May 5, 2007

CIA Senior Operative Calls Tenet A Liar (Updated)

George Tenet has received plenty of criticism about his new book, At the Center of the Storm, ranging from poorly researched anecdotes to excoriation over the long delay and changing stories after he left the agency. Now one of his senior management team has flatly told Jeff Stein at CQ Daily that Tenet is a liar:

Lehrer asked about the half dozen former CIA officials who signed a joint letter deploring Tenet’s book, as well as Michael Scheuer, former head of the agency’s Osama bin Laden unit, who wrote in The Washington Post that, “We shouldn’t buy his attempts to let himself off the hook.”

“Well, Jim, none of them were — none of those six worked with me,” Tenet said.

But one who did has now come forward to call Tenet — more in sorrow than anger — a liar.

Tyler Drumheller, head of the Clandestine Service’s Europe Division when he retired in 2004, says Tenet’s assertion that he didn’t know that a key intelligence source for the attack on Iraq was bogus is “a lie.”

“This is a defense that he and Harlow cooked up,” Drumheller said in an interview last week, referring to Tenet and his writing assistant, former CIA spokesman Bill Harlow.

Curveball was the German source for much of their intelligence on chemical and biological weapons laboratories, including the mobile labs that we have debated at CQ on several occasions. When the Germans began to lose faith in Curveball, they didn't tell the CIA through normal channels, but Drumheller found out through one of his less-formal contacts. The Germans eventually fired him, but not before Drumheller's organization did some checking on Curveball and determined that he might be mentally unstable.

Drumheller reported this when it happened, in the fall of 2002. Langley engaged in an emotional debate about the nature of Curveball and its impact on WMD reporting, at least in terms of chemical and biological weapons. By December 2002, two months before Tenet sat behind Colin Powell at the UN while Powell used Curveball data for his presentation, Tenet's chief of staff knew about the controversy, as did his special assistant. Either Tenet's lying now to save face, Drumheller insists, or he was derelict in his duties as DCI.

This is what Tenet said about Curveball:

In the face of all this, Tenet maintains in his book that he never heard serious doubts about Curveball, either before Jan 28, 2003, when President Bush alleged Iraq had biological weapons labs, or a week later, when he took his seat, at Powell’s insistence, directly behind him for the U.N presentation.

“No such report was disseminated, nor was the issue ever brought to my attention,” Tenet writes.

Drumheller insists that he himself addressed the Curveball problems with Tenet and his deputy, John McLaughlin, before the Bush speech. McLaughlin is one of the former agency staff that has publicly defended Tenet against criticisms of the book. Drumheller says that Tenet would not go back to Bush and admit that the CIA screwed up, and has therefore refused to acknowledge that he and McLaughlin knew about Curveball's unreliability.

Obviously someone is lying about this, and Drumheller has less at stake than Tenet in fabricating the story. Neither story paints the CIA with much glory, of course, but it points out that the issue was less about the CIA's intel than our reliance on German data. It also demonstrates that the political decisions did not ignore contrary reporting on Curveball, as some have suggested, but that the political decisions were made without having that information -- due to the infighting at Langley.

UPDATE: Douglas Feith, who gets maligned by Tenet in this book, also strikes back:

Mr. Tenet resents that the CIA was criticized for its work on Saddam Hussein's support for terrorism, in particular, Iraq's relationship with al Qaeda. On this score he is especially angry at Vice President Dick Cheney, at Mr. Cheney's chief of staff, Scooter Libby, at Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and at me -- I was the head of the Defense Department's policy organization. Mr. Tenet devotes a chapter to the matter of Iraq and al Qaeda, giving it the title: "No Authority, Direction or Control." The phrase implies that we argued that Saddam exercised such powers -- authority, direction and control -- over al Qaeda. We made no such argument.

Rather we said that the CIA's analysts were not giving serious, professional attention to information about ties between Iraq and al Qaeda. The CIA's assessments were incomplete, nonrigorous and shaped around the dubious assumption that secular Iraqi Baathists would be unwilling to cooperate with al Qaeda religious fanatics, even when they shared strategic interests. This assumption was disproved when Baathists and jihadists became allies against us in the post-Saddam insurgency, but before the war it was the foundation of much CIA analysis.

Mr. Tenet's account of all this gives the reader no idea of the substance of our critique, which was that the CIA's analysts were suppressing information. They were not showing policy makers reports that justified concern about ties between Iraq and al Qaeda. Mr. Tenet does tell us that the CIA briefed Mr. Cheney on Iraq and al Qaeda in September 2002 and that the "briefing was a disaster" because "Libby and the vice president arrived with such detailed knowledge on people, sources, and timelines that the senior CIA analytic manager doing the briefing that day simply could not compete." He implies that there was improper bullying but then adds: "We weren't ready for this discussion."

This is an abject admission. He is talking about September 2002 -- a year after 9/11! This was the month that the president brought the Iraq threat before the United Nations General Assembly. This was several weeks after I took my staff to meet with Mr. Tenet and two-dozen or so CIA analysts to challenge the quality of the agency's work on Iraq and al Qaeda.

So one year after 9/11, when everyone wondered what connection Saddam Hussein might have to al-Qaeda, the CIA still was not ready to conduct an intelligence briefing on that subject with the Vice President. What had they been doing for that year? We had tens of thousands of troops committed to Saddam's containment, Iraq was a security threat in the region -- hence the containment -- and the CIA couldn't prepare properly for questions about its connections to radical Islamist terrorism a year later, by Tenet's own admission.

Maybe he's both a liar and an incompetent.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference CIA Senior Operative Calls Tenet A Liar (Updated):

» Sean Penn on BushCo on the Bill Maher Show from The Democratic Daily
Sean Penn was on the Bill Maher Show on Friday night, along with Harold Ford, Jr., and Penn spoke out on George Tenet’s new book and the Bush Administration: Penn’s assessment, needless to say pissed off some wingnuts. Meanwhile, th... [Read More]

Comments (29)

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 5, 2007 2:02 PM

Myths and lies.

As to the CIA, where Poppy Bush ran the show during Nixon's and Ford's time in office; isn't exactly the group you'd go to, if you wanted to learn the truth about anything.

