: Condi Rice has been doing a very good job in her testimony before the 9/11 commission. Richard Ben Veniste, on the other hand, is an ass, acting like a prosecutor getting his moment in the TV sun. He’s hostile and political. That kind of behavior is both unproductive, it harms the mission of the commission and its reputation and thus the veracity of the report it will issue.

: Bob Kerrey says: “It’s not a war on terrorism. It’s a war on radical Islam. Terrorism is a tactic.”

: Kerrey is acting like Dennis Miller did when he interviewed Eric Alterman. Petulant little boy.

: Kerrey also goes political. Rice said Bush was tired of “swatting flies” and wanted to go after al Qaeda. Kerry asked what flies he swatted and says he didn’t swat any. “How the hell could he be tired?”

Rice gives it back a few minutes later and quotes a Kerry speech saying that the best thing we could do after the attack on the Cole was to go after Saddam Hussein. “It’s an asymmetic approach… It was a brilliant way of thinking about it. It was thinking about it strategically, not tactically.”

:Kerrey says in front of Rice, “We don’t want to use the N-word in here.” Exactly what N-word are you referring to, Senator?

: Update: Jason Calacanis says it was “M-word” as in “mistake.” I made an M-word.

: UPDATE: On Al Franken’s Air America show, Michael Kinsley said he hates to say this on Franken’s show but he feels some sympathy for Rice and Bush because Washington is a town that engages in “orgies of hindsight.”

If anyone truly had known what was going going to happen they would have done something to stop it, of course, he says. A reasonable voice.

: LATE UPDATE: Tom Shales says Condi won:

If it were to be viewed as a battle, or a sporting event, or a contest — and of course that would be wrong — then Condoleezza Rice won it. Indeed, the national security adviser did so well and seemed so firmly in command of the situation yesterday, when she testified under oath before the 9/11 commission, that one had to wonder why the White House spent so much time and energy trying to keep her from having to appear….

As usual, Rice was a model of dignity and composure, even when some commissioners got testy…. She probably could have done the whole thing with a teacup and saucer balanced on her head. She’s that cool.

  • John Moreschi

    I agree. This is the first time I saw Ben Veniste or any of the hearings. He was pretty offensive and hostile. What does he really think, that Rice and Bush wanted the attacks to happen on 9/11? His behavior looks very strange to me.

  • aaron

    Agreed. And the applause is completely inappropriate and pretty disgusting, in my view.

  • matt

    I think she is doing ok to pretty good. I was hoping she’s would cooly gut Clarke and eat the remains. Still time. Yes, Ben Veniste was trying to have his Law & Order moment

  • Jeffrey — New York

    Jeff, couldn’t agree more. Ben Veniste’s hatchet queries were embarrassing and really low. He brings shame to the commission with his rudeness.

  • Charlie (Colorado)

    It’s somewhat amazing that Benveniste was willing to be so glaringly on the attack so soon after Bob Kerry et al had been saying they were going to tone it down.
    I don’t think the continual attempts to make Condi answer “Have you stopped being such screwups yes or no” questions helped much.

  • O’McSomething

    With everyone connected to the Bushies lying and dissembling at every turn, its no wonder Ben Veniste seems like a prosecutor to you. They are doing a pretty good job at acting like defendants.

  • Vince

    I have the exact opposite view. Condiliar is doing everything BUT answer the questions directly. Good for Veniste for not backing down. And good for the audience to applaud. Not appropriate my ass. Consider it performance evaluation.
    And she basically said catching the guy on his way to bomb LAX in 1999/2000 was a fluke. Tell that to the FBI and CSIS.

  • Jeffrey — New York

    Well, Kerrey is just as boorish as Ben Veniste. Man, what the heck kind of commission is this?

  • hen

    hey vince it WAS a fluke that the millinium plot was stopped – it’s only a miracle that the border guard didn’t get fired for “racial profiling”.
    what is the insinuation? that the Clinton administration had terrorism under control and Bush moved in and dropped the ball? laughable.
    and Ben Veniste is an embarrassment.

  • He didn’t say N-word. He said M-word. Just before that, he had said something about admitting the government made mistakes.

  • Courtney

    He said “M-word”, as in “mistake”.

  • Zev

    Don’t you all mean KerrEy, not Kerry?

  • Angelos Tzelepis

    Agreed that the questioners are all pompous asses enjoying their 15 minutes.
    BUT, Condi has spoken for how long now, and not answered a single question. I’d be losing my patience too.
    Sound and fury, signifying nothing.

