Secretary of Cutting the Crust Off of the President’s PB&J….

About that Intelligence Czar:

In asking Congress to create the position of a national intelligence director, Bush said the person holding the post would be appointed by the president, with the advice and consent of the Senate, and would serve at the pleasure of the president. The director would be the president’s principal intelligence adviser, overseeing and coordinating the foreign and domestic activities of the intelligence community.


Bush said the national counterterrorism center would build on the analytical work already being done by the Terrorist Threat Integration Center, which began operations in May 2003. The new center would become the “government’s knowledge bank for information about known and suspected terrorists,” Bush said.

He said the new center would coordinate and monitor the counterterrorism plans and activities of all government agencies to make sure the nation’s efforts and actions were “unified in priority and purpose.” The director of the center, which will prepare the president’s daily terrorism threat report, would answer to the national intelligence director, once that position is created, Bush said. Until then, the center would report to the director of the CIA.

Because, Jeebus knows, he’s not getting that now:

One clear inference can be drawn from Condoleezza Rice’s testimony before the 9/11 commission this morning: She has been a bad national security adviser—passive, sluggish, and either unable or unwilling to tie the loose strands of the bureaucracy into a sensible vision or policy. In short, she has not done what national security advisers are supposed to do.

The key moment came an hour into the hearing, when former Watergate prosecutor Richard Ben-Veniste took his turn at asking questions. Up to this point, Rice had argued that the Bush administration could not have done much to stop the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Yes, the CIA’s sirens were sounding all summer of an impending strike by al-Qaida, but the warnings were of an attack overseas.

Ben-Veniste brought up the much-discussed PDB—the president’s daily briefing by CIA Director George Tenet—of Aug. 6, 2001. For the first time, he revealed the title of that briefing: “Bin Laden Determined To Strike in US.”*

Rice insisted this title meant nothing. The document consisted of merely “historical information” about al-Qaida—various plans and attacks of the past. “This was not a ‘threat report,’ ” she said. It “did not warn of any coming attack inside the United States.” Later in the hearing, she restated the point: “The PDB does not say the United States is going to be attacked. It says Bin Laden would like to attack the United States.”

To call this distinction “academic” would be an insult to academia.

Isn’t a $157,000 a year a lot to pay someone to babysit El Presidente Pollo-halcón when she’s not busy at her desk practicing writing Mrs. George W. Bush and wishing it had an ‘i’ so she could dot it with a heart?

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Yeah. Like I would tell you....