All you could really know is that it's highly unlikely Plame was undercover, with much except nudity; when she performed circus acts for those who delivered to her, their instructions.

To drive into Langley and be undercover, as a spook, however; takes on many new meanings. Especially since you know her husband, once married to a french spook, has his hands stuck in Africa's gravy trains.

Those jobs just aren't advertised in your local papers.

What Tenet is doing is showing you "his side," from the view that he was, in fact, tossed under the bus.

There were lots of good reasons to know this is a bad man! Including how Chalabi tried to ride his American connections, into the powerhouse of Iraq's government. BUT DIDN'T GET THERE!

In the Mafia, when your guy is given an assignment, and he "doesn't get there," he's usually buried in a parking lot.

Tenet's lucky.

And, you can take his story with a grain of salt.

The truth is in there, somewhere. Once you shovel away the bullshit.

Posted by Michael Smith [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 5, 2007 2:39 PM

I've just finished "The Looming Tower" by Lawrence Wright. According to Wright's account, in the weeks leading up to 9/11, Tenet's CIA knew the location of key al Qaeda operatives who were involved in pulling off the Afghan Embassy bombings and the Cole attack, they knew the FBI was looking for these operatives because the FBI repeatedly asked the CIA if they had any information on them, they knew these operatives were in America working on "something big" -- and adamently refused to tell any of it to the FBI. Had the CIA cooperated, there is a good chance the FBI could have prevented 9/11.

And Bush gave Tenet the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Posted by Michael Smith [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 5, 2007 2:49 PM

Correction: the above should read the African Embassy bombings, not Afghan Embassy.

Posted by RBMN [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 5, 2007 3:45 PM

Re: Michael Smith at May 5, 2007 02:39 PM

I'm sure that most reports of Tenet's "diligent efforts" to reform the CIA were delivered to the White House by Tenet himself. And if Tenet's place of honor is based on Tenet's version of events at the CIA, then Tenet probably deserved sainthood instead--not just a puny little gold medal.

Posted by The Mechanical Eye [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 5, 2007 3:47 PM

Does the man have any friends?

The CIA operatives hate him for writing about them, Bush's detractors decry him for waiting so long to write his book and doing nothing during his time in office, and Bush's dwindling supporters despise him for being a turncoat.

That Medal of Freedom must feel awfully heavy these days.


Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 5, 2007 4:07 PM

Currently listening to THE HOUSE OF BUSH / THE HOUSE OF SAUD. On my car's CD player. And, the "LOOMING TOWER" has already arrived from Amazon. It goes in, next.

The best I can make from the pieces; is that we're looking at a giant and complex puzzle. Piece by piece. Money is behind each and every piece. And, a lot of this got started, not in 1938, when oil was first discovered in Saudi Arabia; but around 1974. Following the Israeli Yom Kippur war. Which it didn't lose. The arabs were counting on that one!

And, in 1974? We got the oil industry take-over IN Saudi Arabia. OPEC was formed. Under the umbrella of James Baker, and his mover and shaker friends. There's plenty of family wealth, there.

Just not a great tradition to building themselves out of the Dark Ages, for those stinking arabs. And, no opportunities at all for their women.

While George Herbert Walker Bush parleyed his Texas oil investments (Harkin Energy) into a wealth almost on par with the Saud's. But Bush is good at keeping a low profile. BY DESIGN.

And, lots of cut-outs.

It's not a question of what someone knows; because you need to see both sets of plans. (Just like FDR had to do.)

The other thing of meritorious note. Is that Winston Churchill kept General Douglas MacArthur alive. (For him? The day after Pearl Harbor, destroyed the Phillipino's fleet of American planes, while still on the ground.)

That means? Even the best have to recover from disaster. And, for MacArthur it was the fact that Australia was close to the grasping Japanese. Who then owned 1,000,000 miles of Pacific Ocean, and all surround land spaces.

Again, you can pick a date, like 9/11. And, you'll brush up against things you didn't know were there.

But hindsight? Gives you a view that Bush was not going in to take off Saddam's head "without it."

And, the press gave you "the cave man" bullshit. Not that Osama wan't behind Whabbi built mosque terror collections centers. He was. I twas the others who saw that this had far-ranging possibilities.

I still hope the Saud's lose.

As to Iraq, Bush is stymied. He can't really increase the size of our presence. While our troops are no longer in need of the island off of Puerto Rico, where they can "practice." We've moved some things into better position. Certainly better than Way-go Garcia. Or whatever that distant air base is kept.

Still, you'll notice the Saud's "husband" their air bases. And, make all sorts of silly suggestions to the Americans, in charge of our own air force. They go along with us "sometimes." But then? Who the hell knows what they're up to?

They have, however, the money to do it.

And, since, in 2000 BOTH candidates were from super-rich familes; BOTH were unworthy! At least now we're seeing wiser men who climbed up the HARD WAY. WIthout the wealth being a dominant factor in their feelings of entitlement.

The Bush's are more wealthy than the Queen of England. If you want to compare how this list works out. The queen, however, has better properties. And, jewels. While the Bush's always tried to make themselves out to be "middle-class." What hokum. Even the Crawford Ranch was bought a little bit before 2000. Don't forget, Bush knew he had Bandar's nod on running, back in 1998. And, Rove planted the idea that Bush was not only from Texas (where he had been living in the Governor's mansion). But that he had a ranch in Crawford. Set designed to appeal in his bid for the presidency. Where he didn't really take our world by storm.

Today? Up at Drudge, the latest poll says he's got a popularity rating of about 28%. So there ya have it. Even die-hard republicans have fallen off the bus.

After WW1, it took more than a decade for the stories of that slaughter to make it out to public view. ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT was published in 1928.

And, then? There was a global depression. Which hit many Americans hard. History? When we look back, it looks like things get cleaned up a bit.

But living through them? Well, who knows what lays ahead. And, how people will look back on what took place, here. Where Bush used some of our military, to go in and take Saddam, out.

Where the plans fall apart, though, is that there wasn't a working general in place; once Bremer came in and tossed out a more reasoned ability for the Iraqis to discover democracy. Instead? With the Saudi money flowing for the past five years; Iraqis, in general, have been getting a 9/11 each and every week.

The killing of civilians is what terrorists do.

