Rice To Testify

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Associated Press

WASHINGTON—National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice will be allowed to testify in public under oath before the commission investigating the failure to prevent the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, an administration official said today.

The official said the decision is conditioned on the Bush administration receiving assurances in writing from the commission that such a step does not set a precedent, said the official speaking on condition of anonymity.

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  1. Jeannie-baby,
    After the debate you had yesterday I am touched by your faith in humanity; you still think Bush supporters will respond to logic and the facts, don’t you? That is so cute.

    (Forgive me for sounding condescending; I’m just pissed that you didn’t respond to my very funny Deanna Troi jokes yesterday.)

  2. Jean Bart,

    I suppose I might give you McCain-Feingold but since it appears to have help Republicans more than Democrats in last election maybe I shouldn’t.

    Bush wanted the Medicare expansion and got it passed over strong objection within his own party using considerable arm twisting. When I wrote that he gets what he wants with little compromise I meant that he usually ends up at the end of the political debate where he wants to be.

    Your assertions that Executive Privilege is a settled matter is perhaps a little premature. (funny what google turns up) The 9/11 commission might have gotten the courts to compel Rice’s testimony but I doubt it. The more important consideration was the political damage that her refusal would entail.

    Your premise requires that the Bush administration is actually making a stand on principle and perhaps to some extent they are. But politically, they must have known that the stance was untenable. So I think Rice’s refusal to testify must be viewed as primarily an attempt to manage the flow of the debate, especially in the public eye.

    Perhaps they did not have Clarke specifically in mind but I would be willing to bet they planned several months ago to hold Rice in reserve.

  3. Shannon Love,

    “I suppose I might give you McCain-Feingold but since it appears to have help Republicans more than Democrats in last election maybe I shouldn’t.”

    Bush specifically opposed its passage; but signed it anyway. That is a loss.

    “When I wrote that he gets what he wants with little compromise I meant that he usually ends up at the end of the political debate where he wants to be.”

    Those aren’t the same things, and to be frank you are changing your argument mid-stream; you are a rather slippery, aren’t you?

    “Your assertions that Executive Privilege is a settled matter is perhaps a little premature.”

    I didn’t say it was a settled matter; you are the one who implied that bitch. Ha ha ha. Indeed, you made the rather facile and stupid argument (or you implied it at least) that she could not be compelled to testify under any circumstances (parroting the Bush line on these matters like the sycophant that you are) – if that is not saying that the law is settled, I don’t know what is.

    “Your premise…”

    No, my premise is based on the chronology of events; a chronology which undermines the existance of your conspiracy theory. My argument has nothing to do with the Bush administration’s willingness to stand on principle or not.

    “Perhaps they did not have Clarke specifically in mind but I would be willing to bet they planned several months ago to hold Rice in reserve.”

    Ha ha ha ha; thankyou for your backpeddling; I enjoy watching unprincipled persons like yourself grudingly admitting their errors.

  4. Shannon Love,

    RE: “executive privilege” – there is also the simple fact that you were fucking wrong; something which you aren’t even honest enough to admit.

  5. Jean Bart–

    You’ve probably heard of the Salem Witch Trials; if not you know about Europe’s own witch hunts. Right now, sensible modern people are incredulous and appalled to think that people could believe such crappy ‘evidence’ (e.g. I know Jean Bart is a witch because he appeared in my dream last night!) but it made perfect sense to the majority, and trying to argue it would be a waste of time, at best. In time humanity as a whole realized its error and moved on to some other form of delusion, which in turn disappeared only with the passage of time to be replaced by yet another, ad infinitum.

    Why do I mention this? No particular reason.

  6. Jean Bart,

    Excuse your French! 😉 😀

    But seriously, the I-C and Watergate testimony concerned possible criminal activity, which is why executive privilege was overriden in those cases. So far as I know, this commission is not investigating criminal activity by the administration, so they’d be out of luck if it came down to a constitutional battle.

  7. crimethink,

    Well, the point of the Nixon case was there are situations where executive privilege is no bar to a subpoena. The court did not state that a criminal proceeding was the only case where that was true.

