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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Tenet Rejects Slam Dunk

Kevin Drum:

"Slam Dunk": ....George Tenet says he's pissed off at whoever it was who leaked his "slam dunk" comment to Bob Woodward:

The phrase "slam dunk" didn't refer to whether Saddam Hussein actually had WMDs, says Tenet; the CIA thought he did. He says he was talking about what information could be used to make that case when he uttered those words. "We can put a better case together for a public case. That's what I meant," explains Tenet.

....He says he doesn't know who leaked it but says there were only a handful of people in the room.

"It's the most despicable thing that ever happened to me," Tenet says. "You don't do this. You don't throw somebody overboard just because it's a deflection. Is that honorable? It's not honorable to me."

Well....color me unconvinced. Given a couple of years to think it over, that's probably the kind of story I'd come up with too, but I think I'd try to make it more believable. Frankly, the table-pounding declaration that something is a "slam dunk" doesn't really sound like the kind of thing you'd say if you were merely agreeing that your PowerPoint presentation could use some sprucing up, does it?

But who knows. Maybe that really is the way Tenet talks. As for his belated discovery that the Bush White House doesn't always behave in honorable ways, all I can say is: I hope Tenet's take on foreign leaders was more insightful than his take on his own boss. The fact that loyalty is a one-way street with Bush the Younger is not exactly the news of the century.

This is the part of the story that I noticed:

Ex-C.I.A. Chief, in Book, Assails Cheney on Iraq, by Scott Shane and Mark Mazzetti, NY Times: George J. Tenet, the former director of central intelligence, has lashed out against Vice President Dick Cheney and other Bush administration officials in a new book, saying they pushed the country to war in Iraq without ever conducting a “serious debate” about whether Saddam Hussein posed an imminent threat to the United States.

The ... book ... is the first detailed account by a member of the president’s inner circle of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the decision to invade Iraq and the failure to find the unconventional weapons that were a major justification for the war.

“There was never a serious debate that I know of within the administration about the imminence of the Iraqi threat,” Mr. Tenet writes in a devastating judgment that is likely to be debated for many years. Nor, he adds, “was there ever a significant discussion” about the possibility of containing Iraq without an invasion.

But we knew that.

    Posted by on Thursday, April 26, 2007 at 08:01 PM in Economics, Iraq and Afghanistan, Politics | Permalink  TrackBack (0)  Comments (24)

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