  • Catfish N. Cod

    You have accused former Senator Kerrey of racism unfairly, Mr. Jarvis. Will you now apologize?
    If you will not, will Glenn Reynolds post your name as the latest person to make “racially insensitive comments?”
    (ha ha only serious)
    Meanwhile, Rice: yes she’s being attacked, but much of the attack is on Administration spin. I don’t consider attempts to clarify rhetoric as political attacks, but efforts to find the truth (the goal of the Commission).
    Some answers have been full and honest. Others have been stonewalling and deliberate attempts to run out the clock. She’s getting a B- from me so far.

  • Mike G

    Style matters as much as substance, and what I hear every time I turn on the radio, for the few minutes I can stand it, is: arguably the most accomplished black woman in America being battered around by a group of arrogant white guys. I really think this could be an Anita Hill moment for the Democratic senators (and Ben-Veniste), in which they demonstrate just how clueless and tonedeaf they are. And what luck for the Democratic presidential nominee that half of America will think that was him up there attacking her.
    Frankly, I think a little humility on the part of 1) the Clinton administration and 2) anyone who voted for the Church Amendment and other things that clipped the CIA’s and FBI’s wings in the 70s and 80s would be warranted, but that’s just me.

  • Vince

    hen, you’re wrong. And I’m not insinuating anything. Bush and Clinton are both at fault to varying degrees. And guess what? CLINTON ISN’T PRESIDENT ANYMORE! BUSH IS! Repeat that 100 times.
    I wish one of the 9/11 widows would b^tchslap that smirk of Rice’s face.

  • Andy Freeman

    > hen, you’re wrong.
    Hen is correct. The FBI and CSIS had nothing to do with catching the guy who was bringing in explosives for use in LA. That guy was caught by a customs agent who had a hunch, and customs wasn’t even on alert.
    > CLINTON ISN’T PRESIDENT ANYMORE! BUSH IS! Repeat that 100 times.
    That’s true, but policies and structures outlast presidents. The separation between domestic and international intelligence predates Clinton. Clinton had 8 years to do something about it and Bush had less than a year.
    To be fair to both Clinton and Bush, that the separation wasn’t going to be reduced until there was sufficient motivation. 9/11 was barely enough.
    It’s also fair to point out that many of the folks kvetching are the reason that it took something like 9/11 to reduce that separation.

  • onecent

    And she basically said catching the guy on his way to bomb LAX in 1999/2000 was a fluke.
    It was a fluke. A border agent at the Canadian-US border nailed him and not because high vigilance regarding terrorism was in place then. He was acting suspiciously and she thought he maybe a drug trafficker. Google is a useful tool in advancing facts, Vince.
    When you use terms like “Condiliar”, Vince, you disqualify yourself from adult discussion.
    They are doing a pretty good job at acting like defendants.
    Defending what, for God’s sake? They didn’t drive the planes into the WTC. Explaining 230 days of inability to act on non-specific threat information, there is nothing to defend. But, then, Clinton can explain how for 7 years after the first WTC bombing nothing was done to create the intelligence needed to prevent the next time.

  • hen

    whatever vince – the facts don’t support your stand and i realize that BJ is no longer the Prez (thank God).
    the commission just asked Dr Rice why didn’t the Bush adm do anything about the USS Cole attack – no doubt you think that is a reasonable question as well; or perhaps kerry’s question about IRAQ on a 9/11 panel is equally appropriate for you.
    this is a pathetic partisan witch hunt – sound and fury that will result in nothing but some choice sound bites for the “Bush Knew crowd – yawn.

  • onecent

    I wish one of the 9/11 widows would b^tchslap that smirk of Rice’s face.
    Vince, call it a day, son. Get back to your acne management program. Consider not being absentee at school tomorrow. Adopt constructive coping skills, Condi was not the girl that stood you up.

  • The 9/11 is not now and never has been about find the truth, doing better, or moving on. It has always been about counting coup.
    And that’s why it’s a waste of time. That doesn’t mean that any investigation of 9/11 will always be a waste of time. But this one pretty obviously is.

  • Angelos Tzelepis

    Most accomplished black woman? Please, let’s not insult black women out in the real world who do something tangible, like teachers and executives and doctors.
    Condi is no more than a lackey, a 2-for-the-price-of-1 diversity selection.

  • Jos

    Today highlites all that is wrong about the 9/11 commission.
    You have the Bush admin with its pathalogical inability to admit mistakes or conduct the people’s business publicly facing off against Democrats with a pathological inability to put protecting the nation above re-writing history or scoring cheap political ‘gotcha’ points.
    In short, it’s the deplorable versus the despicable, and none of it will make us safer or help us find a better way forward.
    What a horrific fiasco.

