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Officials dispute claims in Tenet's book
AP on Yahoo ^ | 4/29/07 | Katherine Shrader - ap

Posted on 04/29/2007 5:11:32 PM PDT by NormsRevenge

NEW YORK - The backlash has built up even before the official release of former CIA Director George Tenet's memoir, with criticism about his version of the run-up to the Iraq war, interrogation techniques and other events.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Sunday disputed Tenet's claim that the Bush administration, before the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003, never had a serious debate about whether Iraq posed an imminent threat or whether to tighten existing sanctions.

"The president started a discussion practically on the day that he took power about how to enhance sanctions against Iraq," she said. "You may remember that in his first press conference, he said the sanctions had become Swiss cheese."

Rice, who was Bush's national security adviser in his first term, said the administration reviewed the sanctions, went to the United Nations to strengthen them and tried to tighten the no-fly zone in northern Iraq to better police Saddam Hussein's forces.

She also said the question about the imminence of the threat was not "if somebody is going to strike tomorrow."

"It's whether you believe you're in a stronger position today to deal with the threat, or whether you're going to be in a stronger position tomorrow," she said. "And it was the president's assessment that the situation in Iraq was getting worse."

A Tenet associate, who spoke on condition of anonymity before the book's release Monday, said Tenet was not talking about improving the sanctions, but rather the debate about the wisdom of going to war. The associate said those debates did not happen in the presence of Tenet or other senior CIA officials, despite their participation in numerous discussions in the White House's situation room.

The memoir from the second-longest serving CIA chief covers many topics — from his attempts to help negotiate peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians during the Clinton administration, to the days surrounding Sept. 11, 2001, and to the invasion of Iraq and its aftermath.

Looking ahead, he says, al-Qaida wants to change history and meet its top one goal of obtaining a nuclear device.

Tenet highlights the errors of others during his tenure from July 1997 to July 2004, such as the extraordinary efforts by Vice President Cheney and others to connect Iraq and al-Qaida.

Tenet also takes blame for other failures, such as the production of the botched National Intelligence Estimate in 2002 that was used to justify invading Iraq.

Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record), R-Ariz., said he does not accept assertions from Tenet that the U.S. government saved lives through some of the agency's most aggressive interrogation techniques.

In an often defensive interview on CBS' "60 Minutes" aired Sunday, Tenet says the intelligence gained from suspected terrorists in the CIA's covert detention program and its "enhanced interrogation techniques" was more valuable than all the other terrorism-related intelligence gathered by the FBI, the National Security Agency and his own agency.

Yet McCain said the U.S. cannot torture people and maintain its moral superiority in the world. "I don't care what George Tenet says. I know what's right. I know what's morally right as far as America's behavior," the presidential candidate and former prisoner-of-war said Sunday.

McCain said he does not accept Tenet's premise that the CIA's practices save lives because torture and mistreatment historically have not worked in intelligence collection. "We've gotten a huge amount of misinformation as well as other information from these techniques," McCain said.

Tenet and the CIA deny using torture. But McCain's words suggest he believes the CIA's practices amounted to torture and were wrong.

In his book, Tenet said McCain has engaged the country in an important moral debate "about who we are as people and what we should stand for, even when up against an enemy so full of hate they would murder thousands of our children without a thought."

If elected officials believe certain interrogation actions put the country in a difficult moral position, they should be stopped, according to Tenet, once the Democratic staff director of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

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.

Writing in Sunday's Washington Post, the one-time head of Tenet's Osama bin Laden unit, Michael Scheuer, said Tenet should have told his story sooner.

"At this late date, the Bush-bashing that Tenet's book will inevitably stir up seems designed to rehabilitate Tenet in his first home, the Democratic Party. He seems to blame the war on everyone but Bush (who gave Tenet the Medal of Freedom) and former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell (who remains the Democrats' ideal Republican)," Scheuer wrote.

A half-dozen former CIA officers — including counterterrorism experts Larry Johnson and Vince Cannistraro — are urging Tenet to dedicate a significant portion of his royalties to soldiers and families of those killed or wounded in Iraq.

"We agree that the war of choice in Iraq was ill-advised and wrong headed. But your lament that you are a victim in a process you helped direct is self-serving, misleading and, as head of the intelligence community, an admission of failed leadership," they wrote.

Rice appeared on CNN's "Late Edition," ABC's "This Week," and "Face the Nation" on CBS. McCain was on "Fox News Sunday."

