"The notion somehow for eight months the Bush administration sat there and didn't do that is just flatly false - and I think the 9/11 commission understood that," Rice said during a wide-ranging meeting with Post editors and reporters.
This coming from the former National Security Advisor who pushed aside Richard Clarke, the in-house expert on al-Qaeda. This coming from the White House staffer who pretty much ignored the presidential briefing memo about Osama bin Laden's plans to strike within the U.S. This coming from a key player in the Bush Administration, which fought against even having a 9/11 Commission look into 9/11. They didn't want anyone looking into it.
"What we did in the eight months was at least as aggressive as what the Clinton administration did in the preceding years," Rice added.
She also whines about analyses by our own U.S. intelligence agencies that what the Bush Administration is doing is making things worse.
Transitioning to the global war on terror, an animated Rice questioned, "When are we going to stop blaming ourselves for the rise of terrorism?"
This is the perspective problem the entire Bush Administration seems to have: More concern about criticism of them, more concern about the political prospects of the GOP, more concern about spinning themselves into hero status, than any concern in actually doing something effective or at least making sure they're not just making things worse.
When, Condi? When you stop being a major cause of the rise of terrorism.
Asked about recently leaked internal U.S. intelligence estimates that claimed the Iraq war was fueling terrorist recruiting, Rice said: "Now that we're fighting back, of course they are fighting back, too."
"I find it just extraordinary that the argument is, all right, so they're using the fact they're being challenged in the Middle East and challenged in Iraq to recruit, therefore you've made the war on terrorism worse.
"It's as if we were in a good place on Sept. 11. Clearly, we weren't," she added.
Except, Condi, that the terrorists weren't even in Iraq until you and Bush invaded there. The terrorists were in Afghanistan.
Remember Afghanistan? That's the place where Osama has been, by many accounts, all this time. That's where al-Qaeda planned 9/11. That's where the Taliban government sheltered these terrorists.
We do not know what you have done, to prevent another 9/11.
You have failed us — then leveraged that failure, to justify a purposeless war in Iraq which will have, all too soon, claimed more American lives than did 9/11.
You have failed us anew in Afghanistan.
And you have now tried to hide your failures, by blaming your predecessor.
And now you exploit your failure, to rationalize brazen torture — which doesn’t work anyway; which only condemns our soldiers to water-boarding; which only humiliates our country further in the world; and which no true American would ever condone, let alone advocate.And there it is, sir:
Are yours the actions of a true American?
Here are some relevant videos via YouTube:
Clinton refuses to roll over for Chris Wallace on Fox
Olbermann on Clinton, and the Bush Administration's passing the buck
We've talked about the Rice factor in our current presidential politics, and whether Americans would vote for any woman. I'm still not convinced that she wouldn't be the #1 choice to replace a retiring Dick Cheney (which, I admit, is not a likely scenario since he's W's impeachment insurance, and if he were going to retire, it would have been after his drinking dead-eye shooting accident), but the pressure apparently is increasing for her to run in her own right (which raises the question of whether her "right" is the same as the wingnutty neo-fascist-Christianist right that seems to be calling the shots in Washington these days).
A disparate group of Internet gurus, political junkies and foes of Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is pushing a Rice candidacy even though President Bush's top diplomat has said repeatedly that she has no desire to be president.
But the Republican also has declined invitations to rule out a bid in 2008, spoken about the likelihood of a minority winning the White House in her lifetime and taken steps to soften her image words and deeds that have provided a glimmer of hope to her fans.I happened to see this on Ann Althouse's site. She says, "Run, Condi!"
I wanted to comment there, but apparently she's set her blog to receive comments from Blogspot users only (and I feel it's rather pointless to post using an account that has lain dormant for coming up on two years now), so I'll just say here....
I cannot think of a more underwhelming choice than between Condi Rice and Hillary Clinton -- especially for what would be the first woman president of the United States. Condi's confirmation hearings for Secretary of State made me want to scream, while every time Hillary opens her mouth I have to consider getting some bicarbonate. I don't trust either of them.
