Tuesday, October 03, 2006

AP v. NYT: VERY Different News About Rice

So you wonder about newswire stories? Is it True? Is it Shaded? What's Going On?

Here's a comparo between an AP and a NYT story on the same excerpt from Woodward's book:

A review of White House records has determined that George J. Tenet, then the director of central intelligence, did brief Condoleezza Rice and other top officials on July 10, 2001, about the looming threat from Al Qaeda, a State Department spokesman said Monday.

The account by Sean McCormack came hours after Ms. Rice, the secretary of state, told reporters aboard her airplane that she did not recall the specific meeting on July 10, 2001, noting that she had met repeatedly with Mr. Tenet that summer about terrorist threats. Ms. Rice, the national security adviser at the time, said it was “incomprehensible” she ignored dire terrorist threats two months before the Sept. 11 attacks.

Rice was President Bush's national security adviser in 2001, when Bob Woodward's book "State of Denial" outlines the July 10 meeting in which Tenet said he warned Rice. Cofer Black, the CIA's top counterterror officer, was also present.

"I don't know that this meeting took place, but what I really don't know, what I'm quite certain of, is that it was not a meeting in which I was told there was an impending attack and I refused to respond," Rice said. [AP]

Officials now agree that on July 10, 2001, Mr. Tenet and his counterterrorism deputy, J. Cofer Black, were so alarmed about an impending Al Qaeda attack that they demanded an emergency meeting at the White House with Ms. Rice and her National Security Council staff.

...But both current and former officials took issue with Mr. Woodward’s account that Mr. Tenet and his aides left the meeting in frustration, feeling as if Ms. Rice had ignored them.

Mr. Tenet told members of the Sept. 11 commission about the July 10 meeting when they interviewed him in early 2004, but committee members said the former C.I.A. director never indicated he had left the White House with the impression that he had been ignored.

Tenet never told us that he was brushed off,” said Richard Ben-Veniste, a Democratic member of the commission. “We certainly would have followed that up.”

Now look at the same from AP:

In a closed, classified session at CIA headquarters, Tenet told Sept. 11 Commissioner Richard Ben-Veniste, the commission's executive director Phil Zelikow and other commission staff about Rice's meeting with Tenet and Black, the official said.

The former intelligence official said the commission kept a transcript of that Jan. 28, 2004, session. A second official familiar with the document, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed its existence.

But though Tenet and Black warned Rice in the starkest terms of the prospects for attack, she brushed them off, Woodward reiterated Monday. He told NBC's "Today" show that Black told him the two men were so emphatic, it amounted to "holding a gun to her head" and doing everything except pulling the trigger. [AP]

Ben-Veniste is no friend of Condi Rice, nor of Republicans in general. The AP report did not quote Ben-Veniste as did the NYT--which amounts to a 180-degree change in the story.

The AP story was authored by ANNE GEARAN, with some material provided by Katherine Shrader.

Names to remember.

1 comment:

steveegg said...

Who knew that the New York Slimes (All the Leaks Unfit to Print) would be more moderate than crAP?