Tenet’s Book (now w/Double Whopper Updates)

posted at 10:08 am on April 30, 2007 by see-dubya

I’d like to buy, and read, and quote from George Tenet’s new book. Interesting, scary stuff in there, like this:

…al-Qaida or groups affiliated with it have undertaken several other operations aimed at equaling or even surpassing the carnage of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The operations, which either were thwarted by authorities or were canceled for one reason or another, included efforts to assassinate Vice President Al Gore with anti-tank missiles during a trip to Saudi Arabia, release cyanide in the New York subway system and procure weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, from Pakistani nuclear scientists.

As scary as this is, it’s bracing stuff about the nature of the conflicts we face. It’s also reassuring about the competence shown by our intelligence, law enforcement, and politicians in stopping these plots.

But.

When the Weekly Standard catches him telling a whopper like this, I can’t rely on it. And that comes on the heels of VDH’s big catch–Tenet changing his story about his beliefs about the “slam dunk”. Tenet’s whole project here is either frustratingly inaccurate, or an exercise is score-settling.

Even though I’m sure much of what he says is true, it’s too hard to pick out which is which.

Update (BP): Rich Lowry has Tenet’s book and is more or less liveblogging reading it. He has already come up with several interesting points to chew on. They’re here, here, here, here and here.

DOUBLE WHOPPER UPDATE (see-dubya): There’s a lot of picking on Tenet’s book going on, and since this post mysteriously flew over to the Hot! Picks! column, we might as well tally a few of them in this post. But first, did you guys catch the CBS interview? I didn’t, but I did see Ian’s excerpt. And I want to ask here what I asked in the comments there. It’s not Steve Pelley, the interviewer, but a CBS voiceover that interrupts the interview to note:

The Vice President up the ante, claiming Saddam had nuclear weapons when the CIA was saying he didn’t.

I’ve never heard anywhere that Cheney–or anyone in the administration–said that Saddam had nuclear weapons. If that’s new stuff in Tenet’s book, they need to identify that that is what Tenet claims. But it is dangerously far from established fact. I believe it to be utterly false. CBS seriously needs to clarify that–either to explain that this is a new claim introduced by Tenet, or to apologize for putting words in his mouth.

Either way, that’s damn sloppy.

UPDATE: Christopher Hitchens, rather than being his usual sunny, mellow self, gets a bit cantankerous toward old George. Someone needs a hug!


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That’s the big problem with dealing with a liar…you can never trust him, and I sure do hate to cherry pick only what I like.

Okay, I do like cherry picking, but it shoots my credibility all to heck, so I try to avoid it. :)

Bob's Kid on April 30, 2007 at 10:26 AM

Let’s not forget that Tenet is a Clinton guy. Isn’t it worrisome that this comes out now when Hillary is running?
Mmmmmmm.

bjb on April 30, 2007 at 10:27 AM

Of course, the 60 Minutes interview was also a job interview for what he hopes will be a Hillary Clinton Administration.

Phil Byler on April 30, 2007 at 10:36 AM

I agree with the above commments, he is tainted by the Clinton association and nothing he says can be trusted, I suspect that the Clinton attack team checked this out and that it is part of their overall plan in some dark way. None of them are on our side, they are only on a path to power at any cost.

bbz123 on April 30, 2007 at 10:38 AM

I just like how he knows all about everything in the world.

You know, except for those Pakistani nukes and the Libyan nuke program.

Veeshir on April 30, 2007 at 10:41 AM

I was chatting with a super-lib lawyer I know the other day, and he was already picking up on Tenet’s statements as more “facts” that Bushco “rushed” us into an “illegal war.” The left is going to make hay with this crap. It will be Richard Clarke all over again.

Mallard T. Drake on April 30, 2007 at 10:44 AM

OK, let’s just go ahead and change the name.

CIA

CYA

fogw on April 30, 2007 at 11:02 AM

Al Q will strike again in this country, and when it does the political shift to the right will be so sudden and huge the earth itself will feel it.

And . . . you won’t see a democrat for 30 days.