  • O’

    Gosh, this commission stuff would have been so much more fun and entertaining if they had kept Unka Hank Kissinger at the helm like the Bushies wanted. Then we would have gotten the real poop.

  • Brian Perry

    What bugs me is the dishonesty with which the panel is approaching the whole issue of 9/11. Find me one person who was not absolutely shocked on that day. If people now start saying that they knew it was going happen, that it was no surprise, that we could have stopped it, that is a lie. 9/11 changed things- if there were an attack today, no one would be shocked, except perhaps by its severity.
    Our inability to imagine 9/11 before it happened was our soft underbelly. It is the reason why the attacks succeeded, and why no one in America could stop them. In the past, we may have said “Remember the Maine” or “Remember the Alamo”, in effect saying, don’t forget what the enemy did to us on that day. I think that when it comes to 9/11, we should say “Remember Sept. 10th,” the last day that the intentions of those who wish to harm us were allowed to move beyond our capability to imagine them. We need to remember the dangerous, hopeful haze we all lived in up until 9/10 that allowed those with more focus to move into our country and attack us from within. Thousands perished because of it.
    By all means, learn from the mistakes that were made by us before 9/11. However, the real importance is today and tomorrow. The next attack is coming, and the price we’ll pay for missing it could make 9/11 look as small as the Cole attack does now. We now treat 9/11 as finale, but I’m dreading the day when it might become just another precursor.
    And to those who would turn this into a partisan witch hunt: please give Condi Rice and the President a little more respect for the positions of responsibility they now occupy. You might wish later that you had spent this time helping them to do a good job rather than trying to pull them down for your own gain.

  • Ebb Tide

    They touched on this briefly (during the Kerrey 10 mins) that I saw (maybe they talked more about it later on, I did not see/hear the whole thing) but one of the main things we are trying to do now is to address the root cause of Islamic Terrorism, a tactic used by a large and varied army of fighters (but not under the umbrella of one nation, hence the Global War on Terror)…. and I am hoping that this commission will address this point.
    In my opinion, when the cold war was over we stopped our “propaganda” services (I am sure there is a more pc term that the State Dept would use, but I can’t think of a “nice” term for it.)
    We should have 100 free American-style schools for every madrassa out there. We should be actively promoting what democracy is, what citizenship is (read:responsibilies, not just rights) …. there is something that can be done rather than sending cruise missiles into hot spots (although that is truely necessary and I do not think calling it “swatting flies” is helpful) and I know that there are young people in this country who would want to serve just as they would want to serve in the military (Jessica Lynch comes to mind, she wanted to be a kindergarden teacher, she joined the Army, what if she could have served her country teaching English in Pakistan or Afghanistan?)
    I hope something constructive comes out of this commission, and soon. It is great we can be so upfront with all this testimony…. but it has to have a constructive outcome to be worth anything.

  • Hipocrite

    …customs wasn’t even on alert.

  • onecent

    let’s not insult black women out in the real world who do something tangible, like teachers and executives and doctors.
    Let’s not insult those of us that aren’t logically impaired. How can Secretary of State not qualify as doing “something tangible”?
    Has it ever occured to you that viewing Condi as a “lackey” could be construed as an expression of racism, following the logic, you do adeptly use, that a black woman couldn’t achieve success on her own merits?

  • O’

    And to those who would turn this into a partisan witch hunt: please give Condi Rice and the President a little more respect for the positions of responsibility they now occupy. You might wish later that you had spent this time helping them to do a good job rather than trying to pull them down for your own gain.
    And to those who would turn this into a partisan witch hunt: please give Richard Clarke a little more respect for the position of responsibility he held on 9/11/01. The Bush administration wishes that they had spent more time helping him do a good job, but since they didn’t, they would rather spend time trying to pull him down for their own gain.
    Brian–I think we might learn from our mistakes if we actually listen to the person whose job it was to make recommendations on how to fight terror when he advises us that a really big terror attack is eminent.
    Ummm onecent: Condi is Bush’s National Security Adviser. Colin Powell is the Sec of State.

  • TB

    Does being the youngest as well as the first black Provost at Stanford University constitute accomplishement. She had more than a few university professors working under her. But I suppose she wasn’t a teacher so that doesn’t count.

  • hen

    man liberals just LOOOVE dem black folk as long as dey know dere place, ain’t dat right massa?
    DOCTOR Rice is an unaccomplished hack? for a diversity selection Bush seemed to put some of dem darkies in awfully high places…wonder why?
    i can only pray that on 08 (after Bush’s second term) someone half as gifted as Condi Rice in on the ballot. actually i hope she is – with Giulianni. nice.
    oh and hip — customs was NOT on alert – use google; it is your friend. then show Vince how to use same.

