Monday, March 22, 2004

9/11: For The Record (, registration required)
Rice: "Before Sept. 11, we closely monitored threats to our nation. President Bush revived the practice of meeting with the director of the CIA every day -- meetings that I attended."

I don't want this to become a political blog at all. But a couple of things struck me about Ms. Rice's rebuttal to Richard Clarke. Notice, she says "before Sept. 11" and declines to provide a date when the meetings with the CIA were revived. Also, why was it that they had to be revived? Because the new Bush administration stopped the regular meetings. Moreover, there is no dispute, and Ms. Rice does not answer, why the counter-terrorism position was downgraded from cabinet level. That meant that there was no pressure from the top to ensure that FBI, CIA and all other cabinet positions communicated on a daily basis. (That's the whole purpose of the bloated Homeland Security cabinet post.) I suspect the reason Clarke was downgraded was because Mr. Bush personally did not like him and the rest of the staff viewed him as a Clintonite. And notice also that they revived meetings "with the CIA" ONLY. Nice going.

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