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  • Tenet

    For anyone following the politics of the Bush administration, don't miss the interview that 60 minutes conducted with George Tenet. I personally found his account (and his demeanor) disturbing on a number of levels - at a national/patriotic level, at a governmental/bureaucratic level, and at a human level (he seems incredibly troubled and burdoned).

    Here is the 60 minutes link:
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/...n2728375.shtml

    The White House spin machine started going after him before this even aired. Watch or read what he said before you read anyone's opinion of it - there is a flurry of spin and pre-judgement on what he has said. Hear it from the source first.

    My own opinion - despite the vindictiveness of his years-too-late and timed-for-a-book testimony, I still feel as though it further proves the fact that we (Americans) were lied to. The intelligence didn't fail us - the White House did, and in a deeply damaging, Enron-like way. As the inner circle (Clarke, Perle, Tenet) begin to talk, the fact that the intelligence was 'cooked' (hence my Enron reference) becomes increasingly obvious. Is that the equivalent of lying? It is deceitful, to say the least, and in terms of what it has created in Iraq (and subsequently in America), I think it is reckless and negligent.

    Back to Tenet - they threw him under the bus. Do you believe he deserved it? How does that play out if Cheney was (in fact) personally supervising the intelligence on Iraq for the entire period beteween Sept. 2001 and the invasion?

    One small but critical piece of the Tenet interview that I have not seen an analysis (or tear-down) of in the press is his statement concerning Al Qaeda and Afghanistan in early 2001. He claims to have told then National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice that the CIA believed that Bin Laden had operatives in America and was in the final stages of a major attack within the US. This is on the record, at least in part, in the leaked August 2001 Presidential briefing entitled 'Bin Laden determined to strike U.S.' - according to Tenet, he had been pushing at this for months. In last night's interview, he alluded to this and said in the summer of 2001 he felt as though the U.S. needed to invade Afghanistan (and Bin Laden) immediately.

    The burden on this man is unfathomable, and I am not surpised that he comes across as somewhat disturbed. None the less, his viewpoint deserves its place on the record of this period in American history.

  • #2
    Re: Tenet

    This is gonna be a big story for the next few days. I don't have the necessary background information to offer any insight yet though. For now I'll just watch the sparks fly.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Tenet

      I was always surprised that after they gave him the medal, within months they were dropping the bus on him, as it were, and he never spoke, never refuted the allegations that ultimately it was all his fault. Not a shocker that he would eventually turn on Bush, since he's not a loyal Republican politico, and not surprising that he would try to squeeze a book out about it, since his career is effectively over.

      I do wonder why this myth survives that there was "debate" over whether or not to invade Iraq, since we have on the record quotes from as far back as 1999 of Bush saying that that's exactly what he intended to do if he had the opportunity.
      In game handle: Steel Scion
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      • #4
        Re: Tenet

        The interviewer says Cheney claimed Iraq had Nuclear Weapons...anyone have a link to a quote/article/video of that?

        Tenet says in the interview that Iraq wouldn't have Nukes until 2007 or 2009. Phew, dodged that bullet I guess.
        New to TG?

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        • #5
          Re: Tenet

          My dad is an ex-naval officer. He was a pilot for his early career, and as a senior officer he worked in intelligence and counter-intelligence before moving on to command positions. My dad has told me a number of things over the years, most of which I cannot divulge. But I can tell you this: regardless of the administration in power, regardless of the level of government you sit on, regardless of your socioeconomic status or area that you live in, EVERYONE is lied to. This includes the president.

          Also, before the Bush-bashing sets in, I know we have lots of people with lots of different political backgrounds here. Keep in mind though that the president is one man who does not make the vast majority of the decisions he speaks for. Every day he is reported to and advised by a HUGE staff. He has to do his best to take the advice and commentary and weigh it against hundreds mof factors, such as the good for the american people, his party values, national security issues, economic effect, etc, ad nauseam. Then he's the guy that has to go out in public and take the fall if its unpopular. Being the president is a ballsy job. Bush may not be the brightest in appearance, but the man has balls of steel.