  • Brian Perry

    If Dick Clarke was as spot on as you characterize him, then obviously he would have been listened to at the time. Or would you imply that Bush et al. would allow an attack to happen?
    What exactly are you getting at.

  • onecent

    I stand corrected. A senior moment.
    The Bush administration wishes that they had spent more time helping him do a good job.
    Don’t think so. Rice made clear he that while some of his opinions were relevant and helpful, overall he was not useful in shaping a newer broader plan. What real value to a new administration is a holdover from the previous administration whose policies on terrorism produced nothing?
    they would rather spend time trying to pull him down for their own gain.
    Clarke’s the guy with the pre-election timed book release. He held himself up to criticism upon getting published. As was the case today with Rice, criticism of Clarke by the White House has appeared factual and measured.

  • Angelos Tzelepis

    To hint that Dr. Rice is a lackey does make me a racist. Well, maybe in this knee-jerk society. If you have no real argument, accuse someone of racism.
    They’re all lackeys, not just her. White, black, men, women. They have no choice – just look at the campaigns of destruction aimed at anyone who dares to disagree in public.
    The problem is, who’s the real boss? To have lackeys, there needs to be someone in charge, someone whose shoes the others know to polish. I still can’t figure out who it is. Not George. Is it Don? Any help out there?
    This is a complete fustercluck of an administration. They have collectively accomplished nothing but damage, with a bigger-dick foreign policy and a complete lack of domestic policy.
    Maybe tangible was the wrong word. Certainly failure is tangible. Change it to significant, valuable, credible if you will. She is nothing but a parrot.
    Maybe at Stanford or at another private sector post she would have had the chance to do something of import.

  • hen

    hey angelos – the zionists control this administration – just say it, it’ll make you feel better, schmuck.
    if you live to 200 you will not accomplish HALF of what she accomplished by the time she turned 30.
    so are you an idiot or just jealous? or maybe a jealous idiot?

  • Mike G

    Yeah, Dr. Rice is a lackey. Good thing the Democrats are still around to produce really impressive black political figures like Al Sharpton and Carol Moseley Braun.
    Angelos, you are truly why the Democrats are the party of holding blacks and women back, while the Republicans have become the party of opportunity and advancement, and why the first woman and first black president will both likely be Republicans. While people like you snipe from the sidelines that they’re just puppets.

  • Mike G, I’m beginning to realize this. And, Angelos, I think you’re off the mark. She’s doing a lot more now than she would have at Stanford. Do you know who’s the top head at Stanford and what he or she is doing?

  • Angelos Tzelepis

    Zionists? WTF?
    Like I said, you have no actual argument to make, so you attack. Admit it, you learned that from Karl and Condi and George, right?
    What’s your obsession here? What or whom exactly, are you defending?
    It is my opinion that this administration is a complete failure. Prove me wrong.
    Are you going to cite the loss of 2 million jobs as a sign of success? Or is that Clinton’s fault? Surely you’ll cite the deficit as a major success. And don’t forget Defense of Marriage. And Ashcroft’s #1 priority, pornography. At least when those terrorists are holed up in Motel 6 before their next attack, they won’t be able to dial up Ass Attack 3. Because John Ashcroft is protecting us.
    Wake up.

  • Angelos

    I am no more Democrat than Republican. Those names mean nothing any more. I’ve voted all over the place throughout the years.
    Can you really take any politician seriously? And I don’t know anyone who thinks Sharpton is a political figure.
    Our main concern should who does the least damage. I’m not convinced that person is John Kerry, because he’s said some scary things himself.
    When I drop my ballot come November, it will probably come down to this, and only this: we cannot let Bush appoint Supreme Court justices.