___

Associated Press Writer Scott Lindlaw in San Francisco contributed to this report.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government; Politics/Elections; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: claims; dispute; officials; tenet

1 posted on 04/29/2007 5:11:33 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
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On the Net:

CIA background on Tenet: http://tinyurl.com/29mo9a


2 posted on 04/29/2007 5:11:59 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... In FReeP We Trust ...)
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Then CIA Director George Tenet testifies about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States in this March 24, 2004 file photo. A senior White House counselor on Friday April 27, 2007 dismissed former CIA Director's George Tenet portrait of a Bush administration that rushed to war in Iraq without serious debate. 'The president did wrestle with those very serious questions,' Dan Bartlett said. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)


3 posted on 04/29/2007 5:13:23 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... In FReeP We Trust ...)
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--- Remember Me? ---

4 posted on 04/29/2007 5:14:04 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... In FReeP We Trust ...)
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To: NormsRevenge
I don’t blame Tenant for being bitter at being a ‘fall guy’, but its not like the administration has been skillful in THEIR OWN defense.

He is just the weak link that can’t take the heat, and has the latest book deal. A great deal of respect for the fool has been lost by this proud Neocon.

5 posted on 04/29/2007 5:17:20 PM PDT by FreedomNeocon (Success is not final; Failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts -- Churchill)
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Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, leaves CBS studio, Sunday, April 29, 2007, in Washington. President Bush will not support a war spending bill that punishes the Iraqi government for failing to meet benchmarks for progress, Secretary Rice said Sunday. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)


6 posted on 04/29/2007 5:17:49 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... In FReeP We Trust ...)
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To: FreedomNeocon
Not that I had a HUGE amount of respect for the guy... but at least he understood the Islamist threat, and believed that ‘imposing democracy’ was the only cure... just as I do.
7 posted on 04/29/2007 5:19:35 PM PDT by FreedomNeocon (Success is not final; Failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts -- Churchill)
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To: NormsRevenge

After watching the 60 minutes interview, I am more convinced than ever this man should have never held the top position in the CIA, let alone be allowed to stay after Bush took office. It seems he was promoted to early and to often.


8 posted on 04/29/2007 5:20:10 PM PDT by operation clinton cleanup
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To: operation clinton cleanup

Couldn’t agree with you more; this is a low level bureaucrat way in over his head. Who would have confidence in such a blubbering wimp? And just like another disaster named Robert McNamara, he has now written a book claiming credit for what went right and totally disclaiming involvement in what went wrong.


9 posted on 04/29/2007 5:24:22 PM PDT by laconic (ence)
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To: NormsRevenge
I watched the interview. We would benefit from a lie-detector test given to Tenet. He denies meaning that slam dunk meant other than how the world reads it. He claims outright that he believed his analysts when they told him that Iraq has WMD [and let's read that as something with mushroom potential not something used years ago] Probably the same analysts who claimed that for the aspirin factories bombed by Clinton.

Of very strong interest is why was [is] he never asked is, 'Why did you believe your analysts and not the inspectors who actually looked'.

10 posted on 04/29/2007 5:25:07 PM PDT by ex-snook ("But above all things, truth beareth away the victory.")
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To: operation clinton cleanup

You watched the interivew huh?

Once I heard “60 minutes” with the puff promotional piece in the NYT... I knew what it was all about, and just ignored it (not even giveing hits to the websites promoting it)

Its 99% CYA at this point.


11 posted on 04/29/2007 5:28:00 PM PDT by FreedomNeocon (Success is not final; Failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts -- Churchill)
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To: ex-snook

I watched the interview and like how it stood up to the nut pelley. Then he sortof went nuts regarding Cheney and the “slam dunk” remark. I don’t get why these people go around apologizing and backtracking. There WERE in fact WMDs, how many Kurds were killed by them???
They should stick with it and insist on the probability that they were moved to Syria.
sheesh!


12 posted on 04/29/2007 5:30:16 PM PDT by jackv (just shakin' my head)
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To: operation clinton cleanup

Clinton hold-over.


13 posted on 04/29/2007 5:30:58 PM PDT by jaz.357 (...diagonally parked in a parallel universe.)
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The consummate example of the 'Peter Principle'

14 posted on 04/29/2007 5:31:06 PM PDT by A.A. Cunningham
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To: FreedomNeocon
Scott Pelley actually came across as an @ss in the interview. The editing made it look like Tenet was being interrogated!
15 posted on 04/29/2007 5:31:26 PM PDT by operation clinton cleanup
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To: NormsRevenge

Wasn’t he a Clinton Appointee, if so this problem is REALLY Bush’s fault for his ‘New Tone’ crap, he should have let this POS go when he took office.

