Monday, April 30, 2007

Tenet, Tenet, Bo Benet, Banana Fana Fo Fenet, Me My Mo Menet, TENET!

This is not the name game, my friends. This is the blame game. And all that blame is being hurled upon George Tenet, former CIA director and recipient of the Medal of Freedom.

In the last week, parts of George Tenet's new book have been circulating through the press. Tenet, former CIA director, is credited as saying that the intelligence for going into Iraq was a "slam dunk," which gave the Bush administration all of the proof that they needed to launch into a pre-emptive war with Iraq. As proven multiple times before the war by voices as diverse as Washington Post writer Walter Pincus to former Iraq weapons inspector Scott Ritter, such a war against Iraq was completely unnecessary. A common sense assessment would have told the administration that this slam dunk must have hit rim, traveled, or got blocked on the way up.

But, alas, this did not happen and we are where we are now with Iraq. But, as this involves the drama capitol of the world Washington D.C. (what, you thought it was Hollywood?), this has been made out into a play of drastic and very serious consequence. Families are losing children because of these people's bad decisions, and no one wants to say sorry to the families. So, in typical Washington fashion, there is a lot of finger pointing.

Tenet directly blames the Bush administration for not being more critical and, in particular, Dick Cheney for making specious connections between Iraq and al-Qaeda, links that did not exist to people who knew that Hussein was running a secular state and would hate to support a fundamentalist organization like al-Qaeda. Secretary of State and Bush devotee Condi Rice (what's up with her? She's always all over Bush's shit. There's loyalty, but Rice and Bush is something deeper than that.) tried to run interference/deflection/damage control on the Sunday talk show circuit this week. She didn't really succeed, as she rattled off a bunch of talking points.

But along with Rice deflecting back to Tenet, Tenet's own men deflected back to him, calling him the Alberto Gonzales of the Intelligence Community. Aside from being a low blow, Tenet was well regarded as a very good Director of Central Intelligence. He served under both Clinton (starting in Clinton's 2nd term) and Bush and was the second-longest serving Director of the CIA, beaten out by Allen Dulles who has an airport near the CIA complex in Langley, VA named after him. Clearly, Tenet was a good CIA director who is being thrown under the bus.

I think that his history serves as an important part of the whole story here. Tenet is being used as the scapegoat for a war that the Bush administration knew that it was going to fight the entire time. Anything that Tenet said was not going to encourage or impede the progress of this administration. Wolfowitz was bent on going to war. Cheney and Rumsfeld were keyed in on war. Richard Perle, sitting on the Defense Policy Board at the Pentagon, was pushing for war. Tenet's comments would only make their actions seem less rash, as it would give them a tapered, thin leg to put this entire case on. But, this is Washington, D.C., someone must be held to account for failure. Unfortunately, this person will be George Tenet although it should be George W. Bush and all members of his foreign policy cabinet. I have beef with the other secretaries, but they didn't take us to war, they just ruined the majesty of America to make money to support their tax cuts.