Last night, on 60 minutes, Condoleezza Rice told Ed Bradley that she’d like nothing better that to testify under oath as to the matter at hand in the 9/11 hearings. She, however, is constrained because of her position as sitting National Security Advisor. As a sitting member of this administration’s National Security Council, having Dr. Rice testify under oath in public for this type of hearing would break precedent; a precedent that Richard Clarke himself followed in 1999—at then-President Clinton’s directive. From the Drudge Report:
The congressional record; Senator Bennett:
Before the committee comes to order, I have some information to share with you which I'm sure will cause some consternation and disappointment.
We were scheduled -- at the beginning of this gathering we agreed not to call that portion of it a hearing, to have a briefing from Mr. Richard Clarke. And many of you have been notified that he would be here and as recently as yesterday afternoon when I was with him, we were looking forward to his appearance and he was sharing with me some of the areas that he planned to discuss while he was here. Mr. Clarke, as many of you know, is the national coordinator for security and infrastructure protection and counterterrorism on the National Security Council.
Last night, into the evening, we were notified that the legal staff of the National Security Council had determined that it would be inappropriate for Mr. Clarke to appear. I have just spoken to him on the telephone. The rule apparently is that any member of the White House staff who has not been confirmed is not to be allowed to testify before the Congress. They can perform briefings, but they are not to give testimony. And that in response to that rule, Mr. Clarke will not be coming.