View Full Version : Dr. Condeleeza Rice's Testimony

04-09-2004, 11:43 AM
Well the 911 commission got Condi under oath. I'm not so sure they wanted her. And who would have expected that the MSM headlines would be:

"News Analysis" : In Testimony to 9/11 Panel, Rice Sticks to the Script

"New Analysis" " Rice Describes Passive Inner Circle"

All the while Victor Davis Hanson postulates on how Bin Laden and the IslamoFacists are reacting to this:

VDH (http://www.nationalreview.com/hanson/hanson200404080815.asp)

Western Cannibalism
Eating each other while our enemies smile.

The sad truth is that civilization itself is engaged in a worldwide struggle against the barbarism of Islamic fundamentalism. Just this past month the killers and their plots have been uncovered in London, Paris, Madrid, Pakistan, and North Africa the same tired rhetoric of their hatred echoing from Iraq to the West Bank. While Western elites quibble over exact ties between the various terrorist ganglia, the global viewer turns on the television to see the same suicide bombing, the same infantile threats, the same hatred of the West, the same chants, the same Koranic promises of death to the unbeliever, and the same street demonstrations across the world.

Looking for exact professed cooperation between an Islamic fascist and the rogue regime that finds such anti-Western violence useful is like proving that Mussolini, Tojo, and Hitler all coordinated their attacks and worked in some conspiratorial fashion when in fact Japan had no knowledge of the invasion of Russia, and Hitler had no warning of Pearl Harbor or Mussolini's invasion of Greece.

In fact, it didn't matter that they were united only by a loose and shared hatred of Western liberalism and emboldened by a decade of democratic appeasement. And our fathers, perhaps better men than we, didn't care too much for beating their breasts about the exact nature of collective Axis strategy or blaming each other for past lapses, but instead went to pretty terrible places like Bastogne, Anzio, and Okinawa to put an end to their enemies all.

Now, in the middle of this terrible conflict, unlike the postbellum inquiry after Pearl Harbor, we are holding acrimonious hearings about culpability for September 11. And here the story gets even more depressing than just political opportunism and election-year timing. After eight years of appeasement that saw repeated attacks on Americans, Pakistani acquisition of nuclear weapons under Dr. Khan, and Osama's 1998 declaration of war against every American, we are suddenly grilling, of all people, Condoleezza Rice one of the few key advisers most to be credited for insisting on using our military, rather than the local DA, to defeat these fanatics.

Over the last two years, each time a U.S. senator in panicked and wild-eyed passion screamed that we could not win in Afghanistan, she proved resolute and confident. On every occasion that an ex-general, a dissatisfied bureaucrat, or a wannabe journalist-strategist pontificated about what the United States could not do, she was unwavering in her determination to take the war to rogue regimes in the Middle East with a history of hostility against Americans and a record of providing easy sanctuary for terrorists. This present charade would be like holding public hearings on the eve of the 1944 election about the breakdown of intelligence and missed opportunities before Pearl Harbor and then blaming Harry Hopkins and Secretary Stimson for laxity even while the country was in the very midst of a two-front war.

Then we have the creepy outbursts from commentators and screams from Democratic senators. We are told by Senator Graham that we smashed al Qaeda only to discover that we had hit a mercury-like substance that now has hopelessly scattered. Well, yes, that is what happens when you strike back in war. The alternative? Allow this elemental terrorism to remain cohesive and united? War is not a decision between good and bad choices, but almost always between something bad and something worse and so it really is preferable to have toxic mercury scattered than to have it concentrated and pure.

Another pundit assures us that terrorists after American action in Iraq are more active now than before. Well, again yes in the sense that Germany was messier in 1944 than in 1933, or that Japan was more dangerous for Americans in 1943 than in 1935. Danger, chaos, and death are what transpire for a time when you finally decide to strike back at confident and smug enemies.

Senator Kennedy, the past exemplar of sober and judicious behavior in times of personal and national crisis, has gone beyond his once-wild charges of Texas conspiracies to slur Iraq as Bush's Vietnam his apparently appropriate moral boosting for the young Marines, who, even as he spoke, were entering Fallujah to hunt down murderers and mutilators.

