Thursday, April 08, 2004
The purpose of the intense attention paid to Condoleezza Rice's testimony was the desire of many to see her fall flat on her face. There is a widely held misperception (or hope) that the Bush Administration is an incompetent group not able to rise to the obligations of their high positions. Why has so much attention (and full network coverage) devoted to Dr. Rice's testimony and not that of Clinton's secuirty advisor Berger, and other former Clinton and current Bush officials? It is because Rice is President Bush's closest advisor and confidane and there is a white-hot desire for a "gtocha!" moment. Many of us knew that Rice is too smart, qualified and experienced to fall prey to some childish hope of the Left to make her appear unworthy of her lofty role in this White House.
Here is my favorite moment from today:
RICE: I'm aware, Mr. Kerrey, of a speech that you gave at that time that said that perhaps the best thing that we could do to respond to the Cole and to the memories was to do something about the threat of Saddam Hussein. That's a strategic view... (APPLAUSE) And we took a strategic view. We didn't take a tactical view. I mean, it was really -- quite frankly, I was blown away when I read the speech, because it's a brilliant speech. It talks about really... (LAUGHTER) ... an asymmetric...
KERREY: I presume you read it in the last few days?
RICE:: Oh no, I read it quite a bit before that. It's an asymmetric approach. Now, you can decide that every time Al Qaida...
KERREY: So you're saying that you didn't have a military response against the Cole because of my speech?
RICE:: I'm saying, I'm saying... (LAUGHTER)
KERREY: That had I not given that speech you would have attacked them?
RICE: No, I'm just saying that I think it was a brilliant way to think about it.
KERREY: I think it's...
RICE: It was a way of thinking about it strategically, not tactically. But if I may answer the question that you've asked me. The issue of whether to respond -- or how to respond to the Cole -- I think Don Rumsfeld has also talked about this. Yes, the Cole had happened. We received, I think on January 25th, the same assessment -- or roughly the same assessment --of who was responsible for the Cole that Sandy Berger talked to you about. It was preliminary. It was not clear. But that was not the reason that we felt that we did not want to, quote, respond to the Cole. We knew that the options that had been employed by the Clinton administration had been standoff options. The president had -- meaning missile strikes or perhaps bombers would have been possible, long-range bombers. Although getting in place the apparatus to use long-range bombers is even a matter of whether you have basing in the region.
New York Times transcript of Condoleezza Rice hearing
Fox News Transcript
And more from Instapundit