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Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Fifth Column in the White House ?

The most obvious highlight of the Clarke vs Hadley on 60 minutes was Hadley getting nailed lying

"HADLEY: We can not find evidence that this conversation between Mr. Clarke and the President ever occurred.

STAHL: Now can I interrupt you for one second. We have done our own work on that ourselves and we have two sources who tell us independently of Dick Clarke that there was this encounter. One of them was an actual witness.

HADLEY: Look, the -- I -- I stand on what I said. But ..."

Now I would say Stahl let him off very easy. She could have first asked to whom he was referring when he said "we". He would have to mention Rice. She was in the meeting of which he claimed "we" could find no evidence.

Also note that the Washington Post seems to have independently talked to two witnesses

"On the same broadcast, deputy national security adviser Stephen J. Hadley said, "We cannot find evidence that this conversation between Mr. Clarke and the president ever occurred." In interviews for this story, two people who were present confirmed Clarke's account. They said national security adviser Condoleezza Rice witnessed the exchange."

Now it is bad form for the Post to neglect to mention that 60 minutes nailed Hadley on the air, but this is bad news for Bush. It is possible that a 60 minutes reported could have tricked a participant into confirming the meeting while say contesting Clarke's claim that the president was "testy". However, two leaks by two sources of the same information suggests disloyalty (that is devotion to the truth). Also if the two un-named sources slipped up why didn't they warn Hadley ?

for the president, who is running on anti terrorism, to be trashed by his chief anti terrorism advisor is bad, but to have to fight back with two moles leaking the truth to the press is very bad.

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