The meetings were held in the White House Situation Room in the years immediately following the Sept. 11 attacks. Attending the sessions were Cheney, then-Bush aides Attorney General John Ashcroft, Secretary of State Colin Powell, CIA Director George Tenet and national security adviser Condoleezza Rice.
Much of this is sadly not surprising at this point. Two things stand out. According to the official, Bush himself was shielded from the process. There could be many reasonse why that course of action was taken, but none of them paint the president in a favorable light.
The second surprising thing was that the story offers up the second piece of evidence so far that John Ashcroft may have been the most levelheaded person in the decision making process.
"Why are we talking about this in the White House?" the network quoted Ashcroft as saying during one meeting. "History will not judge this kindly."
I think he's right.