In a letter written Saturday to former CIA Director George Tenet, six former CIA officers described their former boss as “the Alberto Gonzales of the intelligence community,” and called his book “an admission of failed leadership.”

The writers said Tenet has “a moral obligation” to return the Medal of Freedom he received from President Bush.

The writers said they agree that Bush administration officials took the nation to war “for flimsy reasons,” and that it has proved “ill-advised and wrong-headed.”

But, they added, “your lament that you are a victim in a process you helped direct is self-serving, misleading and, as head of the intelligence community, an admission of failed leadership.

“You were not a victim. You were a willing participant in a poorly considered policy to start an unnecessary war and you share culpability with Dick Cheney and George Bush for the debacle in Iraq.”

From the outside, it looks like Tenet is going to try to cover his opportunist buns by appealing to the anti-war majority in the United States. Too bad he didn’t have that sort of “courage” in 2003.



  1. Roc Rizzo says:

    Tenet sure sounded like a typical scapegoat for the administration on 60 Minutes.

    I think that if he did not speak up, he rightly should have resigned.

    If he couldn’t see who was considering going to war with Iraq, he had no business in the intelligence industry.

  2. MikeN says:

    Tenet is making stuff up after the fact so people won’t blame him. He is hoping to get another decent job with Democrats. The way to do that is to make a splash by attacking Republicans.
    However when he was under oath in 2003, he said that he expected weapons to be found in Iraq after an invasion. He didn’t use the words slam dunk but that sounds like he’s pretty sure.

    He also made up a meeting with Richard Perle in the book. He says Perle told him in person at the White House on Sept 12 that Iraq would have to pay for what happened yesterday, except Perle was in France at the time.

  3. Mike says:

    This Medal of Freedom business is silly in the first place.

  4. Sounds the Alarm says:

    #3 – Its only silly when given to people like Tenet.

  5. BubbaRay says:

    #3 Comment by Mike — 4/30/2007 @ 5:42 am

    This Medal of Freedom business is silly in the first place.

    Don’t tell Harry S Truman or Jackie Kennedy.

    President John F. Kennedy authorized the practice of awarding Presidential Medals of Freedom to persons “for especially meritorious contribution to (1) the security or national interests of the United States, or (2) world peace, or (3) cultural or other significant public or private endeavors” (Executive Order 11085 dated Feb. 22, 1963).

  6. Mr. Fusion says:

    When I saw Tenet on 60 Minutes, it appeared he was just trying to cover his ass. He was not convincing and appeared to be trivializing and denying the indefensible. His dismissing of torture as just “Enhanced Interrogations” was the end of the interview for me. I preferred to wash the dinner dishes instead.

    As Roc pointed out in #1, if he disagreed then he should have either spoken out or resigned.

  7. faustus says:

    why didn’t those guys say what they really feel???

  8. Mike says:

    #4, 5, The government exists only out of utility. The fact that it hands out awards for being good citizens reeks of collectivist poo.

  9. MikeN says:

    Yes he should have said something at the time, especially since he’sd claiming he was warning of a multiple target attack by Al Qaeda in summer 2001, and that he wanted to invade Afganistan at the time.

  10. Greg Allen says:

    I found Tenet’s “poor me” whining really irritating. If he was misrepresented, he should have said so BEFORE THE FRIGGIN’ WAR when it might have saved lives– not four years later.

  11. Greg Allen says:

    Honest question… has ANY ex-administration member written a complementary book about Bush? It seems like they mostly leave despising GW.

  12. MikeN says:

    Greg, good point. It seems that way because the media will hype books that criticize Republicans. So you hear about Richard Clarke blaming George Bush, the Treasury Secretary and the Faith Based guy criticizing Bush(who say they were misquoted), etc.

  13. TJGeezer says:

    #12 – So… the sort of non-blaming books often written by people after service under a president are missing here because the media won’t cover them? Did I miss something?

    In the letter linked above, I thought the most important point made was that Tenet came from political service in congress – and that gathering real “you shall know the truth” type intel demands a polar opposite outlook. Politicizing the CIA was a guarantee that its intel would be distorted at the top to fit a current administration’s agenda. Which is exactly what Tenet helped do, and he STILL sees nothing wrong with that.

    If there’s anyone here with service at professional, not political, levels of the CIA, I bet they are rolling their eyes at Tenet’s inability to see why his approach sabotaged the CIA’s basic mission. None of the senior pols are likely to be able to understand the value of real intel, and I’m not pointing at Republicans here. Bush/Cheney are just worse than most in that regard, not different.

