A Man for NO Season

David001 George Tenet – he was on "Meet the Press" today.  What a pitiful spectacle.  This is not a man.  This is a whining, sniveling, political bureaucrat, a spoiled child who, in his own mind, is never to blame for anything, never really takes responsibility for his failures of judgment and action, and spins, and spins and spins.

George’s "admissions" of responsibility are always carefully couched in words that do not actually say things like, "I was wrong,"  "I failed," "The war was a mistake,"  "I failed in what I did not do to stop this oncoming disaster."  He quibbles.  Quibbling is not acceptable in an intelligence officer, certainly not in the BOSS intelligence officer.  I wonder if the Society of Jesus is happy when Tenet cites the principles that he thinks they taught him as justification for his way of doing things.

Major, points, George:

-You were appointed to produce finished intelligence products that were CORRECT, that were TRUE, that represented REALITY.  A good try is not good enough.  Because of the crap that the intelligence community produced under your leadership, tens of thousands have died.  Do the honorable thing, George.

-You were supposed to stop being a flunky for whomever was in power when the Senate of the United States confirmed you to be head of the intelligence community.  Instead, you participated in a "marketing campaign" to sell the American people a war about which you admit to having qualms.  You and your colleagues like Hadley, Mattalin, Libby and Rice did a thorough job.  A lot of the simple are still looking for those WMD thingies in the bottom of an Iraqi lake.  Do the right thing, George.

-You did not tell the Commander in Chief, (the commander guy) that there was a "problem" with the raw information and the analyzed intelligence?  You did not tell him because your bureaucratic timidity and "small timer’s" sense of organizational propriety restricted you to dealing with his "followers?"  My God!  Do the right thing, George."

Do the right thing.  pl


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28 Responses to A Man for NO Season

  1. Leigh says:

    And what in your opinion is the “right thing”?
    1. Return the medal of freedome which he supposedly accepted on behalf of all of the CIA. (I assume if enough members and ex-members signed a petition, he could be forced into it.
    2. Dedicate some of his royalties to families of our fallen soldiers. (BTW, the book is falling quickly on the Amazon best seller list–BOYCOTT, BOYCOTT!)
    3. Go to Iraq and join an ngo (my favorite).
    4. Commit quick hari-kari instead of prolonging it via the horrendous interviews on TV.
    5. All of the above.
    6. None of the above.

  2. Richard says:

    Another great post Pat. I agree with what Larry Johnson has said about you that you are a national treasure. Your views are always indispensable.

  3. lina says:

    I’m not clear what you want him to do now. Commit seppuku? While that might be satisfying in a pay-per-view kind of way, it’s too little, too late.
    I suffered through the entire interview waiting for Russert to ask about the criminal referral he made to DOJ regarding Valerie Plame Wilson.
    I guess waiting for Russert to act like a journalist is as promising as waiting for Tenet to act like a patriot.
    (Crickets chirping).

  4. Clark says:

    Colonel Lang,
    So now what? I hear that the weather in The Hague is nice this time of year.

  5. psd says:

    As an accomplished “weathervaner,” George doesn’t know what the right thing is. He’s clueless.
    Keep beatin’ up on him, Colonel, until he goes away and curls up into the fetal position……don’t we all just wish?

  6. Matthew says:

    Col: At my Catholic School, the motto was “a man for others.” Tenet fails that test too.

  7. stanley Henning says:

    Since hearing former UN envoy, Andrew Young’s argument for Wolfowitz’s remaining on as World Bank head I have felt a need to comment, not just concerning Wolfowitz alone, but in concert with others of his ilk whose combined arrogance and ignorance has led us into our current predicament in Iraq — how to reverse the irreversible.
    I remember a number of years ago I had occasion to read a message out of our embassy in Indonesia from then Ambassador Wolfowitz. While I no longer remember the details of the message, the one thing that stuck clearly in my mind ever after was the arrogant “flavor” of the message, which caused me to categorize the writer as an individual for whom I would never want to work under. Then, in 2002, I actually observed Wolfowitz at PACOM Commander, Admiral Blair’s, retirement ceremony. Wolfowitz’s second rate “farewell” followed a fine, and well deserved, presentation by then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, GEN Meyers. My observation confirmed the earlier message impression. Wolfowitz exuded the image of a “leader” whom I think few would want to follow if given a choice.
    Leadership and all it should include is so important and yet so sadly ignored as we stumble into the 21st century, with several thousand years of good and bad examples from which to judge and select. The “system” seems only to go so far as to look at resume’s which show positions an individual held, but almost universally fail to reflect the individual’s actual manner in dealing with his fellow human beings in the process.
    I experienced an example of what was another reflection of this problem in a lesser Rumsfeld decision I was involved with — his decision to turn down an action was clearly based on the mistaken manner in which it was presented to him, but once the decision was made no one was willing to revisit the issue because they apparently just did not want to go through the hassle of being brow beaten in the process. Of course, this example not only shows the impact a bully can have, but weaknesses in those below, similar to those displayed by George Tenet toward the Vice President.
    Bullying and arrogance in ignoring others is not leadership, but a reflection of the bully’s own insecurity. However, we seem to merely let this go by as just another “leadership style”. Nonsense! This is a reflection of one aspect of the psychology of military incompetence. Bullying and arrogance by one individual in a key position can result in the incompetent operation of an entire organization with disastrous results.
    The ship of state is a complicated mechanism that depends on a captain and crew with not only technical but also human attributes necessary to steer it successfully through turbulent waters.