But did he say Vietnam? Apparently the senator thinks that the cause of these medieval fanatics who want to bring the world back to the ninth century will resonate with leftists the same way Uncle Ho's faux promises of equality and egalitarianism swayed stupid anti-war protesters of the past. Or is the real similarity that, once more, as promoters of anti-Communist realpolitik, we Americans are installing a right-wing government rather than promoting pluralism, elections, and the protection of minorities and women the "dream" of the 1960s? Or perhaps Kennedy's comparison revolves around 600 combat dead in Afghanistan and Iraq, the liberation of 50 million from the Taliban and Saddam Hussein, and the emergence of proto-consensual governments in less than two years of hostilities? Does all that suggest to Senator Kennedy that we are embarking on a 12-year war, will lose 50,000 men, and are stymied by a bellicose nuclear China and Russia on the borders of Iraq?

Yet Kennedy is right on one count in his evocation of Vietnam. If there is any similarity between Vietnam and the current war, it is not 1963, when his late brother convinced us to commit troops to stop Communist aggression. A better year for comparison is 1974, when Kennedy and other senators began to cut off funding for air support promised to enforce the Paris peace accords, resulting in the collapse of South Vietnam, mass murder in Southeast Asia, and over a million boat people, with more still sent to the Communist reeducation camps.

A New York Times columnist (who before the routing of the Taliban warned us of hopeless quagmire in Afghanistan) chimes in about Fallujah with neat metaphors like "block party" and "slam dance," and then ends by quoting the old tired canard from Vietnam that "We're going to destroy the village to save it" apparently unaware that the supposed postmodern aphorism was probably made up, was never traced or attributed to any particular military officer, and was more likely the creation of a like-minded journalist also eager for some cute phraseology.

There are plenty of things to argue about and there will be plenty of time in which to do it. In a crisis and with worries about national security, many of us thought it was the wrong time to embark on deficit spending, allow near amnesty for those who cross our borders illegally, and not compromise about the need for both American conservation and exploration of oil, in an effort to wean us off Middle Eastern petroleum.

More specifically, in our postwar paranoia about being too brutal in Iraq, we were too lenient and thus ultimately will probably be more brutal than we would otherwise have had to be. During the prewar exegeses, there was too much emphasis on WMD and not enough on other legitimate casus belli, ranging from violations of the 1991 armistice agreement and U.N. accords, Saddam's past invasion and assassination attempts, the unending no-fly zones, Baathist mass murder, environmental catastrophe, and bounties for suicide killers.

More troops were probably needed; the Iraqi army should have been immediately reconstituted; and Iraqi officials might have had a more public role in the reconstruction. All these are legitimate tactical issues that could have been discussed and debated within the general parameters that we are at war against horrific enemies who wish to end our civilization, and who cannot be bought off or talked to, but only defeated, and yes, often killed.

Instead, we see more of the same hysteria and invective. It has been almost three years now and many Americans are becoming sickened by this continual procession of collective madness delivered up in doses of twenty-four-hour new cycles. This country has gone from the shouting and screaming about quagmire in Afghanistan, its high peaks, Ramadan taboos, the supposed unreliable Northern Alliance, Guantanamo meals, our failure to get bin Laden to "millions" of refugees in Iraq, the toppling of moderate governments in the region, an envisioned 5,000 American dead in battle, Saddam and his sons forever uncatchable, worry over legal rights of the Husseins, Bush's landing on a carrier, looting of museums, WMD acrimony, tell-all books from ex-Bush-administration employees, and the present election-year 9/11 inquiry circus.

And this culminates now in the animus toward Condoleezza Rice, who has weathered it all and never for a moment evidenced the slightest lack of resolve. I suppose we are witnessing a sort of American pop version of the French revolution journalists and politicians on the barricades and guillotines constantly searching for an ever-expanding array of targets, their only consistency blind and mindless fury at the old regime.

