Condeleeza Rice Stonewalls, As Expected

Kudos to the Center for American Progress for releasing a "Claim vs. Fact" analysis of Condoleeza Rice's testimony today to the 9-11 commission.
CLAIM: "While we were developing this new strategy to deal with al-Qaida, we also made decisions on a number of specific anti-al-Qaida initiatives that had been proposed by Dick Clarke."

FACT: Rice's statement finally confirms what she previously -- and inaccurately -- denied. She falsely claimed on 3/22/04 that "No al-Qaida plan was turned over to the new administration." [Washington Post, 3/22/04
The Bush administration has done such an effective job of denying the facts, discrediting their critics and changing the subject, that even those who are paying attention have difficulty seeing beyond the he said-she said, "I told you so" nature of the commission as its being reported by the media. For many viewers, the 9-11 story is just another partisan fight where no one is right and both are wrong.

Dr. Rice would have us believe that: 1) they were doing their jobs before 9-11, 2) Clinton was to blame, 3) they didn't know or believe that there was a credible threat, and 4) if there was, they could not have stopped it.

Because the evidence is against her, her strategy has been to deny, deny, deflect and deny. Today she was simply stonewalling.

John Podesta, former chief of staff under President Clinton, made a formal statement regarding Rice's testimony:
Dr. Rice's claim today that the FBI sent warnings to field offices was directly disputed by Commissioners who said they had conducted thousands of interviews and reviewed thousands of documents.

Their conclusion: no one at the FBI can recall such orders.
The US intelligence community receives countless threats, and certainly this was the case before 9-11. Some were real and demanded action. The job of the FBI, CIA, NSA, etc has always been to differentiate between real and imaginary threats and report them, and that is by no means easy. But it is their job.

The intelligence community didn't change much under the Clinton and Bush administrations, but the principals and their focus did change, and that is the problem.

The only reason why we now have a 9-11 commission is because the families of those who died in the World Trade Towers demanded it. Bush&Co have fought this investigation tooth-and-nail, and Rice's testimony was just more of the same old song and dance, just in a different key.