  • O’McSomething

    Onecent — One person’s “factual and measured” is another person’s smear campaign. Clarke is on record as wanting his book to come out last X-mas. It was held up by the WH. And if “Rice made clear he that while some of his opinions were relevant and helpful, overall he was not useful in shaping a newer broader plan”, then why didn’t she replace him with someone she thought effective? She was his boss. He resigned from his position months later after he completed the work he wanted to get done on cyberspace security. He resigned because he did not think that this adminstration was headed in the right way in their fight against the real terrorists who are a threat to our country, as are many other long-time counterterrorism experts in the Bush administration. Clarke thought that invading Iraq would siphon resources away from pursuing al Quada cells and turn into a ‘recruiting exercise (my interpretation)’ for Islamic terror organizations. Rice was scheduled to give a speech on 9/11/01 which, of course, was not delivered, but the text of it makes no mention of al Quada or Islamic terrorism. Rather, she was focused on missile defense.
    Brian–What are you getting at? If Clarke was so off base and not to be listened to, what was he doing in the position he had held in two administrations. Why was he the National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counterterrorism? Seems to me you would want someone good in a position like that if you were interested in security, infrastructure protection, and counterterrorism–just like a good POTUS or NSA should be. If the Bush team wasn’t prerared to listen to what Clarke might recommend, why was he still there? Were they trying to be nice by keeping him on? Remember, Clarke got his start in the Reagan adminstration and also worked for Bush I. I’m not sure, but I think up until at least 9/01, he was a registered Republican. So far, he is the only one in the bunch who has owned up to making some mistakes along the way. He is the only one who has taken any responsibility for his position.

  • Mike

    How can someone prove an OPINION wrong? It’s an opinion, not a factual statement. You have to prove your opinion first with facts and results first, which you haven’t done.
    And you claim people aren’t arguing, they are attacking you. I would tend to think that calling Dr. Rice a lackey is an attack and not an argument.
    Produce some clear and concise talking points without conjecture and maybe people would take you seriously and not attack you.

  • Angelos

    Ah, semantics. But I did at least offer some reaons as to why I think this administration is a failure, and a dangerous one at that.
    I just figure “hen” has so much insight into my intelligence and my status in life vis-a-vis Condi, (s)he might be able to give me some reason (s)he looooooves Condi so much. Instead of calling me a schmuck and an idiot.

  • HT

    Angelos, perhaps you should consider that your tone sets the bar for other people responding to your comments.
    For myself, I want to respond to one specific point made in your earlier post. You claimed that Dr. Rice was unaccomplished, because she had never gone out and done anything “tangible, like teachers and executives and doctors”. She is, in fact, a tenured Professor at Stanford. In other words…a teacher.
    Presumably now you’ll find some way to argue that being a tenured professor isn’t really teaching, but at least we’ll enjoy watching you wriggle and squirm in your efforts to do so.

  • SD

    If Rice were a Democrat would you be calling her a lackey?
    Today the Bush Administration was represented by someone who wasn’t old, white, or male. I’m sorry if that bugs the hell out of you since you are unable to see the big picture, but this is a young woman who entered college at 15 and has been a true American success story ever since through her hard work and intelligence.
    hen was exactly right.

  • Ga-ne-sha

    Rice Rules! Displays Fools.

  • hen

    i only call you a schmuck and an idiot because…well clearly you are. your slurs against Condi Rice are disgusting, your questioning “who controls” this administration are the mark of a conspiracy nut or worse and your opinion on the Bush administration “failures” is laughable.
    but let me address your “failure points” one by one:
    1) Bush’s unemployment numbers are at the same figure Clinton’s were during his 8 yr term;
    2) the deficit makes no difference to me whatsoever and since when does a deficit make a measure of success or failure in gov? am i happy with Bush’s giveaways to placate the libs? no, but to call this a failure is curious;
    3) DMA was a Clinton bill;
    4) if you think Ashcroft’s #1 concern is porn you are a fool;
    5) if i need to outline why i looooove Condi Rice for you my assertion that you are a schmuck and a fool wd be too kind – Condi Rice is a brilliant, accomplished woman who rose from tremendous poverty and has succeded on a level that is rarely seen even with the most blue of blood upbringings – she is an inspirational figure, a class act, a credit to the human race and a feather in Bush’s administration – i cd go on but why teach a pig to whistle?

  • Angelos

    And as I said earlier, had she remained out in the real world (though academia is as far left wing as this admin is far right wing), she could still be doing something valuable.
    But she’s been reduced to the dissembler we witnessed today.
    Addressing directly your posts:
    -HT, I did not say she was unaccomplished in life. I know what she’s done that got her here. It’s the HERE I have a problem with. She owns little more than a fancy title. We certainly haven’t heard any opinions of her own, not that she would be allowed to stray from the party line.
    -SD, ‘old, white, or male’ – as opposed to the rest of the cabinet? And don’t you dare insinuate that I am racist. I do not like this person, and yes, she happens to be black and female. I’m even less fond of George, Don, and John. My disdain is universal, believe me.

