I am tired of partisans trying to make political points on this. You can read it in everything they write. They are so full of vitriol it completely negates any point they will ever make.
There was a massive intelligence failure leading up to 9-11. All of the hijackers were in place in the US before Bush took office. The strategy up until 9-11 was to send teams of lawyers after terrorists. We were, in short, sending lawyers to a gun fight. We just didn't get it. The strategy was being changed during the short time prior to 9-11, but it was too late.
Ask your favorite Bush-basher one question. If Gore had won do they think he would have dramatically changed the in-place methods of combating terror? Somehow I doubt it. 9-11 would have happened anyway and the same people now finding fault with Bush would be defending Gore. It is partisanship on a matter too important for it.
This is historical testimony. You really shouldn't miss it. It shows the thinking within the White House before, during, and after 9-11. It also vividly demonstrates politicians on the left asking questions that are more monolog than anything else. One goes so far as to repudiate his own former speeches concerning the strategic view of attacking Saddam in order to try to smear the Bush administration.
Nothing will change the minds of radicals who hate Bush. They, like radicals everywhere, have so much of themselves defined by their hatreds that they cannot change. But if you want to get beyond the leftist mischaracterizations and actually listen to what these people believe, then you need to listen to this.
Condoleezza Rice is one of the most intelligent and influential women in history, and this interview is something I could listen to 1,000 times over. The Bush Administration, in the 7 months they were in office before 9/11, did what they could with the information they were given, in the way it was given. Clearly after 8 years of neglect, the FBI and CIA had serious structural issues that could not be resolved in a heartbeat, although Rice does not point fingers, showing moral superiority to those around her. Personally, rather than blame someone in office for 7 months for not fixing an intelligence problem, I'm asking why it wasn't repaired or even addressed in the 8 years previous? What was going on that this wasn't an issue, then, as well? How could anything be more serious then national security? Anyway, Rice answers questions candidly and in depth, facing many rude people and questions that were not really questions (mostly politically or professionally motivated statements) with dignity and clarity, to the chagrin of her "opponents". After listening to her testimony, only the truly intellectually-challenged people could find fault in her actions, or the actions of the Bush Administration.