So let us get a grip. Bush yet again must remind the American people that we are at war not merely in the Sunni Triangle or in the Afghan badlands, but rather globally and for the liberal values of Western civilization. There is no mythical pipeline in Afghanistan; Halliburton executives are not lounging around the pool in Baghdad chomping on cigars and quaffing cocktails; and in this age of sky-high gas prices there is no sinister cabal that has hijacked Iraq oil. Sharon is not getting daily intelligence briefings about Iraq. The war is what it always was a terrible struggle against an evil and determined enemy, a Minotaur of sorts that harvested Americans in increments for decades before mass murdering 3,000 more on September 11.

Everything that the world holds dear the free exchange of ideas, the security of congregating and traveling safely, the long struggle for tolerance of differing ideas and religions, the promise of equality between the sexes and ethnic groups, and the very trust that lies at the heart of all global economic relationships all this and more Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, and the adherents of fascism in the Middle East have sought to destroy: some as killers themselves, others providing the money, sanctuary, and spiritual support.

We did not ask for this war, but it came. In our time and according to our station, it is now our duty to end it. And that resolution will not come from recrimination in time of war, nor promises to let fundamentalists and their autocratic sponsors alone, but only through the military defeat and subsequent humiliation of their cause. So let us cease the hysterics, make the needed sacrifices, and allow our military the resources, money, and support with which it most surely will destroy the guilty and give hope at last to the innocent.

04-09-2004, 01:27 PM
Pretty sad performance by kerry. He seems to forget things he's written before he opens his mouth. You know about going against Iraq, NOT politicising the hearings. Small things like that.


April 9, 2004 -- As they prepared to question Condoleezza Rice yesterday, the members of the 9/11 Commission were given some sage advice on the op-ed page of yesterday's Wall Street Journal.

Rice's appearance, said the author, "will test the commission's resilience to the partisan pressures which threaten to collapse the goodwill needed to achieve consensus."
Indeed, he warned against the urge "to become personal and question motives instead of confronting the substance of the argument made by any individual."
For, "if we yield to this tendency," he noted, "all hope for an honest and constructive report is lost" - and "we will most certainly fail."

Too bad former Sen. Bob Kerrey - who wrote the article - didn't take his own advice.

Neither, for that matter, did his Democratic colleague, Richard Ben-Veniste.
Both men - and, to a slightly lesser extent, ex-Rep. Timothy Roemer - showed little interest in gathering information from the national security adviser.
Instead, they browbeat her, repeatedly cut her off in mid-answer, accused her of "filibustering" and said she was lying.
Pointed questioning and pressing for a relevant answer is one thing. The Republican commissioners, most notably Slade Gorton, hardly tossed softballs at Rice.
But at least they treated her respectfully - and gave her a chance to speak.
Not Kerrey and Ben-Veniste, who came to fame as a Watergate prosecutor.
Those two played to the cameras and to the 9/11 families in attendance - many of whom applauded the partisan theatrics.
(And why, by the way, did commission Chairman Tom Kean sit back and keep quiet during all this incivility?)
To her credit, Rice never lost her cool. She answered the questions - when the Democrats let her - and chose not to respond in kind to their rudeness.

The irony is that, for all his partisan blustering and overheated accusations, Bob Kerrey admitted that "I'm not sure had I been in your position . . . that I would have done things differently."

In other words, it was about theater, after all.

04-09-2004, 01:32 PM
From the Wall Street Journal....

Rice on the Record
Democrats on the 9/11 Commission inadvertently underscore Bush's successes.


Friday, April 9, 2004 12:01 a.m. EDT

We predicted yesterday's Condoleezza Rice show would be more about the 9/11 Commissioners themselves than anything the National Security Adviser had to say. But we confess we were unprepared for Bob Kerrey's Vice Presidential audition.

We thought the former Senator had more class than to preface his remarks with a condescending allusion to the fact that Ms. Rice is a black woman. ("I'm very impressed . . . [by] the story of your life.") Or to then complain that her attempts to answer his monologue were cutting into his time. In their zeal to show all the things that went undone before 9/11, Mr. Kerrey and other Democrats on the Commission inadvertently underscored all that President Bush has done since. Think of it as one long endorsement of pre-emption.

