Segments in this Video

Childhood and Upbringing (03:40)


Condoleezza Rice's parents instilled in her a self-confidence that countered segregation. In September 1963, a church near her father's Birmingham church was bombed and four girls were killed— impacting her for life. Her parents forbade her from street protests but informed her of civil rights activity.

Conquering Racism (02:45)

John Rice taught Condoleezza self-confidence to overcome segregation. She began studying piano at a young age and became the first black student at Birmingham Conservatory of Music in 1965. She moved to Denver in 1969, but abandoned her music studies.

Discovering Political Science (04:19)

Rice took a course in international politics with Josef Korbel, a Soviet Union refugee and foreign policy realist. He was also Madeline Albright's father. Rice was fascinated with Stalin’s rise to power and shocked by the CIA's role in Latin American dictatorships.

Sacrificing Love for Career (04:35)

Rice's father was a football coach. Rice met Denver Broncos player Rick Upchurch in 1976; he describes their romance. In 1977, Carter's administration offered her an internship; she broke off her engagement to go to Washington, D.C.

Stanford Years (02:11)

Rice worked for the Carter administration in 1977 and received a Ph.D. in international relations in 1981. She was offered a faculty position at Stanford with affirmative action funds.

Forming Political Loyalty (02:18)

In 1980, Rice switched from Democrat to Republican and supported Ronald Reagan. In 1984, she won Stanford's top teaching award and switched back to Democrat, working for Gary Hart's campaign. In 1985, she joined the Republican Hoover Institution.

Rising in the Republican Party (03:10)

In 1986, Rice joined Reagan at the Pentagon. The Republican Party diversified during the 1980s to overhaul their racist image; Rice was a perfect addition. In 1987, Stanford promoted her to associate professorship and in 1989, she worked for George H.W. Bush as a Soviet specialist.

Stanford Controversies (03:12)

In 1991, Rice returned to Stanford and started an educational program for underprivileged children. She was named provost and cut Cecilia Burciaga's position to reduce a budget deficit— an unpopular move among Latino students. In 1999, she left after generating a surplus.

Chevron and Human Rights Violations (02:21)

In 1999, Rice joined the Charles Schwab Board of Directors. While Stanford provost, she was on Chevron's public policy committee. Hear about her complicity in the Niger government's suppression of locals protesting oil pollution.

Religious Beliefs and Bush Recruitment (03:30)

A Christian, Rice does not dwell on mistakes, believing in God's plan. George W. Bush appointed her as a foreign policy advisor in 1999; they worked well together and she did not patronize him. Hear her speak at the Republican National Convention.

National Security Advisor (01:58)

In 2000, Rice became the first female national security advisor. Despite her achievements as an African-American woman, her father did not want her to go into politics. He passed away in December of 2000.

Realist Foreign Policy (02:46)

Rice moved to Washington, D.C. in January 2001. She advocating being powerful yet humble in the world. Her appointment to National Security Advisor Chair was controversial due to her lack of experience.

Presidential Confidant (02:10)

Rice used her close friendship to Bush to gain power in the administration. In a famous Freudian slip, she referred to him as her husband.

Ignoring Terrorism Warnings (02:57)

As National Security Advisor, Rice controlled information reaching the president. In early 2001, she received reports of an imminent attack; Richard Clarke and George Tenet urged her to address the Al-Qaeda threat. In a 9/11 commission hearing, she claims there was insufficient evidence of danger.

Reaction to September 11, 2001 (03:39)

Rice expresses surprise at U.S. vulnerability and terrorist ingenuity. Forced to reevaluate her understanding of international relations, she transformed from a realist to an idealist to face the new stateless threat. Rather than showing reason, she joined Bush's ideological battle for freedom and democracy.

Scapegoating Iraq (01:51)

Clarke describes Bush pressuring him to find a connection between Saddam Hussein and 9/11. Rice and Bush would not take no for an answer.