          As far as everyone coming out and doing their "oh-poor-me, i worked for this administration and got burned" routines to sell their books, it's publicism. They got burned for being in politics. Thats the risk you take. We dont have honest politicians anymore. We also dont have a country that would elect them if we did. This, IMO, was greatly put forward in both regards by a line in The American President in which the president's chief of staff tells him that "If there had been a television set in every home in the country 50 years ago, we never would have elected a man in a wheelchair." (Speaking of FDR). I believe this is as true today as it ever was. We are a very bigoted country, whether we like to admit it or not.

          Politics is politics, and I think we all know what that means. If you cant stand getting burned, dont play with fire. I cant stand how people take stock in the whimpering cry of someone who failed to listen to that reason and got the "royal treatment" in return. I, for one, dont feel sorry for him, or anyone else in politics who has "the bus dropped on them". It's a dirty, nasty business not meant for honest men in our day and age. Sad, but we know its true.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Tenet

            Originally posted by Ferris Bueller View Post
            My dad is an ex-naval officer. He was a pilot for his early career, and as a senior officer he worked in intelligence and counter-intelligence before moving on to command positions. My dad has told me a number of things over the years, most of which I cannot divulge. But I can tell you this: regardless of the administration in power, regardless of the level of government you sit on, regardless of your socioeconomic status or area that you live in, EVERYONE is lied to. This includes the president.

            Also, before the Bush-bashing sets in, I know we have lots of people with lots of different political backgrounds here. Keep in mind though that the president is one man who does not make the vast majority of the decisions he speaks for. Every day he is reported to and advised by a HUGE staff. He has to do his best to take the advice and commentary and weigh it against hundreds mof factors, such as the good for the american people, his party values, national security issues, economic effect, etc, ad nauseam. Then he's the guy that has to go out in public and take the fall if its unpopular. Being the president is a ballsy job. Bush may not be the brightest in appearance, but the man has balls of steel.

            As far as everyone coming out and doing their "oh-poor-me, i worked for this administration and got burned" routines to sell their books, it's publicism. They got burned for being in politics. Thats the risk you take. We dont have honest politicians anymore. We also dont have a country that would elect them if we did. This, IMO, was greatly put forward in both regards by a line in The American President in which the president's chief of staff tells him that "If there had been a television set in every home in the country 50 years ago, we never would have elected a man in a wheelchair." (Speaking of FDR). I believe this is as true today as it ever was. We are a very bigoted country, whether we like to admit it or not.

            Politics is politics, and I think we all know what that means. If you cant stand getting burned, dont play with fire. I cant stand how people take stock in the whimpering cry of someone who failed to listen to that reason and got the "royal treatment" in return. I, for one, dont feel sorry for him, or anyone else in politics who has "the bus dropped on them". It's a dirty, nasty business not meant for honest men in our day and age. Sad, but we know its true.

            Great post. So so true. I'm not saying we should put up with being lied to, but it's what happens no matter who's in charge. It happened quite a bit under President Clinton as well. Democrat or Republican. It really makes no difference if you ask me. They are just figureheads anyway.
            "Common sense is not so common." -Voltaire

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            • #7
              Re: Tenet

              Originally posted by War.mongeR1 View Post
              Great post. So so true. I'm not saying we should put up with being lied to, but it's what happens no matter who's in charge. It happened quite a bit under President Clinton as well. Democrat or Republican. It really makes no difference if you ask me. They are just figureheads anyway.
              Ah, the old blowjob = invasion meme. This thread is off to a promising start.

