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Stakes high as Rice talks to 9/11 panel: Anita Hill

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jbfam4 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 11:07 AM
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Stakes high as Rice talks to 9/11 panel: Anita Hill
Stakes high as Rice talks to 9/11 panel
By Anita F. Hill, 4/7/2004 /

DAY BY DAY, news report by news report, the stage is being set for National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice's highly anticipated testimony before the 9/11 Commission. It promises to bring the public closer to knowing answers to highly emotional questions of what kind of antiterrorism efforts President Bush employed prior to the Sept. 11 attacks and whether he should have done more. This may well turn out to be a vital test of our country's commitment to fairness and accountability, and we dare not botch it.

But the intensity of the attention paid to the moment Rice takes the stand suggests another question -- that is, whether the combined glare of the political and media spotlights will illuminate the truth or rather blind the public to it. Sworn testimony is not the only factor being weighed. Public satisfaction with this process will turn not only on the candor of the witnesses, but on the independence and skill of the hearing tribunal and the unbiased tenacity of the press.

Eventually the commission will have to evaluate the adequacy of judgments made prior to 9/11 and determine how we best move forward. In this context, without a showing of gross incompetence or malfeasance, accusations of perjury amounting to frivolous criminalization of policymakers' judgments have no place. Such behavior encourages more secrecy and threatens any hope for public accountability.

We are best served by a commission that views all the information available, not just the version conveniently declassified by the White House. The media, in their position of trust, must get beyond the political operatives' spin to expose facts relevant to the testimony. If we lose confidence in the hearings process and the surrounding coverage, we may lose the opportunity for needed change and make a mockery of the commendable effort that led to the commission's creation.
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yellowcanine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 12:42 PM
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1. Maybe Anita Hill could be Soliciter General in a Kerry Administration
Wouldn't that make Clarence "me too, Tony" Thomas squirm every time she argued cases in front of the SCOTUS. Maybe he would have to recuse himself.
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