Thursday, June 03, 2004

Over and out

From Reuters:

CIA Director George Tenet, who presided over spectacular intelligence lapses involving the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq has resigned and will leave in July, the Bush administration announced on Thursday.

The White House said Bush had no prior warning of Tenet's move and denied suggestions he was forced out over erroneous intelligence reports that have prompted the president to create a bipartisan commission to examine the quality of pre-war U.S. intelligence.

"He told me he was resigning for personal reasons. I told him I'm sorry he's leaving," Bush said in a surprise announcement shortly before heading to Italy and France.

I doubt that Tenet really left over "personal reasons." My guess is that in the face of immense pressure to dump the CIA director following the US' failure to uncover large caches of WMD in Iraq, the administration wanted to get rid of Tenet, but as they learned from the yellowcake scandal, admitting your wrong doesn't pay off. Additionally, it is said that George Tenet can be ferocious and has a lot of potentially damaging information at his disposal, so rather than get rid of Tenet right away the White House may have made some sort of deal with him. As part of the bargain, Tenet would get to keep his job for a few months untill the demands for his head died down and in the process save his face, once the coast was relatively clear, he would then live up to his end of the arrangement and step down. That or they might have just pushed him out with out making any kind of deal or hey, he might really have had personal reasons for leaving the CIA. Stranger things have happened.


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