This corroborates completely my thesis on the Bush admininistration's reactions to the 9-11 attacks and the destructive consequences to our well-being. According to Webster, "terrified" is defined as "filled with terror", and also defined as "panicky" and "thrown into an intense state of fear or desperation."
Emergency responders teach and train endlessly to avoid panic in the face of danger because such emotion blocks the essential thought processes needed to react successfully.
The inference is that Rice is now admitting that the president allowed his administration to panic and act out of desperation. She did not say they were "concerned", no, they were "terrified." Her explanation now that she is out of the bubble of the Bush White House media handlers is the most plausible explanation I have heard to date... and frankly was obvious at the time: Bush and Cheney panicked.
Her statement in fact gives rationale explanation to the actions taken after 9-11: the flailing about looking for bogeymen, the blaming of uninvolved nations, the abrogation of habeus corpus... panic. All these actions, in the longer term, weakened our naiton and any moral authority we may have had in the world. Somewhere Osama was smiling because these are the reactions that a terrorist desires but usually does not expect in such quantity.
Osama bin Laden knew that he could not destroy the United States with a few airplanes, al Qaeda was not a direct existential threat to the US; but he could terrorize us, and his hope was that we would panic and act out of desperation. We did, and these reactions indeed did more harm to the US than Osama could ever dream of.
And now, Condi Rice has admitted it.