Kate O’Beirne says Condi should testify:
Since Richard Clarke was a senior national-security aide who has testified in public before the commission about White House deliberations concerning terrorism, the argument apparently only applies to the sitting national-security adviser herself. It does not even apply to past national-security advisers, only the current one, since Clinton’s NSA Sandy Berger testified publicly before the commission. But, Condi Rice will field any and all questions publicly for the media and has been willing to meet with the commission behind closed doors to talk about the administration’s terrorism policy. Reportedly, the White House would be willing to release some semblance of a transcript of Rice’s private testimony (staffer’s notes â€” it was not tape-recorded). Unfortunately, the distinction between meeting privately or publicly with the commission is that the public appearance is under oath.
Naturally, the administration’s critics have distilled the dispute to that distinction. The line of attack is that while Richard Clarke has been willing to give sworn testimony, Condoleezza Rice is unwilling to offer her explanations under oath.
The White House finds itself in a stupid position that permits her critics to question the integrity of Condoleezza Rice. She deserves better. And, I have no trouble swearing to that.