Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Letter to George Tenet

Six former CIA agents involved in the information gathering process prior to Iraq detail the information was available before the decision to attack Iraq was made in recent letter to George Tenet. The letters shows that "the whole world" did not think Saddam had weapons of mass destruction or ties with Al Queda.

In fact our own CIA thought just the opposite. What the White House did, with the help of tenet, was to make sure that no one was able to listen to our CIA. And we are paying for that dearly.

This [letter] is not a case of Monday morning quarterbacking. You [Mr. Tenet] helped send very mixed signals to the American people and their legislators in the fall of 2002. CIA field operatives produced solid intelligence in September 2002 that stated clearly there was no stockpile of any kind of WMD in Iraq. This intelligence was ignored and later misused. On October 1 you signed and gave to President Bush and senior policy makers a fraudulent National Intelligence Estimate (NIE)—which dovetailed with unsupported threats presented by Vice President Dick Cheney in an alarmist speech on August 26, 2002.

You were well aware that the White House tried to present as fact intelligence you knew was unreliable. And yet you tried to have it both ways. On October 7, just hours before the president gave a major speech in Cincinnati, you were successful in preventing him from using the fable about Iraq purchasing uranium in Africa, although that same claim appeared in the NIE you signed only six days before.

Although CIA 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 of the Baghdad regime, you still went before Congress in February 2003 and testified that Iraq did indeed have links to Al Qaeda.

You showed a lack of leadership and courage in January of 2003 as the Bush Administration pushed and cajoled analysts and managers to let them make the bogus claim that Iraq was on the verge of getting its hands on uranium. You signed off on Colin Powell's presentation to the United Nations. And, at his insistence, you sat behind him and visibly squandered CIA's most precious asset—credibility."

George Tenet is a sad and tragic figure. He was used and abused by the Bush administration, but still doesn't have the courage to really fight back.

He was not the reason we attacked Iraq, but he was an enabler, a classic buruecrat with little or no spine.



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