Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Poor George Tenet: When the dust has settled, and the doody's caked dry on the fan, you can often count on our Mo Dowd to get it, er, almost right


"If Colin Powell and George Tenet had walked out of the administration in February 2003 instead of working together on that tainted U.N. speech making the bogus case for war, they might have turned everything around. They might have saved the lives and limbs of all those brave U.S. kids and innocent Iraqis, not to mention our world standing and national security."
--our Mo Dowd, in her NYT column today, "Better Never Than Late"

Maureen Dowd is never sharper or more on-target (or, okay, more obvious) than when she's piling on--when she's, like, the 25th or 87th attack pundit to leap onto the heap, and maybe try to sneak in a punch or two. In the NFL the official throws a penalty flag, and if they see those punches, or see you trying to dig in with your heels, they're apt to march off extra yardage for unsportsmanlike conduct. Not so in the world of punditocracy ("Broderworld"?), though.

Poor George Tenet undoubtedly deserves all the heat he's getting for his George-come-lately tell-sort-of-all book, and sure enough, our Mo almost gets it right as she gives him (and some others) what-for:

May 2, 2007
Op-Ed Columnist

Better Never Than Late

Instead of George Tenet teaching at Georgetown University, George Tenet should be taught at Georgetown University.

There should be a course on government called "The Ultimate Staff Guy." A morality saga about how much harm you can do as a go-along, get-along guy, spending so much time trying not to alienate the big cheese so he doesn't can you that you miss the moment where you have to can him or lose your soul.

If Colin Powell and George Tenet had walked out of the administration in February 2003 instead of working together on that tainted U.N. speech making the bogus case for war, they might have turned everything around. They might have saved the lives and limbs of all those brave U.S. kids and innocent Iraqis, not to mention our world standing and national security.

It would certainly have been harder for timid Democrats, like Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and John Edwards, to back up the administration if two members of the Bush inner circle had broken away to tell an increasingly apparent truth: that Dick Cheney, Rummy and the neocons were feverishly pushing a naïve president into invading Iraq with junk facts.

General Powell counted on Slam Dunk--a slender reed--to help him rid the speech of most of the garbage Mr. Cheney's office wanted in it. Slam, of course, tried to have it both ways, helping the skeptical secretary of state and pandering to higher bosses. Afterward, when the speech turned out to be built on a no-legged stool, General Powell was furious at Slam. But they both share blame: they knew better. They put their loyalty to a runaway White House ahead of their loyalty to a fearful public.

Slam Dunk's book tour is mesmerizing, in a horrifying way.

"The irony of the whole situation is, is he was bluffing," Slam said of Saddam on "Larry King Live" on Monday night, adding, "And he didn't know we weren't." Mr. He-Man Tenet didn't understand the basics of poker, much less Arab culture. It never occurred to him that Saddam might feign strength to flex muscles at his foes in the Middle East? Slam couldn't take some of that $40 billion we spend on intelligence annually and get a cultural profile of the dictator before we invaded?

If he was really running around with his hair on fire, knowing the Osama danger, shouldn't he have set off alarms when W. and Vice went after Saddam instead of the real threat?

Many people in Washington snorted at his dramatic cloak-and-dagger description of himself to Larry King: "I worked in the shadows my whole life."

He was not Jason Bourne, lurking in dangerous locales. He risked life and limb on Capitol Hill among the backstabbers and cutthroat bureaucrats--from whom he obviously learned a lot. He spent nine years on the staff of the Senate Intelligence Committee, four as staff director. When Bill Clinton appointed him to run the C.I.A. in 1997, the profile of him in The Times was headlined "A Time to Reap the Rewards of Being Loyal." It observed that old colleagues had said "he had an ability to make many different superiors feel at ease with him."

Six former C.I.A. officials sent Mr. Tenet a letter via his publisher--no wonder we're in trouble if spooks can't figure out the old Head Spook's home address--berating him for pretending he wrote his self-serving book partly to defend the honor of the agency and demanding that "at least half" of the profits be given to wounded soldiers and the families of dead soldiers (there needs to be a Son of Slam law). One of the signers, Larry Johnson [above], told CNN that Slam "is profiting from the blood of American soldiers."

"By your silence you helped build the case for war," the former C.I.A. officials wrote. "You betrayed the C.I.A. officers who collected the intelligence that made it clear that Saddam did not pose an imminent threat. You betrayed the analysts who tried to withstand the pressure applied by Cheney and Rumsfeld."