I can think of more appealing possible candidates on either side, even women. (Egad! Is it possible?) Can we talk Christie Whitman? Barbara Boxer? They've bucked their party lines and took stands on important issues (the environment and torture, respectively), and that tells me that they know what they believe and buys a lot more of my respect than the prevarications of convenience offered by Rice and Clinton.
Yes, I suppose we have to expect that all politicians lie. But I'm not inclined to support a candidate just because she's well entrenched in her party machine. Just the opposite, in fact.
Then again, when I look at the likely alternatives.... No wonder so many people just don't vote.
Just my criticism of Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice's [url=http://liberalfeministbias.blogspot.com/2005/03/schizoid-view-on-womens-reproductive.html]"mildly pro-choice" stance[/url]. 'The hell does that mean?
"I have planted the flag of freedom in the world."
Thank God for George W. Bush, who gave the world freedom.
Watching the press conference, I was nauseated by his continual smirk -- especially when he talked about how the death of 36 soldiers today in Iraq was not important given the big picture.
"The story today is going to be very discouraging to the American people," Mr. Bush said. "I understand that. We value life. And we weep and mourn when soldiers lose their life. But it is the long-term objective that is vital, and that is to spread freedom. Otherwise, the Middle East will continue to be a cauldron of resentment and hate, a recruiting ground for those who have this vision of the world that is the exact opposite of ours."
Am I alone in feeling that response is completely disgusting, and disrespectful towards the soldiers who are fighting and dying for his "vision"?
His arrogance knows no bounds, either. Again, we're back to the claims that any criticism of him and his borders on unpatriotic:
Several questioners noted Democratic criticisms of his Iraq policy leveled during Condoleezza Rice's Senate confirmation proceedings for secretary of state. Mr. Bush said he thought such statements could leave the Iraqi people "wondering whether or not this nation has the will necessary to stand with them as a democracy evolves."
Oh, that makes a lot of sense, Mister President: If America shows any characteristics of being a free democracy, that will discourge other democracy supporters around the world. File that under, "Do as we say, not as we do."
Well, here it is about to happen -- confirmation of Rice and Gonzalez. Apparently,
Telling the truth
Respecting the rights of everyone
Owning up to one's own mistakes
Taking responsibility for one's own actions
Respecting people's rights to dissent
Being a leader of nations in the world
Treating others as we would be treated by them
Standing up for the little guy
...are not American moral values any more. No, now it's 'Might makes right.' Now our 'moral values' are God (because He made Bush president), guns (because they are an essential part of a 'pro-life' worldview) and gays (because they corrupted Tinky Winky, Barney, Tom Delay and our beloved SpongeBob).
Well, here and now ... I dissent.
Condi Rice has failed in so many ways, she should not be given a promotion for a job badly done. And her repeated lies of convenience do indeed impugn her integrity. Funny how she blames that on Barbara Boxer. No, the buck doesn't stop with Condi!
Alberto Gonzalex has absolutely no business going from advocating and defending torture to becoming our Attorney General, top law enforcer in our country.
Wingers (who so vehemently opposed confirmation of Clinton's appointees, to the extent that Bush inherited a grossly understaffed judicial system) claim that Bush should get the cabinet he wants. Well that's all fine and dandy for Senators. But what about the rest of us? These torture-advocating chuckleheads are going to be put into positions of great power.
In our name.
Over our lives.
These people are destroying everything that made America great -- our sense of justice, our goodwill and our compassion. No, they think America is great by grace of God, and that means we can go and bomb the crap out of anyone we don't like, torture the survivors just in case they might know something, and pat ourselves on the back for being righteous and good.
I know they don't give a crap what we citizens think, but I'll say it anyway:
Senators! Vote against confirmation of Rice and Gonzalez!