The Washington Post today exposes some of the contradictory statements made by Bush’s national security advisor, Condoleezza Rice, in the wake of the Richard Clarke allegations.
This might explain the Bush administration’s reluctance to have Rice testify under oath before the 9/11 commission. She can’t seem to keep her facts straight.
“Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage contradicted Rice’s claim that the White House had a strategy before 9/11 for military operations against al Qaeda and the Taliban; the CIA contradicted Rice’s earlier assertion that Bush had requested a CIA briefing in the summer of 2001 because of elevated terrorist threats; and Rice’s assertion this week that Bush told her on Sept. 16, 2001, that “Iraq is to the side” appeared to be contradicted by an order signed by Bush on Sept. 17 directing the Pentagon to begin planning military options for an invasion of Iraq.
“Rice, in turn, has contradicted Vice President Cheney’s assertion that Clarke was “out of the loop” and his intimation that Clarke had been demoted. Rice has also given various conflicting accounts. She criticized Clarke for being the architect of failed Clinton administration policies, but also said she retained Clarke so the Bush administration could continue to pursue Clinton’s terrorism policies.”
The story quotes Rice saying that she can’t testify before the commission because she must “maintain what is a long-standing constitutional separation between the executive and the legislative branch.” However, it is noted that other presidential aides have waived their immunity in the past including President Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, and President Bill Clinton’s national security adviser, Samuel R. “Sandy” Berger.
And even if there were no precendents, I thought the whole point the Bush administration has been stressing is that 9/11 changed things. There has never been an attack on our country like 9/11 before and understanding how it happened and how we can keep it from ever happening again should be important enough to merit a waiver from immunity for Rice.
Rice has made plenty of time to be all over the news blabbing about the 9/11 events and attempting to discredit Richard Clarke. Lets have her explain under oath how some of these contradictions in her public statements should be resolved.