Condoleezza Rice admits mistakes, but not in memoir

Wed Oct 13, 2010 11:18am EDT
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By Christine Kearney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Condoleezza Rice admits the Bush administration made mistakes after the September 11 attacks but readers seeking her view on the decisions leading to the war in Iraq will find no such grist in her new memoir.

"We made our mistakes undoubtedly," the former secretary of state told Reuters in an interview to promote her memoir "Extraordinary, Ordinary People," published on Tuesday in the United States.

But Rice remains proud of the achievements of the administration of President George W. Bush.

"For an administration, for which every day after September 11 was September 12, and every day you thought it was going to happen again. I am very grateful that we were able to do what we were able to do," she said.

Unlike former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, whose recent memoir made headlines for his assertion that he does not regret joining the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, Rice does not address her role in helping lead America to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in her memoir.

The memoir is the first of two planned volumes and reflects on her parents raising her as an only child in the race-fueled 1950s and 1960s American South. It also tells the story of how the education promoted by her parents -- both teachers -- led to her becoming the first black woman to serve as U.S. secretary of state.

The book ends with her appointment as national security adviser nearly eight months before the 9/11 attacks.

Her second memoir due next year will address her political life, but Rice said it will be years before the Bush administration can be fairly judged.   Continued...

<p>Then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice addresses a United Nations Security Council meeting convened to discuss the crisis in Gaza at the United Nations Headquarters in New York January 6, 2009. REUTERS/Mike Segar</p>