Labamigo on April 30, 2007 at 11:06 AM

The guy certainly stinks of Clintonism, grinning and taking the accolades when things seem to be going his way, lashing out with personal attacks, inappropriate disclosures, outright fabrications, and relentless self-promotion when they don’t. No matter which way things go, it’s about the self first, the nation second.

I suppose the lesson to be learned is that, should Republicans ever be lucky enough to win the White House from a Democrat again, there’s no sense in being nice about it. It’s all hard-ball on the left, all the time, and the extent to which you don’t clean house is merely the extent to which, sooner or later, you’re going to get dirty.

Blacklake on April 30, 2007 at 11:06 AM

Fake but Accurate!!! Can you believe these people? Have they no shame at all?

Critics have started picking apart the book’s accuracy. In a dramatic preface, Tenet said he ran into former Pentagon adviser Richard Perle coming out of the White House on Sept. 12, 2001, and Perle told him Iraq had to pay for the attack. “They bear responsibility,” Tenet recalls Perle saying.

On Sunday, Perle categorically denied the exchange to the editor of the conservative Weekly Standard and noted he was out of the country until Sept. 15. Tenet’s associate said the date may have been wrong, but the exchange took place.

Officials dispute claims in Tenet’s book

TheBigOldDog on April 30, 2007 at 11:09 AM

TheBigOldDog on April 30, 2007 at 11:09 AM

As I posted in the other thread, I watched the interview last night and this was a big moment in the interview. Tenet really built it up, he was quite clear that not only was it 9/12, the day after the attack, but he had evidence in his hands as Perle was telling him that we had to attack Iraq because of the 9/11 attack that proved it was al Qadea and not Iraq. He was using the timing to show just how outrageous and out of touch Perle and the neocons where in regard to Iraq.

Trying to weasel out of it now saying that it might not have been 9/12 but it happened doesn’t fly.

JackStraw on April 30, 2007 at 11:21 AM

Tenet is also wrong on some basic facts. Apparently he also says he talked to Perle in the halls of the White House on Sept. 11th, when in fact Perle was supposedly in Europe.

You’d think a tome whose purpose is to CYA would at least get fact-checked.

NPP on April 30, 2007 at 11:31 AM

Trying to weasel out of it now saying that it might not have been 9/12 but it happened doesn’t fly.

You think CBS would have learned its lesson after the “fake but accurate” Guard memo. You think his publisher would have checked the first “fact” in the darn book! A quick call to RP is all it would have taken! 2 minutes! If this doesn’t prove how absolutely corrupt the media has become, I don’t know what it will take.

TheBigOldDog on April 30, 2007 at 11:37 AM

From NPP’s link:

The strike at Dora Farm—according to every other source including Plan of Attack, Cobra II, The Iraq War, and American Soldier—was conducted with F-117s.

TheBigOldDog on April 30, 2007 at 11:39 AM

For all of my african-american existence on this planet, “slam dunk” has meant one thing and one thing only — you got through and made the basket.

Now all of a sudden Tenet is claiming that it means something else entirely.

Only the victims of a post modern university education could fall for this.

And they already are, in droves.

.

The Machine on April 30, 2007 at 11:41 AM

And the hits just keep on coming!

Tenet Strikes Out
Our CIA at work.

By Michael Ledee

In December, 2001, I participated in discussions between two Pentagon officials and Iranians who claimed knowledge of Iranian-sponsored efforts to kill Americans in Afghanistan. [snip]

Now comes the former director of central intelligence, George Tenet, with several pages about the meeting in his new book. He does not mention that American lives were saved, nor does he seem at all interested to learn that there were well-informed sources who were willing to help the American government. Nor, for that matter, is he much interested in the facts at all. His account is repeatedly wrong. He is wrong about the Iranians, wrong about the Americans, wrong about what was discussed, and wrong about the official status of the meeting. He misdescribes the Iranians as “dissidents” living overseas. He misidentifies the two Pentagon officials…

TheBigOldDog on April 30, 2007 at 11:58 AM

This is Tenets attempt to be on Oprah…maybe another “James Frey – Oprah book of the whatever list”.

