Condi Repeats Her Lie on Receiving al Qaeda Plan

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice denies Bill Clinton’s recent charge that his administration left the Bush Administration a comprehensive strategy to fight al Qaeda which was ignored:

The secretary of state also sharply disputed Clinton’s claim that he “left a comprehensive anti-terror strategy” for the incoming Bush team during the presidential transition in 2001.

“We were not left a comprehensive strategy to fight al Qaeda,” Rice responded during the hourlong session.

This isn’t the first time Condi has denied receiving the report. In a column in the Washington Post on March 22, 2004, Condoleezza Rice wrote, “No al Qaeda plan was turned over to the new administration.”

Condi is lying now as she was lying in 2004 (as I previously noted). Documents obtained from the National Security Archive previously demonstrated that these claims from Rice were untrue. The documents include a January 25, 2001, memo from counterterrorism coordinator Richard Clarke to national security advisor Condoleezza Rice and “Tab A December 2000 Paper: Strategy for Eliminating the Threat from the Jihadist Networks of al-Qida: Status and Prospects,” Perhaps Condi should have listened to Clarke rather than demoting him, and perhaps she should have taken the threat from al Qaeda more seriously.

Update: Since posting I find several other blogs have also provided evidence regarding this, including Think Progress, The Mahablog, The Carpetbagger Report, Majikthise, and Americablog.


  1. 1
    janet says:

    “We were not left a comprehensive strategy to fight al Qaeda,” Rice responded during the hourlong session.

    This is because she did not know what that particular folder of documents was nor did she care about it so she put it on a shelf or threw it away and forgot about it until the afternoon of September 11, 2001.

    They were not about to follow up on anything recommended by the Clinton administration.

    They did this with arsenic in our water, too, which is just a very small example of their way of doing things. Clinton had a panel fo scientists who recommended lowering acceptable levels of arsenic in our water. All of the work was done Bush ignored it and threw it out–reconvened another panel with some of the same scientists and …guess what…they came to the same conclusion.

  2. 2
    Fen says:

    “The transcript of Richard Clarke’s background briefing of Fox News White House reporter Jim Angle and other correspondents in August 2002 rebuts point by point the lurid charges now made by Richard Clarke in his public testimony, his book, and his 60 Minutes appearance flogging his book before a prostrate Lesley Stahl.”

    RICHARD CLARKE: Actually, I’ve got about seven points, let me just go through them quickly. Um, the first point, I think the overall point is, there was no plan on Al Qaeda that was passed from the Clinton administration to the Bush administration.,2933,115085,00.html

  3. 3
    Fen says:

    Clarke re the documents posted on Mr Chusid’s site:

    Compare that to Clarke in August 2002:

    CLARKE: There was never a plan, Andrea. What there was was these two things: One, a description of the existing strategy, which included a description of the threat. And two, those things which had been looked at over the course of two years, and which were still on the table.

    QUESTION: So there was nothing that developed, no documents or no new plan of any sort?

    CLARKE: There was no new plan.

    QUESTION: No new strategy — I mean, I don’t want to get into a semantics …

    CLARKE: Plan, strategy — there was no, nothing new.

    Those two are the “laundry list” Rice was referring too:

    Rice belittled Clarke’s proposals by writing: “The president wanted more than a laundry list of ideas simply to contain al Qaeda or ‘roll back’ the threat. Once in office, we quickly began crafting a comprehensive new strategy to ‘eliminate’ the al Qaeda network.” Rice asserted that while Clarke and others provided ideas, “No al Qaeda plan was turned over to the new administration.” That same day, she said most of Clarke’s ideas “had been already tried or rejected in the Clinton administration.”

  4. 4
    Ron Chusid says:

    Fox News is hardly a credible source. Who knows what Clarke really said to them, considering how this contradicts several other sources, including other statements from Richard Clarke, and considering Fox’s history of spreading misinformaiton.
    For example, the 9/11 Commission is far more credible than Fox News:

    As the Clinton administration drew to a close, Clarke and his staff developed a policy paper of their own [which] incorporated the CIA’s new ideas from the Blue Sky memo, and posed several near-term policy options. Clarke and his staff proposed a goal to “roll back” al Qaeda over a period of three to five years …[including] covert aid to the Northern Alliance, covert aid to Uzbekistan, and renewed Predator flights in March 2001. A sentence called for military action to destroy al Qaeda command-and control targets and infrastructure and Taliban military and command assets. The paper also expressed concern about the presence of al Qaeda operatives in the United States.” [p. 197]

  5. 5
    Ron Chusid says:

    Fen’s comments actually verify the accuracy of my post. The comment says, “Rice belittled Clarke’s proposals by writing. . .”

    If Rice belittled Clarke’s proposals, this verifies that she did receive them. Rice is on record twice as denying receipt of the proposals. To come back and say she didn’t like them, or they weren’t comprehensive enough, does not alter the fact that she was lying in her two statements.

    The quality of the proposals is a totally different issue from whether she received them. It would be one thing if Rice and the Bush Administration had come up with a better plan to fight al Qaeda. As they basically ignored the issue until after the 9/11 attack, they have little business criticizing Clarke’s proposals as insufficient.

    As for the claim that the proposals were rejected in the Clinton Administration, this may be technically true by is also misleading. It was the Repubican Congress who blocked, or “rejected” the proposals to figtht al Qaeda during the Clinton Administration.

    The bottom line is that warnings were passed on. Rice and the Bush Adminstration ignored the inital recommendations and ignored the problem, and are now trying to cover this up by spreading misinformation, including the claims in Fen’s two comments.

  6. 6
    alwaysatruthseeker says:

    The 99% Solution
    We are weeks away from an election that could mean hope or utter despair. If the Democrats gain a majority in either the House or the Senate, they will have subpoena power, the power to investigate, the power of oversight of a reckless and ruthless administration that has side-stepped laws with executive signing, launched a war based on known lies, and continues to rule by fear.

    The media is now firmly entrenched in right-wing hands. Fox News covets its pro-Bush designation to the extent that if anything anti-Bush appears in an on-air interview or news segment, it is immediately removed from view and inaccessible in its online archives. Most people have no idea what is happening to this country simply because they watch or listen to what they believe is unbiased news. They never hear the truth and may not have the means to seek the truth. Those are the people who must be reached before November 7th. Those are the people who need to know how corrupt this administration really is. Currently, truth is shared among bloggers and those who listen to Air America, but that is a small segment of the population. The dilemna is, how do we get the truth to the average American? Network news is controlled. Even PBS guardedly reports news. That leaves one path, the power of paper. If every blogger selected just a few of the crimes committed by this administration, crimes that can be proved: the Downing Street memos prove that Bush intended to invade Iraq regardless of investigators’ findings; our troops were fed rancid meat and contaminated water by KBR (a subsidiary of Cheney’s Halliburton, and Cheney still receives income from the company he’s made filthy rich with war contracts);or just show photos of the people who were left to drown in New Orleans juxtaposed to photos of Bush attending John McCain’s birthday party. There is SO much wrong wrought by this administration that the toughest part is deciding which glaring crime to publish!
    Create one-page newsletters with whatever you consider most damning, but also include proof and ways for the doubtful to verify what you print. Then distribute them in your local communities. If every left-wing blogger did this, we would have nationwide press!

    Another idea is to create an online newspaper on some central blog where each blogger could post one item of news with substantiation. At the end of the week, if each blogger printed and distributed the newsletter, it would have nationwide circulation.

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