  14. Awake says:

    Add one more guy to the “Heck of a Job” list.
    Given the meaning that “Heck of a job” now defines, it would be a fun task to make a list of Bush staff that have not done a “Heck of a job”.
    Thinking… thinking… thinking…
    hmmm… strange… no names come to mind…. everyone around the Bush administration seems to be doing an “Heck of a job”!
    Yay for conservatives… at least you have to congratulate them for consistency!

  15. OhForTheLoveOf says:

    #12 – Bwahahahahahah hahahahahaha heheheheheeh hohohohohhohoho hahahahaha giggle snort hohahehoho snicker Bwahahahahahah hahahahahaha heheheheheeh hohohohohhohoho hahahahaha giggle snort hohahehoho snicker Bwahahahahahah hahahahahaha heheheheheeh hohohohohhohoho hahahahaha giggle snort hohahehoho snicker Bwahahahahahah hahahahahaha heheheheheeh hohohohohhohoho hahahahaha giggle snort hohahehoho snicker

    That’s a good one… Those crazy liberal cats in the media are at it again… Whoa… I gotta catch my breath… You are funny… I hope you post here a lot…

  16. John S says:

    #15- OFTLO you will be glad to know that MikeN has been posting alot as of late… and he makes the other posters of his type (you know who they are) look like bleeding heart liberals. Plus he never varies, there is no reason to any of his posts at all. Like Awake said at least they have consistency on their side.

    John S

  17. Roc Rizzo says:

    Funny,
    I don’t think that I have ever seen that bastion of “Liberal Media,” Fox News bash the conservatives at all.
    Staunch members of the “Liberal Media,” such as Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, and Ann Coulter make their living repeating the talking points of the Republican White House.

  18. MikeN says:

    By the way, Tenet debunks the entire Downing Street Memo in his book. Says that Sir Richard told him he objected to the word fixed in the draft, and had it changed.

  19. bone says:

    Mike N correctly said:
    “Tenet made up a meeting with Richard Perle in the book. He says Perle told him in person at the White House on Sept 12 that Iraq would have to pay for what happened yesterday, except Perle was in France at the time” I heard him boldly, authoritively, assuredly, but very incorrectly say in the 60 minutes interview “the very next day…Sept 12th”

    But if Mike has undermined Tenet’s credibility, then how could such an unbelieveable source “debunk the entire Downing Street Memo” or have the credibility debunk anything for that matter?

    I’m not saying anything one way or the the other about the validity of the memos, just pointing out the flaw in Mike N’s logic. He is cherry-picking.

  20. MikeN says:

    You say I’m cherry-picking when I’m the one that pointed out both things. I’m still trying to figure out Tenet’s angle here. It could be that he is using the wrong date for the conversation with Perle, though that really takes the emphasis off. It could be the second point about the Downing Street Memo is another lie(Indeed British English is different, and the word fixed strikes me as uninteresting in that context).

  21. MikeN says:

    OK, I see your point. Maybe debunk was the wrong word. I meant to say that Tenet said the DSM ‘scandal’ was invalid. I didn’t realize debunk meant a statement of fact.

  22. doug says:

    #20. I happen to have a copy of Mr. Tenet’s book. (What can I say – I was promised a Medal of Freedom if I could make it all the way through without laughing in derision.) And right there in the front he makes a BIG deal about running into Perle – and is emphatic that it is on 9/12 – with Perle blaming the Iraqis for the attacks.

    It is quite a dramatic scene. Fighters flying CAP over D.C., Tenet escorted in the early morning hours to the White House in an armored SUV, bleary-eyed from having only gotten a few hours sleep the night before. Guards with guns drawn.

    And the sinister neocon Perle (what’s he doing at the White House before me? Tenet wonders), ready to lump it all on Saddam, even though from the passenger manifests Tenet knows that it was AQ.

    Take it out of 9/12 and it does lose a lot of its drama. I have no doubt that the NeoCon Crusaders [TM] were ready and willing to believe that Iraq had something to do with 9/11, and jumped at the chance to use it as a pretext for invading Iraq. Lover-boy Wolfie was a broken-record on the subject, according to other sources, and had to be reigned in.

  23. Greg Allen says:

    This book is just one more piece of evidence showing that the Bush administration is perhaps the worst, more incompetent, most shameless in the history of the USA.

    … and the Republicans cheered him all along the way.


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