Silly me -- last week I predicted that Condi Rice would play the Ollie North card and pitch her testimony to the cheap seats.
I was wrong -- that was Ashcroft's job.
I haven't seen it, but apparently he did it beautifully, the perfect self-righteous warmup act for President You-Talkin'-to-Me?'s press conference tonight.
So the blame-Clinton-for-9/11 movement emerges from its far-right rat hole and nabs the lead all over TV tonight:
CBS lead story: Ashcroft Blames Clinton -- Pinning blame on his predecessors, Attorney General John Ashcroft told the Sept. 11 panel he didn’t know the attacks were coming because 'for nearly a decade our government had blinded itself to our enemies.'"
ABC lead story: "'Blinded' -- Attorney General John Ashcroft, testifying before the 9/11 commission, said the U.S. government had "blinded itself" to enemy threats prior to Sept. 11."
CNN lead story: "Ashcroft: Government 'blinded itself to enemies'"
We'll see if it plays as appropriate righteous indignation or just whining. Meanwhile, I suppose this is also Clinton's fault:
Ashcroft Cut off Al-Qaeda Briefings, Ex-FBI Official Testifies
U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft stopped a series of briefings on al-Qaeda in the months before Sept. 11, saying he no longer wanted that type of information, the former leader of the FBI told a panel looking into the attacks.
The comments by Thomas Pickard, former acting director of the FBI, came in testimony before the 10-member independent commission....