"We were not left a comprehensive strategy to fight al-Qaida." -- Condoleeza Rice, in a New York Post interview
The pantheon of liars in the Bush administration can now add Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to their highest ranks. Joining her boss, and Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and others in weaving the web of anti-history, Condi seems to have conveniently forgotten a series of briefings that the departing Clinton administration set up in January 2001 for their (illegitimate) successors.
One of the meetings was described in the Aug. 4, 2002, edition of Time magazine by reporter Michael Elliot in a story titled, "They Had a Plan":
"One such meeting took place in the White House situation room during the first week of January 2001. The session was part of a program designed by Bill Clinton's National Security Adviser, Sandy Berger, who wanted the transition between the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations to run as smoothly as possible. With some bitterness, Berger remembered how little he and his colleagues had been helped by the first Bush administration in 1992-93. Eager to avoid a repeat of that experience, he had set up a series of 10 briefings by his team for his successor Condoleezza Rice, and her deputy, Stephen Hadley. Berger attended only one of the briefings -- the session that dealt with the threat posed to the U.S. by international terrorism, and especially by al-Qaeda. 'I'm coming to this briefing,' he says he told Rice, 'to underscore how important I think this subject is.' Later, alone in his office with Rice, Berger says he told her, 'I believe that the Bush Administration will spend more time on terrorism generally, and on al-Qaeda specifically, than any other subject.' "
The story goes on into detail about the terrorism briefing by expert Richard Clarke, at which Rice was present. Then, Elliott goes on to outline how the Bushies, in the months that followed, basically did little or nothing in response. And Condi was one of the main ones who ignored this wealth of information and let our nation fall prey to terrorists that she had been amply warned about. And yet she shamelessly lies about having had this information.
What seems clear in hindsight is that the Bush junta was told in no uncertain terms what a threat al-Qaeda was, and specific things it should do to counter the threat. The warnings were ignored, right up until the week before Sept. 11, 2001. Clarke, who was later demoted by the Bushies, recalled before the 9/11 Commission, as reported by The Washington Post:
"I believe the Bush administration in the first eight months considered terrorism an important issue but not an urgent issue. There was a process under way to address al Qaeda. But although I continued to say it was an urgent problem, I don't think it was ever treated that way."
Clarke is on record as having written to Rice on Sept. 4, 2001, urging "policymakers to imagine a day after a terrorist attack, with hundreds of Americans dead at home and abroad, and ask themselves what they could have done earlier."
The Post reported further that Clarke told the commission that while "the Clinton administration treated terrorism as its highest priority, the Bush administration did not consider it to be an urgent issue before the attacks."
Most recently, a New York Times story reported: "A review of White House records has determined that George J. Tenet, then the director of central intelligence, did brief Condoleeza Rice and other top officials on July 10, 2001, about the looming threat from Al Qaeda, a State Department spokesman said Monday (Oct 2, 2006).
"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."
Doesn't Condi know that in the age of the Internet, anybody from Toledo to Tora Bora can look this stuff up?
The secretary of state seems to have learned well from others in our rogue administration how to lie through her teeth.
MANIFESTO JOE IS AN UNDERGROUND WRITER LIVING IN TEXAS.