Is Condi Lying Or Pulling A Reagan Moment?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by ZZZzzzzzzz, Oct 3, 2006.

  1. October 2, 2006
    Records Show Tenet Briefed Rice on Al Qaeda Threat

    JIDDA, Saudi Arabia, Oct. 2 — A review of White House records has determined that George J. Tenet, then the director of central intelligence, did brief Condoleezza Rice and other top officials on July 10, 2001, about the looming threat from Al Qaeda, a State Department spokesman said Monday.

    The account by Sean McCormack came hours after Ms. Rice, the secretary of state, told reporters aboard her airplane that she did not recall the specific meeting on July 10, 2001, noting that she had met repeatedly with Mr. Tenet that summer about terrorist threats. Ms. Rice, the national security adviser at the time, said it was “incomprehensible” she ignored dire terrorist threats two months before the Sept. 11 attacks.

    Mr. McCormack also said records show that the Sept. 11 commission was informed about the meeting, a fact that former intelligence officials and members of the commission confirmed on Monday.

    When details of the meeting emerged last week in a new book by Bob Woodward of The Washington Post, Bush administration officials questioned Mr. Woodward’s reporting.

    Now, after several days, both current and former Bush administration officials have confirmed parts of Mr. Woodward’s account.

    Officials now agree that on July 10, 2001, Mr. Tenet and his counterterrorism deputy, J. Cofer Black, were so alarmed about an impending Al Qaeda attack that they demanded an emergency meeting at the White House with Ms. Rice and her National Security Council staff.

    According to two former intelligence officials, Mr. Tenet told those assembled at the White House about the growing body of intelligence the Central Intelligence Agency had collected pointing to an impending Al Qaeda attack. But both current and former officials took issue with Mr. Woodward’s account that Mr. Tenet and his aides left the meeting in frustration, feeling as if Ms. Rice had ignored them.

    Mr. Tenet told members of the Sept. 11 commission about the July 10 meeting when they interviewed him in early 2004, but committee members said the former C.I.A. director never indicated he had left the White House with the impression that he had been ignored.

    “Tenet never told us that he was brushed off,” said Richard Ben-Veniste, a Democratic member of the commission. “We certainly would have followed that up.”

    Mr. McCormack said the records showed 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 Atttorney General John Ashcroft.

    But Mr. Ashcroft said by telephone on Monday evening that he never received a briefing that summer from Mr. Tenet.

    “Frankly, I’m disappointed that I didn’t get that kind of briefing,” he said. “I’m surprised he didn’t think it was important enough to come by and tell me.”

    The dispute that has played out in recent days gives further evidence of an escalating battle between the White House and Mr. Tenet over who should take the blame for such mistakes as the failure to stop the Sept. 11 attacks and assertions by Bush administration officials that Saddam Hussein was stockpiling chemical and biological weapons and cultivating ties to Al Qaeda.

    Mr. Tenet resigned as director of central intelligence in the summer of 2004 and was honored that December with a Presidential Medal of Freedom during a White House ceremony. Since leaving the C.I.A., Mr. Tenet has stayed out of the public eye, largely declining to defend his record at the C.I.A. even after several government investigations have assailed the faulty intelligence that helped build the case for the Iraq war.

    Mr. Tenet is now completing work on a memoir that is scheduled to be published early next year.

    It is unclear how muchMr. Tenet will use the book to settle old scores, although recent books have portrayed Mr. Tenet both as dubious about the need for the Iraq war and angry that the White House has made the C.I.A. the primary scapegoat for the war.

    In his book “The One Percent Doctrine,” the journalist and author Ron Suskind quotes Mr. Tenet’s former deputy at the C.I.A., John McLaughlin, saying that Mr. Tenet “wishes he could give that damn medal back.”

    In his own book, Mr. Woodward wrote that over time Mr. Tenet developed a particular dislike for Ms. Rice, and that the former C.I.A. director was furious when she publicly blamed the agency for allowing President Bush to make the false claim in the 2003 State of the Union Address that Saddam Hussein was pursuing nuclear materials in Niger.

    “If the C.I.A., the Director of National Intelligence, had said ‘take this out of the speech,’ it would have been gone, without question,” Ms. Rice told reporters in July 2003.

    In fact, the C.I.A. had told the White House months before that the Niger intelligence was bogus and had managed to keep the claim out of an October 2002 speech that President Bush gave in Cincinnati.

    More recently, Mr. Tenet has told friends that he was particularly angry when, appearing recently on Sunday talk shows, both Ms. Rice and Vice President Dick Cheney cited Mr. Tenet by name as the reason that Bush administration officials asserted that Mr. Hussein had stockpiles of banned weapons in Iraq and ties to Al Qaeda.