  8. I think this was Bush’s strategy all along. They knew Clarke’s book was coming out for months as it had to pass through a security review before publication. They used Clarke’s criticisms and the refusal to let Rice testify to build dramatic tension and raise public interest.

    If Rice had testified without a fight and before Clarke, then most of her testimony would be lost in the background noise. Now it is high drama that will be closely watched and widely reported. The media will portray it as a highnoon showdown between Clarke and Rice. Better yet, Rice will get the last word. She will get to answer Clarke’s charges under oath and Clarke will not be able to respond in turn.

    Somewhere, Karl Rove is thinking, “Suckers!”

  9. Shannon Love,

    Aside from mastabutory fantasies about the wiles of Karl Rover, do you have any evidence for this statement?

  10. Jean Bart – don’t you know, every fumbling, confused fark up by this adminstration is actually a crafty plan to lull the evildoers into complacency.

  11. Jean Bart,

    Well Karl Rove called me at 3am last night and told me but I don’t expect you to believe that. Nobody ever does.

    Using information in the public domain, however, I would point out that it fits a pattern in the Bush administration were they first resist an option, like going to the UN in the lead up to the Iraq war, let the other side clamor and rant about the need to do so, then Bush suddenly “concedes” but channels the option in direction he wants it to go. Its jujitsu in the political arena, using an opponents demands and political momentum against them. Some commentators have called this the “rope-a-dope” strategy.

    The only other real explanation for refusing to let Rice testify is to assume that the Bush administration was actually making a stand on the principle of separation of powers. That’s a possibility my cynicism about politics won’t allow me to seriously entertain.

    Bush opponents are so emotionally invested in the idea that the man is an unsophisticated idiot that they refuse to consider the idea that he is an adroit politician. People don’t stop to think that he has not lost a major political battle either as President or as Governor of Texas.

    Bush picks his fights and engages in long term planning. I find it unlikely that he was blind sided by Clarke or others testifying before the 9/11 commission. Rice is the only major player the timing of whose testimony the White House could control. Therefor, I find it likely they prevented her from testifying until the very end to make sure her’s was the last and loudest voice heard.

    But like all such matters, that’s just an educated guess.

  12. I planned the whole thing. I’m a political God! You’re all pawns!

  13. Shannon Love,

    Well, (a) your comments regarding their move to go to the U.N. don’t actually fit the record (there was indeed a quite genuine debate about the desire to go or not, so it was not part of some machiavellian plan), and (b) what you exhibit is a classic example of the post hoc fallacy. Oh and then there is the psycho-babble on your part.

  14. dude,

    I believe your comment is most apt. 🙂

  15. Shannon Love,

    BTW, the notion that Clarke can’t respond in turn is fairly dim-witted; Clarke can respond in the press (for example, another “Meet the Press” interview), he can rely on political allies to aid his cause (he has already argued that they turn over a lot of material concerning him, as well as information concerning Rice), etc. Indeed, he has shown himself to be a rather deft political actor (his apology is one example of this; his statements concerning the hand over his testimony, e-mails, etc. as well as those of Rice, etc. is another example). Indeed, Clarke has done a masterful job of defending himself so far, and there is no reason to suspect that he won’t continue to do so. Therefore your notion that her testimony will simply end the debate is rather simplistic. Furthermore, it is far more plausible that the Bush administration, despite all the advanced warning, got caught with their pants down out of arrogance.

  16. I will agree w/ Shannon on one point, this administration is very astute politically. However, I think the chattering masses have started to figure that out, you don’t hear much about “Bush the dummy” anymore, which is bad for Bush because those underestimations really helped him out a lot.

  17. When Rice goes on the Daily Show, she’ll have some credibility. Or, at least, some balls.

  18. When Rice goes on the Daily Show, she’ll show some credibility. Or, at least, some balls.

  19. I don’t know if the President himself is smart, but somebody in the White House obviously is. Bush has been very good at getting large parts of his agenda implemented and keeping his party disciplined. Yes, I know, some of the more moderate Republicans have gotten angry from time to time, but overall the GOP is incredibly disciplined under Bush.

