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Condoleezza Rice on the Moment She Thought President Bush Could Have Been Poisoned
ABC News ^ | November 1, 2011 | George Stephanopoulos

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, we’re toast. If the mice are feet down, we’re fine,’” Rice told me.

“Wait a second. For 24 hours we didn’t 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 ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News
KEYWORDS: bush; cheney; rice

1 posted on 11/01/2011 8:17:32 AM PDT by EternalVigilance
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To: EternalVigilance
“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,”

I've opened many a meeting or conversation with a line like that. It's a real attention getter.

2 posted on 11/01/2011 8:19:56 AM PDT by South Hawthorne (In Memory of my dear Friend Henry Lee II)
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To: EternalVigilance

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.
http://www.godsebook.org/bush_aging.jpg


3 posted on 11/01/2011 8:25:47 AM PDT by An American! (Proud To Be An American!)
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To: EternalVigilance

Bush needed a good food tester. Someone who could be expendable. Like,,,oh, I don’t know,,,,O’Bastard.


4 posted on 11/01/2011 8:26:27 AM PDT by crosshairs (Liberalism is to truth, what east is to west.)
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To: EternalVigilance
"The Vice President came on the screen and said that the White House detectors have detected botulinum toxin ... For 24 hours, we were in Shanghai, we did not know the results of those tests."

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.

5 posted on 11/01/2011 8:28:37 AM PDT by NonValueAdded (So much stress was put on Bush's Fault that it finally let go, magnitude 6)
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To: Owl_Eagle

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.


6 posted on 11/01/2011 8:28:37 AM PDT by almost done by half
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To: An American!

No kidding.


7 posted on 11/01/2011 8:30:31 AM PDT by EternalVigilance ('If man is not governed by God, he will be ruled by tyrants.' -- William Penn)
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To: EternalVigilance

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.


8 posted on 11/01/2011 8:31:53 AM PDT by Ramius (personally, I give us... one chance in three. More tea?)
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To: Owl_Eagle

“We’re all going to die anyway, so let’s make this meeting count!”


9 posted on 11/01/2011 8:32:25 AM PDT by EternalVigilance ('If man is not governed by God, he will be ruled by tyrants.' -- William Penn)
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To: Ramius

Interesting.


10 posted on 11/01/2011 8:33:26 AM PDT by EternalVigilance ('If man is not governed by God, he will be ruled by tyrants.' -- William Penn)
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To: EternalVigilance
So.........
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE MICE????
11 posted on 11/01/2011 8:36:45 AM PDT by Logic n' Reason (N/A)
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To: Logic n' Reason

The mice lived. It wasn’t botulism.


12 posted on 11/01/2011 8:42:47 AM PDT by Ramius (personally, I give us... one chance in three. More tea?)
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To: Ramius

did they ever find out if it was a false positive or actual threat?

if actual threat, did they identify the source?


13 posted on 11/01/2011 8:43:38 AM PDT by sten (fighting tyranny never goes out of style)
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To: Logic n' Reason
So.........WHAT HAPPENED TO THE MICE????

They went back to their day jobs as Republican Congressmen.

14 posted on 11/01/2011 8:53:48 AM PDT by EternalVigilance ('If man is not governed by God, he will be ruled by tyrants.' -- William Penn)
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To: EternalVigilance
I think I know how President Bush became exposed to botulinum toxin:


15 posted on 11/01/2011 8:56:19 AM PDT by AuH2ORepublican (If a politician won't protect innocent babies, what makes you think that he'll protect your rights?)
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To: EternalVigilance

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.


16 posted on 11/01/2011 9:00:48 AM PDT by Ramius (personally, I give us... one chance in three. More tea?)
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To: Logic n' Reason

Good job! That really made me LOL.
Thanks. :)


17 posted on 11/01/2011 9:01:28 AM PDT by carenot (We'd rather hold on to the myth than fight for the reality)
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To: sten

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.


18 posted on 11/01/2011 9:03:21 AM PDT by Ramius (personally, I give us... one chance in three. More tea?)
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To: Ramius
Pretty clever solution, I thought, but something that probably ought to be formally addressed somehow.

I agree, on both counts.