As stated above, with a few proven lies, how can you believe any of it? We don’t know what is truth and which is pure fiction.

So this one goes into the “James Frey book club”
Pure fiction. At your library -downstairs near Pinocchio.

shooter on April 30, 2007 at 12:00 PM

The Tenet version of “Cover your his @$$.”

Lawrence on April 30, 2007 at 12:14 PM

What’s the real lesson here? George Bush came to Washington with the intent he would be a “healer” and try to rise above rank partisanship. Perhaps that is why he had all these hold-over appointments: to show that he was reaching across the aisle. What happens when the sh*t starts flying? They all start pointing fingers back at Bush and resort to partisan attacks.

The libs scream to the heavens about how divisive this administration has been, as they hurl attack after attack at him. So, is George Bush’s biggest fault his naivete about how the Democrats would respond to his attempt at non-partisanship?

Mallard T. Drake on April 30, 2007 at 12:17 PM

So, is George Bush’s biggest fault his naivete about how the Democrats would respond to his attempt at non-partisanship?

Mallard T. Drake on April 30, 2007 at 12:17 PM

Yes, unfortunately. And you can rest assured that Bush will not strike back at Tenet’s claims in any meaningful way, which is his fatal flaw.

pullingmyhairout on April 30, 2007 at 12:30 PM

So, is George Bush’s biggest fault his naivete about how the Democrats would respond to his attempt at non-partisanship?

Partially. His biggest fault is that he hasn’t learned anything about it or figured out how to counter it in six years.

Farmer_Joe on April 30, 2007 at 12:32 PM

Al Q will strike again in this country, and when it does the political shift to the right will be so sudden and huge the earth itself will feel it.

And . . . you won’t see a democrat for 30 days.

I don’t think so. If Al Queda strikes again in this country, they will be shrieking that it’s Bush’s fault before the smoke clears. They’ve probably been rehearsing it for years now. There will be no shame, no remorse and no self-reflection.

Hell, they’ll probably demand special elections that very day, so they can plead for mercy and apologize to the terrorists with full authority.

Kensington on April 30, 2007 at 12:43 PM

So, is George Bush’s biggest fault his naivete about how the Democrats would respond to his attempt at non-partisanship?

I hate to call it naivete, though; was it really naive to expect that adults trusted with running the most powerful country on the planet would be capable of rudimentary maturity and responsibility in the face of a terrorist attack rather than behaving like rabid dogs?

I blame the depravity of the left more than George W. Bush’s naivete. I’m still stunned by their recklessness on a daily basis.

Kensington on April 30, 2007 at 12:47 PM

And coming….

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice defended herself against Tenet’s claim that he told her a terrorist attack was imminent in the summer before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

“Well, it’s very interesting, because that’s not what George told the 9/11 commission at the time. He said that he felt that we had gotten it. And, in fact, the very next day or the day after, Steve Hadley, hardly a third-tier official, sat with the intelligence agencies to try and determine what more we could do,” Rice told CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday

Ex-CIA Director George Tenet Center of Criticism Over Memoir

TheBigOldDog on April 30, 2007 at 12:50 PM

Just a heads-up: Michelle will be guest-hosting The O’Reilly Factor on Fox News Channel tonight at 8pm Eastern. Hot topics: The Tenet fallout, the DC madam, and more. Tune in!

News2Use on April 30, 2007 at 12:58 PM

Tenet was asleep at the wheel when 911 came along.

CYA – Indeed

Kini on April 30, 2007 at 1:13 PM

Tenent is an incompetent ass. He’s lying now in a base attempt to make himself look good.

georgej on April 30, 2007 at 1:13 PM

W won’t fight back. That is what has destroyed him and what is harming the country. If the sheep that don’t pay attention only hear one voice, what do we expect them to believe?

JustTruth101 on April 30, 2007 at 1:18 PM

Just a heads-up: Michelle will be guest-hosting The O’Reilly Factor on Fox News Channel tonight at 8pm Eastern. Hot topics: The Tenet fallout, the DC madam, and more. Tune in!

News2Use on April 30, 2007 at 12:58 PM

Thanks! I’ll be there (in front of the TV).