They also said, "Although C.I.A. officers learned in late September 2002 from a high-level member of Saddam Hussein's inner circle that Iraq had no past or present contact with Osama bin Laden and that the Iraqi leader considered Bin Laden an enemy ... you still went before Congress in February 2003 and testified that Iraq did indeed have links to Al Qaeda. ...

"In the end you allowed suspect sources, like Curveball, to be used based on very limited reporting and evidence." They concluded that "your tenure as head of the C.I.A. has helped create a world that is more dangerous. ... It is doubly sad that you seem still to lack an adequate appreciation of the enormous amount of death and carnage you have facilitated."

Thus endeth the lesson in our class on "The Ultimate Staff Guy." If you have something deadly important to say, say it when it matters, or just shut up and slink off.

Of course when it comes to actual thinking, our Mo is kind of out of her element. And on one point--the point that, judging from the column title and the final paragraph, she seems to think is actually her main point--how violently, cosmically, utterly, insanely wrong can a single human being be?

"If you have something deadly important to say, say it when it matters, or just shut up and slink off"?

Confidential to our Mo: You are aware, aren't you, that during the very period in question there were people who not only knew that the Bush gang was lying but jumped up and down saying so. Some of them had inside knowledge. Were you paying attention to them then? Plenty of people pointed out that, just based on general knowledge, Colin Powell's U.N. speech was riddled with known lies. Were you hopping up and down then? If Colin or poor George had resigned back then, would you have paid much attention to them? That's kind of not how I remember it.

"Better never than late"?

Well, if you wanted to legislate a rule saying that, oh, a person can't shout "Bingo" after the next Bingo number has been called, that it's too late--well, that's one for the Bingo community to thrash out.

But the notion that there comes a time when it's too late to tell, or help steer us in the direction of, the truth? That it's too late for one of the inside participants to spill his, or somebody's, guts about the inner workings of a cabal that secretly and ruthlessly and mendaciously engineered us into a war?

Dump on poor George all you want. If there are facts in his confessional that call for questioning or correcting, then by all means let's have people who are in a position to do so question and correct away. But the notion that we're better off without Tenet's book, better off without both (a) his firsthand witness and (b) the occasion it provides to focus on a period and a secret policy-making agenda that still needs to be made understandable to the American people (remember, if not for the book, our Mo would probably be writing another column about what dumb bunnies men are), why, that's just silly, Mo.

Would it be too terribly tacky to suggest that the very principle--"Better never than late"--that you're trying to apply to poor George and Colin might with equal logic be applied to this column?

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At 12:18 PM, Blogger Seven Star Hand said...

The pivotal import of Yellowcake, False Flags, & "Big Time" Evil

Hello Keninny all,

The combination of George Tenet's book, At the Center of the Storm, Eisner & Royce's The Italian Letter and the books and research of many others in recent years now provides enough of a foundation for everyone to finally discern that 9:11 was a "false flag" operation against both the American public and the Muslim world. Likewise, the uncanny synchronicity of Al Qaeda's videos and other activities perfectly timed to reinforce and support the Bush/Cheney administration's political needs coupled with the actions of the Bush admin actually serving to strengthen Al Qaeda's position, now makes perfect sense. The apparent mistakes and chaos that have characterized the Iraq war, the easily prevented resurgence of the Taliban, and permitting Bin Laden to escape Tora Bora to a safe haven in Pakistan all fit the same pattern. It's hard to maintain a state of continuous war if you allow your made-to-order enemies to be defeated too early. It is likewise hard to remain a "war president" if your wars end too soon!

The letterhead used to forge the "Yellowcake letter" that was then used to help "sell" the Iraq war was stolen in Rome on 1/1/2001, more than nine months before 9:11 and before Little W. became president. Consequently, the use of the "Yellow-Cake Lie" was obviously discussed and planned before then! The import of this fact is that the Niger embassy in Rome was burglarized, before Bush became president, to lay the groundwork for the web of deception used to sell the Iraq War, after 9:11. More importantly, it is highly unlikely that the Iraq war could ever have been sold to the American public, without something like 9:11 happening first. Any excuses of other uses for the stolen letterhead are laughable since the letterhead burglary would have been pointless, without 9:11. This evidences foreknowledge of those attacks, a full nine months before they occurred, among other things!


At 3:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't see a link to the letter (did I miss it?)

It is above.

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