  • onecent

    …had she remained out in the real world…..she could still be she could still be doing something valuable….
    Angelos, a psycho check is in order here. “Real world” of academia vs could “still be doing something valuable” regarding Condi? The non-valuable are all off-campus, is that what I’m hearing? My deduction: you are too stupid even for on-campus.
    When hen called you a schmuck, she/he as being humanitarian in her/his description. Your measured tone, hen, has made you my hero.
    My disdain is universal, believe me.
    Got that, but it remains stupid. And, please, don’t define further,

  • Angelos, the last person the Democratic Party had that could match up intellectually with Condi Rice was Daniel Patrick Moynihan. But he’s dead, just like his Party’s gonna be if you represent its defenders.

  • hen

    one cent – i’m a guy, and i’m no hero – just a lone man with a meaty cluebat. thanks just the same.
    TC – absolutely correct – DPM is sorely missed in the dem party. compare him to their heavywweights now (teddy kennedy, tom daschle, bobby “KKK” byrd…disgraceful).

  • Mike

    I give you the opportunity to explain yourself and you blow it. You continue to insult a woman who no matter what is an extraordinary and intelligent public figure. The only negative thing that could be said about her is that it looks like she may not pass on that ability through offspring of her own.
    All you have proven here is that you can’t reason beyond your own inept vision of what the Bush administration is and who they are made up of.
    You are a fool and have no place in a reasonable debate.

  • I think that only the most paranoid of conspiracy freaks would think they actually knew about 9/11 beforehand. No, the issue is, that despite all their willful strutting, they were not masters of the resources and tools of power. Blinded by the hubris of self-righteousness,Shrub and company have consistently failed to recognize the truth. They bent the war on terror to fit an already formulated doctrinal effort. And of all the issues that require attention, the FCC and Justice Department ar going after people that tell fart jokes or show nakedness. These guys are everything they said they weren’t: single-minded zealots. Once you start lying about yourself, there is no end. Now that this shit-storm has been unleashed, there is going to be hell to pay to rein it in.

  • Eric

    Why is all the blame falling on Bush & Co.? The man was in office for months, Clinton was in office for 8 yrs and did nothing, nada…zip…where are the people decrying him and his failed policies? Alot of Bombs went off duiring his watch.

  • Mike

    why would anyone take you seriously if you are going to call Bush, Shrub?
    The moment you say that you show yourself to be a mental midget and any point you try to make falls on deaf ears.
    And I’m just curious what doctrinal effort you are talking about? Is that the pre-emptive strike doctrine? Isn’t that what those against Bush are now saying he should have done pre-9/11 with Al Quada in Afghanistan? Why is it that this doctrine doesn’t apply to Iraq? A country that both sides of the political isle (John Kerry and even Ted Kennedy) were saying was a regime with WMD that posed a threat to the US.

  • Mumblix Grumph

    So…the Left thinks that:
    A) Bush is a jug-eared dullard who can’t even pronounce “nuclear” correctly.
    B) A political genius who deviously used a terrorist attack to implement a Machiavellian scheme to take over the world in a fashion that SPECTRE and SMERSH could only dream about.
    So, which is it? Is Bush Forrest Gump or Dr. Evil?

  • JG

    Clarke testified that he (or maybe they) stopped the Millennium Plot by going to battle stations! He saved thousands by shaking the trees and performing great heroics inside the beltway That’s not what I remembered. I remember thinking that one person who just does their job can make a difference. Google gave me
    I guess my memory is better then Mr. Clarke’s. Searched the article – no Clarke – no special alert mentioned. The inspectors thought they had found drugs! How can anyone take this guy seriously? I think he sees himself as a legend in his own time, and the sad part is the whole inside the beltway crowd didn

  • James Stephenson

    Lets look at some of Clarke’s other good statements.
    Maybe those who worship this man can rectify these gems.
    “Tim McVeigh was never successfull at building bombs till he met with Al Quada.”
    “That Aspirin Factory tied Al Quada and Iraq together, they were using Iraq’s formula for the VX gas.”
    “With our work regarding capturing the Original WTC bombers, 8 of 9, the Terrorists are shaking in their shoes.” Of course the 9th one, the ring leader went home to Iraq. He said this in 1999.
    In July of 2001, he asked to brief the President, on Cyber Terrorism, you would think since he was prescient to know that 9/11 was coming, he might have mentioned to the President during that “Oh btw Al Quada is planning to level the WTC with planes this fall.” Now back to the more important reasons for this meeting, Cyber Terrorism.
    I do not expect any real response, to this man’s wild ramblings, but to give the man such a serious voice is just well, stupid.