  8. pbrownlee says:

    Unfortunately, by his own contemptible “values” (and those of the legions of toadies, flunkies and drones for whom ruthless self-advancement is the only engine of action) GT is doing the right thing.
    He did seem to be squirming a bit though when questioned by Mr Lehrer.

  9. TexDem says:

    As someone who has a member of the family who served in the CIA for 30yrs I’m glad none of it was on any of the Georges’ watch.
    (one small exception HW’s term as Director.)

  10. Montag says:

    Tenet reminds me of the French courtiers who feared to tell the King about the English naval victory at Sluys in 1340. Yet SOMEONE had to inform the King, so they pushed forward the King’s Fool. “The English are cowards, Your Majesty!” the Fool blurted out. When the King asked why, the Fool explained, “Because they refused to leap into the sea like our brave Frenchmen.” The King got the message loud and clear. The moral is that there is always a way to be found if you will only look hard enough for it.

  11. TexDem says:

    George, George, Dick, Condi et al can be diagnosed within the parameters of NPD, Narcissistic personality disorder.
    1. has a grandiose sense of self-importance
    2. is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
    3. believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by other special people
    4. requires excessive admiration
    5. strong sense of entitlement
    6. takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
    7. lacks empathy
    8. is often envious or believes others are envious of him or her
    9. arrogant affect.
    (see also full list in DSM-IV-TR, p. 717

  12. Walrus says:

    I again wish to draw people’s attention to Narcissistic personality disorder because it sounds like Wolfowitz has it as well as Tenet.
    These people will work very hard to get into positions of power, but they then screw things up very badly because they have no ability to empathise with people and inevitably manage “upwards” for that next promotion or reward.
    Wolfowitz, as a narcissist, couldn’t understand why anyone got upset over his remuneration deal for his girlfriend. Tenet still cannot understand why anyone is mad at him for exactly the same reason – he simply cannot understand because he cannot empathise.
    He won’t do the right thing Col. Lang, not because he does not wish to do the right thing, but because he is mentally incapable of UNderstanding what the concpet of “the right thing” is. It simply does not compute.
    My Finance and Administration Manager collapsed at the office one day and was diagnosed with terminal leukemia. I told my narcissist Chairman of the Board the following day and all I got was: “Will our financial reporting schedule be affected?”
    You are not dealing with normal human beings, and unfortunately they gravitate upwards.

  13. Cloned Poster says:

    “Medal of Freedom” recipient. How the US of A sucks today.
    Wait for Sarkozy to commit troops for a bigger Lebanon offensive.

  14. Clifford Kiracofe says:

    Yes, indeed.
    I think my friend, Father Baldomero Ortoneda, SJ, buried at Georgetown University, would be quite concerned.

  15. donna says:

    Sounds just like another George we know… “Commander Guy” is never responsible for anything, either.

  16. linda says:

    seppuku. but that requires a measure of honor clearly lacking in mr tenet.

  17. meletius says:

    GT did not tell C-in-C Bush about his “concerns” over the intelligence because he was absolutely certain that Cheney did not want Bush to hear the concerns and that Bush himself did not want to hear them.
    It would have created a massive fault line in presidential responsibility and destroyed plausible deniability.
    GT’s (after the fact) justification that the president is not an “action officer” is risible.
    A situation where the president was actually told, face to face, that there might be “problems” here, would have been a disaster, and the certain end of Mr. Professional Bureacrat. What this “president” knows is intentionally “managed” by the ex-Nixon boy, Cheney.
    The Repub’s lesson of Watergate: a completely isolated president who hears only what others decide he should hear. This is like a failed monarchy writ large.

