Saturday, May 05, 2007

Is Bob Woodward the very best person to review George Tenet's book? Or maybe the WORST? (Can you guess which way the Washington Post voted?)

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"Because the United States government doesn't work that way. The president is not the action officer. You bring the action to the national security adviser and people who set the table for the president to decide on policies they're going to implement."
--former DCI George Tenet, on 60 Minutes, answering Scott Pelley's question as to why he didn't go directly to the president for action on the July 2001 intelligence that an al-Qaeda attack on the U.S. could come within weeks or months, as quoted by Bob Woodward in his Washington Post review of Tenet's book

No, I'm not making this up. The Washington Post actually had Bob Woodward review what he calls Tenet's "remarkable, important and often unintentionally damning memoir"!

Well, why not? Maybe the best person to evaluate the insider-outsider obligations of a former member of a U.S. administration is the man who has made a living of conflict of interest, indeed has made it his life's work, spending the whole of the Bush administration, it has appeared, as simultaneously assistant managing editor of a major, or anyway major-ish, newspaper and an honorary member of that administration, gathering information from everybody who would blab--including, it's clear, then-Director Tenet--for his "inside-outsider" (or is it "outside-insider") blabathon books?

Not surprisingly, Woodward devotes most of the review to telling author Tenet what he should have done back when. It's probably just my imagination that there's a suggestion here that all Tenet would have had to do was to ask Woodward what to do during their conversations at the time.

What's not my imagination is that this all seems pretty clear, cut-and-dried to Woodward. So much so that he doesn't actually seem to be listening. When a former director of Central Intelligence says, "The president is not the action officer. You bring the action to the national security adviser and people who set the table for the president to decide on policies they're going to implement," might it not be a good idea at least to pause to ponder what he's said?

Is it true? (If it's not true, why would he say it, and what is the significance of his saying it?) If it is true, why is it true? What does it mean for policy-making? Is it a good idea or a bad idea, or perhaps somewhere in between?

Or is Woodward perhaps speaking from his insider's knowledge of this particular president and this particular administration? Surely one common thread running through all the self-serving tales administration members told him all those years was that the "power" players knew how to "play" that simpering fool who happened to have the title of president of the United States, while having no firm idea what his principles and policies were--apart from the God stuff that he seems to think he gets straight from the source--until he had them explained to him, which means that you want to be the last person to talk to him about a policy decision, even if it means doing what you have to to prevent other people from talking to him after you.

Anyway, it's kind of irresistible to read, or at least skim, Woodward on the subject. My biggest problem is that, like so many other commentators, he has plenty to say about Tenet and hardly anything to say about the fairly momentous issues Tenet's revelations seem to raise. Like about how the country got lied into a war that a clutch of administration insiders were determined to make happen, whatever they had to do to make it happen, and the truth be damned.

If you have any thoughts, feel free to share 'em.

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3 Comments:

At 12:44 PM, Blogger Timcanhear said...

I have a thought over here.

Pan back to the second Clinton administration and notice the wicked goings on of the right wing out to get him. They got him. Oh boy, did they get him.
Of course, it tied up the United States Government for the next millinium but they got him.
The public had enough of the lying bastard and the next voting cycle was too close to call so they gave it to the republicans and boy george. Boy george then chokes on a pretzel, survives, takes the month of August off and chills, comes back to get on with the vital work of the presidency, heads for a kindergarden school to read to the kiddies, gets some bad news in his ear on 9/11 and has a hard time figuring out what to do next, gets on a plane and hides in the sky. All the while the neocons in the bush administration (wolfi, rumpi, and the like) have been planning their heist of the American government with the help of head neocons rush liebaugh, sean hateity and billy boy kristol who will write and talk about the virtues of family values vs. the clinton democratic party for the next millinium.
After 9/11 the neocons then had a field day blaming the follies of the former President Clinton for getting in the way of running the government security forces and for having not gotten binpi laden when he had the chance to get him.
Consequently there is literally no opposition party who could stand up against the attacks that the neocons waged against innocent democrats through their corporate controlled media.
boy george's boys in the cia blow an opportunity to nab enemy laden in tora bora by handing the job over to the afghan forces? in Afghanistan and it goes pretty much un-noticed by the media if not for loud mouth kerry who reminds us that all people are phalable and all people make mistakes but this one was off the charts. (question here: would you trust the germans during ww2 to off hitler?) anyway, boy george's boys, along with tenet had blundered once again. It was, has been and will continue to be a failed administration lead(unlead) by incompetency. "The President isn't the action officer" is clear evidence that Tenet was on his own and boy george was more interested in taking vacations then being the responsible man at the top.
Tenet takes a bullit for boy and the rest is history along with that "medal of freedom" bestowed upon him by king boy. Now, like any smart man taking a 4 million dollar book advance, Tenet is being the "action-officer" that boy wanted him to be and he's taking action to clear himself from boys' incompetency. The question still remains though... who or what was in control and who or what is to blame. Was it Clinton's dick? a right wing hate machine? The Supreme Court? liebaugh for having drove the neocons into power? neocons? oil? sheiks? thieves, pimps and whores? media corporations? lies? bigotry? oil? profits? Tenet for being the "action officer" instead of the action officer at the top being the "action officer"? control? power? extremist Christians wanting to turn America into a theocracy? terrorist nigga's? abortions?
diebolt and their fucked up electonic voting machines? me? you? who, oil? money? oil?
Screw that! Blame ourselves for being greedy and going along to get along with the oil bitches in Saudi Arabia and in America and by not demanding that they share in the wealth of oil with ALL of the people of the middle east. blame cheney and bush for being the bitches brew that said to the saudi's, we'll help you take all of the oil but we want control of it too. Jesus Christ you bastards! We helped you build those oil fields of cash. We want some of it. and that in a nutshell is how 9/11 happened and who is to blame. all those books about it mean little except to say that collectively, we have only ourselves to blame. the bitches at the top are a reflection of us as a nation. kinda shrill ain't it?

 
At 3:13 PM, Blogger keninny said...

I love it, Tim! Thanks.

Ken

 
At 4:41 PM, Blogger Timcanhear said...

Likewise, thank you!

 

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