  • Angelos

    Such wonderful stupidity to wake up to.
    Onecent, Hen, and Mike, it’s obvious that you’re not actually reading anything I say. You come from the Rush Limbaugh school of “make shit up when you don’t have a clue to stand on”.
    Condi Rice has diplayed no, zero, nada intellectual acumen in the 3 years we’ve known her. SHE’S NOT ALLOWED TO. She reads her talking points, attacks who she’s told to attack, accomplishes nothing diplomatically.
    Look, I’ll use small words, and I’ll keep it to one small topic, the fact that I have no respect for Condi Rice and her cohorts, a feeling exacerbated by the travesty I witnessed yesterday:
    -The govermnent had Clarke’s book for quite a few months, to vet it for “national security” issues. We never heard a peep.
    -Once it was ready for release though, and gained a little public attention, the attack dogs came out, with their scripted talking points (no original thought allowed), with Condi at the head of the class. Didn’t she hit 6 talk shows that morning? Same thing they did to O’Neill and anyone else who was dispirited and left the admin because of the duplicity and deceit that rules the White House.
    -Then Clarke went in front the commission, with straight yes or no answers when required and appropriatly short and sweet essay answers when needed. Like him or not, agree with him or not, he actually gave “testimony”.
    -Did you watch Dr. Rice’s bullshit session yesterday? Did you see her non-sequitur speech at the beginning. WTF did that have to do with the issue at hand? The Lucitaina? Did you see her being asked yes or no questions, and skirting them with 5 minutes of shifty-eyed bullshit because she knew the answer would look bad for her and Bush? Did you hear her deny that they had been given a “plan” by the Clinton administration, but when pressed further, she said it wasn’t a plan, but a “list of actionable items”? Did you catch that Richard Clarke gave her a memo entitled “Bin Laden determined to strike inside the US” on August 6th, but that she ignored it and didn’t pass the information on to GWB? You didn’t catch that did you? Maybe your crush on Condi blinded you to the real meaning of her nuanced bullshit. That’s what they’re counting on. Dittoheads missing the forest for the trees.
    And onecent, really. For you to call someone stupid, that’s really funny. Thanks for the laugh.
    Mike, where have you posted anything called resonable debate? As in, an original thought of your own? You find someone you disgree with, rewrite what they say, and call them a name.

  • Angelos, translated: “I know you are but what am I?”

  • Mike

    I think Dr. Rice did a wonderful job in front of the commission yesterday. Especially in front of obvious partisan questioning by Kerrey and Ben Veniste. Especially when she brought up Kerrey

  • Angelos

    Yes, the 4 Dems on the panel were pricks. As were the 4 Republicans a couple weeks ago. That’s the nature of politics. This was a big dog-and-pony show. But from my chair, Clarke effectively bitch-slapped his grandstanding questioners, and Rice effectively avoided giving an answer to anything, partisan or not. When the Republican questioners lobbed her softballs, which she still managed to duck, and licked her crack with “thank you” and “with all due respect”, I found that more offensive and pandering than anything else.
    I believe that Clarke knew more about what was going on than anyone in the incoming administration. After all, he’d been on it since the Reagan years. He didn’t screw up. In the Clinton years, he was stymied by the CIA and by Clinton’s indecisiveness. But it gets worse. When he presented his knowledge to the new incoming administration, I’m sure he had hope that someone with fresh eyes and ears would see the light. But no, Condi and Bush missed the chance, as did the rest of the neocons, because they didn’t want to accept any holdover information from the previous administration. That ignorance and partisanship, plus GWB’s obsession with Saddam, is as critical to our intelligence failures and to the complete lack or preparation for 9/11 as was Clinton’s mistake of not killing bin Laden when he had the chance.
    Condi Rice is a failure of a National Security Advisor. In her testimony yesterday, she essentially made two points:
    1) If she dismissed what Clarke and others were telling her, she failed.
    2) If she listened but failed to convince Bush and Rumsfeld of the import of the messges, god-DAMN did she fail. She is the National Security ADVISOR. She should be able to cut through the partisan bullshit and protect us.
    Just look at these quotes: “no recommendation of what to do about it”, “[If] I needed to do anything, I would have been asked to do it. I was not asked to do it”, “The PDB does not say the United States is going to be attacked. It says Bin Laden would like to attack the United States.”
    She sat on her hands, waiting to be told what to do. Not initiative, no original thought. Not exactly confidence-inspiring, in the position of National SECURITY Advisor.
    Read George Will today. He makes the point very well.
    Clarke, profiting from 9/11? Now that’s blind partisanship. Self serving testimony? You weren’t watching. He put in plain view how politics gets in the way of government. His disgust with Bush 2 is well-deserved. He, like John DiIulio and Paul O’Neill, worked for this administration and expected a certain level of honesty and competence. They didn’t get it. And, this we should all be grateful for, they spoke out. Of course, the Bushies sent out the attack dogs, but that just made the point clearer. The defectors must have struck a nerve. Maybe with the truth about this admin’s incompetence?
    Exploiting 9/11? Seen any Bush-9/11 commercials lately? Are you prepared for the barrage of 9/11 clich

  • hen

    hey angelos — psst – the RNC chose NYC BEFORE 9/11 and in fact NYC was trying to get the DNC there as well, but the DNC didn’t want to share the same city as the Repubs so they took their ball and decided to leave for Boston – so dumb it hurts….

