Democrats & Liberals Archives

To Rice or not to Rice?

National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice has been appearing on almost every politically-oriented talk show this week to explain that she wants to come before the 9/11 Commission again in order to clear up other people’s testimony concerning the Bush Administration. Instead of sitting before the 9/11 Commission in public and under oath, like every other person called to testify (except President Bush who also objects to testifying under oath), she has decided she cannot as a matter of principle.

What Rice and the Bush Administration are saying it that is it a matter of principle that a sitting National Security Advisor is not supposed to sit before Congress, as it is a violation of laws governing the separation of powers between the three branches of the government. The 9/11 commission, of course, which is made up of many former US Senators and Representatives, isn’t Congress, but a commission, whose members were selected by none other than George W. Bush. Rice’s claim is totally ludicrous. Testifying would constitute no such violation of the separation of powers. So why make this move when the credibility of the current administration is at stake? What is she trying to hide?

Remember, again, that this is for the 9/11 Commission that was called to investigate the terror attacks that killed almost 3000 people. Why does Rice and Pres. Bush feel the need to insist on special treatment when asked to testify about such an issue of national importance? If the Bush Administration did nothing wrong with intelligence gathered that may have prevented 9/11, why show such a lack of respect for the victims' families and the American people by drawing this out?

Let's not forget that former White House Terrorism Official Richard Clarke just testified under oath about the failures of the Bush Administration to take global terrorism seriously in the first 8 months of Bush's presidency. He apologized for his and Pres. Bush's failure to keep Americans safe. Unless Rice agrees that the current administration was "asleep at the switch" before 9/11, then she should testify just like all the rest of the public officials have. This delay just instills doubt into the credibility of Pres. Bush and Dr. Rice.

So, what's the hold up? Hopefully all of this isn't just about getting Bush re-elected in November instead of the thousands of murdered victims on September 11th.

Posted by Anthony at March 29, 2004 5:10 PM