Thursday, April 26, 2007
Tenet swings... and misses
Frankly I do not understand Tenets malfunction on this. In his new found role as aggrieved administration victim Tenet claims that "slam dunk" was used to make the case that the CIA was vouching that Saddam did in fact have those weapons. In fact what Woodward reported within a year of Tenets statement was exactly what Tenet is saying now: That Tenet had said that the case to be made for Iraqi WMD was a slam dunk. The Woodward quote is "slam dunk case". "Case" in this context clearly means the argument to be forwarded, not the actual circumstances that will prove out when the action being argued is taken. All the hot air expended on "slam dunk" following Woodward's book was in that context, and that context is well understood. If Tenet did not like the way his quote was used in the meantime, he should have spoken up well before April of 2007.
Tenet tells 60 minutes that he did believe that Iraq held WMD. One is left to wonder what his issue is then. Is his justification now that he only meant then that the administration should put forth a better case for something which ultimately proved untrue? And we should nod our heads and rub our chins in contemplation at the shoddy way in which he was handled? He thought they weren't being persuasive enough to make a case which is now clear ought not have been made in the first place. Good point Tenet! The whining about your reputation and trustworthiness is certain to change minds with logic like that.
His argument would only be valid if, at the time in question, Tenet had been sounding alarms and trying to stop the rush to war based upon faulty and cherry picked intelligence. He could then protest that the slam dunk quote was taken out of context. He didn't do that. In fact, in this context, it appears Tenet was fully on board and cheer leading a more effective push to war based upon his faulty belief in the WMD. How then does his current logic exonerate him?
Tenet did know certain facts which ought to have led to him to raise alarms and try his best to find the truth of the matter well before the war started. How is it that after he took the Niger/Iraq uranium claims out of a Presidential speech in October of 2002, but that claim was included in the 2003 State of the Union address, that Tenet did not immediately find out how that had been done. Beyond questioning the intelligence ginned from the dissidents and tortured from suspected Al Qaeda agents detained by America, the State of the Union address alone should have brought Tenet to question the entire affair.
Finally let me just observe how disingenuous Tenet appears in now crying after accepting the medal of freedom for his role in this, and then staying silent for 4 plus years. Now that the obvious error of the war is clear for all but the most blind to see, one of the principal architects of the case that was made is crying foul. Guess what Tenet. You made your bed with those folks, so you have to sleep in it. He'll make plenty of money with his blood stained book, and self servicing book tour, (I can not WAIT for that Daily Show) but Tenet will always be associated with this Iraq debacle. He may not like that, but it is as it should be.
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