One genuinely interesting news nugget came in Ms. Rice's opening statement. There she gave details of the Bush Administration's first major national security directive, completed September 4, 2001. It covered "not Russia, not missile defense, not Iraq, but the elimination of al-Qaeda." Obviously this didn't prevent the events of a week later. But it does suggest, contra Richard Clarke, that the Administration was attentive to the terrorist threat.

Mr. Kerrey and his fellow partisans made much of an August 6, 2001, Presidential briefing titled "Bin Laden determined to attack inside United States." But Ms. Rice properly observed that there is no obvious response to non-specific warnings that "something very big may happen." She likewise dismissed Democratic insinuations of a bureaucratic "silver bullet," such as dealing with issues at the "principals" level: Unlike his predecessor, President Bush was already conferring with his Director of Central Intelligence on a daily basis.

The major problems that existed pre-9/11 weren't management issues but longstanding policies that required Presidential leadership and in some cases acts of Congress to change. One such policy, Ms. Rice noted, was our approach to Pakistan, which the Clinton Administration had been sanctioning at the cost of harming our ability to tackle the Taliban. The Bush Administration's embrace of General Musharraf is vulnerable to criticism, but there can be no question that in the larger war on terror it has paid big dividends--most recently with the exposure of the A.Q. Khan nuclear proliferation network.
In another arena Ms. Rice might have blamed Democrats of the John Kerry stripe for another barrier to effective counterterrorism. Instead, she politely limited herself to pointing out the 1970s-era laws forbidding information-sharing between intelligence and law-enforcement officials. It was only the much reviled Patriot Act that finally changed that.

There were, finally, an alarming number of lacunae in immigration policy and aviation security, underscored in questioning by former Navy Secretary John Lehman. Fingerprinting visitors, hardening cockpit doors, and arming pilots are among the steps now being taken to close these holes.

The key point here is that a 9/11 Commission interested in making a lasting contribution to U.S. security ought to be focusing on the need for pro-active policies at home and abroad rather than obsessing over the level of "urgency" within the pre-9/11 Bush Administration. "My greatest concern," Ms. Rice noted, "is that as September 11 recedes from memory, that we will begin to unlearn the lessons." Judging from yesterday's hearing, some people already have.

04-09-2004, 01:41 PM
And a red-state front page headline from the star telegram.

Rice defends Bush's actions
National security adviser Condoleezza Rice staunchly defended President Bush's efforts to combat terrorism in a appearance before the commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Notice no "news analysis" disguised as raw news.

04-09-2004, 06:47 PM
Friday, April 9, 2004 12:01 a.m. EDT

We predicted yesterday's Condoleezza Rice show would be more about the 9/11 Commissioners themselves than anything the National Security Adviser had to say. But we confess we were unprepared for Bob Kerrey's Vice Presidential audition.

We thought the former Senator had more class than to preface his remarks with a condescending allusion to the fact that Ms. Rice is a black woman. ("I'm very impressed . . . [by] the story of your life.") Or to then complain that her attempts to answer his monologue were cutting into his time. In their zeal to show all the things that went undone before 9/11, Mr. Kerrey and other Democrats on the Commission inadvertently underscored all that President Bush has done since. Think of it as one long endorsement of pre-emption.

Thanks for posting that, Ape. Somehow I'd overlooked it.

I couldn't believe that no one was pointing out what a man-sized dildo Kerrey made of himself yesterday.

For starters, his camera-chasing opening anti-war soliloquy, which he told Rice that she needn't respond to, but which predictably, CALCULATEDLY drew inappropraite applause from the family members of the victims,. (BTW, some of these family members, frankly, are past the point of beginning to annoy me with their attempts to distort and politicize the actions of the Bush administration. They seem to have become a little too comfortable in their grief, and attempt to be wearing it as a teflon suit as they pursue personal and political agendae. How can they be told politely and compassionately to STF up and sit TF down--that they are NOT endowed with some special insight, NOT deserving of some special deference, where they rest of the nation has to sit quietly and respectfully while they cathart their grief? Enough is enough.)