While great armies know that killing civilians is a waste of time. There are always survivors!

Heck, count what the german's did in WW2. Where are they now? And, do you see that surviving horrors can actually make you stronger?

That's why it's called the Crucible. When you're thrown into something that melts steel, you're stronger than the melted product. And, Americans really have to learn a lot more. Before they understand the bets that were made at the table.

Meanwhile? The Bush Family may keep its wealth for generations to come. But their breed? May not be the most popular presidency to wear, around. A lot of people already realize somethings wrong.

Can James Baker still push through another $8-billion-dollar-sale of our top military hardware to the Saud's? He did during Reagan's time. Because Reagan signed the bill. And, there weren't enough congress critters, opposed.

There's good and bad, in every environment. Looking back to the 2nd term of Reagan? He wanted to take out the Contras. The congress was opposed. And, even Israel was up to its eyeballs in the selling of military supplies to BOTH SIDES AT WAR, THEN, in the Mideast. Iran. And, Iraq, as well. The proceeds went to solve the problem with the Contras, though. So it held its plusses.

The Saud's are still the bank to go to.

But to give them another "deal" now? Who knows?

At least you can see what gazoo looks like.

You can see Lebanon tearing itself apart.

And, you can probably determine that the Iraqis, because of the super-wealth of its oil reserves, will be battling it out, as well.

It's all in the hands of the Man Upstairs. And, the only tools we have are the randomness of probabilities.

While Bush will be exitig office with the reputation he deserves. And, one that angered him when it was applied to his father.

The Israelis seem to have a better handle on how to deal with terrorism; but they're still beset with political problems, galore. The few who have access to getting elected, fight like dogs and cats. While the public watches. Sometimes, horrified. But, at other times? Amused. You learn your lessons from everything you see.

While putting together a complicated puzzle? Sometimes you just separate out pieces by color. And, hope for the best. And, this is one hell of a complicated puzzle! With no picture on the outside of the box telling you what you're gonna get.

Posted by Dale in Atlanta [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 5, 2007 5:33 PM

Carol: could you PULEAZE post for me, either/or the Pager number, or Cellphone number of your "Dealer"??

I NEED to get some of the same stuff you are on!


Dale in Atlanta...

PS: I'll fly where ever I have to in the country, to hook up with them, because it is evidently GOOD S&%$!

So don't let the fact that I'm in Atlanta, concern you at all, please post requested info ASAP!

Posted by Michael Smith [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 5, 2007 6:39 PM

It's off-topic, but you may find this interesting.

One of the al Qaeda suicide bombers actually survived the attacks on the African Embassies, attacks which killed hundreds of Muslims in addition to about 12 Americans. When the FBI interrogated this guy, they were curious and wanted to know where the Koran or the hadiths justified the killing of innocent Muslims.

This guy responded, "bin Laden said it is acceptable because Allah will take care of all those dead Muslims, they will be rewarded in Paradise." "And besides," he added, "you have no idea how many people joined us immediately after those bombings. Hundreds showed up begging bin Laden for the opportunity to become martyrs."

So bin Laden has given them a rationalization for mass murder of anyone, including other Muslims. And Islam has apparently produced significant numbers of young men anxious to swallow it.

Posted by reliapundit - the astute blogger [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 5, 2007 6:54 PM

a liar, or incompetent,


the russians bought Richard Hannsen.

And they bought Aldrich Ames.

The Saudis could afford to buy whomever they wanted.

And get this: Tenet works at GEORGETOWN which has recently received HUGE ENDOWMENTS form the Saudi "royal" family.


Moles would explain a lot.

like why the FBI ignored the warming about moussowi.

Posted by jveritas [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 5, 2007 8:31 PM

I thought that some reportings said that Curveball was Naji Sabri one of Saddam Hussein top officials. I doubt that Naji Sabri was mentally unstable.

My final analysis and conclusion after reading over 2000 Iraqi documents in its Arabic is the following:

I believe that Saddam regime had never ceased working on its WMD programs, in particular those pertaining to Chemical Weapons. I concluded from these documents that from 1999-2002 Saddam regime worked on the production of the necessary “Chemical Precursors” that are required to make “Chemical Weapons” and I believe that some documents indicate where these “Chemical Precursors” were potentially buried.

I believe that Saddam regime decided to produce the “Chemical Precursors” and store them rather than the “Final Chemical Weapons Products” for two important reasons. First Saddam regime can always claim that these “Chemical Precursors” are to be used for a civilian industry since almost all of these “Chemical Precursors” fall under the dual use category where it can be used for civilian and military use. Second because the “Chemical Precursors” have longer shelf life storage than the “Final Chemical Weapons Products”. Saddam regime would have been able to assemble the precursors into final chemical weapons products in a very short period of time and when it was necessary.

Saddam regime camouflaged the “Chemical Precursors” production under a project called the “Pharmaceutical and Pesticides Project”. Of course they gave it a civilian industrial name as they did for other WMD programs in the past most notably as they called their previous nuclear program before 1991 “The Petrochemical 3 Project”.

Possible locations of Chemical Weapons Burial Sites:

In my opinion Saddam regime buried the “Chemical Weapons Precursors” in the Western Desert, in particular in the Anbar province. I doubt very much that Saddam moved those materials outside Iraq to a different country for fear that this country can turn against him and bargain a deal on their expense with the US. I have read some Iraqis documents that give a strong hint about the possible locations where these “Chemical Weapons Precursors” can be buried and all these locations are in one particular district in the remote area of the Anbar province. According to the documents that were written in 1999-2003 Saddam regime was looking for location in the Western desert to bury what they call “Chemical Materials” and in some instances they call it “Chemical Waste Materials”. Saddam himself was directly involved in this issue according to the documents and he gave high priority orders for his top officials to come up with these burial sites. Some may say that these were only “chemical waste burial sites” however I find it is very odd that the Iraqis never thought about locations to bury their chemical waste until the year 1999! Why suddenly the Iraqis were so interested in finding burial sites for their chemical products and why Saddam himself was giving high priority orders for such a trivial matter if in fact the sites were only to bury Chemical Waste. The oddity of the issue leads to believe that these were no Chemical Waste burial sites but rather the burial sites of much more important materials such as “Chemical Weapons Precursors” and other equipments related to the production of “Chemical Weapons”.

