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February 13, 2007

Dick Cheney Was Helpless In The Face Of Those Overpowering Intelligence Assessments

About George Tenet's new book:

Mr. Tenet is not expected to take on Mr. Bush, with whom he developed a close bond during early morning intelligence briefings in the Oval Office. But Mr. Tenet's friends said he had been surprised when Mr. Cheney and Ms. Rice, appearing on Sunday talk shows last September, fingered him in justifying Mr. Bush's decision to go to war with Iraq.

In the interview on "Meet the Press," Mr. Cheney said: "George Tenet sat in the Oval Office and the president of the United States asked him directly, he said, 'George, how good is the case against Saddam on weapons of mass destruction?' The director of the C.I.A. said, "a slam dunk, Mr. President, it's a slam dunk."

Mr. Cheney added, "That was the intelligence that was provided to us at the time, and based upon which we made a choice."

From Henry Kissinger's 1995 book Diplomacy, p. 303:

What political leaders decide, intelligence services tend to seek to justify. Popular literature and films often depict the opposite--policymakers as the helpless tools of intelligence experts. In the real world, intelligence assessments more often follow than guide policy decisions.

This is in reference to what Kissinger terms a "wild exaggeration of German strength that blighted French military estimates."

Posted at February 13, 2007 12:16 PM | TrackBack

Are we STILL taking advice from good ole Henry. I guess we never learn. Maybe Viet Nam was just not enough of a lesson. I suppose he hasn't been arrested for his various and sundry WAR CRIMES AND CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY yet. Perhaps a Vigilanty Committee?

Posted by: Mike Meyer at February 13, 2007 06:35 PM