A system crash has just wiped out roughly an hour's worth of noodling around, but let me push my luck and try to blurt this out about Tenet's new book (written with former CIA pressguy Bill Harlow) - neither the Times nor WaPo review make any mention of Valerie Plame, outed CIA agent. Geez - 500 pages from the center of the storm and no mention at all? Guess I'll have to buy the book.
Sorry, I am not even going to try to put in Times or WaPo links just yet. Ridiculous? Yes. But I am waiting for my blood pressure to get back in under 250.
PUSHING MY LUCK...
Tenet whacks Condi, but former CIAer Michael Scheur hangs up the No-Sale. Tenet first, from the Times:
Although Mr. Tenet acknowledges that the C.I.A. failed to predict the specifics of the 9/11 attack, he cites repeated warnings it issued, over the years, about the dangers posed by Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda. Most notably, he describes the alarming intelligence he presented to National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice at a July 10, 2001, meeting — including information from late June of that year that predicted a “big event” was coming. Mr. Tenet’s efforts to spin the C.I.A.’s own failure to watch-list two of the 9/11 hijackers when they first came across the agency’s radar screen two and a half years earlier feel particularly lame: had they been caught, he suggests that Al Qaeda would simply have replaced the two men with other recruits.
And over to Mr. Scheur in the Wapo:
Like self-serving earlier leaks seemingly from Tenet's circle to such reporters as Ron Suskind and Bob Woodward, "At the Center of the Storm" is similarly disingenuous about Tenet's record on al-Qaeda. In "State of Denial," Woodward paints a heroic portrait of the CIA chief warning national security adviser Condoleezza Rice of pending al-Qaeda strikes during the summer of 2001, only to have his warnings ignored. Tenet was indeed worried during the so-called summer of threat, but one wonders why he did not summon the political courage earlier to accuse Rice of negligence, most notably during his testimony under oath before the 9/11 commission.
"I was talking to the national security adviser and the president and the vice president every day," Tenet told the commission during a nationally televised hearing on March 24, 2004. "I certainly didn't get a sense that anybody was not paying attention to what I was doing and what I was briefing and what my concerns were and what we were trying to do." Now a "frustrated" Tenet writes that he held an urgent meeting with Rice on July 10, 2001, to try to get "the full attention of the administration" and "finally get us on track." He can't have it both ways.
Tenet's new version was run out in what looks like this 2006 Woodward excerpt and I managed to come down firmly on both sides - I think Tenet misoverestimated the significance of the fateful Juyly 10 2001 meeting, but I also have deep reservations about Ms. Rice's job performance.