FOXNews has posted another Rice transcript. It’s a shade different than the one I posted, though it looks like formatics and spelling; I imagine the first one I posted was hurried in the extreme.

I’m still digesting it all, while I do other things here…

(My new server, for one thing, is up and running, and is requiring updates to the software and fine tuning on the scripting and so on… it’s a quad processor job I saved from the scrap heap… the kind you heat a small room with)…

…so I’ve not found anything that everyone else hasn’t found… but I am struck by one major point in the exchanges… one I’ve not heard anyone else comment on.

That major point being the number of words coming from the commissioners… nearly as many as those coming from Doctor Rice…. and in the word count, the Democrats on the panel seem to have a whopping 80% of the text depth. I think we can find this fairly well indicative that their bringing Doctor Rice was not about getting answers, but about making more acusations. I mean, wasn’t Doctor RIce supposed to be speaking?  Take for example the whining of former Senator Bob Kerry:

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.

RICE: We knew that Usama Bin Laden had been, in something that was provided to me, bragging that he was going to withstand any response and then he was going to emerge and come out stronger.

KERREY: But you’re figuring this out. You’ve got to give a very long answer.

RICE: We simply believed that the best approach was to put in place a plan that was going to eliminate this threat, not respond to an attack.

KERREY: Let me say, I think you would have come in there if you said, “We screwed up. We made a lot of mistakes.” You obviously don’t want to use the M-word in here. And I would say fine, it’s game, set, match. I understand that.

But this strategic and tactical, I mean, I just — it sounds like something from a seminar. It doesn’t…

RICE: I do not believe to this day that it would have been a good thing to respond to the Cole, given the kinds of options that we were going to have.

And with all due respect to Dick Clarke, if you’re speaking about the Delenda plan, my understanding is that it was, A, never adopted, and that Dick Clarke himself has said that the military portion of this was not taken up by the Clinton administration.

KERREY: Let me move into another area.

RICE: So we were not presented — I just want to be very clear on this, because it’s been a source of controversy — we were not presented with a plan.

KERREY: Well, that’s not true. It is not…

RICE: We were not presented. We were presented with…

KERREY: I’ve heard you say that, Dr. Clarke, that 25 January, 2001, memo was declassified, I don’t believe…

RICE: That January 25 memo has a series of actionable items having to do with Afghanistan, the Northern Alliance.

KERREY: Let me move to another area.

RICE: May I finish answering your question, though, because this is an important…

KERREY: I know it’s important. Everything that’s going on here is important. But I get 10 minutes.

RICE: But since we have a point of disagreement, I’d like to have a chance to address it.

KERREY: Well, no, no, actually, we have many points of disagreement, Dr. Clarke, but we’ll have a chance to do in closed session. Please don’t filibuster me. It’s not fair. It is not fair. I have been polite. I have been courteous. It is not fair to me.


I understand that we have a disagreement.

RICE: Commissioner, I am here to answer questions. And you’ve asked me a question, and I’d like to have an opportunity to answer it.

The fact is that what we were presented on January the 25th was a set of ideas and a paper, most of which was about what the Clinton administration had done and something called the Delenda plan which had been considered in 1998 and never adopted. We decided to take a different track.

RICE: We decided to put together a strategic approach to this that would get the regional powers — the problem wasn’t that you didn’t have a good counterterrorism person.

The problem was you didn’t have an approach against Al Qaeda because you didn’t have an approach against Afghanistan. And you didn’t have an approach against Afghanistan because you didn’t have an approach against Pakistan. And until we could get that right, we didn’t have a policy.

KERREY: Thank you for answering my question.

RICE: You’re welcome.

Doctor Rice is under oath and not only has the right to fuily answer questions, she is obligated by that oath to do so. So what’s with Kerry? Other than he feels slighted because he can’t get another zinger in, I mean. And what’s with the cheering section? Do they want to hear the answers, or do they simply want to have their own views forced on the commission, regardless how those views mesh or not mesh with the truth?

And as for the memo the White House is supposedly ‘hiding’… the PDB… we’ll be seeing that by this time tommorrow. So, what will the Democrats do THEN I wonder, when this one comes up a dry hole, as well??