Rice's testimony

Didn't watch it. I don't have cable and have no plans to get it any time soon, so I've been dealing with transcripts and Air America to get my fill of it, and I'll be checking the C-SPAN website as soon as Randi Rhodes finishes up to listen for myself.

That said, here are my early favorites for "you've been busted" moment.
Number one

Former Senator Bob Kerrey, a Democratic commission member, was skeptical of Ms. Rice's assertion that President Bush was committed well before Sept. 11, 2001, to a broad, strategic approach to eradicating Al Qaeda, as opposed to simple "fly-swatting."

"Can you tell me one example where the president swatted a fly when it came to Al Qaeda prior to 9/11?" Mr. Kerrey asked.

Ms. Rice replied, "I think what the president was speaking to was——"

"No, no," Mr. Kerrey interjected. "What fly had he swatted?"

Number two
Mr. Ben-Veniste persisted, asking, "Isn't it a fact, Dr. Rice" that the presidential daily briefing on Aug. 6 "warned against possible attacks in this country?"

He ended the question by asking her to give the name of the memo, to which she replied: "I believe the title was `Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States.' "

The last one is a clip I heard on Randi Rhodes' show, and I can't link it or quote it directly, but it was Kerrey's moment when he noted that this isn't a war on terror, but is rather a war on radical Islamists, that terror is a tactic and can't be warred upon. That's something I and others have been ranting about for weeks now and it really needs to take hold.

I've long been referring to this as a war on al-Qaeda because I refuse to call it a war on terror--in a world filled with uncertainty, we have to have precision in our uses of language. Sloppiness of language is indicative of sloppiness of thought, in my opinion, and a comparison of the last two administrations is a perfect example to make that point.

Clinton got hammered because of his exactness of language--his opponents called it "parsing"--but he and his staff were focused on the problems at hand and were not murky when it came to what they wanted to get done. Bush is sloppy in his language, as are many, if not all of his advisers, and when they find themselves in a world of shit, like they are now, they can't see any clear way to handle it.

Say what you will about Kerry--when you listen to or read his answers to questions, he is exact in his use of language. He's not the most easy to soundbite, but he is exact. I thought Dean was better because he got to the point more quickly, and Edwards was more rhetorically sound, but the simple truth is that all three of them were more exact and precise in their use of language than anyone in the current administration is.

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