Authorizing State Torture (02:35)

The CIA asked Rice to authorize "enhanced interrogation methods" on prisoners in May 2002. She maintains post 9/11 methods were necessary to disrupt terrorist plots. Journalists accuse the Bush Administration of extracting false confessions to justify invading Iraq.

Justifying the Iraq Invasion (04:01)

Under torture, Ibn al Shayk al Libi provided false intelligence about Hussein training Al-Qaeda operatives and Rice and Bush claimed there were weapons of mass destruction. Scowcroft argued against attacking Iraq; Rice discounted critics and failed to remain objective. Hear how Korbel might have responded to her policy.

9/11 Commission (02:41)

In April 2004, Rice testified before Congress for having ignored intelligence about terrorism. Richard Ben-Veniste discusses Rice's filibuster technique and Clift explains that she was trained to experience memory lapses to protect the Bush Administration.

Iraq Intelligence Commission (02:29)

Congress members Robert Wexler and Barbara Boxer accuse Rice of making false statements about weapons of mass destruction to the American people. Mabry argues that she legitimized lying for a higher moral purpose. Kessler says she failed to read classified reports thoroughly.

Losing Principles (02:15)

Wilkerson says that Rice compromised her morals by joining the Bush Administration's Iraq war. She rejected Scowcroft's Middle East policy, despite having worked closely with him. Experts discuss her pattern of changing her views for political gain.

Extraordinary Rendition (03:49)

After Abu Ghraib photos were released, Rice and the CIA continued to use aggressive interrogation techniques while insisting that the U.S. did not condone torture. Detainees were sent to other countries where they were held, without charges or trial, and tortured. Experts discuss Habeas Corpus violations.

Guantanamo Bay (04:05)

There was no U.S. precedent for the interrogation program. Extraordinary rendition prisoners describe torture methods used on them. Rice kept Bush isolated from decisions, concerned about impeachment, and defended Guantanamo as a necessity in the war on terror.

Secretary of State and New Orleans Scandal (03:38)

Kessler and Wilkerson argue that Rice was the most ineffective National Security Advisor in U.S. history. In November 2004, Bush nominated Rice to replace Powell. She promoted a powerful image but lost support among the African-American community for failing to respond to Hurricane Katrina.

Blackwater Massacre (02:50)

In 2006, Cheney's political influence waned and Rumsfeld resigned. At the height of her power, Rice extended a $1 billion contract with a private security firm lacking accountability in Iraq. Learn about the September 2007 Baghdad attack in which 17 civilians were killed.

Fueling Anti-Americanism (03:22)

Congressional hearings revealed Blackwater has been involved in hundreds of unprovoked shootings in Iraq. Rice offered compensation to families of victims of the Nisour Square Massacre, but renewed the firm's contract and granted contractors immunity. In 2009, the Iraqi government ordered Blackwater to leave the country.

Held Morally Accountable (02:52)

In 2009, Rice returned to Stanford, where students and faculty accused her of war crimes and protested her authorization of U.S. interrogation policy. Experts discuss her ability to separate Christian values from torture.

War Crimes Apologist (03:23)

War captives have been treated humanely throughout U.S. history. The Bush Administration violated the Convention against Torture and Geneva Convention, maintaining detainees were enemy combatants in a war situation. Rice defends the interrogation policy.

Political Career Review (02:04)

Rice admits she made mistakes, but is proud of the Iraq liberation. Critics say her policies eroded America's reputation, but she overcame great odds to become a powerful leader.

Credits: American Faust: From Condi to Neo-Condi (02:15)

Credits: American Faust: From Condi to Neo-Condi

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American Faust: From Condi to Neo-Condi

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From a segregated childhood in Alabama to becoming the most powerful woman in the world, Condoleezza Rice cuts an extraordinary and enigmatic figure. This incisive documentary tells a mesmerizing Faustian tale of a woman whose pursuit of power destroyed her core values and rocketed America into a fateful new direction. Leading her own defense through a series of candid interviews, this is political biography like no other.

Length: 91 minutes

Item#: BVL118344

ISBN: 978-1-63521-462-8

Copyright date: ©2012

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