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30 April 2007

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whynot

As I recall, O'Neil didn't speak out until his book was published in 2004. He chose to hold his challenges until nearly a year after the war started. Men were needed to stand up prior to the war. Not a year later when it's time to publish pocket-lining memoirs.

zenpundit

Walrus,

The Goering comparison is unfair to Tenet as well as inaccurate.

Goering was not merely a skilled charmer but a cold-blooded killer whose ruthlessness Hitler hmself found time to admire. Let's be clear, Goering literally signed off on the Holocaust(!). That's not an everyday historical event by any standard.

Tenet was a small man, a shallow glad-hander and a second-rater to be sure but let's not exaggerate matters.

Brian Hart

How can our key government leaders be so devoid of ethics or courage? Is something in the water in Washington?

Will

OK Clifford I bite. Why is Condileezza "kinky?" Is it the boots and short dresses?

The irrepressible W. Jumblatt before he made nice called her "the chocolate princess" and "'oil' colored."

H.G.

The post below asks the question I have, namely, why would the Bush Admin, which is all about loyalty and insularity, keep on Clinton's DCI unless Cheney, et. al. KNEW he wouldn't be a bump in the road to their march to war? In fact, isn't it possible they kept him on KNOWING he was weak and inept, easily steam-rolled, and the perfect patsy if things went south? There is a reason they kept him, and it's not because they thought he was the best man for the job, or that they didn't believe they could have their own hand-picked man confirmed by the Republican senate.

http://www.rakemag.com/today/media/archive/001759.aspx

Will

I was not endorsing Jumblatt's sexist remarks regarding Z rice. In fact i started a section on his wiki bio called "verbal intemperance."

Wrapping up the Goering thread, he was quite a ruthless thug. Somewhere out there on the web is a trascript of him presiding as a judge of a Prussian court in a prosecution of a communist. It was a really a Kangaroo court. But, he was one of the few Nazi elite that had been a genuine war hero at a high level, a World War I ace.

Speaking of women in politics, it appears that the Israeli tall drink of water, Tsiopara "Tzipi" Livni has a high likelhood of becoming the next Israeli P.M. as the pressure mounts on Olmeret to resign now that the Winograd commission has given him his death warrant. His favorable rating is around 6%!

Salsabob

HG - you got it right. Imagine working for this lard. His taking any credit for OEF is a joke.

Clifford Kiracofe

Will, my understanding from White House staff who have dealt directly with POTUS and Condi on national security issues is that: 1) she exercises very tight control over foreign policy issues coming before the Decider (she is The Explainer to The Decider, after all); 2. she regards herself to be always correct, infallible one might say; 3) her position has been so strong because POTUS has backed her; 4) her orientation is known to White House staff.

I remember her from the 1980s when she was a young staffer over at NSC, nothing special. It is interesting that she was Madeleine Albright's father's (Professor Joseph Koerbel/"Korbel") student at U. Denver. On Korbel see, http://www.jhu.edu/~jhumag/0400web/15.html
See also, Michael Dobbs, Madeleine Albright. A Twentieth Century Odyssey (New York: Henry Holt, 1999), a revealing and significant book.
I think of Condi more as a political product of George Shultz's influence (Stanford and business connections) rather than Scowcroft's. But who knows?

walrus

Will and Zen, I agree that Tenet does not compare with Goering, except in one respect. My point is that both of them demonstrate the complete lack of ability to empathise with other human beings which is to me the defineing characteristic of a Narcissist.

Goering willingly turned himself in to American troops, he was puzzled why he was being held as a war criminal. He was puzzled when an American psychiatrist asked him why he did not try and save his friend Rohm from execution in the purging of the brown shirts. "But he was in the way" was what he said to the psychiatrist.

I submit that Tenet and others have this same total inability to empathise with normal humans - hence Goering signed off on the Holocaust, just as Tenet signed off on duff intelligence - without any compunction whatsoever.

Clifford Kiracofe

New light on the policy and players:

"and an inability to influence key figures in the US administration, led to anarchy in Iraq from which the country has not recovered, the British defence secretary during the invasion admits today.
In an exclusive interview with the Guardian, Geoff Hoon reveals that Britain disagreed with the US administration over two key decisions in May 2003, two months after the invasion - to disband Iraq's army and "de-Ba'athify" its civil service. Mr Hoon also said he and other senior ministers completely underestimated the role and influence of the vice-president, Dick Cheney...

"Sometimes Tony had made his point with the president, and I'd made my point with Don [Rumsfeld] and Jack [Straw] had made his point with Colin [Powell] and the decision actually came out of a completely different place. And you think: what did we miss? I think we missed Cheney."

Of the summary dismissal of Iraq's 350,000-strong army and police forces, Mr Hoon said the Americans were uncompomising: "We certainly argued against [the US]. I recall having discussions with Donald Rumsfeld, but I recognised that it was one of those judgment calls. I would have called it the other way. His argument was that the Iraqi army was so heavily politicised that we couldn't be sure that we would not retain within it large elements of Saddam's people."

....Mr Hoon accepted that Britain had greatly underestimated the influence of the neo-con vice-president Mr Cheney and had lacked a comparable figure able to engage him regularly over the war...."

Hoon avoids the cooking of intelligence issue. http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,,2070256,00.html


Clifford Kiracofe

Seems as though the Neocons and Tenet are at odds about some details in his book:

Robert Scheer quotes Tenet's book,
"Feith’s briefer, Tina Shelton, “started out by saying that there should be ‘no more debate’ on the Iraq-al Qaeda relationship. ‘It is an open-and-shut case,’ she said. ‘No further analysis is required.’ This statement instantly got my attention. I knew we had trouble on our hands.”
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/050207F.shtml

Neocons in their rag say:
"In order to suggest that Feith's staff was utterly out of its depth, Tenet characterized the main briefer, Tina Shelton, as a "naval reservist." In fact, she had been a Defense Intelligence Agency analyst for almost two decades. Tenet also claimed that Shelton said in her presentation of Iraq-al Qaeda contacts, "It is an open-and-shut case." Shelton and Feith both deny she said that. One person who served in government with Shelton told THE WEEKLY STANDARD today he finds it "inconceivable" that Shelton, an experienced analyst, would have made such an unequivocal assertion."
http://www.weeklystandard.com/weblogs/TWSFP/2007/04/george_tenets_imaginary_encoun.asp

Considering there was no Prague meeting with Atta, etc., does anyone have a take on Tina Shelton from personal experience?

W. Patrick Lang

CK

I vaguely remember her as a hyper-ambitious org person who seemed to be interested in one thing, advancement.

But, it has been a long time. pl

Dan

"I believed it"? Doesn't his own NIE from the time suggest otherwise? Or at least that he ought to have had serious reservations?

Tim G

"Considering there was no Prague meeting with Atta, etc., does anyone have a take on Tina Shelton from personal experience?"

I know Tina. This story is much more complicated than what is portrayed in the press. I cannot think of a senior analyst who would make this kind of sweeping judgement about "no more evidence" being required. In my 30 years of government and government-related service I've never seen an analyist make that kind of statement. Neither Tenet nor Feith's accounts tell her side of the story. In her version, which I have no reason to doubt, her analytic product had nothing to do with Atta.

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