White House Backpedals Into New Holes Over Clarke
On a day when Bill Frist and Denny Hastert challenged the credibility of Dick Clarke by wanting to pursue perjury charges against him, it was revealed that Condi Twin Mirrors has in fact backpedaled away from her previous White House statements that no one could have predicted that terrorists would use airplanes as missiles.
Rice, who has refused to testify before the panel under oath and in public, met with the commission privately for four hours Feb. 7.
One issue was her May 16, 2002, statement at the White House when she said, "I don't think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center . . . that they would try to use . . . a hijacked airplane as a missile."
Intelligence reports had detailed such plans as much as five years before 9/11. Richard Ben-Veniste, a member of the 9/11 panel, said that during a closed-door session Rice revised that statement.
"She corrected (herself) in our private interview by saying, `I could not anticipate that they would try to use an airplane as a missile,' but acknowledging that the intelligence community could anticipate it," Ben-Veniste said.
"No reports of the use of airplanes as weapons were briefed or presented to Dr. Rice prior to May 2002," said her spokesman Sean McCormack.
So what Rice is now saying is that she is inept. Why? Because foreign intelligence agencies and our own CIA has been saying exactly this for years. So if Rice is saying that no such reports have been presented to her, then she is either in a cocoon or lying once again.
But she wasn’t the only part of the Bush Administration that was backpedaling today, as CBS News reported (as commenter John informed us) late this afternoon that the White House is now grudgingly confirming that the confrontation between Bush and Clarke in the days after 9/11 did take place after all.
Retracted White House statements do little to boost public trust. CBS News Correspondent Jim Stewart reports, until today, the Bush administration denied a meeting had taken place between the president and Clarke, during which Bush allegedly instructed Clarke to investigate Saddam Hussein and Iraq after Sept. 11.
The White House today reversed that comment, and staff members now tell reporters, "We are not denying such a meeting took place. It probably did."
And although Condi can’t testify under oath at the 9/11 Commission, she now has time for “60 Minutes” Sunday night.
But keep attacking Clarke’s credibility guys. Just keep digging that hole for yourselves…