Many of us remember the reporting about satellite pictures prior to the Iraq war that showed a convoy of suspect trucks that can be carrying Chemical Weapons moving toward the West and it was thought by many analysts that they were going to Syria. However in my opinion these trucks were going to the remote areas of the Anbar province in Western Iraq to bury the “Chemical Weapons Precursors” and the equipments required to make it.

The documents mention by names the few towns and one district in the Anbar province where Saddam regime wanted the Chemical materials burial sites. Because these towns are located in the Anbar province the heart of the terrorist insurgency in Iraq I will not mention these documents in a public forum for security concerns.

Joseph Shahda

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 5, 2007 9:36 PM

DRUDGE just put up the headline: The Sand Monkey (also probably the same as THE BIG PHARAOH), have been arrested, accused. And, sent to jail for 4 years.

This is bigger than the Cave Man, folks. It's a way of life for a few families to rule. From Egypt. To Lebanon, and Syria. And, Jordan. The Sunni's limit power to a few. Where the SAUDS are the bankers. ANd, James Baker is one of the manipulating lawyers; that turns the whole thrust of the money into an international terrorist organization.

Go ahead. Keep thinking it's the Cave Man.

But the truth is that the terrorists want to control communications. They've pretty thoroughly soaked up the media. Which is why places you think that would fold, DON'T. That's how much money is available to the Saud['s. Who build nothing at all. Except their own show-off palaces. And, the terror network underneath it all.

Will they come here? No. Here we get those who have attached themselves to the Saud's wealth, just the same.

Of course, we really do have a democracy, in the sense you need to be popular enough; to water-carry. That's why, for instance, Jimmy Carter doesn't.

Nor do the Bush's.

Now, let's talk about Saddam a moment. When he was fighting Iran. Remember that decade? The CIA was sending him all sorts of biological and chemical weapons. Even Bubonic Plague.

It's not as if there was any great secrets within the vaults of the CIA, where this was "unknown."

As to the puzzle pieces? There's a lunatic in Atlanta who thinks, if he takes drugs, he can see it all. And, piece this whole thing together. Just get him a "dealer."

Shows ya. We'd be better off without the crazy patchwork of War on Drugs. Just as we're about to see "the war on terror" has been met by the wealth of the House of Saud.

Still, this IS the Internet. It's not your drug supplier. Many people can't even comprehend that we'd get this story, where Saddam goes to the hangman; on some sort of internal "picque" within the CIA. And, then the different branches, flapped. So the french certainly were in line with the Wilson's.

The president gave a speech, that turns out to have embarassed him with 16-words. (Was that the convincing statement to make I-R-A-K possible?)

Gee we didn't get much. Between Homeland Security, which is a farce at tazpayer expense. To all the other childish nonsense.

But do go off and look into the distance, now. Because I had the Big Pharaoh's blog bookmarked.

How easy it is for despots to do end runs around speech we take for granted. (And, no. They don't have the scientists that invented this stuff.) They go after the few voices willing to say out loud: THE TRUTH.)

Mubarak? Like the House of Saud. EVIL.

And, we've been playing with both these stinkers. Without even given them reasons to fear.

Think of it. Cancelling out the voices of a few bloggers, is supposed to be without impact.

Posted by RBMN [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 5, 2007 9:39 PM

They say that George Tenet never spent much time with President Clinton (because Clinton wasn't interested in foreign intelligence) but I'm not sure about that.

Apparently Clinton spent enough time with Tenet to teach him that even simple words can have several different meanings--pick the one you like, later.

Posted by Insufficiently Sensitive [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 5, 2007 9:46 PM

It's no wonder that Tenet maligns Feith.

Says Feith: "Mr. Tenet's account of all this gives the reader no idea of the substance of our critique, which was that the CIA's analysts were suppressing information. ... Mr. Tenet does tell us that the CIA briefed Mr. Cheney on Iraq and al Qaeda in September 2002 and that the "briefing was a disaster" because "Libby and the vice president arrived with such detailed knowledge on people, sources, and timelines that the senior CIA analytic manager doing the briefing that day simply could not compete."

If accurate, this confirms Cheney's belief that the CIA was not to be relied on, and confirms that the resources that Cheney devoted for developing alternate sources of information were very well spent.

And now someone's pushing legislation to prevent Administration personnel from developing such diverse sources of information - giving the CIA a monopoly on the ear of the Administration, and damn the fate of the country at large to cement such a monopoly. Cheney was right all along, and the CIA politically murdered Libby in retaliation for it.

Posted by onlineanalyst [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 5, 2007 9:55 PM

Carol: Consider that Mecca and Medina are located in Saudi Arabia. If Mymood Imadaboutjihad of Iran continues to get feisty with his nuclear programs and/or sweeps into Iraq should our precipitate withdrawal create a power vacuum, the HQ holy cities of Islam may equally be threatened by a Shiite massacre led by an ambitious madman bent on the arrival of the 12th imam and end times. Do the Saudi princes who currently quell the unrest of their own population also chance an emboldened Iran? Is this not a logical reason why we are brokering weapons to SA? Just asking...

To add to the mix: Iran is participating in electricity sectors of 10 countries. Look at the partnering. Iran is spreading its sphere of influence worldwide and forming its own alliances through energy production.

Meanwhile an Iranian security council member has recently visited Iraq with the same offer.

We are watching the geopolitical map changing right before our eyes. Meanwhile we have clowns spreading gloom and doom over manmade "climate change" and not allowing our own nation to become energy independent. Our own technical skill and capability could forge alliances in our favor if we played our cards right.

Re Bush's polls being "in the tank": Anger about his push for amnesty under any guise for illegals and the concern about border control esp. in the Southwest are the leading reasons for his dropping numbers. Republicans are split regarding support for guest workers being given a path to citizenship when they have clearly broken the rule of law. Ironically, the Democrats are equally split about this issue, but they are in the shadows letting Bush take the heat. Here is an interesting analysis of the immigration brouhaha:
Bush is in the spotlight for fostering changes in the immigration policy, and he is taking the heat for it. The fact of the matter is, though, that the Dems, who would like for their numbers to swell, are divided just as much over this issue.

