Condi To Testify Publicly

Statement by President Bush
It’s old news by now but Condi will testify, unlike Richard Clarke who refused to testify before Congress in 1999 and cited executive privilege.

This only bothers me in one sense: it might impact the type of advice an advisor provides to a President and they are not Secretary’s, i.e. they are not appointed with Congress’s advice and consent. I would suggest that President Bush testify publicly in lieu of Condi — I’m serious — but he’s too inarticulate. I would if it were my administration, simply to let Congress know that they would not be dragging my advisors before them.

THE PRESIDENT: Today I have informed the Commission on Terrorist Attacks Against the United States that my National Security Advisor, Dr. Condoleezza Rice, will provide public testimony. I’ve also advised Chairman Kean and Vice Chairman Hamilton that Vice President Cheney and I will jointly meet with all members of the commission in a private session.

This commission has been charged with a crucial task. To prevent future attacks, we must understand the methods of our enemies. The terrorist threat being examined by the commission is still present, still urgent and still demands our full attention.

From the day the panel was created, I have directed executive branch agencies and members of my staff to cooperate with the commission. Recognizing the exceptional nature of this inquiry, we have given commission members access to relevant presidential daily briefings, to my communications with foreign leaders, and to internal White House communications.

More than 800 members of the administration have been interviewed. More than 20 White House officials have met with the commission, or soon will do so. Dr. Rice, herself, has already met privately with the commission for four hours. I’ve ordered this level of cooperation because I consider it necessary to gaining a complete picture of the months and years that preceded the murder of our fellow citizens on September the 11th, 2001.

This is an issue with every Administration and executive privilege got obliterated during Clinton’s Presidency — the one’s on the witch hunt should have considered that before pursuing him so viciously. SCOTUS blew holes all through the concept of executive privilege while the independent prosecutor — believe it or not, I can’t remember his name — pursued Clinton. Though it did kill the independent prosecutor statute. That’s the one positive that emerged from that fiasco.

Back on topic: all of the Democrats that are crowing about this should keep in mind that Dr. Rice is quite articulate and is likely to put her shoe in Dick Clarke’s ass.

On a related matter, read this excellent post on Dick Clarke at Power Line.

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