As for Tenet, he’s just another democrap who wants it both ways. They never, ever take responsibility for their actions or the advise they give to others. He is asking us to believe he sat through these deliberations (to go to war) as if he were a lump on a log with nothing to offer? Maybe an idiot like Algore would buy that but not normal people…

Zorro on April 30, 2007 at 1:33 PM

My guess is that he wants in on the Hilary team and is trying to get back in the Clinton’s good graces. Either that or he recieved a call ordering him to make them look good.

- The Cat

MirCat on April 30, 2007 at 2:06 PM

There’s never BEEN a Director of the FBI that I would trust as far as I could throw him. And that includes that horrible old woman, Hoover.

mojo on April 30, 2007 at 2:18 PM

Tenet was asleep at the wheel when 911 came along.
CYA – Indeed
Kini on April 30, 2007 at 1:13 PM

CYA, cover Clintons, cover it all.

Hillary has so much dirt under ‘the rug’ I think her hitman club (election committee) is bringing some of this up early so as not to have to much dirt arising next August… August 2008, just before election time.
Tenet goes way back w/ the Clintons, before ’92.

Remember in the movie “Sum of All Fears”, when its said about the soviet spy “he knows where all the bodies are buried”?
Well Tenet is the American version, he knows where/what the clinton body count is…without the cute ending.

shooter on April 30, 2007 at 2:32 PM

Yes, unfortunately. And you can rest assured that Bush will not strike back at Tenet’s claims in any meaningful way, which is his fatal flaw.

pullingmyhairout on April 30, 2007 at 12:30 PM

Tenet can only write about things which don’t matter any more, or are not active. All he writes has to pass CIA review and approval.

He and the President both know way more, and both will never tell/write. Tenet goes on making a few bucks with his part truth/part fiction piece, then maybe a movie.

He’ll never work in any administration ever again, as he let two of them down.

The President goes on with his work/life. He doesn’t have to respond to fiction, not to Tenet, and not to the media. Doing so would do more harm than good. Notice how you never hear too much from Bill Clinton either.

Entelechy on April 30, 2007 at 2:36 PM

Dems long for a day before the net was as common as the telephone. They keep acting and saying things like the MSM is the only one with copies of what they said before. In the 70′s they could say things and when you would catch them on it, only CBS or whoever would have the transcripts and then TELL you what they said. I love my computer.

- The Cat

MirCat on April 30, 2007 at 2:41 PM

MirCat on April 30, 2007 at 2:41 PM

Nice ‘catch’ and accurate too, in my humble opinion.

shooter on April 30, 2007 at 2:44 PM

The President goes on with his work/life. He doesn’t have to respond to fiction, not to Tenet, and not to the media. Doing so would do more harm than good. Notice how you never hear too much from Bill Clinton either.

Entelechy on April 30, 2007 at 2:36 PM

Granted, he doesn’t have to respond, but how would responding do more harm than good? Letting lies stand which are made by relatively high profile (former) officials seems to do a great deal of harm in terms of public perception.

Kevin on April 30, 2007 at 4:06 PM

Is the title of Tenet’s titilating tome:

FAKE BUT ACCURATE“?

If the fact-checking for the former head of the CIA is this bad, no wonder he missed 9/11.

Moussaoui was just a mis-checked “fact”.

profitsbeard on April 30, 2007 at 4:13 PM

If ever their was a CYA book written this was it. Tenet should have just shut up and stayed private. He is going to be totally trash when all the book reviews are in but somehow all the “nutcases” on the extreme left are going to believe.

duff65 on April 30, 2007 at 4:44 PM

He and the President both know way more, and both will never tell/write. Tenet goes on making a few bucks with his part truth/part fiction piece, then maybe a movie.
Entelechy on April 30, 2007 at 2:36 PM

Good point. Too bad Government officials don’t have a five year moratorium on writing books or memoirs. The ones in office could shoot much of these type of books down but would have to divulge classified info to do so. Five years is enough time to ensure that it couldn’t be used to influence elections. Good idea for both parties in my opinion.

