Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Taking Tenet at his word (a giant leap, admittedly), according to him "slam dunk" did not refer to any intel proving Saddam had WMD or was an "imminent threat," but rather the phrase was said in relation to how well the administration could sell the war to the American public. The two are very different. One concerns reality and facts as they are known, and the other refers to PR-type spin to coax the unwitting public into believing a stance the White House was favoring and desperately needed support. Tenet is making the case that such shaping of the intel to back the policy was a "slam dunk," implying enough loose ends and innuendo was available to scare the living bejesus out of most Americans, that there was enough "crap" to justify to the public that war was necessary.

Boy, isn't it great he cleared that up, years later no less? What a brave, upstanding ex-government official -- give this guy a medal! (Oh, Bush did, my bad).

James Fallows has posted a terrific response to Dan Bartlett's claim that Bush seriously debated the need to go to war:
At least George Tenet is not telling a flat-out lie -- which is a difference between him and White House counselor Dan Bartlett.

Tenet, as mentioned earlier, would have better served his country (and his reputation) by speaking up more promptly about the Bush Administration’s failure ever to have a “serious debate” about whether it was worth invading Iraq.

But his failing was telling the truth too late — not sticking to, well, a lie like the one Bartlett uttered yesterday (according to the AP) as part of the White House’s attempt to rebut Tenet:
“This president weighed all the various proposals, weighed all the various consequences before he did make a decision.”
I say plainly: that is a lie. To be precise about it, no account of the Administration’s deliberations, by anyone other than Bartlett just now, offers even the slightest evidence that this claim is true. Innumberable accounts offer ample evidence that it is false. I have asked this direct question to many interviewees who were in a position to know: was there ever such a meeting or discussion? The answer was always, No. The followup challenge to Bartlett should be: show us a memo, show us a policy paper, show us a scheduled meeting, show us notes taken at the time to substantiate the idea that the Administration ever seriously considered what the nation would gain or lose by invading Iraq, and what the alternatives might be. What the Administration actually considered, according to all known evidence, is how it would invade Iraq, and when.
As I wrote on Saturday, "does anyone really care what any of these folks have to say at this point? It seems as if all of them lie and the fact is they were all involved in the hoodwinking and cookery of the intel from the start and I don't recall any of them crying foul then (of course not counting the likes of Richard Clarke)."

We now see Rice tap-dancing in response to Tenet's book. They all lie as no one -- including Bush himself -- wants to be on the hook for one of the worst decisions in our history. They continue to wriggle and squirm.

No comments: