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Tuesday, March 30, 2004

No oath-no testimony: 9/11 Commission

No oath-no testimony: 9/11 Commission

9/11 Panel Wants Rice Under Oath in Any Testimony
By PHILIP SHENON and RICHARD W. STEVENSON

Published: March 30, 2004

WASHINGTON, March 29 — The chairman and vice chairman of the independent commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks said on Monday that they would ask Condoleezza Rice to testify under oath in any future questioning because of discrepancies between her statements and those made in sworn testimony by President Bush's former counterterrorism chief.

"I would like to have her testimony under the penalty of perjury," said the commission's chairman, Thomas H. Kean, the former Republican governor of New Jersey, in comments that reflected the panel's exasperation with the White House and Ms. Rice, the president's national security adviser.

Ms. Rice has granted one private interview to the 10-member, bipartisan commission and has requested another. But the White House has cited executive privilege in refusing to allow her to testify before the commission in public or under oath, even as she has granted numerous interviews about its investigation


I guess they're tired of looking like idiots. She'll talk to Ed Bradley but not Tom Kean? Who is running the political operation in the WH? Can't be the boy genius Karl Rove? Jesus, this was insane politics, unless the purpose was to leave their former girl wonder hanging. She cannot talk to the media and ignore a Congressional commision.

I cannot believe the rank political ineptitude being displayed here. Attacking Richard Clarke so personally, now they're going into his sex life, was a mistake of epic proportions. He's what the Brit's call a permanent civil servant. He's the kind of guy who does his job in a fairly ideology-free way. All Bush had to do was disagree with his conclusions civilly and move on. Clarke had a narrow view, some ideas which were politically unsupportable, and didn't have ultimate decision making power. Instead, they call him a liar, a partisan and the dumbest things imaginable.

If Bush could deal with issues like an adult, Richard Clarke's conclusions would make for a nice speech at the National Press Club. Book or no book, he would have testified at the 9/11 Commission, because of his position in four White Houses.
The idea of the President attacking a former staffer should be revolting to most people.

All a smart White House had to do was disagree with his world view, because there are hundreds of Clarkes in Washington, bright men and women who think their pet issue needs more attention. They didn't have to turn it into a pissing contest between Rice and Clarke, one where Rice has everything to lose. Now, his allegations, which are backed by other sources published in 2002 and 3, are front and center.

The right is spending time and effort attacking the character of a man responsible for the nation's security. Do they not think this will come back to haunt them and their candidate? If Richard Clarke was so bad and evil, why did four presidents trust him? Instead of dealing with his conclusions, they want to deal with him and that isn 't going to work.

Note: Rice agrees to sworn, public testimony, while Bush and Cheney will meet with the entire commision in private.

Like they had a choice. Their refusal was insulting at best, and politically dimwitted at worst. They have acted like they had something to hide since day one.

The Pearl Harbor hearings, held in 1944, held people accountable. During wartime, no less. It might not have been comfortable, but someone
realized the country can stand accountabilty. Why should 9/11 be any different?

Bush, who has avoided accountabilty his entire life, is clearly mystified by the concept.

posted by Steve @ 8:58:00 AM

8:58:00 AM

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