He didn’t replace the Federal Pros, and look what happened, and there are several instances simlar to this is there not.


16 posted on 04/29/2007 5:31:31 PM PDT by stockpirate (Al Qaeda is in the United States, they are in the House and Senate, Democrats all!)
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To: operation clinton cleanup
I am more convinced than ever this man should have never held the top position in the CIA,

My goodness, is that ever true. Just your raw instincts tell you he should never have been in such a position. Cry baby, backstabber, not a man in control of himself or the situation. THIS GUY headed up the CIA. Just wow. What is going on in DC?

17 posted on 04/29/2007 5:39:56 PM PDT by Bahbah (Regev, Goldwasser & Shalit, we are praying for you.)
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To: NormsRevenge

Tenet is a loser. The only ones buying his book are those who believe in cut and run in Iraq.


18 posted on 04/29/2007 5:43:47 PM PDT by taxesareforever (Never forget Matt Maupin)
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To: Bahbah

I always assumed Clinton installed him as a “yes” man, never understood why Bush kept him. I suppose it was a “transition thing”, but then 9/11 happened.


19 posted on 04/29/2007 5:45:22 PM PDT by operation clinton cleanup
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To: NormsRevenge
failed leadership,"

seems like it

20 posted on 04/29/2007 5:45:39 PM PDT by Freee-dame
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To: NormsRevenge

Saw the interview, he says the evidence for Saddam having chemical and biological weapons was solid, the CIA estimate as to when he would acquire nukes was ‘07-’09. Claims the “slam dunk” comment was deliberately leaked out of the context in which it was used, and that he was made the fall guy.


21 posted on 04/29/2007 5:46:11 PM PDT by yuta250
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To: operation clinton cleanup

Keeping Tenet was a huge mistake, but I don’t know if anyone can see things like that coming.


22 posted on 04/29/2007 5:46:52 PM PDT by Bahbah (Regev, Goldwasser & Shalit, we are praying for you.)
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To: NormsRevenge

This man presided over the largest, most deadly intelligence failure in US History on 9/11. He then went on to screw up the intelligence on Iraq. Now, to escape blame for historic incompetency, he does what all Democrats do, blame Republicans in a book. All the while knowing the dishonest, disgraceful media in this country will help him in his mission. What a total POS this guy is.


23 posted on 04/29/2007 5:47:04 PM PDT by PajamaTruthMafia
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To: NormsRevenge
Fake but Accurate!!! Can you believe these people? Have thye 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.

24 posted on 04/29/2007 5:49:20 PM PDT by PajamaTruthMafia
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To: FreedomNeocon
You watched the interview huh?

It was a despicably biased interview. They even repeated the Plame lie as fact (White House leaked her name to destroy Wison). The MSM is so biased and dishonest they are posing a very real risk to the health of the Nation.

25 posted on 04/29/2007 5:54:44 PM PDT by PajamaTruthMafia
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To: PajamaTruthMafia
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.

So Tenet lied, but an unnamed "associate" told the truth?

26 posted on 04/29/2007 5:56:08 PM PDT by operation clinton cleanup
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To: PajamaTruthMafia

Amen to that. Why was the intel wrong? That’s the important question.


27 posted on 04/29/2007 6:02:28 PM PDT by ClaireSolt (Have you have gotten mixed up in a mish-masher?)
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To: NormsRevenge

A half-dozen former CIA officers — including counterterrorism experts Larry Johnson

NOW THERE IS A REAL LOSER — Larry Johnson. Every time we see good ‘ole Larry’s name we should remember that this is the man who predicted a month or two before 9/ll (in the NY Times) that terrorism wasn’t really a threat against the U.S. One would think he would have the decency to keep his mouth shut, but no.


28 posted on 04/29/2007 6:07:43 PM PDT by sruleoflaw
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To: operation clinton cleanup

If “the date was wrong” why was the quote that Iraq had to pay for what happened “yesterday”. Caught fabircating, Mr. Tenet. Perhaps his name should be pronounced Ten-ay - in recognition of his Gaullic perfidity.


29 posted on 04/29/2007 6:08:55 PM PDT by Dilbert56 (Harry Reid, D-Nev.: "We're going to pick up Senate seats as a result of this war.")
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To: NormsRevenge

I’ll read the book and decide. Not taking the school marm’s word for anything.


