Although Condi said that it was "incomprehensible" that she would ignore serious warnings of an impending attack, and "did not recall" a meeting where she received such a warning on July 10, 2001, we now have confirmation of the meeting and it's contents:
JIDDA, Saudi Arabia, Oct. 2 Â A review of White House records has determined that George J. Tenet, then the director of central intelligence, did brief Condoleezza Rice and other top officials on July 10, 2001, about the looming threat from Al Qaeda, a State Department spokesman said Monday.Damn straight, it was "incomprehensible" that she would ignore such a warning. Yet there still was not a single principles meeting covering the threat.
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. Ms. Rice, the national security adviser at the time, said it was ÂincomprehensibleÂ she ignored dire terrorist threats two months before the Sept. 11 attacks.
Mr. McCormack also said records show that the Sept. 11 commission was informed about the meeting, a fact that former intelligence officials and members of the commission confirmed on Monday.
When details of the meeting emerged last week in a new book by Bob Woodward of The Washington Post, Bush administration officials questioned Mr. WoodwardÂs reporting.
Now, after several days, both current and former Bush administration officials have confirmed parts of Mr. WoodwardÂs account.
Officials now agree that on July 10, 2001, Mr. Tenet and his counterterrorism deputy, J. Cofer Black, were so alarmed about an impending Al Qaeda attack that they demanded an emergency meeting at the White House with Ms. Rice and her National Security Council staff.
Why are we paying so much attention to the GOP Leadership PredatorGate scandal when this strikes at the core of Bush's "tough-on-terror" mythos? If we start hearing about Democratic members that have also preyed on pages, then maybe we can start uniformly shouting about the fact that the Bush Administration was told tseparateerate times of the impending danger of an attack using hijacked airplanes in the United States, and did nothing. For me, the most damning instance of Bush being warned continues to be:
... an unnamed CIA briefer who flew to Bush's Texas ranch during the scary summer of 2001, amid a flurry of reports of a pending al-Qaeda attack, to call the president's attention personally to the now-famous Aug. 6, 2001, memo titled "Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US." Bush reportedly heard the briefer out and replied: "All right. You've covered your ass, now."This is the more important issue for the electibecausecuase it strikes right at Bush's only remaining strength. Bush's government let 9/11 happen because they were instinctively allergic to all things "Clintonian," and Clinton was roucriticizedsized for being "obsessed with Osama bin Laden." Bush didn't want to "swat at flies," like the Clinton Administration had as it tried to kill the man that would become the biggest mass-murderer in American history.
They were warned again and again, and they did not try.