Today Ms. Rice earned the title I gave her many years ago. This woman has been in over her head since Bush appointed her as national security adviser. But this interview on “Face the Nation” strains all reality.
She didn’t know that we were to “preemptively strike” inside Afghanistan in the summer of 2001? This from a woman who couldn’ figure out what Bin Laden Determined to Attack in U.S. meant.
“The idea of launching preemptive strikes into Afghanistan in July of 2001, this is a new fact.” Rice then said, “I don’t know what we were supposed to preemptively strike in Afghanistan. Perhaps somebody can ask that.” – Think Progress
It’s at this moment in the interview that her voice goes up into her throat
and her head shaking and bobbing and weaving reaches the tipping point.
Think Progress has some of the transcript to tonight’s “60 Minutes,” where George Tenet lets loose.
SCOTT PELLEY, CBS NEWS (voice-over): By the summer of 2001, Tenet was alarmed by repeated, specific intelligence warning that an attack was coming. He asked for an immediate meeting to brief then national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice.
GEORGE TENET, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: Essentially the briefing says there are going to be multiple, spectacular attacks against the United States. We believe these attacks are imminent. Mass casualties are likely.
PELLEY (on camera): You are telling Condoleezza Rice in that meeting, in the White House, in July, that we should take offensive action in Afghanistan now.
TENET: We need…
PELLEY: Before 9/11?
TENET: We need to consider immediate action inside Afghanistan now. We need to move to the offensive.
PELLEY (voice-over): In his book, Tenet says that even though he told Rice an attack on Americans was imminent, she took his request to launch preemptive action in Afghanistan and delegated it to third tier officials.
SCHIEFFER: So, what he is saying is that you just sort of brushed him off.
RICE: Well, it’s very interesting, because that’s not what George told the 9/11 Commission at the time. He said that he felt that we had gotten it. And, in fact, the very next day or the day after, Steve Hadley, hardly a third tier official, sat with the intelligence agencies to try and determine what more we could do.
We were concerned for instance, could we go after Abu Zubaydah, who might have some information. But the idea of launching preemptive strikes into Afghanistan in July of 2001, this is a new fact, and I will have to…
SCHIEFFER: Well, why would he say something like that?
RICE: Well, I don’t know. I don’t know what we were supposed to preemptively strike in Afghanistan. Perhaps somebody can ask that.