19 posted on 11/01/2011 9:04:22 AM PDT by EternalVigilance ('If man is not governed by God, he will be ruled by tyrants.' -- William Penn)
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To: crosshairs
“Bush needed a good food tester. Someone who could be expendable. Like,,,oh, I don’t know,,,,O’Bastard.”

Hadn't thought of that. Nancy Pelosi could actually be of service to her country.

20 posted on 11/01/2011 9:06:01 AM PDT by HereInTheHeartland (I love how the FR spellchecker doesn't recognize the word "Obama")
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To: Ramius

Just to clarify... the Constitution does clearly say that a POTUS that is debilitated and unable to fulfill his duties may indeed be succeeded by the VP. That circumstance was allowed for, but nobody thought to do the same thing for the VP.


21 posted on 11/01/2011 9:08:13 AM PDT by Ramius (personally, I give us... one chance in three. More tea?)
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To: Ramius
...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.

I thought you were describing the current situation.

22 posted on 11/01/2011 9:13:39 AM PDT by Ken H (They are running out of other people's money. )
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To: sten; archy

Many possibilities.... I’ve used over the counter “raid” bug spray to set off chemical agent detectors before as a distraction on ummmm.....tests of site security.

Many common items will give false positives to sensors be they man made or animal.


23 posted on 11/01/2011 9:14:32 AM PDT by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But have a plan to kill everyone you meet)
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To: EternalVigilance

It opens up the prospect for a really messy Constitutional crisis. Imagine if the VP had a stroke and was in a coma for some time. During that time there is no one that can succeed the President. If he President then died somehow they can’t legally skip over the VP and continue with the succession plan to Speaker of the House, because the VP hasn’t died.

It would be a mess. In a politically contentious arena it could be chaotic and potentially paralyzing. It would leave the country suddenly and seriously vulnerable.


24 posted on 11/01/2011 9:14:43 AM PDT by Ramius (personally, I give us... one chance in three. More tea?)
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To: Ramius

What if the VP is brain-dead?


25 posted on 11/01/2011 9:28:43 AM PDT by freedomlover (Make sure you're in love - before you move in the heavy stuff)
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To: Ramius

If the VP is comatose and the president dies I imagine that the VP would then be president, perhaps passively sworn in, and then the rules for incapacitated presidents would take over.


26 posted on 11/01/2011 9:30:40 AM PDT by arthurus (Read Hazlitt's "Economics In One Lesson.")
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To: freedomlover

“What if the VP is brain-dead?”

That is not a hypothetical question, is it?


27 posted on 11/01/2011 9:41:55 AM PDT by TexasRepublic (Socialism is the gospel of envy and the religion of thieves)
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To: Ramius

If if were such that the speaker of the house succeeded the v.p., then Denny Hastert would have become v.p. For about five minutes.


28 posted on 11/01/2011 9:50:22 AM PDT by Excellence ( CTRL-GALT-DELETE)
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To: Owl_Eagle

I rather liked Dubya’s respone:

‘What was that? What was that, Dick?’


29 posted on 11/01/2011 9:50:36 AM PDT by Retired Greyhound (.)
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To: arthurus

I don’t know... there’s a pretty good argument that if the VP can’t be sworn in, he can’t take the office. He also can’t appoint a new VP.

It seems logical that the Constitutionally consistent course is for the Speaker to be sworn in as POTUS. But that’s not literally in the law and it would no doubt have to be settled by the SCOTUS. But it would still be a time of chaos, and probably no end of challenges. The succession plan has to be clear, unambiguous and instantaneous. Anything else leaves the nation possibly paralyzed and vulnerable without a CINC. Even a few hours of confusion is too much.

Come to think of it... it makes a good plot for a novel.

It’s a little Constitutional housekeeping matter that Congress really ought to formally deal with. It shouldn’t be difficult if done ahead of time. As has been observed, our current VP is already arguably brain-dead.

:-)


30 posted on 11/01/2011 10:06:34 AM PDT by Ramius (personally, I give us... one chance in three. More tea?)
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To: Retired Greyhound

Heh... yeah. “So... what was that part again about everybody dying?” In hindsight it’s almost Python-esque.


31 posted on 11/01/2011 10:09:53 AM PDT by Ramius (personally, I give us... one chance in three. More tea?)
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To: freedomlover
"What if the VP is brain-dead?"