30 posted on 04/29/2007 6:10:36 PM PDT by gotribe ( I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution... - Grover Cleveland.)
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To: ClaireSolt
one-time head of Tenet's Osama bin Laden unit, Michael Scheuer

Intelligence failure? He is one of the culprits, but he's now some sort of savant.

31 posted on 04/29/2007 6:13:41 PM PDT by Thebaddog (Labrador Retrievers forever)
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To: Thebaddog
And another thing, wasn't the slam dunk comment related the the early attack on Saddam with smart bombs on some farm. It blew the surprise and was completely wrong. I remember Tenet using the grand statement for that big boner and I was not surprised when Bush promoted him out of service.
32 posted on 04/29/2007 6:17:31 PM PDT by Thebaddog (Labrador Retrievers forever)
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To: jackv

Many were found. See my homepage here for more info.


33 posted on 04/29/2007 6:29:20 PM PDT by xmission (Democrats are killing our Soldiers by rewarding the enemy for brutality)
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To: NormsRevenge

I don’t know if you can pin it on him, but the pre-war misinformation was the worst intelligence failure since the Trojan horse and has done a huge amount of harm to the US and indeed to the whole world.


34 posted on 04/29/2007 6:48:29 PM PDT by Northern Alliance
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To: NormsRevenge
I have only seen one thing earth shattering in Tenet's remarks.  He clearly states that he believed Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.  He takes fault & blame for the NIE of 2002 that indicated Iraq had WMD.  He did say "it's a slam dunk." 
 
What IS earth shattering is that there are so many that believe the President should NOT have believed his head of the Central Intelligence Agency, the combined consensus of 15 other intelligence agencies herded into the NIE and the consensus of every other government on the face of the planet including Iraq and the former U.S. administration that he did have WMD.

Now, just how crazy, foolish and stupid would President Bush have looked if he said five years ago that all of these people were nuts and wrong.

35 posted on 04/29/2007 7:19:52 PM PDT by HawaiianGecko (A word to the wise ain't necessary -- it's the stupid ones that need the advice.)
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To: operation clinton cleanup

I agree. Also, knowing what we all know now, all of the Plame and Wilson stuff was completely misrepresented in the interview. Tenet seemed so outraged, and it was all so phony.


36 posted on 04/29/2007 8:18:05 PM PDT by carola
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To: HawaiianGecko

agree.

but that’s NOT how it’s reported in the news media.


37 posted on 04/29/2007 8:21:01 PM PDT by ken21 (it takes a village to brainwash your child + to steal your property! /s)
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To: carola
He did refuse to comment on the whole Plame thing, but with Pelley’s questioning, it made it seem like he agreed with the accusation. It would be interesting to see the whole interview uncut.
38 posted on 04/29/2007 8:22:38 PM PDT by operation clinton cleanup
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To: PajamaTruthMafia

“Tenet’s associate said the date may have been wrong, but the exchange took place.”

Good grief...the way tenet stressed “it was September 12th!!” makes this lie even worse. Much more than just a mistake.

And the way he went on and on about the WH revealing plames name was sickening. Lost ALL credibility.


39 posted on 04/30/2007 5:32:11 AM PDT by jackv (just shakin' my head)
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To: Berosus; Convert from ECUSA; dervish; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Fedora; Fred Nerks; KlueLass; ...
Ping!
40 posted on 05/02/2007 10:30:54 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (I last updated my profile on Saturday, April 28, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv

I saw the interview...I would NOT buy a used car from that man.


41 posted on 05/02/2007 3:14:00 PM PDT by Fred Nerks (Fair Dinkum!)
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To: NormsRevenge; Berosus; Convert from ECUSA; dervish; Fedora; Fred Nerks; KlueLass; Seadog Bytes; ...

Tenet expects the next prez to be a Dhimmicrat, and wants a job. Wrong on both counts, IMHO, but even if the first is right, his job prospects are zero. No one likes a turncoat.


42 posted on 05/02/2007 4:14:25 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (I last updated my profile on Saturday, April 28, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv

Tenent interview with Bill Oreilly is on tonight at 8pm est, in case anyone is interested. I saw a preview; Tenent goes into some detail about the Clinton administration and its belief that sadam had WMD; several quotes from democrats during and after the slick admin about the threat from Sadam. Shows how the media is lieing about it all; might be interesting.


43 posted on 05/02/2007 4:17:49 PM PDT by Laverne
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To: Laverne

Somewhere there’s a nice page about that very thing — try a Google search for “if bush lied, so did these people”.


44 posted on 05/02/2007 4:37:45 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (I last updated my profile on Saturday, April 28, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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