The George Tenet story

Andrew McCarthy finds several areas to dispute the CIA director's story as told on 60 Minutes last night. Some of the disputes are on matters of fact and others on analysis and argument. It is worth reading. I did not watch it, but my reading of accounts describing it suggest a mixed bag. I don't see any merit in his beef with the Vice President about his slam dunk comment.

It is unfortunate that he apparently said nothing about the CIA leaks that were intended to undermine the administration's war effort after it appeared that the CIA original analysis about WMD could not be proved. Specifically the notorious Wilson's and their duplicitous effort to sow the "Bush lied" theme that has done so much to erode support for winning the war.

I thought his statements about the information obtained through vigorous examination of al Qaeda leaders was interesting and it undercut the Democrats and McCain on their "torture" theme.

Captain's Quarters also gathers dissenting opinions including one from Michael Ledeen.

This NBC News story details from Tenet's book on some of the al Qaeda plots that were foiled. It is a long list and many appear to be significant.

Jed Babbin finds things to criticize also.

Christopher Hitchens
says the book is disgraceful.


... Tenet informed the Senate armed services committee that: "We believe that Saddam never abandoned his nuclear weapons program." It is a little bit late for him to pose as if Iraq was a threat concocted in some crepuscular corner of the vice president's office. And it's pathetic for him to say, even in the feeble way that he chooses to phrase it, that "there was never a serious debate that I know of within the administration about the imminence of the Iraqi threat." (Emphasis added.) There had been a very serious debate over the course of at least three preceding administrations, whether Tenet "knew" of it or not....

What is silly is for him to be so defensive about the previous positions he took. They presumably were taken in good faith. Perhaps he relied too much on Ms. Wilson's WMD group. That would be a story worth telling and it might also explain why they were so eager to shift the blame for their work.


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