Cross Their Hearts:

Nine days after former National Security Council aide Richard Clarke first appeared on CBS’s “60 Minutes” and started attacking the administration’s handling of the al Qaeda threat, President Bush entered the White House briefing room and informed reporters: “Dr. Condoleezza Rice will provide public testimony” before the special commission examining the September 11 terrorist attacks.

This was after the administration had repeatedly insisted that allowing Rice to publicly testify would breach the privilege of the nation’s Chief Executive to receive confidential advice from his, well, confidential advisers. “Now, the commission and the leaders of the United States Congress have given written assurances that the appearance of the national security advisor will not be used as a precedent in the conduct of future inquiries,” said Bush.