Skip to comments.Condoleezza Rice on the Moment She Thought President Bush Could Have Been Poisoned
Posted on 11/01/2011 8:17:28 AM PDT by EternalVigilance
It was just a few weeks after September 11, 2001 when Condoleezza Rice accompanied the president on a trip to China for the APEC summit. In Shanghai Vice President Cheney appeared on a secure video conference line and delivered President George W. Bush this message:
The Vice President came on the screen and said that the White House detectors have detected botulinum toxin, and we were all those of who exposed were going to die, Rice told me.
He said that?
Yes, he said that. And I remember everybody just sort of freezing, and the President saying, What was that? What was that, Dick? Rice, who was the National Security Advisor at the time, said.
Botulinum toxin is, according to the Center for Biosecurity, the most poisonous substance known and extremely potent and lethal.
The exposure time meant that she and those on the trip Bush, Secretary of State Colin Powell and Chief of Staff Andy Card were all at risk, Rice told me. -----
[Hadley] has this very dry sense of humor. And he said, Let me put it this way. If the mice are feet up, were toast. If the mice are feet down, were fine, Rice told me.
Wait a second. For 24 hours we didnt know if the President had been poisoned? I asked.
For 24 hours, we were in Shanghai, we did not know the results of those tests, she said.
(Excerpt) Read more at gma.yahoo.com ...
I've opened many a meeting or conversation with a line like that. It's a real attention getter.
It is no wonder Presidents age so fast in office...with stress like this behind the scenes and having to have a normal day for the cameras.
Bush needed a good food tester. Someone who could be expendable. Like,,,oh, I don’t know,,,,O’Bastard.
But a review of the White House visitor logs revealed that Nancy Pelosi paid a visit to the Oval Office right around the time of the sample that caused the alarm, then the all clear was issued.
It’s like going in to a company meeting where they tell employees they are going to be leaving out of one of two doors. One they have a job, the other they don’t.
Cheney covers the botulinum scare in detail in his book. It was quite a surreal few days. Considering how much very intense stuff was going on behind the scenes (and publicly, for that matter) it’s still impressive to me how well they all held things together.
“We’re all going to die anyway, so let’s make this meeting count!”
The mice lived. It wasn’t botulism.
did they ever find out if it was a false positive or actual threat?
if actual threat, did they identify the source?
They went back to their day jobs as Republican Congressmen.
There was another really interesting thing that came out in Cheney’s book. Due to the nagging concerns about his health, Cheney asked his counsel to research the Constitutional processes for replacement of the VP under various health conditions. They discovered a curious hole in the process. Of course, the VP is the one person in the administration that the POTUS cannot fire (because he is elected on his own and is not an appointee). The Constitution is clear about replacing the VP if the VP dies, but it says nothing about what to do if the VP suffers a debilitating illness (like a stroke) that leaves him unable to fulfill his duties, but also unable to resign, and there’s nobody that can act for him. Apparently, nobody had ever contemplated such a circumstance but it certainly is a very real possibility nomatter who the VP is.
A curious loophole, that needed fixing.
Cheney addressed it by secretly (only he and his counsel and the POTUS knew of it) writing and signing a letter of resignation, to be kept secure by the counsel, who was to present the letter to the President should circumstances happen as described. It was worded such that it was effective immediately and only upon the President’s receipt and acceptance of the letter. That way, they could proceed to appoint a new VP.
Pretty clever solution, I thought, but something that probably ought to be formally addressed somehow.
Good job! That really made me LOL.
I think it was a false positive. The field test kits are fast but often can be triggered by a few harmless compounds, and it takes further (slower) testing to see which one it was.
I agree, on both counts.
Hadn't thought of that. Nancy Pelosi could actually be of service to her country.
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