  18. Matthew says:

    Diogenses: If you want to “confront” Hez’s state-within-a-state effectively, I suggest you ask for a census. The Christian community in Lebanon has disgraced itself by yapping about “democracy” but not wanting one man, one vote. Hez has a state-within-a-state because the Christians and Sunnis undemocratically kept them from their fair share of power.

  19. Annie Burns says:

    CQ site posts interesting take on Tenet matter:

  20. Sandy says:

    I could only read a little of the Newsweek story you cited.
    Still fresh in my mind was the Netflix movie my husband and I watched last night (recommended):
    Documentary filmmaker Robert Kane Pappas presents a riveting argument for his theory that America is under an Orwellian watch with the rise to prominence of the radical, right-wing Republican party, an ascent aided, unwittingly or not, by the mainstream media.
    Charles Lewis, Mark Crispin Miller, Greg Palast, and Robert McChesney were especially good in it.
    Another good Netflix: Uncovered:The Whole Truth about the Iraq War

  21. pbrownlee says:

    This of the SoS:
    “It is also difficult to admire an opportunist whose only firm belief is in her own advancement, which is essentially how Mabry describes Rice. According to his research, every boss or mentor throughout her career has been certain that Condi agreed with him, despite the broad range of politics and ideologies that they represent. This remarkable conformity amazed Mabry, who also learned that many of those same bosses and mentors today wonder whether her professed views were ever sincere or always merely convenient. Without much hesitation, he suggests that Rice actually lacks any philosophical depth or commitment — and that her personal ambitions have always shaped her worldview.
    “Certainly that malleability has helped Rice to thrive in the malignant environment of the Bush administration, where she had to maneuver amid the likes of Dick Cheney, Colin Powell and Donald Rumsfeld. Her close relationship with the president, whom she uncritically adores, has enhanced her power and prestige — largely because she “enables” him, as Mabry puts it, without challenging his assumptions or puncturing his illusions. One close friend of Rice’s, echoing many others, told the author: ‘She thought he could do no wrong’. So she never questioned the false intelligence that led to the Iraq invasion, spreading lies far and wide; she never argued for more troops or more planning because that wasn’t what Bush wanted.
    “Years later, Rice can scarcely bring herself to talk about what went wrong. Last year in one of three interviews she granted Mabry, she said, ‘War is war. We made a lot of mistakes, I’m sure of it. But there are a lot of mistakes we didn’t make, too’. A rather inadequate summary of a strategic blunder that many military and diplomatic experts consider the worst of modern times. For that reason, more than a few consider Rice to have been the worst national security advisor since the creation of that post during the Cold War.”

  22. arbogast says:

    I would say that Colonel Lang wants him to drink the hemlock.
    “I have set my life upon a cast and I will stand the hazard of the die.”
    Not good enough for Tenet. No standing the hazard of the die for him.
    There are villains and there are cowardly collections of scum that creep to the edge of the pond.

  23. John in LA says:

    Tenet does indeed seem a puke-inducing sleazeball. But he’s a saint next to the war criminal Negroponte.
    I was in Honduras, at Negroponte’s house, for a July 4 dinner in 1982, when he was Pro-Consul overseeing the Contra staging areas and Salvadoran Death Squad provisioning in Tegucigalpa.
    Talk about the whiff of sulfur….Tenet just seems like a stupid sweating bureaucrat. Negroponte, or “black bridge” from the original Italian, is a pure necrophyliac

  24. arbogast says:

    I believe the painting is of Socrates.
    After all, Tenet is Greek.

  25. jedermann says:

    I watched Charlie Rose’s interview with Condi Rice last night and again, as always, I was struck by her refusal to take responsibility for anything that has gone wrong on any of her watches. The refusal to accept responsibility is absolutely endemic to this administration and George Tenet is just another practitioner. The refusal of public servants to be held accountable for their actions and the seeming reluctance of the media and the public to hold them responsible for their failures is in stark contrast with the righteous indifference with which we regard the fall of ordinary citizens into financial ruin and poverty through catastrophic events beyond their control. All that “bleeding-heart Liberal” mau-mauing seems to have made the rest of us accountable for our own downsizing or being broken on the wheel of our healthcare system, but we just don’t seem to have the heart to expect failed public servants to resign or even truthfully explain.

  26. LeaNder says:

    Jacques David / The Dead of Socrates, 1787, Metropolitan Museum of Att, NY.
    I had to ask a friend admittedly. Maybe somebody else would like to know.

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