as the McClatchy story leads off:
WASHINGTON - Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and former Attorney General John Ashcroft received the same CIA briefing about an imminent al-Qaida strike on an American target that was given to the White House two months before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
the story continues:
The State Department's disclosure Monday that the pair was briefed within a week after then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice was told about the threat on July 10, 2001, raised new questions about what the Bush administration did in response, and about why so many officials have claimed they never received or don't remember the warning.
This McClatchy story, "Rumself, Ashcroft said to have received warning of attack," by Jonathan S. Landay, Warren P. Strobel and John Walcott is huge -- not that all the other stories going down aren't.
Both Ben-Veniste and 9/11 Commission Executive Director Philip Zelikow gave the NY Times strong denials yesterday, in a story entitled, "9/11 Panel Members Weren't Told of Meeting," that the 9/11 Commission knew anything about the Rice briefing. Apparently, these quotes below were all lies:
Another Democratic commissioner, former Watergate prosecutor Richard Ben-Veniste, said that the staff of the Sept. 11 commission was polled in recent days on the disclosures in Mr. Woodward's book and agreed that the meeting "was never mentioned to us."
"This is certainly something we would have wanted to know about," he said, referring to the July 10, 2001, meeting.
He said he had attended the commission's private interviews with both Mr. Tenet and Ms. Rice and had pressed "very hard for them to provide us with everything they had regarding conversations with the executive branch" about terrorist threats before the Sept. 11 attacks.
Why did Democrat Richard Ben-Veniste go along with the coverup? Why was he still lying yesterday? Why did he stop lying today? Was it just the early version McClatchy story that made him realize the gig was up? (the first version of the story I saw earlier tonight didn't have the Veniste acknowledgment, just three senior intelligence agency officials confirming that Tenet's 2004 secret testimony to the 9/11 Commission took place.
What else did the 9/11 Commission lie about?
This story is evolving fast -- apparently, tonight Rice's spokeswoman has confirmed that Rice did get the July 10 briefing after all, despite her lack of memory about it.
But on Monday evening, Rice's spokesman Sean McCormack issued a statement confirming that she'd received the CIA briefing "on or around July 10" and had asked that it be given to Ashcroft and Rumsfeld.
all bets are off, folks. god knows what will happen -- what more will come out -- the REST of this week!!
(In an Associated Press story yesterday, Ashcroft said it was "disappointing" that he hadn't been briefed. Liar. I wonder if Rumsfeld made any similar lying comments yesterday?)