Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Why Did 9/11 Commission Cover for Condi?

Bob Woodward's book has brought to light - in starker detail than was previously public - the emergency briefing on the Al Qaeda threat to America given by the CIA's George Tenet and Cofer Black to then NSA head Condaleeza Rice on July 10, 2001; almost two months to the day before 9/11.

Condi initially played dumb claiming she couldn't recall such a meeting. Now that it's been confirmed, she claims to have acted by ... wait for it ... suggesting the same briefing be given to Rumsfeld and Ashcroft. As with the August 2001 PDB, she apparently did nothing else. Condi seems to have viewed the NSA's role as one of a passive disseminator rather than as proactive player.

More dumbfounding is the fact that Democrat Richard Ben Veniste and the Executive Director of the Commission Phillip Zelikow were both informed of the meeting and, in fact, had been presented with a recreation of the briefing. Yet, while the Commission's final report contains many "he said/she said" descriptions of the events preceding 9/11, this meeting was completely and mysteriously left out. Justin Rood's piece on TPMmuckraker deserves a full read.

As Rood shows, Ben Veniste has been floundering for an explanation. I suspect he may have had his own agendas to pursue - protecting Clinton and preserving his position as an elite Washington insider. As Rood points out, Ben Veniste's latest tact is to point to Zelikow for the answers. Yet, if he was relying on Zelikow, his reliance was misplaced. As liberals noted at the time, Zelikow had a close relationship with Condi and even had a financial conflict to see her do well and escape unscathed; he had co-authored a book with her. Indeed, after the report was published, Zelikow was nicely rewarded by being selected as a top aide to Rice, a position he continues to hold.

Right now, Zelikow is about as easy to get an interview with as Osama Bin Laden. An NSA wiretap just uncovered a call from Zelikow to Pakistan asking, "Is there more room in that cave?"

Yet, the question must be asked --- did Zelikow act to cover for Condi and, in doing so, work to produce a less than full accounting of the events leading to 9/11?


  • Kindasleazy and her boss are looking worse all the time. What did they know and when did they know it? I smell, and can you spell impeachment?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:04 PM  

  • What about all these wacky gun nuts that are going around shooting young school children? Have the gun rights lobbyists gone too far? Are the republican and or the democrats to blame?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:12 PM  

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