  • James Stephenson

    Angelos surely you are not dumb enough to say that 9/11 could have been prevented.
    When asked, your Hero Dick Clarke said there was nothing that could have been done to stop the attack.
    The only thing that could have been done to stop 9/11 is to invade Afghanistan and capture OBL and the top AQ leadership in say 1998. That was the only chance, had we done this after the Khobar towers.
    Or had we got lucky, like at the border crossing. We had our luck moment, but unfortunatly the FBI agent who got a sniff of the problem, was rebuffed by a higher up. Do you blame Bush for this? Or do you blame our PC, anti-profile law enforcement.

  • James Stephenson

    Or even Better Angelos, 1994.
    On Page 127 [of his new “Against All Enemies”], Clarke notes that it’s possible that al-Qaida operatives in the Philippines “taught Terry Nichols how to blow up the Oklahoma Federal Building.” Intelligence places Nichols there on the same days as Ramzi Yousef, and “we do know that Nichols’s bombs did not work before his Philippines stay and were deadly when he returned.”
    Had we went after those people then, no one would even remember who OBL was.

  • Angelos

    At this point, it is not provable one way or the other, that the attack could have been stopped. That type of blame game, the partisan charade that the 8 questioners on the panel performed, is a waste of our energy.
    What is distressing was seeing the government, in the person of Condi Rice, in full CYA mode. As they are whenever points out blatant mistakes and lies. That hints at something.
    What is also distressing is thinking of what *might* have been.
    Under Clinton:
    -Had he killed OBL when he had the chance.
    -Had the FBI and CIA worked their information together, noticed the scary common threads, and FORCE-FED it up to the top, something *might* have been possible. For chrissakes, we KNEW of suspicious people taking flight lessons, among other huge red flags.
    Under Bush:
    -Had they not thrown out the baby with the bathwater, ignoring everything Clarke and the Clinton administration handed them, just because it was from the “old guys”, something *might* have happened.
    -Had they not such tunnel-vision with Iraq (granted, a nice, easily definable target), and maybe paid attention to some of the “flies” GWB was too tired to swat.
    That’s just two per side, there are so many more.
    I’m waiting for some enterprising young journalist to interview a few dozen survivors of 9/11, to see if they feel comforted in any way by Dr. Rice’s obfuscation. But then, investigative journalism has long been dead in this country. Just reprint the government’s press release, and call it news.

  • Anonymous

    What did she win? Is Carol Merrill behind Door No. 3 with a new washer/dryer?

  • KMK,1280,-3959488,00.html
    Bob Kerrey, a former Democratic senator from Nebraska and now a member of the commission, said Friday on ABC’s “Good Morning America” he believes Clinton should have been more aggressive in going after al-Qaida following the ship attack.
    “I think he did have enough proof to take action,” Kerrey said. “That’s a difference of opinion.”
    A person familiar with the session said Clinton told the commission he did not order retaliatory military strikes after the bombing of the USS Cole in October 2000 because he could not get “a clear, firm judgment of responsibility” from U.S. intelligence before he left office the following January.
    It wasn’t until after the Bush administration took power that U.S. intelligence concluded al-Qaida had sponsored the attack on the ship in the harbor at Aden, Yemen. Some commissioners have been critical of the decision not to launch a retaliatory military strike.
    The person, who would speak only on condition of anonymity because Clinton’s testimony delved into classified materials, also said the former president explained the rationale for many of the terror-fighting policies that his administration instituted and the message his administration left behind to the incoming Bush administration. Clinton “did not indicate anything fundamentally that he would have done differently” given what U.S. intelligence knew about Osama bin Laden and the al-Qaida threat, the person said.
    Can anyone tell me why I get AP via Europe before I get it here? Seriously, I can get it via subscription services but not news services.

  • So you bitch about it being viewed as a partisan contest – and then your last update is one where “Condi won.”
    Pathetic, sir.

  • Wow now that I’ve read the comments – a thoroughly useless pissing match.
    A pox on all your houses. Yuck.