Wednesday, March 31, 2004

# Posted 12:54 AM by Ariel David Adesnik  

RICE TO TESTIFY BEFORE 9/11 COMMISSION: And she damn well should. While there are strong arguments to be made in favor of executive privilege, it is hypocritical for Ms. Rice to play the role of lead attack dog in the White House's Clarke-bashing but refuse to testify under oath.

In addition to being forced to testify, Rice is getting raked over the coals by the media. The NYT article on Rice's forthcoming testimony (as well as a companion news analysis essay) suggests none too gently that Condi has told so many lies that she will have no choice to fess up when under oath. Interestingly, neither of the NYT articles has anything positive to say about Richard Clarke. The same goes for the WaPo's articles on Rice's testimony and the White House's selective declassification of sensitive documents. This suggests that the WaPo's Friday climb down from its effusive praise of Clarke was not an accident.

The lesson to be taken away from all this is that the Bush administration is now suffering more for its incompetent and dishonest effort to attack Richard Clarke than from the substance of Clarke's allegations. The failure of the administration to recognize that it had a strong case on the merits and its reliance instead on character assassination only adds to its reputation as an organization that won't the facts get in the way of its politics.
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