Bradky on April 30, 2007 at 4:48 PM

Granted, he doesn’t have to respond, but how would responding do more harm than good? Letting lies stand which are made by relatively high profile (former) officials seems to do a great deal of harm in terms of public perception.

Kevin on April 30, 2007 at 4:06 PM

Answering part-lies/part-truth begets new questions, some which should/could never be touched. What in his book did the Left not believe before? Nothing. His book leaves me completely unsurprised. He has to make a living, and he ‘fakes’ it here and there. Books are generally half fiction, half reality, no matter their category. Nothing Mr. Bush or his talking heads would say would change anyone’s mind, not one iota.

Messrs Bush/Clinton know the truth, and both will never tell, not even on each other. That is and will remain an exquisite club (current/former presidents). Nor will Mr. Tenet. Nor should they. CIA directors die with much on their mind, and it’s a good thing. Otherwise they should never hold that job. Good example was Mr. Casey.

Bradky, I agree with your idea, but in this political, media and technology environment, it’s almost impossible.

Entelechy on April 30, 2007 at 5:10 PM

Entelechy on April 30, 2007 at 5:10 PM

I’d have to disagree. Every military person is required to sign non-disclosure agreements that for some information lasts their entire life. They are liable for prosecution if they don’t follow that agreement.
I think in today’s environment it is more important than ever to hold officials to a high standard of ethics when it comes to their book and movie deals.

Bradky on April 30, 2007 at 5:18 PM

Regarding Cheney and “Saddam has nukes”. He was being interviewed on one of the talking-head programs, and actually said something along those lines, but then he corrected himself. He was trying to say “Saddam has nuke programs“. He clearly mis-spoke, and indicates such afterwards. However, the clip of him saying this conveniently leaves out the correction. So it is used as ammo against Cheney and Bush quite often. I’m not sure when this interview occurred (pre-OIF), or with whom. But it would be worth digging up.

nukemhill on April 30, 2007 at 5:22 PM

Bradky on April 30, 2007 at 5:18 PM

I agree fully with your statement/principle and believe they should be in place and enforced. It’s the latter which is nearly impossible, as we’ve seen repeatedly in the last 5 years.

A country which doesn’t respect its laws…you know the rest.

Entelechy on April 30, 2007 at 5:44 PM

Entelechy on April 30, 2007 at 5:44 PM

Yeah.. I know. Being an optimist is not always fun!

Bradky on April 30, 2007 at 5:48 PM

Toilet Paper……….

PinkyBigglesworth on April 30, 2007 at 5:53 PM

Even though I’m sure much of what he says is true, it’s too hard to pick out which is which.

This is the bottom line. It’s not that I’m not willing to listen, but when you tell a total lie from the beginning, how can we believe the rest?

You know, he does defend some stuff, like the torture thing. He says alot of things that hurt Democrats too. Which makes me think this isn’t as much political as covering his ass.

Rightwingsparkle on April 30, 2007 at 6:55 PM

OK, let’s just go ahead and change the name.
CIA
CYA
fogw on April 30, 2007 at 11:02 AM

Hey, Michelle used your line on The Factor tonight!

LegendHasIt on April 30, 2007 at 8:05 PM

In my opinion these are scare tactics designed to shake up the White House at a time of the all important debate on the funding of the war, not to mention laying the ground work to impeach Dick Cheney. The very least it is a vendetta from a disgruntled employee. I hope he dosn’t go postal.

sonnyspats1 on April 30, 2007 at 8:11 PM

I’m callin Johnny. Hey Johnny Cold Cuts make this problem disapear!

sonnyspats1 on April 30, 2007 at 10:45 PM

Bush’s social experiment of keeping the Clinton old guard lackey’s will not be repeated with the next presidency. What a mistake THAT turned out to be. Every lib that he kept on has turned on him. Libs don’t understand loyalty at all. They don’t even understand reality at this point.

Mojave Mark on May 1, 2007 at 12:20 AM

The operations, which either were thwarted by authorities or were canceled for one reason or another,

…and this nitwit was the head of the CIA…

sheesh!

91Veteran on May 2, 2007 at 1:51 AM