. . . Sunday March 28, 2004

Sunday Showdown: Rice

Things went a little less smoothly for Condoleezza Rice during her rebuttal interview on Sixty minutes. Overall, I thought Ed Bradley focused much too much (as many are) on the urgency about terror prior to 9-11 and too little on the decision to go to Iraq. Rice again made it clear she will not testify publicly and under oath.

Here is one exchange:

Bradley: “You’d listed the things that you’d done. But here is the perception. The chairman of the joint chiefs of staff at that time says you pushed it to the back burner. The former Secretary of the Treasury says it was not a priority. Mr. Clarke says it was not a priority. And at least, according to Bob Woodward, who talked with the president, he is saying that for the president, it wasn’t urgent. He didn’t have a sense of urgency about al Qaeda. That’s the perception here.”

Rice: “Ed, I don’t know what a sense of urgency – any greater than the one that we had, would have caused us to do differently.”

I’m not sure a witch hunt over attitudes about terror prior to 9-11 is what we need right now. But this is the answer of administration spinning out of control when it comes to this story. You spend an entire week putting a full-court press on one finger-pointer and the story doesn’t budge … that means something.

Concentration is important!