You will notice that amid the inane questions posed to the Republican presidential contenders, the important ones about border control and immigration issues about illegals were never introduced. The moderators controlled the debate message by offering Dem talking points about a number of foolish or inconsequential issues.

Sorry to move off topic, Captain Ed, but sometimes I become very annoyed when comments harp on a Johnny One-Note about the House of Saud and the House of Bush taking over the world. Domestic politics and achieving geopolitical harmony are mighty complex issues, and every player has an agenda.

Posted by bayam [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 5, 2007 9:59 PM

Perhaps Tenet is a liar and incompetent, but that didn't prevent Bush from giving him this nation's greatest distinction. It makes you wonder how far the incompetence spreads.

I'm a little puzzled by the ongoing effort by some to emphasize the theat posed by Saddam in order to justify the war. It should be clear now that Iran is a much bigger threat than Saddam ever posed; Iraq's army was at one time capable of containing Iran and its ambitions. Today, control of the MIddle East is up for grabs. To counter the Shiite threat, the US is partnering with the Saudis to support and finance fringe Sunni groups who hate the Shiites and Iranians, yet probably hate America even more. (If this sounds familiar to US efforts to fund the Afghan freedom fighters in a past decade, you might be onto something.)

The presence of a largely secular, Sunni government in Iraq, fiercely opposed to Theran, was an asset that at some point even right-wing bloggers will begin to appreciate. Until then, I guess we have to live in the past, haunted by a need to justify a war that's turned into a strategic nightmare for the West and moderates in the Middle East.

Posted by onlineanalyst [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 5, 2007 10:10 PM

Both Iraq and Iran were identified as part of the "axis of evil" and both had (Iraq under Saddam)/ have(Iran) hegemonic designs of increasing their sphere of influence in the ME and in world energy sourcing.

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 5, 2007 11:38 PM

Well, to continue.

In the HOUSE OF SAUD /HOUSE OF BUSH, which I've just started; I was surprised to learn all over again, the things I heard during the 1980's. When there was an on-going Iran/Iraq war. And, we did get involved, actually, providing all sorts of war materials to both sides.

It took on a name of Iran/Contra. But hidden from view? The SAUD's were the bankers!

Not the first time in history, a family has supplied the funds to the Napoleon's of the world. Or, here, either.

And, people who know the oil industry? It's surprising how the Bush family used its political connections; going back to the 1950's. Or perhaps a bit before? When Houston wild-catters hit the main line. It brought enormous wealth to a few, in Texas.

Yet, in looking back, I can see that once LBJ reached the White House, he did a terrible job. (For a very bright politician!) He just didn't know how to connect to the people. So he got tossed.

By the time Jimmy Carter rolls into office, the Saud connections to DC are very strong. (They got built by bailing out Harkin in its times of woe. And, Burt Lance. The man at the bank for Jimmy Carter. Who took two-million, and ran. While the Saud's covered the debts. And, made inroads into American banking power houses.)

In a similar comparison to the mafia; you don't have to "know" the whole thing, to know that the Godfather wields power.

Here? It's James Baker. And, a few other really well connected lawyers to lobbyists. Their names are now in office towers in Riyadh. And, it's their business to keep the Saud's reputation "polished."

The only evil in the world? No.

As a matter of fact what will probably happen in Iraq, is that the thieving interests will be at each other's neck. Until one military rules them all. Who will that be? And, will things look like Lebanon or gazoo?

Or more likely what passes for government in Eygpt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. To say nothing of gazoo! Where the people live in poverty. Where there's no edcuation at all for the talented born outside the royal houses. And, nothing really for the women, at all.

Does it last "forever?" No.

Because history points out that there are ups and downs to even the biggest "houses" that passed through, here, on the way to "history."

But for the time being?

The Saud's didn't stop 9/11. It was on their drawing boards. And, Clinton got a lick of it in 1993, when the first attempt was made to blow up the Twin Towers in NYC. Truck bomb. Didn't do the trick. So, the flying planes were used.

And, the CIA says "no hints?" Okey dokey. But an Eygptian airliner went down, in a TEST. With the pilot shouting out his ass was on fire; or Allu-akbar cockroaches; all the way down.

Sometimes you can put these puzzle pieces together.

By the way, the last one in the loop was Dubya. I think 9/11 shocked him. But on 9/13, he had Bandar at the White House. Where they went out onto the Truman balcony (for privacy), lit Cohiba's, and had a private talk.

There's also the truth that 140 Saud's got flights out of the USA on 9/11. When nothing was moving. All flights were down. Everything on hold. But what do you know?

As to what Saddam got, from the American government, during the 1980's, was terrible chemical and biological plagues. THAT'S A FACT!

So, now we want to know where this crap is buried?

Who knows what's gonna follow the UN's diplomatic-pants-dancers, onto the stage? Nothing lasts forever.

Perhaps, Bush thinks he's doing the best he can. But while he's at it, he's bowing to Tin Lizzie, for no apparent reason. And, he refuses to upset James Baker.

Worse, no matter how his popularity plummets; you're still not seeing much of an attitudinal adjustment inside the Executive's House. How come Poppy was able to send James Baker back in to "halp" his son? It sure seems things are serious. It sure seems the elder Bush understands the loss of popularity better than his son. And, it sure does seem we're living in dangerous times. Since James Baker is at the levers of control.

Then? I guess it depends on how Americans feel in 2008, when we go to vote in the next President.

But George Herbert Walker Bush got his start during Nixon's administration. Ah. Ditto. Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. Though I think those two guys lost status on Dubya's Christmas list.

Jimmy Carter fell into the Saud's camp through Burt Lance.

Reagan? Alas, James Baker, himself, with his contacts, arranged for Reagan to "select" Bush as his veep. And, then? He got the job of Chief of Staff. (Where, by the way, Baker was DC's biggest leaker. When you read "background," he was it. Especially if it was negative news to the Gipper.)

Deniability is always built in!

So, you're left with these puzzle pieces.

The easiest part? Understanding the millions each day that come into the House of Saud. Profits like that are enormous. ANd, they are not spent on running a country.

Hell, Saddam swam in riches, too. And, Iraq got no infrastruture at all. But Saddam sat on top of a garbage can. His ass was the lid. And, anything that moved that threatened him was dead. Late knocks on the door, and all.

