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Rice Expected to Testify Before 9/11 Panel Next Week

The independent commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks hopes to hear public testimony from US National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice within the next 10 days, Thomas Kean, the panel chairman, said Wednesday.  

President George W. Bush agreed on Tuesday to allow Rice to testify publicly to the independent commission under oath, a major reversal that came after weeks of public pressure to do so.


The change of heart came in light of the furor created by the White House refusal to allow Rice to testify in public and by sworn testimony to the same panel last week by Richard A. Clarke, the president's former counterterrorism chief.


The commission wants to clear up discrepancies between Rice's private account to the commission and Clarke's testimony, Kean said in interviews with major television networks Wednesday.


"I think the thing that Mr. Clarke emphasized the most is a lack of attention by the Bush administration to the problem of terrorism," he told the Cable News Network. Clarke said in his testimony and in his new memoir that the Bush administration largely ignored terrorism threats before Sept. 11, 2001.


The White House also said it preferred the testimony happen as soon as possible.


(Xinhua News Agency April 1, 2004)

White House Agrees to Let Rice Testify Publicly
Bush Says He Agrees to Let Rice Testify Publicly
Head of 9/11 Panel Says Attacks Might Have Been Prevented
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