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April 30, 2007

Now I See

Accounts of the Bush administration always speak of the "close bond" shared by George Bush and George Tenet.

With Tenet's appearances surrounding his new book, we can finally see why: he and Bush both possess a love of taking personal responsibility, particularly when it involves giving clear, concise answers to tough questions:

TIME: How come the CIA trusted the source, codenamed Curveball, who turned out to be a fabricator? How does that happen? Did you know even who he was?

TENET: Well, I didn't know his name, no. I mean, I know a lot about Curveball. So, you know, we're working throughout this period. We're trying to get direct access to him, and we can't have direct access to him? But so you've got this, you know, indirect access, analysts doing the validation, lots of what he was saying made sense? The implication, of course, as you look at this, is this an organization in some sort of meltdown or something? Well, no, because the whole ethos of the place is report what you've got. If it's not good news, when someone says fabricate in our business, you push it up, you stop the train. At the end of the day, we could have saved a lot of pain in the estimate. We could have saved the Secretary of State a whole lot of pain.

To be sure he had answered the question precisely, Tenet then added: "Fufffffffffffffffffffeeeefffffffffff."

Posted at April 30, 2007 09:34 AM | TrackBack

That, and that he's a paranoid, belligerent knucklehead in denial. If you go on to read the rest of the interview.

Posted by: En Ming Hee at April 30, 2007 09:52 AM

If you've ever read One Percent Doctrine, it's written that Tenet and the CIA gave Bush whatever he wanted because the CIA knew their jobs were all on the line for failing to predict 9/11.

Posted by: MN-Jeff at April 30, 2007 12:20 PM

george, i like that answer you came up with, it speaks clearly to the audience, giving the bureaucrat some insecurity, some unwillingness to give the truth -- you do the squirm thing well. i think everybody here was with you in the discomfort your character was feeling.

what i would suggest though: keep it simple. you know what i'm saying? yeah, right, "KISS." sure! okay so, you know. so, right, what you did was you went a little longer than you needed to make your point and when you do that -- right, you can lose the audience -- yeah, okay, you got that.

so why don't we come up with some shorter answers, as a group, see if we have a few ideas how to make some of the same points as george, in just a few words, or a gesture. let's see. oh, "(shrug)". that's great idea. and "that's a great question, do you want another beer?" and with that pause and stutter in the middle, that's fantastic, jean. what else. hm, "our mistake was taking curveball's mom at her word when she called to tell us curveball was trustworthy." yeah, i can see that one. anybody else?

Posted by: hibiscus at April 30, 2007 04:27 PM

There is absolutely no truth to the rumor that Tenet's code name at Langley was "Moe Howard." None, I tell you.

Posted by: cavjam at April 30, 2007 10:18 PM