              I really object to the tendency of people to minimize this issue. If the President really had balls of steel he would stand up and admit he made a huge mistake instead of hiding behind these constant rationalizations and equivocations and outright denials of reality.
              In game handle: Steel Scion
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              • #8
                Re: Tenet

                Originally posted by War.mongeR1 View Post
                Great post. So so true. I'm not saying we should put up with being lied to, but it's what happens no matter who's in charge. It happened quite a bit under President Clinton as well. Democrat or Republican. It really makes no difference if you ask me. They are just figureheads anyway.
                Bueller is certainly correct when he says that everyone is lied to, and that past Presidents have lied, many of which have been caught. You're father may be x-Navy, but I've heard this from x-cabinet officials as well as retired FBI and CIA agents. This is a very, very different situation. A war was started based on not just 'flawed intelligence' but on deceit and crafted intelligence - at least that is the pattern that I see emerging from the growing list of accounts from ex-officials like Tenet.

                I don't understand how anyone can claim that Bush has 'balls of steel' when he can't even own up to the disasters that have occured on his watch - chiefly the war in Iraq and the failed response to hurricane Katrina - not to mention the abominable failures in personnel - Rumsfeld, Ashcroft, Bolton, Meirs, and Gonzalez (to name a few).

                Nothing has emboldened radical Islamic terrorism more than the wars and the policies forged by this administration. I can only hope that serious lessons can be learned from these failures.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Tenet

                  Originally posted by AMosely View Post
                  Nothing has emboldened radical Islamic terrorism more than the wars and the policies forged by this administration. I can only hope that serious lessons can be learned from these failures.
                  Um...what? I know of no movement on earth that is "emboldened" when its formerly passive victims start fighting back. You're going to have to explain this one.

                  Bush may have made some mistakes, but resolving to face Islamic Terrorism head on, rather than hiding his head in the sand, was not one of them.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Tenet

                    CIA Officers on Tenet: Failed Leader

                    Kero: I think what Mosely is getting at is that fact that Afghanistan and Iraq provide many, many opportunities for the terrorists to develop new tactics, train new members and recruit 1,000s that wouldn't have volunteered to be a suicide bomber before Iraq and Afghanistan. As evidence, I offer that the war is getting bloodier as it goes on, not less bloody. Perhaps emboldened is the wrong word. I would suggest 'enabled' instead.

                    Whether the Iraq War is right or wrong is beside the point. To go about causing states to fail is to, I believe, fundamentally misunderstand Al Qaeda's purpose and methods. Al Qaeda doesn't want to replace the state - that would only give an advertised location for cruise missiles to hit. Al Qaeda seeks a hollow state - where the recognized state maintains responsibility for services to the population, but is in effect powerless to control or impede Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda's reason for being is war - the more asymmetrical, the better. They seek to attack not only our population and infrastructure, but also our treasure.

                    To open a full-on ground war in response to a non-state actor is to apply 20th century military thinking to a 21st century war.

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                    Treat others as you would have them treat you

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                    • #11
                      Re: Tenet

                      Originally posted by Kerostasis View Post
                      Um...what? I know of no movement on earth that is "emboldened" when its formerly passive victims start fighting back. You're going to have to explain this one.

                      Bush may have made some mistakes, but resolving to face Islamic Terrorism head on, rather than hiding his head in the sand, was not one of them.
                      http://www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/crt/2006/82739.htm

                      "Approximately 14,000 terrorist attacks occurred in various countries during 2006, resulting in over 20,000 deaths. Compared to 2005, attacks rose by 3,000, a 25 percent increase in 2006 while deaths rose by 5,800, a 40 percent increase. As was the case last year, by far the largest number of reported terrorist incidents and deaths occurred in the Near East and South Asia. These two regions also were the locations for 90 percent of all the 290 high casualty attacks that killed 10 or more people-only a total of five high casualty attacks occurred in Europe-Eurasia, East Asia-Pacific, and the Western Hemisphere."

                      No correlation between the invasion and current occupation of Iraq and an increase in terrorism? Talk about having your head buried in the sand.
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                      • #12
                        Re: Tenet

                        Originally posted by Kerostasis View Post
                        Bush may have made some mistakes, but resolving to face Islamic Terrorism head on...
                        Iraq was a secular-led state, without terrorists, when we invaded. So no Islamic, no Terrorism.

