Questions Condoleezza Rice must answer
April 8, 2004 4:04 AM   Subscribe

Questions Condoleezza Rice must answer Guardian’s Mark Oliver considers the likely lines of inquiry the US national security adviser will face today from the commission investigating the September 11 attacks.
posted by acrobat (14 comments total)
Im blogging it.
posted by skallas at 8:18 AM on April 8, 2004

So is Neal Pollack:

I believe I see her now. Yes, yes, there she is, in the distance, she’s walking down the aisle, looking very confident, yet somber, for the country is faced with serious matters of great import. No one feels that more strongly that Condoleezza Rice. She is the most resolute and hard-working woman ever to work in our government, and also the only one who has an oil tanker named after her.

She sits. Professional. Responsible. Intelligent. Important. The very embodiment of the American dream and work ethic. The true heir to the learned legacy of our Founding Fathers. Condi Rice is smoking hot. A summary of her testimony follows:

Lie, lie, distortion, half-truth, pander, manipulation, pseudo-intellectual bombast. Dodge, dodge, feint, lie, dodge, avoid, subject change, lie, slander, pretentious generalization, character assassination, bald-faced lie.

Oversimplification, undersimplification, condescension, insult, insult, lie, avoidance of responsibility, avoidance of question about avoiding responsibility, cheap political point, utter, malicious lie.

Grimace, slither, dodge, lie, deliberate misinterpretation of history, nonpartisan character disparagement, narrative designed by public-relations experts to create maximum “connection” with American public. Appearance of professionalism, resoluteness, capableness, preparedness. Major omission of lie to create partial truth. Lie for political convenience. Lie for partisan gain. Lie to protect the economic interests of an incredibly small number of people. Reception of flattery. Dispersal of flattery. Abuse of good will afforbed by ten people who are trying to gather evidence without partisan bias. Backhanded dismissal of all criticsism. Denial of any responsibility in orchestrating what will almost certainly become the most tragic and bloody war of this generation.

Rinse and repeat.

posted by y2karl at 9:41 AM on April 8, 2004

What's the penalty for perjury? And that a PDB was actually titled "'Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States" is just astounding--head-spinningly so.
posted by amberglow at 6:09 PM on April 8, 2004

and skallas--you're so right about her running down the clock on all the questioners.
posted by amberglow at 6:14 PM on April 8, 2004

what foreign govts were warning us about pre-9/11 Even Bush's very own Pooty-Poot: According to Russian press reports, Russian intelligence notified the CIA during the summer that 25 terrorist pilots had been specifically training for suicide missions. In an interview September 15 with MSNBC, Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed that he had ordered Russian intelligence in August to warn the US government "in the strongest possible terms" of imminent attacks on airports and government buildings.
posted by amberglow at 8:51 PM on April 8, 2004

Clarke's View: 'A Massively Different Interpretation'

Mr. Clarke described Ms. Rice's presentation as generally "reasonable," even as he pointed out what he called inconsistencies in it.

For example, he noted Ms. Rice's account that she held 33 meetings of the so-called principals committee, and that none focused on Al Qaeda, the terrorist organization believed responsible for the attacks.

While Ms. Rice insisted that she had not placed terrorism on the back burner, Mr. Clarke differed. "I say that indicates it was not a priority," he said.

Similarly, Mr. Clarke noted Ms. Rice's assertion that President Bush had been briefed 40 times by the director of central intelligence, George J. Tenet, on intelligence reports about Al Qaeda's activities.

"What does a person do in this situation?" Mr. Clarke said. "The only thing the president does is, in May, he says, `I want to stop swatting flies.' But there's no evidence that he did anything. He keeps getting these meetings about the imminence of the threat but he doesn't seem to be doing anything about it."

posted by y2karl at 9:18 PM on April 8, 2004

Wet dream debunked ?
posted by y2karl at 9:26 PM on April 8, 2004

from homonuculus's link:

Condi has always been a great performer. As a pianist, as an ice skater, as a student, as a provost, as a presidential advisor, she has always been on stage. She adapts her performance to her audience: Josef Korbel and, to some extent, me once upon a time, President Bush now. She can be fierce. Donald Rumsfeld, who waged war in Iraq without a plan for the occupation, lost control to Condi and the National Security Council. But tragically, she is also a person without a core, who loses herself in her performance. National security was her responsibility. She failed in that responsibility because she was too busy perfecting her performance as a Bush team player when the Bush team, obsessed with wild fantasies of global domination, had lost touch with reality.

In contrast, Richard Clarke was not concerned about applause. He saw the threat of al-Qaida. He fought in the Bush bureaucracy to get them to pay attention. As early as the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, he had warned of the threat of planes crashed by terrorists into targets. In frustration at the Bush administration, he resigned his position of over 25 years. He apologized to the American people for 9/11.

As Sen. Kerrey's questions indicated, Condi refuses to admit any mistakes. She goes on, skating over and over again, blaming turf wars between the CIA and FBI. The Bush administration, she suggests, had no responsibility for dropping the ball on al-Qaida.

posted by y2karl at 9:45 PM on April 8, 2004

Full Transcript.

Well done.
posted by hama7 at 1:42 PM on April 9, 2004

Full transcipt without registration.
posted by hama7 at 1:44 PM on April 9, 2004

Off The Ticket

Unfortunately for Rice, however, her testimony will be remembered for a single exchange.
Commissioner Richard Ben-Veniste asked Rice if she could recall the title of President Bush's daily briefing document for August 6, 2001, which crossed her desk more than a month before operatives associated with Osama bin Laden's al-Queda network attacked the world Trade Center and the Pentagon. After several inept attempts to avoid the question, Rice finally answered, "I believe the title was, 'Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States."

Rice On The Stand

Rice's opening statement, in which she attempted to answer the harsh allegations hurled at her and the White House by Richard Clarke, the former counterterrorism coordinator, was rather selective. She noted she had taken the "unusual step" of retaining Clarke at the National Security Council without mentioning she had downgraded his position. She claimed that the administration had pressed Pakistan to abandon support for the Taliban without saying that, unlike the Clinton administration, it had done nothing to pressure the Saudi government to join Washington's anti-al Qaeda efforts. She did not directly address the testimony and statements that the commission has obtained from several government officials--including Deputy CIA director John McLaughlin, counterterrorism experts at the Pentagon, and officers at the CIA's Counterterrorism Center--who each reported that the Bush administration was not taking the al Qaeda threat as seriously as necessary. When asked about Bush's now infamous comment to Bob Woodward--"I didn't feel that sense of urgency"--she explained that Bush had only been referring to the issue of assassinating bin Laden.
posted by y2karl at 2:47 PM on April 9, 2004

Don't expect Condoleezza Rice to apologize for messing up on 9/11. She hasn't apologized yet for getting it wrong on the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Thirteen years ago, Rice defended a policy that included misleading Congress into strengthening Saddam Hussein. Today she'll defend a policy that includes manipulating Congress into invading Iraq at disasterous cost to human life, and simultaneously failing to grapple with the post-Soviet terror threat.

Don't judge Rice too harshly. The national security adviser's expertise has never been in serving the nation—it has been in serving the house of Bush. At the first job, she has been a disaster. At the second, she is the best.

posted by y2karl at 9:13 PM on April 9, 2004

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