Rice "Uninterested in Advising" Bush Pre- 9/11, Wanted to Be "Closest Confidante"
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Tomorrow, New York Times reporter Philip Shenon will release his book The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation, revealing " failure at the highest levels of the United States government."
Shenon singles out Condoleezza Rice as inept, more interested in being President Bush's buddy than securing the nation. Newsweek editor Evan Thomas writes a preview of the book:
The official ineptitude uncovered by the commission is shocking. Dubbed "Kinda-Lies-a-Lot" by the Jersey Girls, Ms. Rice comes across as almost clueless about the terrorist threat. "Whatever her job title, Rice seemed uninterested in actually advising the president," Mr. Shenon writes. "Instead, she wanted to be his closest confidante -- specifically on foreign policy -- and to simply translate his words into action."
An example of this incompetence is the fact that on July 10, 2001 -- two months before the 9/11 terrorist attacks -- then-CIA director George Tenet met with Rice and warned her about a threat from al Qaeda that " literally made [his] hair stand on end." Rice was polite, but gave them the "brushoff."
The 9/11 commission, however, heard about this meeting only after it completed its report. Shenon reveals that commission executive director Philip Zelikow, a close friend of Rice, stopped staffers from submitting a report depicting Rice's performance prior to 9/11 as " amount[ing] to incompetence."
Amanda Terkel is Deputy Research Director at the Center for American Progress and serves as Deputy Editor for The Progress Report and ThinkProgress.org at the Center for American Progress.