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George Tenet: "There was never a serious debate"


George Tenet has a new book coming out, and one of the less shocking elements is that the administration didn’t really try to avoid war. In fact, they wanted it so badly they didn’t seem to have any serious discussion about whether or not Iraq was actually a threat to us.

From the NY Times:

WASHINGTON, April 26 â€â€? George J. Tenet, the former director of central intelligence, has lashed out against Vice President Dick Cheney and other Bush administration officials in a new book, saying they pushed the country to war in Iraq without ever conducting a “serious debateâ€Â? about whether Saddam Hussein posed an imminent threat to the United States. […]

“There was never a serious debate that I know of within the administration about the imminence of the Iraqi threat,� Mr. Tenet writes in a devastating judgment that is likely to be debated for many years. Nor, he adds, “was there ever a significant discussion� about the possibility of containing Iraq without an invasion.

And as far as that slam dunk comment goes…

Mr. Tenet admits that he made his famous “slam dunk� remark about the evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. But he argues that the quote was taken out of context and that it had little impact on President Bush’s decision to go to war. He also makes clear his bitter view that the administration made him a scapegoat for the Iraq war.

[…] Mr. Tenet described with sarcasm watching an episode of “Meet the Pressâ€Â? last September in which Mr. Cheney twice referred to Mr. Tenet’s “slam dunkâ€Â? remark as the basis for the decision to go to war.

“I remember watching and thinking, ‘As if you needed me to say ‘slam dunk’ to convince you to go to war with Iraq,’ � Mr. Tenet writes.

Should be an interesting read.