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Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made a highly unusual public appearance Thursday — taking the witness stand for the prosecution in a criminal case against a former CIA officer on trial for leaking details of a top-secret spy program.
Rice, who once traveled the globe as America’s top diplomat, found herself describing another type of diplomacy to a federal court jury: the Bush administration’s effort in 2003 to kill a New York Times story that threatened to reveal a CIA effort to undermine Iran’s nuclear program by secretly providing Tehran with flawed plans for an atomic weapon.
Rice told jurors that she was acting on the direct orders of President George W. Bush when she asked the Times not to go forward with the article, written by veteran national security correspondent James Risen.