27 April 2007

At the Center of the Storm

George Tenet: At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the CIAIn a new book due out on Monday, At the Center of the Storm, America's former director of central intelligence, George Tenet, has accused Vice President Dick Cheney and other Bush administration officials of pushing the country to war in Iraq without ever conducting a "serious debate" about whether Saddam Hussein posed an imminent threat to the United States or about the possibility of containing Iraq without an invasion. He now fears that US forces are becoming increasingly irrelevant to the management of sectarian violence in Iraq and questions the wisdom of Bush's "surge" strategy.

In an interview ahead of the book's launch, Tenet has also claimed that aggressive interrogation tactics such as the questioning of "high value" targets using sleep deprivation, exposure to extreme temperatures, and "water boarding" saved lives, could not be defined as torture, and were worth more to the security of the United States than all the work done by the FBI, the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency, which tracks foreign electronic communications.

The first detailed account by a member of President Bush's inner circle during the 9/11 attacks and invasion of Iraq, the book looks set to be a controversial and perhaps illuminating read. If anyone gets to read it, do let us know what you think.


Walt said...

Do keep in mind that Tenet was placed in office shortly after the reelection of Democrat Bill Clinton. He was kept on as a CIA Director with the expectation that it would de-politicize the position to have a democratic appointee in the position. However, it merely confirmed it.

The director of the CIA is not an "inner-circle" position.

Further, do not forget that it was on CIA intelligence (as well as MI5) that the Bush Administration made the claim that Hussein had WoMD and was seeking to acquire nukes.

All that to say, this is not a Republican insider, this is not even someone neutral and with no agenda. This is a liberal democrat who has been blamed by some in the Administration of being the reason for the intelligence failures that lead us to war. If nothing else, he has the are-you-just-trying-to-cover-your-butt factor to address before he's credible.

Walt said...

Here's corroboration: