent rides to the rescue with the full context:
Well I think I’ve been very clear about that too, we should not conduct or condone torture and it is not clear yet exactly what this administration is or isn’t doing, we’re getting all kinds of mixed messages. I don’t think we’ll know the truth until we have a new President. I think once you can get in there and actually bore into what’s been going on, you’re not going to know. I was very touched by the story you guys had on the front page the other day about the WWII interrogators. I mean it’s not the same situation but it was a very clear rejection of what we think we know about what is going on right now but I want to know everything, and so I think we have to draw a bright line and say ‘No torture – abide by the Geneva conventions, abide by the laws we have passed,’ and then try to make sure we implement that.
As Mark Kleiman says, this doesn’t really wash and seems to indicate that she accepts the view that, for example, waterboarding which we definitely do know is happening maybe doesn’t count as torture.
At any rate, Clinton has long distinguished herself as unusually friendly to executive power for an opposition party legislator, so there’s little reason to believe that if she becomes president she’ll be eagerly rolling the boundaries back from where Bush pushed them. I wonder if conservatives will be happy about the idea of HRC-administered torture, on the grounds that they just really love torture, or, maybe, once it’s being done by a politician they don’t admire they’ll start to see that there’s a problem here.