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May 03, 2007

This Is Very Important

George Tenet claims in his new book that the Downing Street Memo "misquoted" Richard Dearlove. Dearlove, then-head of British intelligence, is referred to in the memo as "C":

C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.

Sidney Blumenthal has now written something about this that—if true—is a giant bombshell:

Tenet's account of the July 20, 2002, meeting of CIA officials and British intelligence officers in Washington is misleading, according to a former high CIA official with firsthand knowledge, who described it to me as "total bullshit." That meeting was important as the basis of the subsequent briefing of Prime Minister Tony Blair that took place at Downing Street three days later, summarized in the famous so-called Downing Street memo. In the memo, Sir Richard Dearlove, chief of MI6, is quoted: "Military action was now seen as inevitable ... Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD." Even more ominously, Dearlove warned that "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

Tenet writes that Dearlove told him he was misquoted and that Tenet "corrected it to reflect the truth of the matter." "Tenet doesn't say what the truth of the matter is," the former CIA officer told me. "Dearlove just didn't want to be blamed." Dearlove, the former CIA official emphatically insists, claiming direct knowledge, was accurately relating what Tenet had personally told him.

The former CIA official explains that the Washington meeting was an annual U.S.-U.K. event...After a daylong briefing in the director's conference room and private dining room, Tenet took Dearlove into his office. According to the CIA source, "That's where Dearlove asked where the intelligence was going, was it heading to war, did it matter what the intelligence was. Tenet said, that's the way things are heading, they are looking for intelligence to fit into this." Dearlove's "fix" was simply the British version of "fit." He was not misquoted; he was spot on.

You don't get much more momentous than the head of the CIA and MI6 discussing how the "intelligence" used to justify a war is being falsified.

Of course, it's difficult to judge the accuracy of this—not in the sense that Blumenthal might be making it up, but that it's hard to guess whether the CIA official had firsthand knowledge...and if not, how he/she knows it.

But figuring out that kind of thing is what Congressional committees are (theoretically) good for. It would be entertaining to see this person testify on live national television.

Posted at May 3, 2007 10:22 AM | TrackBack

A smart person would just shut the fuck up.... Georgie is not that kinda person.

Posted by: at May 3, 2007 12:58 PM

Is it me or are all these people growing more retarded as they go? I can't tell for the life of me for sure. These people are just human beings... Just barely.

Posted by: at May 3, 2007 01:01 PM

"Is it me or are all these people growing more retarded as they go?"

One might call it "hubris," but there may be something else at work.

When one has successfully made outrageous lying a life-long method of dealing with the world, occasional instances of being caught in a lie can act not as a deterrent but as a powerful motivator for even more persistent lying.

Among behaviorists this is known as the law of intermittent rewards in which occasional instances of non-reward are a more effective conditioning method that a system of unremitting reward.

Posted by: Sam Thornton at May 3, 2007 02:04 PM

Bush wanted to and has surrounded himself with “yes people” a nice way of saying butt kissers and of course this does relate very nicely to the Noam Chomsky interview. So of course when you throw logic completely out the window starting at the top and working down to underlings this book by Tenet is the kind of mish-mash you end up with. It would not be so tragic if this kind of thing is relegated to your own personal life but when you are in a position of immense responsibility resulting in so much death and misery it becomes monstrous. Still I think it would be wrong to pile the whole thing on Tenet because Bush would have found a way without him and there is plenty of blame to spread around, not the least belonging to congress who failed to perform their duty in such an abysmal fashion. National leaders, what a conglomeration of sickening and disgusting vomit. I hate politics.

Posted by: rob payne at May 3, 2007 04:13 PM

Agreed Rob. I think the last ten years has shown that DEMOCRATS are actually more dangerous to democracy than the Republicans anyway. I believe this because they appeal more to the political center than James Dobson INC. does.

In any case, I am not suggesting they are friends or allies... They just know not to rock the boat when they both can get fat off of the worlds' many tragedies.

Posted by: at May 7, 2007 09:30 AM