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Wednesday, April 14, 2004

From Atrios blog
"Operation Ignore

Rice:


At the beginning of the administration, President Bush revived the practice of meeting with the director of central intelligence almost every day in the Oval Office -- meetings which I attended, along with the vice president and the chief of staff. At these meetings, the president received up-to-date intelligence and asked questions of his most senior intelligence officials.

...

I am quite certain -- given that the director of the CIA met frequently face to face with the president of the United States -- that he would have made that available to the president or to me.

...

First of all, it was coming from the top because the president was meeting with his director of central intelligence. And one of the changes that this president made was to meet face to face with his director of central intelligence almost every day.

...

Well, the president was meeting with his director of central intelligence



Tenet:



ROEMER: Would it have made any difference if you had mentioned -- did you ever mention it, for instance, to the president -- your briefing the president from August 6th on?

TENET:: I didn't see the president. I was not in briefings with him during this time. He was on vacation. I was here.

ROEMER: You didn't see the president between August 6, 2001, and September 10th?

TENET:: Well, no. Before -- saw him after Labor Day, to be sure.

ROEMER: So you saw him September 4th -- at the principals' meeting?

TENET:: It was not at principals' meeting.

ROEMER: Well, you don't see him...

TENET:: Condoleezza Rice -- Condoleezza -- I saw him in this time frame, to be sure.

ROEMER: OK. I'm just confused. You see him on August 6th with the PDB.

TENET:: No, I do not, sir. I'm not there.

ROEMER: OK. You're not -- when do you see him in August?

TENET:: I don't believe I do.

ROEMER: You don't see the president of the United States once in the month of August?

TENET:: He's in Texas and I'm either here or on leave for some of that time, so I'm not here.

ROEMER: So who's briefing him on the PDBs?

TENET:: The briefer, himself. We have a presidential briefer.

ROEMER: But you never get on the phone or in any kind of conference with him to talk at this level of high chatter and huge warnings during the spring and summer to talk to him through the whole month of August?

TENET:: We talked to him directly throughout the spring and early summer almost every day.

ROEMER: But not in August?

TENET:: In this time period, I'm not talking to him, no.


(thanks to reader a for the catch)



...and Bush, last night:

And of course that concerns me. All those reports concern me. As a matter of fact, I was dealing with terrorism a lot as the president when George Tenet came in to brief me. I mean, that's where I got my information.

I changed the way that the relationship between the president and the CIA director. And I wanted Tenet in the Oval Office all the time. And we had briefings about terrorist threats. This was a summary.

Now, in the -- what's called the PDB, there was a warning about bin Laden's desires on America. But, frankly, I didn't think there was anything new. I mean, major newspapers had talked about bin Laden's desires on hurting America.

What was interesting in there was that there was a report that the FBI was conducting field investigations. And that was good news, that they were doing their job.

The way my administration worked, Ed, was that I met with Tenet all the time. I obviously met with my principals a lot. We talked about threats that had emerged. We have a counterterrorism group meeting on a regular basis to analyze the threats that came in. Had there been a threat that required action by anybody in the government, I would have dealt with it.


(thanks to scaramouche)



...it appears that he went once on the 17th.

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