Wednesday, May 02, 2007

George, George, why did you wait so long?

Yesterday’s post, Condi, Condi, how could you?, covered the White House’s response to George Tenet’s accusation that Bush planned to attack Iraq well before 9/11. There doesn’t appear to be any doubt that even before Bush became president, he wanted to take out Saddam Hussein. Tenet gets a “plus” for telling the truth on this issue.

However, I can’t let former CIA director George Tenet off the hook because in his new book, At the Center of the Storm, Tenet accuses the White House of trying to shift blame to the CIA by falsely asserting that he told President Bush finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq would be a "slam dunk."

It’s pretty amazing to watch George Tenet try to wiggle out his “slam dunk” comment to President Bush. It is definitely the height of hypocrisy, resulting in a big “minus” for George that outweighs his plus.

On April 28, six former CIA officials, including top terrorism experts, sent a letter to Tenet, accusing him of hypocrisy for not speaking out earlier. The letter opens with “…You are on record complaining about the ‘damage to your reputation.’ In our view the damage to your reputation is inconsequential compared to the harm your actions have caused for the U.S. soldiers engaged in combat in Iraq and the national security of the U.S.”

The rest of the letter is a humdinger: “By your silence you helped build the case for war…Instead of resigning in protest…you…allowed the Bush Administration to cite your participation in these deliberations to justify their decision to go to war.” The last paragraph makes an unusual request: “…we encourage you to donate at least half of the royalties from your book sales to the verterans and their families, who have paid and are paying the price for when you could have made a difference.”

One of the letter’s signers is former CIA official, Ray McGovern. He was interviewed on Democracy Now! by Amy Goodman Tuesday morning. You can watch a short clip of his interview here or a longer clip here, which also includes a transcript of the interview. McGovern describes what Tenet said he meant when he used the words “slam dunk.” I think you’ll agree that Tenet’s flim-flam excuse is worse than the truth.

(photo of George Tenet receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom –

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