Tuesday, March 30, 2004

CNN.com - Rice to testify in public, under oath - Mar 30, 2004

I have mixed reaction to this announcement. On the one hand, I'm angry as usual at the White House for taking an increasingly negative public reaction, and then giving in anyway. If they'd just let her testify to start with, none of the bad press would ever have happened.

On the other side, I agree with the fact that no precedent should be set of White House staff testifying. Rock and a hard place, I guess.

UPDATE: As is often the case, my brother says it better on diet coke for breakfast: "Don't stand on principal if you're willing to toss aside that principal. I don't really care whether she testifies or not. I don't think that there is much that she can say beyond a 'he said, she said' fight with Clarke, and I believe that the real reason that they don't have the Nat Sec Advisor testify (ever) is that it would take too much time. Cabinet level Secretaries spend something like 50% of their time on the Hill. If Condi had to do that, it would cripple her ability to coordinate all of the different National Security departments and agencies. But they never explained it that way. All they say is 'It's never been done before, so we stand on our principal' or 'It's a matter of Executive Privilege'. The problem is that Americans are used to 'Executive Privilege' being used ever since Nixon to cover-up scandals. It doesn't make a good argument. But they stick to it ANYWAY, pressure mounts, and then she has to back down off of what I thought were pretty emphatic refusals on 60 Minutes to testify, tuck her tail between her legs, and sheepishly stroll up the Hill. Way to go guys, you just lost ANOTHER media battle in the court of public opinion."

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