After all these years? Who knows what the chemical conditions are for the arsenal of biological and chemical weapons with which he was provided?

The Israelis aren't sharing secrets, out loud, either.

But they took out Osarik in 1991, cancelling Saddam's nuclear program. Still, Saddam was violent. And, headed "south" into Kuwait. His eyes on the same prize the Saudi's hold. But in the reverse direction. Saddam wanted to control the nerve center of the world's oil needs. To hell with OPEC. And, all that.

Meanwhile? On this move into Iraq, it's not a done deal. You don't know whose gonna emerge.

And, sometimes you can read the facts and instead of seeing confidence; you could read it, instead, as fear. FOR INSTANCE. Drudge is reporting that the Sand Monkey (aka THE BIG PHARAOH), has been arrested. Tried. And, jailed. For 4 years. For daring to blog.

So, take your pick. Mubarak is king of the hill? OR terrified that the wolves are barking at his door?

The USA, when Bush #41 was in office, used our military might to turn Saddam OUT of Kuwait. But we stopped short of killing the fleeing bandits. I guess it's an image thing? When one hand is on your putz. And, the other worries about how you're gonna look on the nightly news?

Meanwhile, Americans, to see conclusions they like, just turned the movie "300" into a blockbuster.

But "it wasn't prudent" for the man of many disguises; richer than any other American mind you. But you're fooled by the act.

Whatever Tenet IS, he was there. And, he holds opinions.

Heck, the biggest joke that could be played? Plame turns out to be a patriot. Who wanted to thwart Bush's plans; and not to "halp" the Saud's?

You don't know.

I don't know.

And, there are no analysts out there who can tell you about the future, in any event.

But history will.

And, there will be winners and losers in the Mideast, as well. All on the gamble that terror would give them the universe.

Why am I not impressed with Bush? Because I think the religion of peace, died. I think the Saud's version, now enscounsed in Mosques round-the-world, is just terror based. For the have-nots. Who get no schooling at all. And, who don't grow the technology they want; while they put us to death. (Not far different from hitler's plans.) But he lost.

As to stalin? The russians lost.

And, before communism? The czars lost.

All those examples? Shows ya what happens when you diminish opportunities for most. And, keep the wealth available to fund terrorism.

Posted by Del Dolemonte [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 5, 2007 11:43 PM

bayrum said

"The presence of a largely secular, Sunni government in Iraq,"

Sorry, but that particular argument doesn't work any more. Eespecially since Clinton's Justice Deaprtment indicted bin Laden in 1998 and at the time said he was working with Iraq.

BTW, it's nice to see jveritas is in the building and on this thread. He has been translating some of the captured Iraqi documents. All of which prove that Bush was lying his arse off (NOT)

Posted by Oldcrow [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 6, 2007 6:05 AM

Perhaps Tenet is a liar and incompetent, but that didn't prevent Bush from giving him this nation's greatest distinction. It makes you wonder how far the incompetence spreads.
Posted by bayam at May 5, 2007 09:59 PM

And here we have it folks, the LIBTARDS don't care if the Agency responsible for making sure our policy makers are Informed well is broken and can't analyze their way out of a wet paper bag, because well we need to bash Bush to gain political power. Think about this since 9\11 there has not been a single serious look at our premeir INTEL agency NOT ONE! And what do the DEMS and LIBS do why they Bash Bush of course! Oh and siphon money away from getting INTEL on terrorists to getting INTEL on "GLOBAL WARMING" which is to be expected I suppose because after all the war in Iraq is lost according to them and the Global War on Terror isn't a war it is a criminal problem right? God help us if the Dhimmi's gain the white in 08.

Posted by Michael Smith [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 6, 2007 6:23 AM

Carol said the religion of peace died. Well, it did, but that was a lot longer ago than you may realize.

According to Robert Spencer and Gregory Davis, Islam was a religion of peace for the few years that Mohammad was in Mecca -- before he had an army and was vulnerable to attacks from those who resented his claim to be the one and only prophet. This is the period of time when all of the "peaceful" and tolerant surahs were "revealed". The surah that says, "There is no compulsion in religion" was "revealed" when Mohammed had no power to compel anyone.

Later, after he was forced out of Mecca and made his way to Medina, he began raising troops and resorting to warfare to spread his power and force others to accept him as the final and only authority to whom God spoke. During this period of time, the violent, kill-the-infidels-wherever-you-find-them surahs were "revealed".

Someone pointed out that God wasn't being consistent in his instructions, so Mohammed had another "revelation" in which Allah pointed out that he could "do all things", including changing his mind and "abrogating", or negating, previous revelations.

So the later, most violent of the surahs, the ones commanding all Muslims to engage in jihad and spread Islam by the sword, became official Islamic doctrine. And the hadiths that inform Muslims about Mohammed's life -- and therefore inform them of proper Islamic behavior -- are full of brutal stories of Mohammed's head-chopping conquests and slaughters.

I highly recommend reading “Islam 101” here:

Posted by Michael Smith [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 6, 2007 8:42 AM

Oldcrow said:

Think about this since 9\11 there has not been a single serious look at our premeir INTEL agency NOT ONE!

Actually, we did have such an investigation -- it was called the 9/11 Commission.

But you don't need a commission to tell you that the Federal Government is generally incompetent and that our elected officials are asleep at the wheel.

