Former CIA Chief Tells All

Call me cynical, but I have a sneaking suspicion that former CIA director George Tenet will not be invited to any White House galas anytime soon. As reported by the Washington Post, Tenet has written a book that chronicles his experiences as chief sneak of the CIA and that accuses the Bush administration of exaggerating and distorting intelligence to make a case for invading Iraq:

Tenet Details Efforts to Justify Invading Iraq

White House and Pentagon officials, and particularly Vice President Cheney, were determined to attack Iraq from the first days of the Bush administration, long before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and repeatedly stretched available intelligence to build support for the war, according to a new book by former CIA director George J. Tenet.

Although Tenet does not question the threat Saddam Hussein posed or the sincerity of administration beliefs, he recounts numerous efforts by aides to Cheney and then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld to insert “crap” into public justifications for the war. Tenet also describes an ongoing fear within the intelligence community of the administration’s willingness to “mischaracterize complex intelligence information.”

“There was never a serious debate that I know of within the administration about the imminence of the Iraq threat,” Tenet writes in “At the Center of the Storm,” to be released Monday by HarperCollins. [full text]

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