Leslie H. Gelb, a former New York Times columnist and senior government official, is author of "Power Rules: How Common Sense Can Rescue American Foreign Policy" (HarperCollins 2009), a book that shows how to think about and use power in the 21st century. He is president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Question: Is there a place for torture in foreign policy?
Leslie Gelb: To me, there's no question that the United States as a matter of policy, must be against torture. We've sign treaties to that effect. We brought people to trial internationally because we accused them of torture. And some of the things the Bush administration did, fall to the same category of torture as the Japanese we tried after World War II.
The legacy of the George W. Bush administration will be calamity, calamity for our country, here in America, and for the world. For those eight years, we went backwards almost the whole time. So much damage was caused to the quality of our government. Good people left the government in droves. Executive branch was politicized by people who were know-nothings and do-nothings. And they stopped functioning. And all the problems we had here and abroad just festered and got worse. What a legacy.
Recorded on 5/1/09.