July 24, 2003
White House Institution To Be Renamed: National Insecurity Council
Earlier this month CIA Director George Tenet accepted responsibility for the assertion in George Bush's State of the Union address that Iraq had tried to secure uranium in Africa. . . .

. . . [I]t now turns out that yet another administration official -- Stephen Hadley of the National Security Council -- has stepped forward to take a piece of the blame himself. . . .

- Washington Post, July 23
A Memo From Stephen Hadley to Condoleezza Rice

From: Stephen Hadley
To: NSC Director Rice

Thank you so much for pointing out that I had forgotten to wear a tie today. Luckily I keep a spare one in my office -- if I could only remember where I put it.

I wanted to again apologize for my failure to remember the two memos and the phone call from George Tenet last October. Perhaps I've been overwhelmed by our efforts to find WMD in Iraq -- I know, I forgot that we're no longer looking for them. I have instituted a big change in the way I keep track of things -- you saw the big white-board on my office wall? So that I have crossed out Iraq and written SYRIA and IRAN over "Iraq" with indelible blue markers.

I'm sorry about recommending we release those nine pages of the National Intelligence Estimate. I forgot to check whether it had those warnings from the State and Energy Departments in there. I had forgotten about those. I'm sorry I forgot about North Korea, but that really wasn't my fault.

I know I have caused you and the President endless embarrassment because of these mistakes, but I will endeavor to fulfill his recently expressed confidence in me nonetheless.

I wanted to tell you -- I have the feeling that we've all forgotten something very important in all of the excitement about Iraq, but I can't remember what it is.

Something about New York and some building there. And maybe some bearded guy? If this rings a bell with you, please let me know and we can re-brief the President on it.

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:39 AM in News