The other day I sent an e-mail to a Senator. His e-mail form required me to select a subject from a pop-up list. Here is that list of subjects:

Affirmative Action
Affordable Housing
Aging / Seniors
Animal Rights
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR)
Arts / Humanities
Asbestos Trust Fund
Biodiversity Conservation
Business / Commerce
Cancer Research
Campaign Finance Reform
Child Nutrition
Childhood Cancer
Children / Families
Civil Liberties / Civil Rights
Consumer Affairs
Copyrights / Patents / Trademarks
Corporate Accountability
Courts / Judiciary
Credit Unions Retain Tax-Exempt Status
Crime / Law Enforcement
Defense / Military
Dietary Supplements
Domestic Violence
Education / Schools
Endangered Species
Environment - General
Executive Branch
Federal Employees / Retirees
Federal Marriage Amendment
Financial Services
Fisheries / Wildlife
Food / Nutrition
Foreign Affairs
Gas & Oil Prices
Global Hunger
Global Warming
Guns / Weapons
Head Start
Health Insurance
Homeland Security
Human Rights
Hurricanes - Katrina
Hurricane - Wetlands Damage
Illegal Drugs
Jobs / Labor
Judiciary Issues
Kentucky River Case
Long Island Sound
Media / Values
Marriage Protection Amendment
Medicaid Physician Payments
Medical Malpractice
Medical Research
Mercury Pollution
Middle East Affairs
NASA / Space
Native American Affairs
Natural Resources
News Update Comments
Nominations (Executive / Judicial)
Nuclear Energy / Waste
Personal Data Stolen from VA
Postal Services
Prescription Drugs
Public Lands / Wilderness
Reducing America’s Oil Dependence
Reproductive Health
Reproductive Rights / Abortion
Science / Technology
Senior Citizens
Small Business
Social Security
Social Security Reform Efforts
Stem Cell Research
Student Loans
Telecommunications / Cable
Urban Affairs
Veteran’s Healthcare
Veterans / Military Retirees

The liberal-created welfare state seeks to run virtually every aspect of our lives. A government that tries to do everything will not do anything very well, except waste our money.

Posted by sam pender [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 6, 2007 9:05 AM

I'm still trying to read Tenet's book. It's incredibly detailed, but every few pages, I find what I PERSONALLY BELIEVE are gross editing errors. Having written several books (poorly edited as some are!), and having worked with others on projects, I can say categorically that when two or more people try to get together and produce a product it's very difficult to either 1) avoid producing two independent products in one binding or 2) avoid compromising on storyline elements rather than work towards a common end product.

I am GREATLY disappointed in his book. It is just packed with distortions, misprints, misrepresentations, and well-documented factual innaccuracies. If they are deliberate, then he deserves a second Medal of Freedom. If they are accidental, then he needs to put out a followup that he writes himself, and doesn't co-author. More often than not, when a book is co-authored, one of the two names does more of the structure work, and the other adds the flavor, the tone, the tenor.

I am no fan of Tenet's, never have been.
I think he should have been fired on Day ONE of Pres Bush's admin re the USS Cole.
There's no excuse for not firing him on the night of 91101, and his refusal to produce a conclusion regarding Saddam's Pre-war relationship with Al Queda is flat out treasonous.

Put it together
USS Cole
refusal to investigate Regime Ties (both pre and post-war!)
the failure to seize WMD

This man's record speaks for itself.

It would have been better for him to come clean than to cede fact-checking to his co-author and then try and back that erred fact-checking.

This book was his chance for penance, and instead, he stepped into the bookstore confessional, gave us a flawed list of excuses for his failures, and expects us to believe he isn't just another bitter Richard Clarke failure type.

Posted by McGehee [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 6, 2007 10:25 AM

On this score he is especially angry at Vice President Dick Cheney, at Mr. Cheney's chief of staff, Scooter Libby

I never bothered much with the details of the criminal referral that supposedly was about the "outing" of Double-Super-Secret Agent Plame, Valerie Plame, but the above caught my eye and leaves me wondering whether it's been established what role if any Tenet may have had in getting that referral issued?

Posted by Eg [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 6, 2007 10:39 AM

If there’s one bit of evidence which appears to point to Tenet being a world class liar, completely incompetent or both; along with the CIA as an agency in need of dismantling and replacement, it comes by-way of the following:

Mr. Tenet devotes a chapter to the matter of Iraq and al Qaeda, giving it the title: "No Authority, Direction or Control." The phrase implies that we argued that Saddam exercised such powers -- authority, direction and control -- over al Qaeda. We made no such argument.

Rather we(Feith) said that the CIA's analysts were not giving serious, professional attention to information about ties between Iraq and al Qaeda. The CIA's assessments were incomplete, nonrigorous and shaped around the dubious assumption that secular Iraqi Baathists would be unwilling to cooperate with al Qaeda religious fanatics, even when they shared strategic interests. This assumption was disproved when Baathists and jihadists became allies against us in the post-Saddam insurgency, but before the war it was the foundation of much CIA analysis.

How many years were the CIA working in both Pakistan & Afghanistan supplying the Afghani mujahideen with funds, various resources including training, materials and intelligence to fight the Soviets? 10? Wasn’t the one great lesson learned by our Central (lack of)Intelligence Agency in Afghanistan that sectarian/political differences were all but completely put aside by divergent Muslim sects when they were fighting a common enemy? In fact, IIRC, both the Sunni and Shia consider Afghani muslim’s apostates yet they came from wide distances and every imaginable point on the compass to fight the godless Soviets, yet Tenet & Co. discounted or somehow forgot this?

Well I guess we don’t need to worry about the Shia and Sunni ever thinking about coming to a common security alliance, arrangement or pact, the idea being so totally absurd.

What can be done? In my view, Saudi Arabia, the Arab world's real heavyweight, should join its Gulf partners in offering Iran a wide-ranging security pact.

An idea proposed last month by Iran's (very)Foreign Minister Mottaki at the League Summit in Riyadh.

Posted by sam pender [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 6, 2007 1:10 PM

I wish more people understood the point you're making. I also wish people would realize that Saddam believed he was at war with the US from 1990-2003 and all the years in between. For Americans and the West it was an on/off get bored and bomb Saddam inter-operation period, but for Saddam, he was at war the whole time, and he said so almost every single day for 13 years. Similarly, Bin Laden declared war on the US in 1992, then FOUR MORE TIMES before Americans realized/faced the fact that we were at war (for most, the war with UBL and AQ started on 911?!). One need look no further regarding how America's ignored war on Iraq had consequences (Democrats who claim there is no war on terror and that the Iraq War is "A situation to be solved" called this period of ignored war "containment"). One of those consequences was the war with Al Queda. Bin Laden declared war on the US in sympathy for the Iraqis that he and Saddam saw as being attacked by Americans.

Thus, the claim that Shia and Sunni would only get together if attacked, needs to be rethought since they both thought they were being attacked by the US since 1990.

Bin Laden's own 2/98 fatwa makes it clear:

The 911 Commission agreed as well.

