The Miami Herald printed the text of a letter from Alberto Gonzales to the 9/11 Commission setting out the ground rules for Condi’s appearance under oath. It’s a remarkable document in a lot of ways. It starts out insisting that the Prez has done just everything he can possibly do to support this Commission, hinting that it really isn’t very fair of them to ask more but, because–
…the president recognizes the truly unique and extraordinary circumstances underlying the commission’s responsibility to prepare a detailed report on the facts and circumstances of the horrific attacks on September 11, 2001…
–Rice will be allowed to testify. Whoopee. And what does the WH want in return? Nothing much, just that the Commission agrees that this doesn’t count as precedent, which it probably doesn’t since a number of other such appearances have happened before, thus the precedent has already been set, and–
…that it will not request additional public testimony from any White House official, including Dr. Rice…. Other White House officials with information relevant to the commission’s inquiry do not come within the scope of the commission’s rationale for seeking public testimony from Dr. Rice. These officials will continue to provide the commission with information through private meetings, briefings, and documents, consistent with our previous practice.
Oh. Right. So the Commission is trading off everybody else in the BA they might need to talk to in order to get Rice under oath. Helluva deal. But the capper is yet to come when he throws the Commission this bone.
I am authorized to advise you that the president and vice president have agreed to one joint private session with all 10 commissioners, with one commission staff member present to take notes of the session.
Ain’t that nice? Junior gets to bring his PuppetMaster with him. Question: Will the strings show? Will Cheney drink a glass of water while Junior talks to prove his skill as a ventriloquest? Will Junior be allowed to talk at all? I tell yah, I can’t wait for what comes outa this one.