Idle Question About Pre-9/11 Briefings

The papers and pundits are abuzz about the revalation that our CIA Director met with GW Bush at most twice in August of 2001, including only one meeting while Bush was on his extended vacation in Crawford, TX. Leaving aside the issue of whether other forms of communication might have worked — did they ever speak by phone? — here's the real question I wish someone would ask:

How often did DCIA George Tenet meet with Dick Cheney during that period?

After all, it seems increasingly and unavoidably clear that GW Bush is not in charge:

Q. Mr. President, Why are you and the vice president insisting on appearing together before the 9/11 commission? And Mr. President, who will you be handing the Iraqi government over to on June 30?

A. We'll find that out soon. That's what Mr. Brahimi is doing. He's figuring out the nature of the entity we'll be handing sovereignty over. And secondly, because the the 9/11 commission wants to ask us questions. That's why we're meeting, and I look forward to meeting with them and answering their questions.

Q. Mr. President, I was asking why you're appearing together rather than separately, which was their request.

A. Because it's a good chance for both of us to answer questions that the 9/11 commission is looking forward to asking us, and I'm looking forward to answering them.

Let's see. Hold on for a minute. Oh — I've got some must calls, I'm sorry.

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