The problem is that Tenet didn't do his job between 9/11/01 and 9/11/02 when the diplomatic runup to invading Iraq began with the Bush UN address. Had he done his job, he'd have had people looking at Iraq and people looking at Al Queda.

That George escapes jail time while Scooter Libby awaits sentencing for obstructing an investigation where no crime was committed is sheer stupidity.

Yet people not only buy it, they love it.

Posted by bayam [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 6, 2007 1:22 PM


I never said that the intelligence coming out of the CIA was acceptable. But how can you say that the Dems are responsible for not fixing the problem, when Bush sends a signal to the country that no serious problem existed by giving Tenet a medal when the man should have been fired in disgrace?

As for intelligence on global warming, you don't need to try and insert your political beliefs into science. The scientists behind evolution, stem cell research, and global warming didn't become researchers in order to promote a political agenda. As someone who took a class on atmospheric sciences at a leading research university about15 years ago, I don't see any major differences between what the scientist-lecturers predicted would occur as global warming accelerated and what's happening today.

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 6, 2007 4:22 PM

Perhaps a clarification on the "religion of peace" would help.

The Saud's don't come into exercising power till 1974. When OPEC was formed. And, they took control of their oil industry.

So, the change in how mosques are run would have a slow enough beginning. The way Islam works, is that you take it with you, when you leave home. And, settle elsewhere.

Arabs, as traders, have done that. Settling everywhere in the world. Like the Chinese. And, the Jews. And, some who venture away from India.

But Islam, unlike Judaism, with which I'm familiar, did NOT break up into branches. Instead? Inside every community the participants identify. AND GO TO THE MOSQUES. There? They get their wives to obey. And, they like the set up. Since they're not going to go to bars; you can conceive of this as their social club. The men "network." Hiring each other. And, acting as one. In every single neighborhood where they live and work. It's a very social network, as well. And, for hundreds of years it was run, locally. By mom and pop imams. People who inside their own communities, were respected.

The Saudi money pushed them out! Today's brand of Islam is TERRORISTIC from wall-to-wall! Because the social fabric doesn't tolerate arguments, either.

And, right after 9/11, you see that Bandar had connections. Plus the air force fleet in the USA, so that his planes took Saud's and Bin Laden's OUT OF THIS COUNTRY WHEN NOTHING ELSE WAS FLYING!

I'm sure Dubya had to be calmed down. Because Bandar had his own appointment at the White House; where the two men talked. On 9/13. Mano-to mano. In hushed tones. On the Truman balcony. Off the family's quarters. (Few diplomats get access to that!)

And, then? Bush came out and made a very big pitch that most of Islam is a "ROP." We've adjusted it down to the 3 letters. Wink. Wink. Blink. Blink. Puke. And, nudge.

The Saud's never get a bill!

Eygpt even gets billions every year from American taxpayers.

So, it's a fraud deeply imbedded within out congressional/electable/system. How do you call a halt?

The other thing? Since Dan Quayle was Bush #41's choice for veep. And, you know Bush #41 got kicked out of office. What transpired?

Dubya, it seems, held a grudge. He thinks very little of Bill Clinton. And, he was outraged his dad lost his re-election bid. (This shows up in books. Especially where there was a meeting, between Dubya and Bandar. Back in 1998. Where Bandar was asked for his permission, to let Dubya run.)

The richest people on this planet are now top dogs at the levers of American power. Who knew?

While George Tenet is one of the folks who was supposed to be too stupid to shed any light on the bigger Bush Family opperation. Which stays out of sight. So you think nothing's there.

What's wrong with Tenet's book? Hmm? He has a weakness when it involves his name. That's about the size of his complaint.

But what he's not telling? While George Tenet is probably even more incompetent than Alberto Gonzales (A trick on multiple scales) ... He doesn't mention Plame's name at all in his book.

You mean, he hardly knew her?

I'm not surprised in poorly run organizations, that a few don't branch off, to find the stuff they want. Obviously, Tenet provided the atmospherics, for Plame and her husband to go gangbusters on African deals. And, WIlson, himself, had help from his second wife. (Inside? They know a lot more information than anything that's leaked.)

It's still impressive that it got pulled off.

Slam duck, to a 16-word element in Bush's 2002 State of the Union speech. Why did he stick that crap in? And, why, now, is that the substance of everything screwy?

Tenet says "slam dunk" was said in disgust. He meant to say "are you craz?" But it came out "slam dunk."

While Plame rode the whole thing through the media. And, LIbby soon goes to jail.

How much miscarriage is there to justice? Before you begin to see it's not a track, it's a boondoggle.

George Tenet NEVER deserved the Medal of Freedom!

And, Bush thought it would shut him up?

Seems a few people put ideas together that failed to work in the limelight.

Oh, yeah. All mosques are a threat!

And, while you can't quite put your finger on it, Dubya seems to have dropped down in the polls. Sort'a holding the same space he had, when Gore had 500,000 more votes. And, our Suprem-O's decided to sing their song.

What is it about bad presidents? Before they leave office, you get this terrible odor?

Posted by Oldcrow | May 7, 2007 3:02 AM

I don't see any major differences between what the scientist-lecturers predicted would occur as global warming accelerated and what's happening today.
Posted by: bayam at May 6, 2007 01:22 PM

Read the fraggin news you low grade imbicile, the Dhimii's are siphoning off INTEL dollars to have CIA and other agencies look into global warming. As for your stupid statement that you see global warming that was predicted happening now well you are a fool and this tatement takes the cake

"The scientists behind evolution, stem cell research, and global warming didn't become researchers in order to promote a political agenda"

You know the saying "better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than open it and prove it" well you just provided the proof been on a collage campus lately? Global warming is nothing but a political agenda and you know it moron. Let me ask you what is the most abundant and strongest green house gas in the atmosphere? If you say CO2 then you get to wear the dunce cap and ride the short bus!

Posted by Sashland | May 7, 2007 4:10 AM


My recollection is that the initial request for investigation was rejected by the AG office and that it was resubmitted by Tenent with a strong push. Would be a very interesting document to read. Had also heard along the way that the requests can only come form the DCI's office. My only question is what did the CIA give Libby Carol's drugs...