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Everybody Agrees, George Tenet's A Putz

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That’s been the buzz after the 60 Minutes interview on Sunday. And he’s getting it from all sides.

Count me in the anti-Tenet group as well. I don’t really care if he’s dropping bombshells, because they’re hollow 3 years after the fact. I don’t usually say this, but it does feel like he’s really just trying to sell books. Otherwise he would have come out much, much earlier. It doesn’t make what he’s saying not true, but it does make it craven and says a lot about the man.

In any event, some former CIA agents have put together a letter lambasting Tenet for being a willing participant for a transparently failed policy.

From CNN:

In a letter written Saturday to former CIA Director George Tenet, six former CIA officers described their former boss as “the Alberto Gonzales of the intelligence community,” and called his book “an admission of failed leadership.”

The writers said Tenet has “a moral obligation” to return the Medal of Freedom he received from President Bush.

They also called on him to give more than half the royalties he gets from book, “At the Center of the Storm,” to U.S. soldiers wounded in Iraq and families of the dead. (Watch Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice talk about Tenet’s book)

The letter, signed by Phil Giraldi, Ray McGovern, Larry Johnson, Jim Marcinkowski, Vince Cannistraro and David MacMichael, said Tenet should have resigned in protest rather than take part in the administration’s buildup to the war.

And then from Howard Kurtz:

Somewhere out there, there must be someone defending George Tenet. I’m just having trouble finding that person (or persons).

Let’s see: Liberals are ticked off. Conservatives feel betrayed. Ex-CIA types are angry. White House officials are playing defense. That pretty much runs the gamut, doesn’t it?

I can’t get beyond the following: Whatever Tenet’s strengths and weaknesses as CIA director, he quit three years ago. He accepted a presidential medal of freedom and then remained silent–until now, when he’s peddling a book. If he felt so strongly about these intelligence issues, about the rush to war in Iraq, about the way he says he’s been besmirched, why didn’t he speak out before now? How does he justify having remained silent?

This will be your legacy Mr. Tenet. Hope the book deal was worth it.