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 Home > News & Policies > October 2006

For Immediate Release
October 3, 2006

The Rest of the Story: The Rice-Tenet Meeting

     Fact sheet Setting the Record Straight

The White House And State Department Have Consistently Acknowledged The July 10 Rice-Tenet Meeting

  • Last Friday, the White House and State Department Confirmed the July 10, 2001, Rice-Tenet Meeting. "White House and State Department officials yesterday confirmed that the July 10 meeting took place, although they took issue with Woodward's portrayal of its results. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack, responding on behalf of Rice, said Tenet and Black had never publicly expressed any frustration with her response. 'This is the first time these thoughts and feelings associated with that meeting have been expressed,' McCormack said. 'People are free to revise and extend their remarks, but that is certainly not the story that was told to the 9/11 commission.'" (Peter Baker, "White House Disputes Book's Report of Anti-Rumsfeld Moves," The Washington Post, 9/30/06)
  • Counselor To The President Dan Bartlett: Secretary Rice "Does Remember … This Meeting." BARTLETT: "She does remember … this meeting and other meetings that they had where they were talking [generally] about the threats and about what we're doing. But the suggestion in this is that they asked for a very specific plan to go after bin Laden – we knew an attack to America was going to happen. That is just not how she recalls it whatsoever. And none of the evidence as shown in the 9/11 Commission book says otherwise." (CBS' "Face The Nation," 10/1/06)

Materials Provided To The 9/11 Commission Show Rice Took Tenet's Briefing Seriously

  • 9/11 Commission Member Richard Ben-Veniste Says Tenet Testified That Rice Understood The Gravity Of Tenet's Briefing. "According to three people present at the session, including Ben-Veniste, Tenet believed that Rice responded seriously to what she had been told. 'We particularly questioned him about whether he had the sense that Dr. Rice and the others on the White House side understood the gravity of what he was telling them,' said Ben-Veniste, a former Watergate prosecutor. 'He said that they believed that they did. ... We asked him further whether Dr. Rice just shrugged this off, and he said he did not have such an impression.'" (Dan Eggen and Robin Wright, "Tenet Recalled Warning Rice," The Washington Post, 10/3/06)
  • Ben-Veniste: "Tenet Never Told Us That He Was Brushed Off. ... We Certainly Would Have Followed That Up." (Philip Shenon and Mark Mazzetti, "C.I.A. Chief Warned Rice On Al Qaeda," The New York Times, 10/3/06)
  • Rice Asked That Materials From The July 10 Meeting Be Given To Secretary Rumsfeld And Attorney General Ashcroft, And Materials From The Meeting Were Made Available To The 9/11 Commission. "McCormack said that after the meeting, Rice had asked that the same material be given to Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld and then-Attorney General John Ashcroft. Materials from this meeting were made available to the independent Sept. 11 Commission, and Tenet was asked about the session when interviewed by the commission, McCormack said." (Anne Gearan, "State Dept. Confirms Rice - Tenet Meeting," The Associated Press, 10/3/06)

The Information Provided In The Meeting Was "Not New"

  • The Information Rice Received At The July 10 Briefing Was "Not New" And Not An Urgent Warning. "State Department spokesman Sean McCormack disputed the characterization of the meeting in the book State of Denial by journalist Bob Woodward, saying the information Rice got 'was not new' and didn't amount to an urgent warning. 'Rather, it was a good summary from the threat-reporting from the previous several weeks,' McCormack said in a statement from Saudi Arabia where Rice is traveling." (Judy Mathewson, "Rice Warned Of Threat Months Earlier," Bloomberg, 10/3/06)

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