                        Once again, for the cheap seats in the back: Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 or Islamic Terrorism prior to our invasion and occupation, no matter how bad Bush and Co. wished it to be otherwise.
                        Beatnik

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                        • #13
                          Re: Tenet

                          Granted Saddam didnt need to be in power being that he was a genocidal megalomaniac, but I think we could have done without the "sins of the father" routine that was pulled on us.

                          After having many a long discussion with my dad about this, we both came to the conclusion that Islamists (read: radical islamic extremists) are attention-whores. They blow something up and make lots of noise. We retaliate. This is EXACTLY what they wanted. Think about a school bully. Most of the time they're just huff-and-puff, but if you dont respond to them aggressively, they leave you alone because they get bored. Same deal here.

                          They wanted to get a rise out of us, to they can use their propaganda machines on the poor people of the region to convince them that we're not there to retaliate for attacks on US soil, but instead to strip down their way of life and impose our "western values" on them. They tell them we're evil, that we rape and murder, that we kill arabs indiscriminately. The people believe it because they have nothing else to listen to. There is no opposing viewpoint. There is nobody telling them, "wait, these are the good guys who are getting rid of the suicide bombers and the evil tyrants that keep you poor while they live in one of a hundred palaces."

                          I often think we would have been better off doing very focused covert reconnaissance and eliminating the people that needed to be eliminated without so much as a whisper of war. These guys, the terrorist leaders, just "vanish" in the night. We dont say we have them, we dont say we killed them. Just that nobody ever hears from them or sees them again.

                          But instead, we took our big military stick and poked it around in the hornet's nest that is the middle east, then put our face right up close and expected not to be stung. Wrong-o, moosebreath.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Tenet

                            Originally posted by Beatnik View Post
                            Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 or Islamic Terrorism prior to our invasion and occupation, no matter how bad Bush and Co. wished it to be otherwise.
                            I don't believe this to be true. I have been seeing these claims thrown in with each other more and more frequently lately.

                            So lets clear it up for those in the REALLY cheap seats in the parking lot:

                            Iraq most likely had nothing to do with 9/11. I don't think we will know this for certain for some time to come. I know some people really want to be able to say as an absolute that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, but the reality is that "no link has yet been found" does not translate to "there was absolutely no link". Words are important here as one phrase is making an absolute assertion and the other states what we know NOW based on the information we have available.

                            Iraq most certainly supported Islamic Terrorism especially against the west and western allies. I would consider Saddam providing (UN Oil-for-food) cash for the families of suicide bombers support of terrorism. Saddam was viewed as a "generous benefactor" to numerous terrorist organizations. He may not have been doing the planning, but I think fiduciary support still constitutes support of terrorism.

                            http://hudson.org/files/publications...damarticle.pdf

                            Numerous things in that .PDF file can be confirmed, others I have not been able to confirm. But those items that can be confirmed certainly show that Saddam Hussein, without a doubt, financially supported terrorist acts.

                            I don't get this by listening to the talking head of my choice or reading my newspaper of choice because it supports my political views. If you choose to believe something because it fits your idea of what you hope is real, you'll find a way to believe it. Unfortunately the truth seems to be somewhere in the middle of these two core groups of misled sheep.
                            Diplomacy is the art of saying "good doggie" while looking for a bigger stick.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Tenet

                              Originally posted by Kerostasis View Post
                              Um...what? I know of no movement on earth that is "emboldened" when its formerly passive victims start fighting back. You're going to have to explain this one.

                              Bush may have made some mistakes, but resolving to face Islamic Terrorism head on, rather than hiding his head in the sand, was not one of them.
                              Resolving to face Islamic terrorism head on and quash it, good idea. Choosing to do it by invading Iraq, not so much.

                              That's like me resolving to lose weight, and choosing to do it by eating nothing but chocolate and bacon. The actions are leading to the complete opposite of the resolved goal.
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