Rice pressured for public testimony

March 28, 2004 at 5:26 PM
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WASHINGTON, March 28 (UPI) -- The pressure on national security advisor Condoleezza Rice to testify in public and under oath before the Sept. 11 Commission grew Sunday.

Republicans on the bipartisan panel urged her to answer questions about President Bush's counter-terror strategy before and after the attacks.

The calls come at a difficult time for Rice, who has faced questions this week about discrepancies between her public statements on the administration's policy towards al-Qaida and what warnings the White House had about their terror plans, and statements under oath by Richard A. Clarke, the former White House counter-terror czar.

"We do feel unanimously as a commission that she should testify in public," Thomas H. Kean, the commission chairman and former GOP governor of New Jersey, told Fox News Sunday. "We feel it's important to get her case out there."

Members of both parties on the bipartisan commission have said repeatedly that Rice's private, unsworn testimony before them on Feb. 7 was articulate and convincing.

"I think the White House is making a huge mistake," commission member and Reagan-era Navy Secretary John F. Lehman told ABC"s This Week. "She has nothing to hide."

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