Man Without Qualities

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

TIME's Fool II

The Daily Howler (scrowl to bottom) now posts - finally a transcript copy! - Sandy Berger's bizarre, unexplained retraction of his TIME interview assertion that he handed over an anti-al Qaeda "plan" to the incoming Bush Adsministration:

BERGER: Now, the second question you asked—which comes off of the Time magazine story, I think—was there a plan that we turned over to the Bush administration during the transition? I could address that.

The transition, as you will recall, was condensed by virtue of the election in November. I was very focused on using the time that we had—I had been on the other side of a transition with General Scowcroft in 1992. But we used that time very efficiently to convey to my successor the most important information—what was going on and what situations they faced.

Number one among those was terrorism and Al Qaida. And I told that to my successor. She has acknowledged that publicly, so I’m not violating any private conversation. We briefed them fully on what we were doing—on what else was under consideration and what the threat was. I personally attended part of that briefing to emphasize how important that was. But there was no war plan that we turned over to the Bush administration during the transition. And the reports of that are just incorrect.

Now, of course, the question everyone is asking is "Will TIME run even one of those little corrections that hardly anyone reads? Or maybe it was always just a big joke, so there's no need?"

Croooow Blog also wants to know if Josh Marshall is planning an acknowledgment of error (or worse).

Link via Croooow Blog

UPDATE: An astute reader points out that Eric Alterman also tippled in Mr. Berger's Cool Aid. Indeed, the Alterman column is still warm. No admissions yet.

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