A new biography of Vice President Dick Cheney, called Angler after his Secret Service codename, recounts how he and Donald Rumsfeld conspired to delay the military tribunals which the president had ordered to be set up to try the terrorist suspects.
Condoleezza Rice tried repeatedly to organise a meeting with the most senior figures in the government to discuss the tribunals, but Mr. Rumsfeld twice refused to attend, sending his deputy Paul Wolfowitz instead.
Pulitzer prize winning author Barton Gellman writes: "He did not regard her as an equal and barely hid it. The opinions of her staff did not interest him."
On finding Mr. Rumsfeld absent from a second meeting, CIA director George Tenet was so angry that he defied a direct order from Miss Rice to sit down and marched out of the meeting, declaring: "This is bullshit."
The book goes on: "Something happened to Rice's face, control melting away. Her eyes welled up and her next words caught in her throat. The men in the room did not know where to look.
'She started to cry,' said one of them. 'And she said - I can't remember the exact words because I was so shaken - something like: "We will talk about this again," and she turned and walked quickly out of the door.'"
Miss Rice had the last laugh. Mr. Rumsfeld was fired in 2006 as Iraq descended into civil war and Guantanamo Bay became a byword for abuse of power.
Making a girl cry...No doubt, one of the aspired-to platinum standards of testicular fortitude within the Bush administration.