Rice-a-Rama: What Will Condi Do?

caged heat Rice to be questioned on pre-9/11 military plans and counterterrorism. Rice: "Nobody is claiming that we intended to invade Afghanistan and push the Taliban out of power," she said. "That wasn't on the agenda in the Clinton administration; it frankly was not on the agenda in the Bush administration until after 9/11." [WP and WSJ]

Panel expected to avoid partisan questioning and present a "gentler tone." Kerrey: "We've got five people on this commission who are going to vote for George Bush and five people who are going to vote for John Kerry, and it's not like anybody is hiding that." [NYT]

Rice aims to subdue challenge of Bush's credibility. [WP]

The pressure is on, for Rice and Bush. "Condi doesn't crumble. That's just not an option," said her second cousin. [WP and BBC]

Rice takes on politics, voters, 9/11 families, and the media. [WT]

Testimony is the Beltway's ultimate reality show. [WSJ]

Speculated questions for Rice. [G-UK]

Kerrey op-ed: "The 9/11 Commission's objective is to answer the following question: How -- at the end of a summer of high terrorist threat -- did 19 men with a few hundred thousand dollars manage to utterly defeat every single defensive mechanism we had in place that September morning and murder 3,000 innocents on American soil?" [WSJ]

Testimony unlikely to end criticism or controversy; Rice may rehash old news. [Bloomberg]

Philip Zelikow, the panel's executive director, worked with Rice in the White House and they wrote a book on German reunification. Kristen Breitweiser, a 9/11 widow: "Rice brought him in because of his terrorism expertise, but apparently he didn't do such a good job because nine months later, al Qaeda killed 3,000 people. Why you would hire him to be a staff director of this commission is beyond my comprehension." [WP]

Who are the commission members? [AJC]

Rice and her questioners were busy preparing for hearing. [WT]

Rice expected to make a 20-minute opening statement without an apology; she may be questioned on her previous public statements. [LAT and Reuters]

Rice: "Growing up in Birmingham, I lived with the home-grown terrorism of that area." [AJC and BBC]

Editorial: "Unfortunately, calling Miss Rice to testify before the September 11 commission investigating the attacks provides one more example of what is wrong with Washington today. Rehashing yet again events of the past rather than preparing for the future is harmful to the national interest. Miss Rice has been forced to spend valuable time preparing for her testimony when her attention is needed to events in Iraq." [WT]

Following request from panel, White House turns over 12 Clinton administration documents, but withholds 57 others. Kean: "I've never seen the atmosphere that exists in Washington right now; it's the nastiest I've ever seen it." [WP]


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