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Oh, THAT Meeting!

Tuesday, Oct. 03, 2006 2:41 AM

Records confirm that CIA Director George Tenet and then-National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice did, in fact, meet in July of 2001 to discuss intelligence that pointed to increased al-Qaeda activity.

Not that Condi hadn't been warned before. But they supposedly wanted Richard Clarke and other deputies (such as Stephen Hadley and Paul Wolfowitz) to 'frame' the material. One gathers from Clarke's book that the frame was decidedly Iraq-shaped.

And it becomes clear that Rice and the other principals (Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, for starters) ignored the report. Too busy with other things. Too busy to read the August PDB on al-Qaeda. Too busy to round up Richard Clarke and see if he had any useful insights.

There was no failure of imagination; there was simply failure. Gross incompetence. Willful ignorance.

It is only in a perfect world where one can believe that 9/11 could have been prevented if only. But there are too many wrong turns taken to imagine that undoing one would somehow win the race.

Someone tell White House Spokesclown Tony Snow that what Congressman Mark Foley did amounts to a felony, and isn't 'simply naughty e-mails.'

And while I understand that substance abuse is an equal-opportunity destroyer of lives, Congressman Foley is still responsible for his actions. It is not, as some conservative voices have suggested, the fault of the page or evil creeping liberal social mores.

Foley's actions, and the apparent cover-up by House leadership, need to be investigated, and if wrongdoing is established, appropriate penalties should be levied ��beyond a mea culpa and stepping down from one's office.

And, no, we haven't forgotten about the Military Commissions Act.

In a speech last week, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales warned judges not to interfere with Mr. Bush's Constitutional super-powers, specifically, the MCA.

I'm thinking Bush is waiting for Gonzales and other Justice Department sock-puppets to have their notes typed up. The Supreme Court is now in session, and if Bush signs the bill, any number of groups will file an appeal seeking to have it invalidated.

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