    Mr. Cheney recalled during an appearance on “Meet the Press” on Sept. 10 of this year: “George Tenet sat in the Oval Office and the president of the United States asked him directly, he said, ‘George, how good is the case against Saddam on weapons of mass destruction?’ the director of the C.I.A. said, ‘It’s a slam dunk, Mr. President, it’s a slam dunk.’ ”
  2. lying thru her teeth, nothing new here...,12271,1353796,00.html
    Colin and the crazies

    "The culling of the US secretary of state is symptomatic of a swing even further to the right

    Sidney Blumenthal
    Thursday November 18, 2004
    The Guardian

    Colin Powell's final scene was a poignant but harsh exposure of his self-delusion and humiliation. The former general held in his head an idea of himself as sacrificing and disciplined. But the good soldier was dismissed at last by his commander-in-chief as a bad egg. Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld regarded him either as a useful tool or a vain obstructionist. They deployed his reputation as the most popular man and the most credible face in the US for their own ends, and when he contributed an independent view he was isolated and undermined.

    As secretary of state has been a peripheral figure, even a fig leaf, ever since his climactic moment before the UN security council on which he staked his credibility. There he presented the case that WMD in Iraq required war, a case consisting of 26 falsehoods, and about which he later claimed to have been "deceived". When the statue of Saddam was toppled, he offered President Bush 17 volumes of his Future of Iraq project, but it was rejected. Predicting everything from the looting to the insurgency, and suggesting how it might be avoided, the project was politically incorrect.
    Powell had wanted to stay on for the first six months of Bush's second term to help shepherd a new Middle East peace process, but the president insisted on his resignation. Condoleezza Rice was named in his place. She had failed at every important task as national security adviser, pointedly neglecting terrorism before September 11, enthusiastically parroting the false claim that Saddam had a nuclear weapons programme, while suppressing contrary intelligence, mismanaging her part of postwar policy so completely that she had to cede it to a deputy, and eviscerating the Middle East road map.

    As incompetent as she was at her actual job, she was agile at bureaucratic positioning. Early on, she figured out how to align with the neo-conservatives and to damage Powell. Her usurpation is a lesson to him in blind ambition and loyalty.

    Powell's sacking and Rice's promotion are more than examples of behaviour punished and rewarded. His fall and her rise signal the purge of the CIA and the state department, a neocon night of the long knives. Bush's attitude is that of the intimidating loyalty enforcer that he was in his father's political campaigns.

    The CIA has not been forgiven for failing to support Cheney's phantasmagorical case linking Saddam to al-Qaida. And the release in September of the outline of the most recent National Intelligence Estimate, laying out dark scenarios for Iraq, was considered an act of insubordination intended to help oust Bush in the election. The new CIA director, Porter Goss, has installed partisan aides at the top, and senior officials have been fired. He has issued a party line diktat that the CIA's mission is to "support the administration and its policies".

    At the state department, senior career officers, especially those who were close to Powell, believe they are next on the chopping block. Indeed, Bush has charged Rice with bringing the department under control. Its bureau of intelligence and research, which has provided the most accurate analysis of Iraq, is a special target for purging. Cheney is heavily involved in the planning, and he intends to fill key slots with neocons and fellow-travellers. "By the time she takes over, Rice will have been manoeuvred into a prestructured department staff," one state department source, who has been close to Powell, told me.

    The dictation of a political line has conquered policy-making. Since the US emerged as a world power, the executive, because of immense responsibilities and powers, has relied upon impartial information and analysis from its departments and agencies. But vindictiveness against the institutions of government based on expertise, evidence and experience is clearing the way for the intellectual standards and cooked conclusions of rightwing think-tanks and those appointees who emerge from them.

    A system of bureaucratic fear and one-party allegiance is being created in this strange soviet Washington. Only loyalists are rewarded. Rice stands as the model. One can never be too loyal. And the loyalists compete to outdo each other. Dissonant information is seen as motivated to injure the president, disloyalty bordering on treason. Success is defined as support for the political line; failure perceived as departure from the line. An atmosphere of personal vendetta and an incentive system for suppressing realities prevails. This is not an administration; it does not administer - it is a regime.

    On one of Powell's futile diplomatic trips, his informal conversation with reporters turned to a new book, The Accidental American: Tony Blair and the Presidency, by James Naughtie. In it, Powell is quoted as describing the neocons to British foreign minister, Jack Straw, as "fucking crazies". That, the reporters suggested, might be an apt title for his next volume of memoirs. Powell laughed uncontrollably. "