    Before somebody gets too upset over my suggestion that Bush might not be smart but somebody else might be pulling his strings, the fact is that every President’s effectiveness has been determined in large part by the people around him. Yes, some of them have been geniuses and some have been dunces, but it’s too big of a job for even the smartest person, hence I prefer to judge an entire administration rather than an individual President.

    And I agree 100%: Put Rice on the Daily Show! Let Jon Stewart get to the bottom of this!

  20. The part I enjoyed was the bit about “this precedent won’t set a precedent.”

  21. Jean Bart,

    Bush does not lose political battles. In the end he gets what he wants with surprisingly little compromise. Either he wins repeatedly by dumb luck or he wins by planning. I will bet on planning.

    It would be nice if you could address my concrete points

    (1) They knew Clarke’s book would be out, that it would be highly critical, and that he would testify before the commission. They also knew that others critical of the administration would also testify.

    (2) Rice is the only major player whose testimony they could time to their advantage. Rice serves at the “will of the President” and is not legally subject to legislative subpoena. All the other Executive witnesses had to testify at the will of the commission.

    I suppose these two facts escaped the attention of the political strategist that have master minded Bush’s success to date but I strongly doubt it.

    I will make the following predictions: (1) Rice’s testimony will dominate the news cycle for at least a week because now it’s a big story (2) Rice’s testimony will be well received. (3) Bush’s poll numbers will rise after the testimony and especially those numbers related to his handling to the war on terrorism.

    I could be wrong. After all I am fairly dim witted.

  22. Of more value than anything to do with Clark:

    “LONDON – Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, al Qaeda’s purported operations chief, has told U.S. interrogators that the group had been planning attacks on the Library Tower in Los Angeles and the Sears Tower in Chicago on the heels of the September 11, 2001, terror strikes.
    Those plans were aborted mainly because of the decisive U.S. response to the New York and Washington attacks, which disrupted the terrorist organization’s plans so thoroughly that it could not proceed, according to transcripts of his conversations with interrogators.”

    http://www.washtimes.com/world/20040330-120655-9785r.htm

  23. Shannon Love,

    “Bush does not lose political battles.”

    He actually does; he lost, for example, on “school choice” and he lost on McCain-Feingold. Indeed, on several occassions he has deftly capitulated and adopted the positions of his political enemies (SEE DHS debate).

    “In the end he gets what he wants with surprisingly little compromise.”

    Now you are wantonly ignoring recent history. The medicare bill is a perfect example of absolute compromise (if not outright bribery) to get “some bill” passed for political purposes; that it has now become a marginal political liability (instead of a the expected benefit) is his just desserts.

    “It would be nice if you could address my concrete points…”

    But I did; you simply don’t like my conclusions.

    “…and that he would testify before the commission.”

    This doesn’t track with the actual record; as I recall, he wasn’t scheduled to testify until just recently; furthermore, these hearings are part of the negotiated “extension” that was allowed by the Congress only within the last month or so. Furthermore, the Bush administration would have to have come up with this plan in September or October of last year – when the book actually was given to them – long before anyone knew of these hearings, etc. Why is this? Because they sat on the book for quite some time before giving it back to Clarke; your conspiracy theory could only explain this “sitting” as part of the plan to link up the book’s release with the at the time non-existant hearing schedule; indeed the non-existant “extension” of the 9/11 commission’s investigatory period. Excuse me, but unless I am mistaken about this chronology, I find this sort of tenuous linkage to be, well, laughable. Again, keep your post hoc fantasies to yourself.

    “They also knew that others critical of the administration would also testify.”

    Who would that be? No one. Everyone else played “cover my ass” at the hearings. That Clarke is the sole focus of the WH assault is indicative of this.

    “Rice is the only major player whose testimony they could time to their advantage. Rice serves at the ‘will of the President and is not legally subject to legislative subpoena.”

    Actually, that’s not true; Adm. Poindexter – executive privilege or not – was compelled to testify before the Iran-Contra hearings, though he too served at the “will of the President.” You really need to stop believing everything that the Bush WH says about its constitutional powers. I suggest you see US v. Nixon on the notion of executive privilege; it does not reach nearly as far as you claim it to. So far you make a rather poor tutor.

  24. Thank you for information !

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