Saturday | July 12, 2003
Tenet Takes One for the Team
by RonK, Seattle
CIA Director George Tenet issued a statement yesterday taking personal and agency-level responsibility for failing to block an ill-advised 16 words from appearing in Bush's SOTU address.
Tenet's gambit may give the White House -- and the Agency -- a moment's respite from the fulminating Yellowcake scandal ... just as an athlete's feigned injury might buy his team's foundering defense precious moments to catch a breath and get their signals straight.
I'm loathe to give the topic any time at all, as the mainstream scandal-hounds will catch the scent soon enough ... but here's a little fast-forward for the dailyKos community.
On key points of interagency fingerpointing, Tenet asserts:
(1) CIA did in fact review the text in question.Case closed? Not exactly.
On Tenet's statement, the new cover story is that the text in question never had anything to do with the Niger forgeries ... that the text rested on no US intel whatsoever ... that the text simply, factually and nonjudgmentally observed that our coalition partner across the pond had reached certain conclusions.
How bad is that? If Tenet's version stands, the public defense to date has been a pack of lies (and not just by the departing Ari Fleischer).
Somebody in the WH initially lobbied for an unsustainable text (to the effect that US had knowledge of Iraq/Africa uranium transactions), and CIA rejected it. Somebody in the WH then concocted the hypertechnically defensible replacement text, and negotiated its passive clearance-by-inaction with the CIA.
Somebody in the WH knew (or willfully avoided knowing) that somebody out there had been shopping phony uranium stories around the global intelligence community. Somebody in the WH knew our DCI wasn't buying.
Somebody (WH, CIA or both) knew the UK reached conclusions suspiciously similar to those we might have reached if we had taken the dodgey documents at face value. Nobody rang up our coalition allies (and most intimate intelligence partners) and invited them to share and compare sources.
Posted July 12, 2003 08:55 AM