Condi In Peril?


It's hard to disagree with some of the sentiments in this piece by Greg Mitchell, following the bombshell revelation in Bob Woodward's book that Condi Rice had been warned on July 10 in very graphic terms about the threat from al Qaeda. Here's why the July 10, 2001 meeting matters:

Woodward describes the meeting, and the two officials' plea that the U.S. "needed to take action that moment - covert, military, whatever - to thwart bin Laden." The result? "Tenet and Black felt they were not getting through to Rice. She was polite, but they felt the brush-off….Tenet left the meeting feeling frustrated. Though Rice had given them a fair hearing, no immediate action meant great risk. Black felt the decision to just keep planning was a sustained policy failure. Rice and the Bush team had been in hibernation too long....

"Afterward, Tenet looked back on the meeting with Rice as a lost opportunity to prevent or disrupt the attacks. Rice could have gotten through to Bush on the threat, Tenet thought, but she just didn't get it in time. Black later said, 'The only thing we didn't do was pull the trigger to the gun we were holding to her head.'"

And yet Rice has no recollection whatever of such a dramatic meeting and strongly denies it ever took place in the manner described:

Responding to the Woodward book, Rice told The Washington Post for Monday's edition that an aide was checking on the meeting, but added, "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. The idea that I would somehow have ignored that I find incomprehensible."

So someone's wrong. If Condi is, and she never told the 9/11 Commission, she's in deep doo-doo.

(Photo: Alex Wong/Meet The Press/Reuters.)