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.
If the 9-11 Commission's mandate is to get at the truth, in my opinion, it has succeeded. If; however, the mission is to assail President Bush and his Cabinet, the Commission has failed miserably. Thanks to Audible, the American people can now hear for themselves what really happened, and come to their own conclusions.
An [unnamed] (Democratic) Commission member spoke volumes when he asked Dr. Rice whether she believed that she, and/or other Cabinet members should resign over the perceived lapses in follow through.
Dr. Rice?s response made it clear to this listener, that the Bush Administration will firmly resist efforts by Democrats to politicize this process. Listen for yourself and draw your own conclusions.
Connie stood her ground and whipped them fair-and-square. I found her performance to be reminiscent of what Abraham Lincoln would have done under similar circumstances.
Thanks Audible, for the opportunity to participate in this important process.
I'm personally tired of people arguing over the 3000 charred bodies of those that died on September 11. Can we as a nation finally unite or will politics be the death of us. Truly if we cannot get together, we don't deserve to survive.
As for reviewing this and other recordings, Cspan and audible have brought these hearings to us at face value without commentary and spin. Thank you audible and cspan for doing so. These hearings are something to be heard by all without prejudging the outcome by "who you support"
Despite the political bashing that other reviewers have left here, this is an excellent moment of history that we all should listen to -- and not just read about. Too many times we allow political pundits to distill information for us and we fail to consider the facts ourselves. I listened to the testimony live, but I was very grateful that Audible offers it, as it is an important piece in my education. I remember 1974 and the Watergate hearings -- listening at my summer job and being mocked by fellow workers for caring about that silly political stuff. I am glad today that I heard it happen and didn't leave it to some historian to re-characterize the events. I would hope that reviewers will stick to the benefits of having this audio record and leave their political analysis of what she says to the dinner table, breakfast table or water cooler. I don't need to read anti-Bush or pro-Bush speak here.
This testimony hit the proverbial nail on the head. The Clinton administration cut key budgets during his administration that weekend the United States ability to track and detect the terrorist threat. We have to look back to see where the problems are in a government. If you bought a used car and the minute you took it off the lot the engine died would you say that the new owner was the cause of it's failure. No it would be poor maintenance by the previous owner. That analogy holds true in government. It takes time to strengthen an intelligence organization, especially after 8 years of budget cuts. If Clinton would have been more concerned with foreign affairs and less concerned with giving out pardons when he left office we may have been better equipped to deal with terrorists.
Condi Rice did a splendid job under extraordinarily difficult circumstances during her appearance before the 9-11 commission. Despite some who would turn these hearing into a blame game, she presented a clear, concise presentation of the facts. How easy it is for some to draw conclusions and crow about what should have been done to prevent the attacks AFTER the fact! The President could have shut down all the nation?s transportation outlets, which would have been the only way to prevent the attacks. What would the media and Congress have said then? Please deliver me from these self-serving fascists who want to use this tragedy for their own sinister political ambitions. Why don?t we blame the real culprit, Osama Bin Ladin?
The most amazing thing about this testimony is how people only hear what they want. I don't think that Rice is a patriot or a great speaker, and certainly shouldn't be mentioned in the same breath with Abraham Lincoln.
Let's not forget that in order to get Rice to testify, the Commission had to forgo interviewing anyone else from the White House. Since the previous reviews appeared, Barbara Boxer, in Rice's confirmation hearings, showed her to be a liar using her own words. Rice could offer nothing in her own defense other than attacking the questioner. Mark Dayton, a Senator from Minnesota stated in no uncertain terms exactly what she and the rest of the administration had done, namely lie through their teeth. After being the worst national security advisor in our history, she was rewarded with a promotion to Secretary of State.
Today, February 20, 2005, parts of the Commission report that had been supressed until after the election were declassified. Now the truth is becoming more clear. Fifty-two times in the six months before 9/11 the administration had been warned about activities that pointed to an attack the likes of which was carried out. Rice said, under oath, that they never had any such warnings.
The current federal budget cuts the police allotment by 90% now that he doesn't need them for photo-ops anymore, and that's just the beginning. And have we captured bin Laden, as promised? No. He was just an excuse to justify a war against a country that posed no threat to us and was the arch enemy of Al Queda.
If you want the truth, don't listen to an administration apologist with an oil tanker named after her. Download and listen to the testimony of Richard Clarke, a 30-year professional in this field who worked under four presidents. He didn't care what party they belonged to, nor they he. He was retained because of his expertise, not his blind loyalty.
This testimony, like that before it, shows that no President (especially Cliniton) considered the possibility of airliners as weapons. It was an inconceivable scenario because it had not been done before. But many (most) reviewers prefer to believe that all faults belong to the current administration alone. This position continues to confirm their naive beliefs that George Bush is not a legitimate office holder. It confirms their maliciously naive belief that George Bush stole the presidential election in 2000. No body publicizes that every recount of the ballots in Florida (even the most liberal recounts by the press after the election was certified) again confirmed that Bush got more votes in Florida than did Gore. Live with it and open your eyes. The atrocities of 9/11 were more than the environmental disaster a President Gore would have declared. It's a war and we have the right guy in the oval office.
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