April 09, 2004

Claim vs. Fact: Rice's Q&A Testimony Before the 9/11 Commission

Did Condescendia Rice (R-Chevron) commit perjury in
her "testimony" to the 9/11 Commission? There are
numerous possible instances. John Podesta's Center for
America Progress has compiled contradictions between
her testimony and the facts...Whether she perjured
herself or not, it was a DESPICABLE display of
arrogance and deceit...

Center for American Progress: Claim vs. Fact: Rice's
Q&A Testimony Before the 9/11 Commission
August 6 PDB
CLAIM: There was "nothing about the threat of attack
in the U.S." in the Presidential Daily Briefing the
President received on August 6th. [responding to Ben
FACT: Rice herself confirmed that "the title [of the
PDB] was, 'Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the
United States.'" [Source: Condoleezza Rice, 4/8/04]

Repudiate the 9/11 Cover-Up and the Iraq War Lies,
Show Up for Democracy in 2004: Defeat Bush (again!)


Published on Thursday, April 8, 2004 by the Center for
American Progress
Claim vs. Fact: Rice's Q&A Testimony Before the 9/11 Commission

Planes as Weapons
CLAIM: "I do not remember any reports to us, a kind of
strategic warning, that planes might be used as
weapons." [responding to Kean]

FACT: Condoleezza Rice was the top National Security
official with President Bush at the July 2001 G-8
summit in Genoa. There, "U.S. officials were warned
that Islamic terrorists might attempt to crash an
airliner" into the summit, prompting officials to
"close the airspace over Genoa and station
antiaircraft guns at the city's airport." [Sources:
Los Angeles Times, 9/27/01; White House release,

CLAIM: "I was certainly not aware of [intelligence
reports about planes as missiles] at the time that I
spoke" in 2002. [responding to Kean]

FACT: While Rice may not have been aware of the 12
separate and explicit warnings about terrorists using
planes as weapons when she made her denial in 2002,
she did know about them when she wrote her March 22,
2004 Washington Post op-ed. In that piece, she once
again repeated the claim there was no indication "that
terrorists were preparing to attack the homeland using
airplanes as missiles." [Source: Washington Post,

August 6 PDB

CLAIM: There was "nothing about the threat of attack
in the U.S." in the Presidential Daily Briefing the
President received on August 6th. [responding to Ben

FACT: Rice herself confirmed that "the title [of the
PDB] was, 'Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the
United States.'" [Source: Condoleezza Rice, 4/8/04]

Domestic Threat

CLAIM: "One of the problems was there was really
nothing that look like was going to happen inside the
United States...Almost all of the reports focused on
al-Qaida activities outside the United States,
especially in the Middle East and North Africa...We
did not have...threat information that was in any way
specific enough to suggest something was coming in the
United States." [responding to Gorelick]

FACT: Page 204 of the Joint Congressional Inquiry into
9/11 noted that "In May 2001, the intelligence
community obtained a report that Bin Laden supporters
were planning to infiltrate the United States" to
"carry out a terrorist operation using high
explosives." The report "was included in an
intelligence report for senior government officials in
August [2001]." In the same month, the Pentagon
"acquired and shared with other elements of the
Intelligence Community information suggesting that
seven persons associated with Bin Laden had departed
various locations for Canada, the United Kingdom, and
the United States." [Sources: Joint Congressional
Report, 12/02]

CLAIM: "If we had known an attack was coming against
the United States...we would have moved heaven and
earth to stop it." [responding to Roemer]

FACT: Rice admits that she was told that "an attack
was coming." She said, "Let me read you some of the
actual chatter that was picked up in that spring and
summer: Unbelievable news coming in weeks, said one.
Big event -- there will be a very, very, very, very
big uproar. There will be attacks in the near future."
[Source: Condoleezza Rice, 4/8/04]

Cheney Counterterrorism Task Force

CLAIM: "The Vice President was, a little later in, I
think, in May, tasked by the President to put together
a group to look at all of the recommendations that had
been made about domestic preparedness and all of the
questions associated with that." [responding to

FACT: The Vice President's task force never once
convened a meeting. In the same time period, the Vice
President convened at least 10 meetings of his energy
task force, and six meetings with Enron executives.
[Source: Washington Post, 1/20/02; GAO Report, 8/03]

Principals Meetings

CLAIM: "The CSG (Counterterrorism Security Group) was
made up of not junior people, but the top level of
counterterrorism experts. Now, they were in contact
with their principals." [responding to Fielding]

FACT: "Many of the other people at the CSG-level, and
the people who were brought to the table from the
domestic agencies, were not telling their principals.
Secretary Mineta, the secretary of transportation, had
no idea of the threat. The administrator of the FAA,
responsible for security on our airlines, had no
idea." [Source: 9/11 Commissioner Jamie Gorelick,

Previous Administration

CLAIM: "The decision that we made was to, first of
all, have no drop-off in what the Clinton
administration was doing, because clearly they had
done a lot of work to deal with this very important
priority." [responding to Kean]

FACT: Internal government documents show that while
the Clinton Administration officially prioritized
counterterrorism as a "Tier One" priority, but when
the Bush Administration took office, top officials
downgraded counterterrorism. As the Washington Post
reported, these documents show that before Sept. 11
the Bush Administration "did not give terrorism top
billing." Rice admitted that "we decided to take a
different track" than the Clinton Administration in
protecting America. [Source: Internal government
documents, 1998-2001; Washington Post, 3/22/04; Rice
testimony, 4/8/04]


