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March 25, 2004



It struck me, reading the same article, that while managing to avoid almost any factual or substantive discussion related to Clarke's testimony, this utterly immaterial and abstruse little item got a few paragraphs. Astounding.


CNN has a better article on Rice's meeting with reporters. Turns out Clarke wrote an email to Rice after the attacks detailing the White House's pre-911 actions:

"Summarizing his thoughts to Rice, Clarke wrote, 'Thus, the White House did insure that domestic law enforcement (including FAA) knew that the [counterterrorism security group] believed that a major al Qaeda attack was coming and it could be in the U.S. ... and did ask that special measures be taken.'"

It also includes one reason why Clarke can be considered as having been "out of the loop":

"A senior official also said Rice twice complained directly to Clarke about his rare appearances at her senior staff meetings. In one e-mail, Clarke responded he was "too busy" and that after he missed another meeting Rice responded that he would have a "problem" if he did not start attending."

When you add that to the fact that Clarke's job was more or less duplicated by the CIA, the FBI, the State Department and the Pentagon, it's not hard to believe Cheney's characterization.

It was Clarke's job to keep Rice in the loop, not the other way around. As Clarke himself admits, he failed.

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