Man Without Qualities

Sunday, April 04, 2004

Knock, Knock

The usually fatuous TIME magazine does not disappoint when it asks:

What will Condoleezza Rice face when she appears this week, publicly and under oath, before the commission investigating 9/11?

That's really a mystery? Are the panelists expecting to ask questions materially different than the ones they asked her when she appeared in a private session with the Commission in February?

Here's a little question that TIME doesn't report asking:

How many Commissioners showed up for Ms. Rice's private session with the Commission in February?

There have been unconfirmed reports that as few as half of the Commissioners showed. But TIME doesn't seem interested in confirming or refuting those reports.

So maybe the big mystery TIME is alluding to takes the form:

What questions will the Commissioners who didn't bother to come to her February session ask of Condoleezza Rice when she appears this week?

The point of the TIME article seems mostly to put a shine on the record of Sandy Berger (a perennial TIME favorite) and to pass onto TIME readers choice bits of information such as the fact that TIME has obtained a Commission "staff report" noting that John McLaughlin, a career CIA officer and deputy to director George Tenet, told the Commission in private (!) that amid a major spike in terrorist-threat intelligence in the summer of 2001, he "felt a great tension especially in June and July 2001 between the new Administration's need to understand these [terrorist] issues and his sense that this was a matter of great urgency." There's a "tension" there?

UPDATE: As astute reader points out that Sandy Berger gave very little attention to al Qaida and similar forms of terrorism in the article he published in the November/December 2000 issue of Foreign Affairs: A Foreign Policy for the Global Age. But that's not what he's saying now.

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