You must be referring to the current situation.....

32 posted on 11/01/2011 10:11:53 AM PDT by Reo
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To: freedomlover
"What if the VP is brain-dead?"

You must be referring to the current situation.....

33 posted on 11/01/2011 10:13:09 AM PDT by Reo
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To: EternalVigilance

GW stopped munching on his pretzel in mid-bite, looked me in the eyes and asked.. “Condi, Am I going to die?”

“No, Mr. President, not today. More near beer, GW?”

Cheney chuckled..


34 posted on 11/01/2011 10:26:10 AM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Godspeed .. Monthly Donor Onboard .. Obama: Epic Fail or Bust!!!)
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To: AuH2ORepublican

In DC they say, “One more facelift and Nancy will be wearing a goatee”.


35 posted on 11/01/2011 10:29:57 AM PDT by darth
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To: Ramius

Heh... yeah. “So... what was that part again about everybody dying?” In hindsight it’s almost Python-esque.


Mr. Death: [pointing] THE SALMON MOUSSE!!


36 posted on 11/01/2011 10:37:01 AM PDT by freedomlover (Make sure you're in love - before you move in the heavy stuff)
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To: Ramius

I suspect that dealing with it would require an Amendment. If both are gone maybe a snap election with 30 days or 90 days to campaign.


37 posted on 11/01/2011 10:43:31 AM PDT by arthurus (Read Hazlitt's "Economics In One Lesson.")
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To: Retired Greyhound
‘What was that? What was that, Dick?’


38 posted on 11/01/2011 10:48:29 AM PDT by South Hawthorne (In Memory of my dear Friend Henry Lee II)
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To: Ramius

“Just to clarify... the Constitution does clearly say that a POTUS that is debilitated and unable to fulfill his duties may indeed be succeeded by the VP. That circumstance was allowed for, but nobody thought to do the same thing for the VP.”

I think the founders did.

Article II, Section 1 provides:....” and the Congress may by Law provide for the case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall act accordingly, until the disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.”


39 posted on 11/01/2011 11:16:34 AM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: greeneyes

Interesting. Looks like the founders considered it but the
Congress forgot.


40 posted on 11/01/2011 11:20:20 AM PDT by Ramius (personally, I give us... one chance in three. More tea?)
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To: EternalVigilance

Whoa. Unbelievable. Was he allowed to tell Laura? Omgosh.


41 posted on 11/01/2011 11:23:20 AM PDT by Yaelle (Donate to Cain today to show the media they can't choose our candidate this time.)
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To: Ramius
... there’s a pretty good argument that if the VP can’t be sworn in, he can’t take the office.

Article II, Section 1 - ... "Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:" ...
IMHO, there is no argument. "Shall" leaves no doubt. But, IANAL.
42 posted on 11/01/2011 11:31:14 AM PDT by BuckeyeTexan (Man is not free unless government is limited. ~Ronald Reagan)
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To: Ramius
Yeh, well, most Congresscritters don't measure up to the founders intellectually or otherwise.
43 posted on 11/01/2011 11:41:47 AM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: freedomlover
What if the VP is brain-dead?

That's the situation we now face!

Regards,
GtG

44 posted on 11/01/2011 11:48:35 AM PDT by Gandalf_The_Gray (I live in my own little world, I like it 'cuz they know me here.)
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To: An American!

Rumor has it that after the President-elect receives his first threat matrix, he realizes exactly what he got himself into. I’m told it’s not a pretty sight and that not one has been visibly unmoved following said security briefing.


45 posted on 11/01/2011 11:49:43 AM PDT by BuckeyeTexan (Man is not free unless government is limited. ~Ronald Reagan)
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To: Owl_Eagle
“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.”

Then he said, "Psych!"

46 posted on 11/01/2011 11:55:22 AM PDT by beaversmom
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To: EternalVigilance
LOL!!!

Now that's funny right there, I don't care who you are!

47 posted on 11/01/2011 1:41:11 PM PDT by rmh47 (Go Kats! - Got Seven? [NRA Life Member])
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To: rmh47

:-)


48 posted on 11/01/2011 1:42:44 PM PDT by EternalVigilance ('If man is not governed by God, he will be ruled by tyrants.' -- William Penn)
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