But back to Kerrey. More than anything else, his cheap, preening theatrical bluster make me dubious about what can come out of that commission report. His entire tone toward Rice (though he buffonishly referred to her as "Dr. Clarke" no fewer than five times by my count) was rude and disrespectful. I think he planned to be from the beginning, but it sure couldn't have helped his attitude, that she reminded him of a speech he himself had made advocating the elimination of Hussein.

But is the public REALLY supposed to think that this commission is going to produce a politically neutral report?

WTF is Richard Ben-Veniste doing on this commission? How many times did we see him trotted out in an attempt to mop up Bill Clinton's cum stains?

Or that Gorelick chick....a Deputy AG in the Clinton administration, who could scarcely hide her delight at the lies that DICK Clarke was drooling out?

But none of them really compare to Kerrey, who submarined the fig-leaf pretense of non-partisanship that this kangaroo committee was hawking. Kerrey, in a nod to Justin Timberlake, ripped off his own boustier, and exposed himself as a boob.

04-09-2004, 11:12 PM
Condi Bump (http://quote.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000087&sid=a2X0d6U4roHU&refer=home)

More in U.S. Say Bush Did All Possible to Stop Sept. 11 Attacks

April 9 (Bloomberg) -- A growing number of Americans say they believe the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush did everything that could be expected to stop the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, according to two new polls.

A Time/CNN survey taken yesterday showed that 48 percent of Americans said they believe the Bush administration did all it could to prevent the attacks, up from 42 percent in a poll taken March 26-28. A CBS News poll, also conducted yesterday, showed 32 percent of Americans said the administration did everything possible to stop the attacks, up from 22 percent the previous week.

The two polls follow the testimony of U.S. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and former Bush and Clinton administration counterterrorism adviser Richard Clarke before an independent commission investigating the terrorist attacks.

Clarke said the administration failed to heed warnings about the threat of terrorism, while Rice testified yesterday morning that there was no ``silver bullet'' that would have stopped the Sept. 11 attacks.

The Time/CNN poll found that 43 percent of Americans were more likely to believe Rice's testimony, while 36 percent believe Clarke's and 21 percent weren't sure which person to believe. The Time/CNN poll surveyed 1,005 adults and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent.

The CBS News poll, which showed that 60 percent said they believe the administration didn't do enough to stop the attacks, surveyed 471 adults and has a margin of error of plus of minus 5 percentage points.

04-10-2004, 12:09 AM
Kerrey, in a nod to Justin Timberlake, ripped off his own boustier, and exposed himself as a boob.


04-10-2004, 05:29 PM
Theatre (http://jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/041004/opi_15309702.shtml)

TERRORISM: For the record
The Times-Union

Condi Rice gave a masterful performance at the 9/11 commission this week, but probably to no avail. This is theater, and truth is not the primary objective.

If the commission actually were interested in finding out what led up to the attacks of Sept. 11, it could have met any time during the past 2 1/2 years, or next year for that matter.

But, holding the hearings now offers a stage for those hoping to oust President Bush from office. Any benefit to the country would be of secondary importance.

Rice did not help toward that objective. She explained that -- once one overcomes the assumed omniscience of hindsight -- the government was addressing terrorism, after eight years of neglect.

Intelligence agencies, crippled by Democratic policies of the past, were doing their best to keep up, but most reasonable people recognize that identifying and monitoring every cell phone call in the terrorist world, translating it and analyzing it is a daunting task, and that was only part of the job.

The White House was busy trying to pull the nation out of the Clinton recession, which leading Democrats at the time were blaming the new administration for and calling the nation's most pressing problem.

What the commission is doing by calling in close presidential advisers for sworn testimony, and seeking to declassify presidential advisory memos, is good theater but dangerous precedent. It could come back to bite a future Democrat president.

Rice more than held her own against the attempts by Democrats on the commission to discredit her.

She was particularly effective against the posturing Bob Kerrey, who was following the Democrat line that Iraq "distracted" Bush from the fight against terrorism -- forgetting that he had linked Iraq with the USS Cole attack in 2000, while calling for regime change.

This is all part of the effort to find fodder for the Democrat candidate and distract the public from the glaring fact that the previous administration allowed terrorism free rein for eight years. Rice did not assist that effort.