Q: Who is the toughest 9/11 Commissioner?

A: Until yesterday, the consensus would probably have been for Richard Ben-Veniste. Last month, he made the ordinarily unflappable Condoleezza Rice squirm as he demanded the name of the August 6, 2001 President's Daily Briefing (it was "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.")

But asked to explain the Commission's genial get-together with former Mayor Giuliani yesterday, Ben-Veniste said this:

"Mayor Giuliani exhibited extraordinary leadership on the day of 9/11 and on the aftermath. The incredible bravery of New York's finest--both firefighters and police, Port Authority and NYPD--was extraordinary, and it needed to be showcased, if you will, in a public hearing once again.”

Non-Sequitur: Russertgate
check out the BL mention in today's Daily News (also picked up by Drudge and Romenesko.)