"History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it."-Winston S. Churchill

"The wandering scholars were bound by no lasting loyalties, were attached by no sentiment of patriotism to the states they served and were not restricted by any feeling of ancient chivalry. They proposed and carried out schemes of the blackest treachery."-C.P. Fitzgerald.

Friday, February 06, 2004

Tenet's Smackdown 

Yesterday, at Georgetown University, George Tenet cleared the air about whether or not the Central Intelligence Agency was pressured by Big Bad Dick Cheney and His Goons to manufacture intelligence estimates. Courtesy of Citizen Smash, allow me to cite the money quote:

Let me be clear: Analysts differed on several important aspects of these programs and those debates were spelled out in the estimate.

They never said there was an imminent threat. Rather, they painted an objective assessment for our policy-makers of a brutal dictator who was continuing his efforts to deceive and build programs that might constantly surprise us and threaten our interests. No one told us what to say or how to say it.

Read the entire transcript here.

A fine point-by-point analysis of the speech can be found at Gregory Djerejian's Belgravia Dispatch. Almost as important is Gregory's take on the liberal reaction to George Tenet's counterstroke against the "imminent" meme, which can be found here. Apparently, the New York Times is in full spin mode, as they are eager to maintain the "imminent" meme as a bow in John Kerry's campaign quiver.

Not to be outdone, the Senator from Massachusetts had this reaction (full text) to Tenet's address:
“Today, the CIA Director, George Tenet, admitted that the intelligence agencies never told the White House that Iraq posed an imminent threat.  But that’s not what the Bush White House told the American people. They said Iraq posed a ‘mortal threat,’ an ‘urgent threat,’ an ‘immediate threat,’ a ‘serious threat,’ and, yes, an ‘imminent threat’ to the people of the United States

I will bet you even money that that is not the impression gathered by even the most casual listner to Tenet's speech. The intellectual charlatanism of this response speaks more about John Kerry than it does about Tenet or Bush. The Kerry people, at one with their outriders at the Times and other Big Media outlets, have decided that a nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse. So they have chosen, deliberately and with malice aforethought, to lie.

But that's politics, I suppose.

What is reassuring to me is that my doubts about George Tenet appear to have been misplaced. If he is rebuilding HUMINT and giving the President the straight skinny six days a week, then that is all that I or anyone else should hope for.

Except for Dowd, of course, who Djerejian expects to be in full, breezy roar within a very short period of time. Just for yuks, I think I'll give her next column (which will, in all likelihood, be about Tenet's speech) a good, full throated Fisking. Just so I can say that I did it, and deserve a wee bit o' the Creature for my efforts.

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