Ron Rosenbaum, Writer

April 30, 2007

George Tenet: Sorry…

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 9:44 am

… I know everyone in the world has commented on his “60 Minutes ” appearance by now. But I just can’t help it.

Can this incompetent clueless braggart who admits to endorsing torture (“waterboarding”) and claims results from it that have no corroboration, but won’t call it torture, this idiot who is repsonsible for the greatest intelligence failures in the history of our nation, actually be serious in his attempt to parse his infamous “slam dunk” comment? As if his personal image were the most important issue in this tragedy.

Here’s what he said in his interview with Scott Pelley:

What did you mean by slam dunk?” Pelley asks.

“I guess I meant that we could do better,” Tenet says.

“Do better?” Pelley asks.

“We can put a better case together for a public case, that’s what I meant. That’s what this was about,” Tenet explains.

Tenet says the president wasn’t happy with the presentation. So he was telling Mr. Bush that improving the presentation would be a slam dunk. But Tenet says the leak to Woodward made the remark look like the decisive moment in the decision to go to war.

“I’ll never believe that what happened that day informed the president’s view or belief in the legitimacy of this war. Never,” Tenet insists.

And this is the guy who got the Presidential Medal for freedom for his achievements in “intelligence;” who got a four million dollar book contract to promote this self serving transparent idiocy.

Saying that making a “presentation” for the war would be a slam dunk, is SO totally different from saying that the case for war is a “slam dunk”, right? It couldn’t possibly have had an influence on the subsequent policy decision, this statement from the head of the CIA. What if he’d said what he says he said this way: the case for WMD’s is shaky but I can make a “slam dunk” presentation that will fool the American people into believing it boss? THAT would be okay? That would be honorable? The “context” he gives his betrayal of his trust is worse than the original “misinterpretation” of the quote he’s so upset about. (It’s all about him, not thoe who died because ofhis incompetence). The original interpretaion of “slam dunk” merely makes himlook like an incompetent fool, the former, his new spin makes it sound like he wants us to believe he was willing to be a venal liar to suck up to his boss.

What if he had told the truth or what he now maintains he believes was the truth–that the WMD aspect of the case for the war was not strong on the basis of the intelligence he was aware of? Therefore any slam dunk “presentation” would be a fraud. And yet he considers it a great betrayal that he’s tagged with that damning “slam dunk” idiocy.

How stupid does he think we are? Don’t answer that. The big question is: how stupid or devious can a human being be? I think George Tenet has given us an answer.

Give the medal back George. Give the money back too. There’s no way you’re going to get your honor back with your sniveling weasel words.



  1. I enjoy reading your posts (as I do most PMedia writers) and I agree with most everything you say, but I think I may disagree with a point or two you make here. First, I don’t believe waterboarding as being torture. If an interrogation tactic used does not cause physical damage or lasting mental damage, then I feel that it is a just method to be used. More over, waterboarding is used by the US military on its own troops as a training method in case they get captured (can’t rememeber what part of the military – some sort of elite forces unit or units). If it’s used by the US military on US troops, I think that makes a case for waterboarding to not fall into the category of torture.

    In regards to the slam dunk comment. I think it is an all but irrelevant phrase that has been given way too much press. Tenet may or may not have said it in the context he suggests in his book. However, the war was not launched based on these words by Tenet. EVERYONE thought that WMD’s were in Iraq. That includes the Brits, French, Israelis, members of the US Congress and the UN among others. It’s not as if Tenet’s was the sole voice that was deciding whether to invade or not.

    On a side note, I’ll add this to the WMD issue. Take a look at the big picture. Do people really think that Saddam voluntarily destroyed his WMD’s because he thought they were not nice weapons? Surely he either gave them away for return later (Syria perhaps) or he created the capacity to cook up some more WMD’s on the quick once the storm blew over. And remember that all he had to do to avoid attack was to let the inspectors in to verify that there were no WMD’s. Unfortunately for him, the storm came with a whole lot of angry behind it and never blew over. Good for the rest of us though.

    Thank you for your praise for my previous posts. We don’t always have to agree on everything. I don’t share your confidence waterboarding doesn’t cause “lasting physical or mental damage”. Baaed on what studies? The fact some special forces train their troops to resist torture doesn’t make it any less torture. Furthermore evidence extracted by torture is particularly unreliable: the fact you can get poeple to talk by these means doesn’t mean they’ll tell the truth, quite the opposite likely.

    And the point about “slam dunk” is not whether it alone led to war, the point is that Tenet’s “defense” of the remark makes him look far, far worse than before. Before, he says its influence on the presidental decision was exaggerated and to tax him with that was a terrible betrayal. His “defense” is that it didn’t matter he and his incompetent agency got the WMD question wrong, but that he was merely ready and willing to present a deeply flaawed analysis to the American people through a fraudulent “presentation”, and that was okay.

    His defense makes him look more stupid and venal than the original way the remark was reported and he’s too stupid to realize it. Our great “intelligence” leader.

    Comment by Ritchie Emmons — May 1, 2007 @ 8:35 pm | Reply

  2. I guess we can amicably agree to disagree about waterboarding. You ask a good question about my opinion being “based on what studies?” I confess to not having seen any studies backing up my opinion. Do you know of any studies that waterboarding does indeed cause lasting physical or mental damage? I’d be interested to see them. I’ve figured that if there was evidence that it causes damage, surely the MSM would have plastered it all over the news by now (if you go to bed and there’s no snow, but when you wake up in the morning…. ha ha). On a side note about torture, for the sake of the known terrorists (UBL, Zarqawi, Zawahiri, etc…), I don’t care if they “get tortured” or not. I actually would enjoy seeing them subject to such treatment just to inflict the pain and misery on them that they feel so justified to inflict on undeserving others. Please don’t misunderstand though – I’m not saying they should be tortured by us or anyone. Maybe some magical other world force could impose terrible unpleasantness on them for the rest of their lives.

    As for the slam dunk comment, I certainly don’t disagree with your assessment of Tenet and his double speak. I was merely saying that the comment itself has gotten way overblown. I’ve seen Tenet on TV over the past couple of days and I find him quite unsatisfying to watch. Almost painful.

    By the way, thank you very much for responding to my comment. Unexpected and very kind.

    Thanks. Re: waterboarding studies. I think it’s way too early to assess whther there are”lasting” mental and phsyical effects almost by definition. So the fact there are no MSM reports of such studies doesn’t suggest anything one way or another. But it’s hard to believe such treatment leaves victims without some deep psychic trauma

    Comment by Ritchie Emmons — May 3, 2007 @ 8:08 am | Reply

  3. It’s time to find out for sure. I propose a 20 year study on KSM!!!! (haha!)

    Comment by Ritchie Emmons — May 5, 2007 @ 10:01 am | Reply

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