CNN’s title is Spokesman: Rice didn’t ‘brush off’ terror warnings. Really? How would she know whether she did or not as she does not remember this meeting?
Rice, now secretary of state, told reporters traveling with her Sunday that she did not remember any “so-called emergency meeting” and said any meeting records had been turned over to the 9/11 commission. “What I am quite certain of, however, is that I would remember if I was told, as this account apparently says, that there was about to be an attack in the United States,” she said. “And the idea that I would somehow have ignored that I find incomprehensible, especially given that in July when we were getting a very steady stream of quite alarmist reports of potential attacks.” But State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters Monday that Rice did meet with Tenet on July 10, and the records were made available to the commission.
Of course, Dr. Rice does not recall having that 12/20/2000 meeting with Sandy Berger where Mr. Berger says he gave Dr. Rice the invasion plans for taking out the Taliban. Maybe her lack of memory is the reason that Richard Clarke decided to re-present the plans to her right after George Bush took office. Oh NOW Dr. Rice remembers getting these invasion plans and also remembers that President Bush rejected the idea as “swatting flies” (Osama bin Laden is a fly?) or not doing “tit for tat” (Condi’s cute word for invading another country).
One really has to wonder about the memory of someone who could not even recall the title of that 8/6/2001 PDB. All this time – I thought Dr. Rice was a liar. Maybe President Bush appointed as his National Security Advisor a scatter brain who could not remember important matters such as a meeting that was 10 on a scale of 1 to 10. But to Clueless Condi, this meeting was so “relatively unremarkable” that she can’t even recall it.
I just hope Stephen Hadley has more focus and a better memory than his predecessor.
Update: Daniel Shaviro writes:
As I look at the public information that has dribbled out over the last few years, I increasingly think that the answer is Yes. I should note that this is nothing particular about Gore. The sense I increasingly get is that just about anyone and everyone who has been a serious Presidential candidate in the last 50 years could also have prevented 9/11. If this reasoning is correct, then 9/11 would have been prevented, not only by Al Gore, but also (for example) by John McCain, Bill Clinton, Bob Dole, George H.W. Bush, Dick Gephardt, Michael Dukakis, Ronald Reagan, Fritz Mondale, Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon, George McGovern, Hubert Humphrey, Barry Goldwater, and Dwight Eisenhower, to name just a few.
Daniel explains why he believes almost anyone other than the clueless team working for George W. Bush would have prevented 9/11.