CLAIM: The Bush Administration has been committed to
the "transformation of the FBI into an agency
dedicated to fighting terror." [responding to Kean]

FACT: Before 9/11, Attorney General John Ashcroft
de-emphasized counterterrorism at the FBI, in favor of
more traditional law enforcement. And according to the
Washington Post, "in the early days after the Sept.
11, 2001, attacks, the Bush White House cut by nearly
two-thirds an emergency request for counterterrorism
funds by the FBI, an internal administration budget
document shows." And according to a new report by the
Congressional Research Service, "numerous confidential
law enforcement and intelligence sources who challenge
the FBI's claim that it has successfully retooled
itself to gather critical intelligence on terrorists
as well as fight crime." [Source: Washington Post,
3/22/04; Congressional Quarterly, 4/6/04]

CLAIM: "The FBI issued at least three nationwide
warnings to federal, state and law enforcement
agencies and specifically stated that, although the
vast majority of the information indicated overseas
targets, attacks against the homeland could not be
ruled out. The FBI tasked all 56 of its U.S. field
offices to increase surveillance of known suspects of
terrorists and to reach out to known informants who
might have information on terrorist activities."
[responding to Gorelick]

FACT: The warnings are "feckless. They don't tell
anybody anything. They don't bring anyone to battle
stations." [Source: 9/11 Commissioner Jamie Gorelick,

Homeland Security

CLAIM: "I think that having a Homeland Security
Department that can bring together the FAA and the INS
and Customs and all of the various agencies is a very
important step." [responding to Hamilton]

FACT: The White House vehemently opposed the creation
of the Department of Homeland security. Its opposition
to the concept delayed the creation of the department
by months.

CLAIM: "We have created a threat terrorism information
center, the TTIC, which does bring together all of the
sources of information from all of the intelligence
agencies -- the FBI and the Department of Homeland
Security and the INS and the CIA and the DIA -- so
that there's one place where all of this is coming
together." [responding to Fielding]

FACT: "Knowledgeable sources complain that the
president's new Terrorist Threat Integration Center,
which reports to CIA Director George Tenet rather than
to Ridge, has created more of a moat than a bridge.
The ability to spot the nation's weakest points was
going to make Homeland Security different, recalled
one person involved in the decision to set up TTIC.
But now, the person said, 'that whole effort has been
gutted by the White House creation of TTIC, [which]
has served little more than to give the appearance of
progress.'" [Source: National Journal, 3/6/04]


CLAIM: "There was a discussion of Iraq. I think it was
raised by Don Rumsfeld. It was pressed a bit by Paul

FACT: Rice's statement confirms previous proof that
the Administration was focusing on Iraq immediately
after 9/11, despite having no proof that Iraq was
involved in the attack. Rice's statement also
contradicts her previous denials in which she claimed
"Iraq was to the side" immediately after 9/11. She
made this denial despite the President signing "a
2-and-a-half-page document marked 'TOP SECRET'" six
days after 9/11 that "directed the Pentagon to begin
planning military options for an invasion of Iraq."
[Source: Condoleezza Rice, 3/22/04, 3/22/04;
Washington Post, 1/12/03]

CLAIM: "Given that this was a global war on terror,
should we look not just at Afghanistan but should we
look at doing something against Iraq?"

FACT: The Administration has not produced one shred of
evidence that Iraq had an operational relationship
with Al Qaeda, or that Iraq had anything to do with
the 9/11 attacks on America. In fact, a U.S. Army War
College report said that the war in Iraq has been a
diversion that has drained key resources from the more
imminent War on Terror. Just this week, USA Today
reported that "in 2002, troops from the 5th Special
Forces Group who specialize in the Middle East were
pulled out of the hunt for Osama bin Laden in
Afghanistan to prepare for their next assignment:
Iraq." Sen. Bob Graham (D-FL) confirmed this, noting
in February of 2002, a senior military commander told
him "We are moving military and intelligence personnel
and resources out of Afghanistan to get ready for a
future war in Iraq." [Sources: CNN, 1/13/04; USA
Today, 3/28/04; Sen. Bob Graham (D-FL), 3/26/04]

War on Terror

CLAIM: After 9/11, "the President put states on notice
if they were sponsoring terrorists."

FACT: The President continues to say Saudi Arabia is
"our friend" despite their potential ties to
terrorists. As the LA Times reported, "the 27
classified pages of a congressional report about Sept.
11 depict a Saudi government that not only provided
significant money and aid to the suicide hijackers but
also allowed potentially hundreds of millions of
dollars to flow to Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups
through suspect charities and other fronts." Just this
week, Newsweek reported "within weeks of the September
11 terror attacks, security officers at the Fleet
National Bank in Boston had identified 'suspicious'
wire transfers from the Saudi Embassy in Washington
that eventually led to the discovery of an active Al
Qaeda 'sleeper cell' that may have been planning
follow-up attacks inside the United States." [Source:
LA Times, 8/2/03; CNN, 11/23/02; Newsweek, 4/7/04]


Posted by richard at April 9, 2004 06:51 AM