MORE TENET….The New York Times has a copy of George Tenet’s new book (“purchased at retail price in advance of publication”!), and it sounds like it must be a snoozer. Here’s about the best thing they could find to excerpt from it:
Mr. Tenet hints at some score-settling in the book. He describes in particular the extraordinary tension between him and Condoleezza Rice, then national security adviser, and her deputy, Stephen J. Hadley, in internal debate over how the president came to say erroneously in his 2003 State of the Union address that Iraq was seeking uranium in Africa.
He describes an episode in 2003, shortly after he issued a statement taking partial responsibility for that error. He said he was invited over for a Sunday afternoon, back-patio lemonade by Colin L. Powell, then secretary of state. Mr. Powell described what Mr. Tenet called “a lively debate” on Air Force One a few days before about whether the White House should continue to support Mr. Tenet as C.I.A. director.
“In the end, the president said yes, and said so publicly,” Mr. Tenet wrote. “But Colin let me know that other officials, particularly the vice president, had quite another view.”
What else? Tenet now says that the pre-war CIA assessment of Iraqi WMD was “one of the lowest moments of my seven-year tenure.” He thinks maybe he shouldn’t have accepted his Presidential Medal of Freedom. And he says a small group of insane hawks inside the administration were obsessed with Iraq almost from the moment the Twin Towers fell. None of this is exactly breaking news.
And George Bush? He is “portrayed personally in a largely positive light.” Sounds like Tenet still hasn’t quite figured out that the cossacks report to the czar.