Monday, October 02, 2006

Condi shoots self in foot!

Bob Woodward's new book claims that CIA Director Tenet took the initiative to give then-National Security Adviser (and now Secretary of State) Condoleeza Rice an emergency briefing about the terrorist threat on July 10, 2001. According to Woodward, Tenet was brushed off. Woodward also claimed that the 9/11 Commission was not told about this meeting.

The State Department trolls rose to the defense of their boss. Spokesman Sean McCormack said that the records confirmed that the meeting took place, that the 9/11 Commisson was told about the meeting, and most importantly for Rice's reputation that "far from ignoring Mr. Tenet’s warnings, Ms. Rice acted on the intelligence and requested that Mr. Tenet make the same presentation to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and John Ashcroft, then the attorney general." (quote from the NYT).

But Ms Rice had already spoken. She did not recall the meeting, and found it incomprehensible that we think she might have ignored the terrorist threat.

""What I am quite certain of is that I would remember if I was told, as this account apparently says, that there was about to be an attack in the United States, and the idea that I would somehow have ignored that I find incomprehensible," Rice said." (quote from Mother Jones).

Added later:

Further, the White House took the stand (see here) that this meeting did not take place, because it is not mentioned in the 9/11 Commission Report.

MYTH #3: Woodward Claims Condoleezza Rice Brushed Off George Tenet And Cofer Black's July 2001 Warning About Al Qaeda. (Bob Woodward, State Of Denial, 2006)

FACT: According To State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack, The Recollections Portrayed By Woodward Do Not Reflect Tenet And Black's 9/11 Commission Testimony. "But Rice and other State Department officials denied [Woodward's claim], noting that the report of the Sept. 11 commission, which had sworn testimony from Tenet and others at the meeting, made no mention of the July 10 encounter. 'The recollections as portrayed in the Woodward book in no way reflect the public and private testimony under oath of those individuals to the 9/11 commission,' said Sean McCormack, the State Department spokesman." (David E. Sanger, "White House Disputes Book's Account Of Rifts On Iraq," The New York Times, 9/30/06