Sunday, April 29, 2007
Tenet interview at Time
This guy will get the Robert McNamera treatment by history.
So NOW he writes a book, NOW he describes the pathology of the White House's decisionmaking process (see James Fallows at the Atlantic on how we've long known that there was no discussion about whether to go to war).
Tenet was worse than merely spineless when this all happened for real, back when he could have done something about it. He was a willing participant in the deception. He sold the Agency out to get to be part of the in-crowd.
God only knows why, by the way. Is there something about President Bush's personal magnetism that doesn't translate over the TV? Would we, too, go weak in the knees like Tenet did when Bush called him "Mr. Intelligency" or whatever the hell happened? And where was the media? Where was the opposition party? Why did everyone roll over?
The bit in that interview about how "Intelligence does not absolve policymakers of responsibility to ask tough questions," is disgusting. You're a friggin' grown-up, George. You were the Director of the goddamn CIA. PUSH BACK IF THEY'RE DOING SOMETHING COMPLETLY UNTETHERED! "Yessir, Mr. President, there are WMD there! Or at least, we can make a slam-dunk case on TV! Who'll know the difference?"
That there was contant pressure on the CIA analysts, on the WMD issue, and that Tenet sold them out, has been publically available knowledge for about four years, at least.
I remember reading that TNR article about the pressure on the CIA-- as a war supporter in 2003-- and just thinking, "my God, this is going to be everywhere." Just like I felt about the Boston Globe article breaking the news in 2000 that then-Gov. Bush had gone AWOL from the National Guard.
I was wrong both times. I still don't understand fully what the media's been up to all this time.
[Edited: slight rewording, typo-fixing, deleted the note at the end of the Swampland comment intended for the poster there]