By Brad Friedman on 3/30/2004, 11:57am PT  

From Drudge just now...

9-11 COMMISSION TO ASK Condoleezza RICE TO TESTIFY UNDER OATH...White House officials worked Monday evening to negotiate compromise that would allow public release of Condoleezza Rice testimony before commission looking into 9/11, the WASHINGTON POST and NY TIMES are planning to report in Tuesday editions. White House did not allow a recording to be made of what Rice said when she met privately with commissioners for 4 hours in Feb. However, staff members have notes that were described as being nearly verbatim.... MORE... Rice may submit to another private session with the commissioners and allow them to release a transcript... 'I would like to have her testimony under the penalty of perjury' the commission's chairman says... Two Dem senators, Ed Kennedy and Charles Schumer, planned to introduce formal resolution in the Senate calling on Rice to testify under oath, the LOS ANGELES TIMES reporting in its bulldog edition...

...Could that be right? Condi's first testimony was not even allowed to be recorded? By order of the Whitehouse?!

So she not only had to testify under oath, but they wouldn't even allow the session to be recorded or a stenographer to take a verbatim transcript of the National Security Advisors testimony with the Commission investigating the greatest National Security failure in the history of our nation!

Man...Of course, the pundit echoes continue to the effect of "We've heard Condi on every show in the world, clearly she has nothing to hide! She should testify".

The more I keeping hearing that "Condi has nothing to hide" from the talking heads, the more I begin to wonder if she must!

Keep in mind, all the Whitehouse "precedent" protestations aside, including Condi's own tortured logic on 60 Minutes, to wit:

"We have yet to find an example of a national security advisor, sitting national security advisor, who has - been willing to testify on matters of policy. "

...Which is valid only if you disregard Sandy Berger (Clinton's NSA) and Zbignew Bzerzinksi (Carter's NSA), both "sitting national security advisors" at the time having testified in the past and consider their testimony to not have been about "policy" but about a criminal investigation. More to the point, though, the precedent being shoehorned into this situation concerns an NSA testifying before Congress. The 9/11 Commission, however, is not "congress". It was created by a vote of Congress with it's Head chosen by the President of the United States. A fact conveniently omited by the dubious and ultimately self-defeating explanation from Condi and friends.

As, once again, Josh Marshall so brilliantly put it:

She might just as easily have argued that they have found no record of a National Security Advisor named Rice testifying before congress, or a female NSC Director testifying, or one who served under a Republican president. Each would have made about as much sense.

UPDATE: Since writing the above yesterday, when this site was down due to a network outage, the Whitehouse has finalized their "accommodation" with the 9-11 Commission for Condi to testify. Well, that took long enough, huh? More on that shortly....