Minister of Science and Chief Protector of the Faith

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Condi seems to be salsa dancing with her own confusion.

C.I.A. Chief Warned Rice on Al Qaeda

[...] A review of White House records has determined that George J. Tenet, then the director of central intelligence, did brief Condoleezza Rice and other top officials on July 10, 2001, about the looming threat from Al Qaeda, a State Department spokesman said Monday.

The account by the spokesman, Sean McCormack, came hours after Ms. Rice, the secretary of state, told reporters aboard her airplane that she did not recall the specific meeting on July 10, noting that she had met repeatedly with Mr. Tenet that summer about terrorist threats. Ms. Rice, the national security adviser at the time, said it was "incomprehensible" to suggest she had ignored dire terrorist threats two months before the Sept. 11 attacks.

Mr. McCormack also said records showed that the Sept. 11 commission had been informed about the meeting, a fact that former intelligence officials and members of the commission confirmed on Monday.

When details of the meeting emerged last week in a new book by Bob Woodward of The Washington Post, Bush administration officials questioned Mr. Woodward’s reporting.

Now, after several days, both current and former Bush administration officials have confirmed parts of Mr. Woodward’s account.

Officials now agree that on July 10, 2001, Mr. Tenet and his counterterrorism deputy, J. Cofer Black, were so alarmed about intelligence pointing to an impending attack by Al Qaeda that they demanded an emergency meeting at the White House with Ms. Rice and her National Security Council staff.

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