Thursday, April 15, 2004

Another stinger from the Times 

The Price of Incuriosity

Americans knew George W. Bush was an incurious man when they elected him, but the hearings of the 9/11 investigating commission, which turned yesterday from the F.B.I.'s fecklessness to the C.I.A.'s blurred vision, have brought that fact home in a startling way. The president is trying hard to present himself as a hands-on manager who talked terrorism incessantly with the director of central intelligence, George Tenet. ("I wanted Tenet in the Oval Office all the time.") But Mr. Tenet had to concede yesterday that he was not in Crawford, Tex., for the Aug. 6, 2001, briefing titled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S." Mr. Tenet told the panel he didn't meet with Bush all that month, but the C.I.A. later said there had been two meetings. No one has been able to say whether Mr. Bush followed up in any way after he asked his intelligence agencies whether there was a domestic threat from Al Qaeda, and got a loud "yes" in response.


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