News & Politics

'Body Language Expert' on CNN: Condi 'Mopped Up' Student Who Confronted Her on Torture; 'Wish I Could High-Five Condi For That'

"It's like confronting the Webster dictionary on a word," Janine Driver told Roland Martin. "You can't beat Condoleezza Rice. She is awesome."

CNN news anchor Roland Martin, who recently said that the Left "needs to shut up" about all this torture prosecution nonsense, recently hosted a segment on the now famous confrontation of Condoleezza Rice by a Stanford student who pressed her about her role in the torture of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. As anyone who has seen the video knows, Rice, who was Stanford's provost from 1993 to 1999, basically shifted between fearmongering -- "If you were there in a position of authority and watched Americans jump out of 80 story buildings because these murderous tyrants …", condescension -- "The world is not a bunch of easy choices in which you get to make one that always feel good" -- and lying her face off: "I did not authorize anything." Chillingly, she also took a page from the Nixon playbook, claiming, "If it was authorized by the president it did not violate our obligation under the conventions against torture."
Wow, right? Worthy of some solid commentary, right? Well, not if you're Roland Martin. If you're Roland Martin, the real story here is not any one of the incredible claims that came out of Condi's mouth, but rather, what she said -- with her body.
On a Friday episode of "No Bias No Bull" (in which he was filling in for new mom Campbell Brown), Martin rolled out Janine Driver, "an expert on body language," to analyze the exchange (while first pausing to share with viewers that he and Rice "share the same birthday.")
"She got a little testy there," Martin said to Driver after introducing her, then asked, "What stood out to you in watching that video?"
Her response:
"I loved it actually. I swear. Sometimes I get calls and I'm like, there's not much there. There's a lot of body language there."
"I'll tell you right now. She's speaking volumes, and I think she mopped those guys up big time."
Mopped. Those. Guys. Up.

(Big Time.)
The rest of the transcript -- featuring much laughter and the occasional moronic remark from CNN's business correspondent Ali Velshi -- bears posting (with some particularly choice quotes in bold):
MARTIN: So what was her body saying, though? I mean, what was -- because, you know, we had the finger moving.
MARTIN: We had the hand. We had -- right, Ali, she was sitting there, the arms crossed. So exactly as a body language expert, what did all of that mean?
DRIVER: Oh, a lot of things. She starts off with an open palm gesture. So open palm, this is called the beggar's pose, a dollar, please, a dollar please. This is, hey, I'm open to what you have to say.
When he starts really going off on a tangent, she does the palm down gesture. And think about it, I have a 3-year-old son, Angus. It's like, Angus, don't run in the street. It's right here.
She even no-dared him one time.
DRIVER: I was loving that. I wish I could high-five Condi for that. She's like no, dear, right here with the whole finger pointing. She, like, reprimanded him back. She does microexpressions, too. At one point, she was going to rip his face off, you know.

Liliana Segura is a staff writer and editor of AlterNet's Rights and Liberties and War on Iraq Special Coverage.
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