Who is George Tenet and why is he resigning from the CIA?

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In summary, CIA Director George Tenet has resigned from his position, citing personal reasons. President Bush expressed his regret at Tenet's departure and praised his leadership and service to the country. Deputy John McLaughlin will temporarily lead the agency until a successor is found. Tenet had been under fire for intelligence failures, specifically regarding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and the threat from al-Qaida. Some speculate that his resignation may be due to recent leaks of intelligence to Iran, and there are also concerns about the CIA's role in the Abu Ghraib scandal. However, former CIA Director Stansfield Turner believes that Tenet was forced to resign and would not have stepped down during an election year unless he was told to do so.
  • #1
member 5645
Good bye, and Good Riddance...

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20040603/D82VJOQG0.html


CIA Director George Tenet, who weathered storms over intelligence lapses about suspected weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, has resigned, President Bush said Thursday.

"I will miss him," Bush said.

Tenet came to the White House to inform Bush about his decision Wednesday night. "He told me he was resigning for personal reasons," Bush said. "I told him I'm sorry he's leaving. He's done a superb job on behalf of the American people."

Bush said that deputy, John McLaughlin, will temporarily lead America's premier spy agency until a successor is found. Among possible successors is House Intelligence Committee Chairman Porter Goss, R-Fla., a former CIA agent and McLaughlin.


(AP) CIA director George Tenet listens as he is questioned during his testimony before the Sept. 11...
Full Image


"He's been a strong and able leader at the agency. and I will miss him," Bush said of Tenet as he got ready to board Marine One for a trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., and on to Europe.

"George Tenet is the kind of public servant you like to work with," the president added. "He's strong, he's resolute. He's served his nation as the director for seven years. He has been a strong and able leader at the agency. He's been a strong leader in the war on terror."

"I send my blessings to George and his family and look forward to working with him until he leaves the agency," Bush said.

Tenet had been under fire for months in connection with intelligence failures related to the U.S.-led war against Iraq, specifically assertions the United States made about Saddam Hussein's purported possession of weapons of mass destruction, and with respect to the threat from the al-Qaida terrorist network.

In May, a panel investigating the Sept. 11 attacks released statements harshly criticizing the CIA for failing to fully appreciate the threat posed by al-Qaida before the terrorist hijackings. Tenet told the panel the intelligence-gathering flaws exposed by the attacks will take five years to correct.

During his seven years at the CIA, speculation at times has swirled around whether Tenet would retire or be forced out, peaking after the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 and surging again after the flawed intelligence estimates about Iraq's fighting capability.

Even when his political capital appeared to be tanking, Tenet managed to hang on with what some say was a fierce loyalty to Bush and the CIA personnel. A likable, chummy personality, also helped keep him above water.

Conventional wisdom had been that Tenet, who was appointed by President Bill Clinton, did not plan to stay on next year, no matter who won the White House. Tenet has been on the job since July 1997, an unusually lengthy tenure in a particularly taxing era for the intelligence community that he heads.

Tenet is the son of Greek immigrants who grew up in Queens, N.Y.

Some close to Tenet have said the job overseeing more than a dozen agencies that make up the intelligence community has been taxing for him. He suffered heart problems while at the National Security Council during the Clinton administration, although a CIA official said his resignation was not health related.

On Capitol Hill, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., called Tenet "an honorable and decent man who has served his country well in difficult times, and no one should make him a fall guy for anything."

If I did my job as badly as Tenet did his, I would have been fired - not given a chance to resign.
 
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  • #2
He probably resigned so he can write a bestseller like O'Neil and Clarke did. And because his conscience was probably starting to bother him due to all the lying to cover for Bush.
 
  • #3
Might this resignation have something to do with the recent leak of intelligence to Iran about decoding their communications?
 
  • #4
Maybe, but after enduring the storm over the 9/11 intelligence failures it seems anticlimatic.
 
  • #5
Phat- I tend to agree with you. I think the Bush should have cleaned house a lot better when he came into office. I think it served Clinton well to clean out the 1st Bush presidents appointees and fill it with his own people, I really don't get why Bush didn't follow the same route.
 
  • #6
Tenet was the one guy in higher government who was telling us that going to Iraq was a bad idea, it is a shame to see him go.
 
  • #7
http://www.kesq.com/Global/story.asp?S=1915479
(quote)A man who was once in the same shoes says he thinks Tenet was forced to resign. Former C-I-A Director Stansfield Turner tells C-N-N he doesn't think Tenet would have stepped down during an election year unless he was "told to do that".(end quote)

But, there may be several issues that can influence:

1. There is growing critic on CIA about the pre-9/11 period (not able to prevent).
But remember CIA gave a report to Bush (who went then on vacation). Before 9/11 Tenet warned against Al-Qaeda and something major to come.

2. WMD: CIA didn't confirm WMD presence in Iraq, but was forced too.
Remember the Feith/Wurmser cell (PNAC) in the Pentagon that fabricated conclusions (about Iraq) which were opposed by CIA field fact. Also CIA warned against the Nigeria papers.

3. CIA opposed to Wolfowitz/Rumsfeld friend Chalabi (who also fabricated 'proves'). Secretary of State Colin Powell recently pressed the CIA to account for the faulty intelligence that led Powell to tell the United Nations last year that Iraq definitely possessed illicit weapons (mobile biological weapons laboratories) but the sources were Iraqi defectors introduced to intelligence agencies by Ahmad Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress.

4. You have the Tenet-Plan to ease tensions between Israel and the Palestinians. Bush torpedoed it by his "Thank You, Ari!" -policy.

5. Then you have the (coming) information about the CIA/OGA's role in Abu Ghraib. It's unsure what this will bring.

6. What about the reorganization of the intelligence agencies. For sure there is a power game happening, but also for example CIA concern that it's sources would come in other hands (biggest fear of a spy organization). Remember the 'show' of Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert Mueller last week, but who was passed: Tenet (CIA) and Tom Ridge from Homeland Security. Power Games.

7. Speculation: Who knows that now again CIA gave warnings that Bush and PNAC deny or judge lite. Maybe Tenet don't want that under his name for another time.

From his position Tenet could not criticize publicly the President or defend the CIA against unjust allegations. A loyal servant of the United States and it's President.
Now many - such as Powell - point the CIA for the failures the PNAC-guys made.

IMO these points gave Tenet indeed personal problems. It seems "too much is too much".
 
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  • #8
phatmonky said:
http://apnews.myway.com/article/20040603/D82VJOQG0.html




If I did my job as badly as Tenet did his, I would have been fired - not given a chance to resign.

Tenet's biggest failure was not cutting off Cheney, Feith and Cambone from raw intelligence data they should not have seen. The Office of Special Plans was the biggest source of fraudulent intelligence concerning the Iraq war. Not just wrong, fraudulent. Tenet's only connection to it was his allowance of data to be sent to them. The OSP manipulated intelligence to get the war they wanted. The OSP was formed by Cheney and run by Feith. This is the same Douglas Feith that General Tommy Franks called "..the stupidest man in the world..."

The White House was poorly served by Tenet's CIA because it demanded that it be poorly served. Tenet's fault was giving into that demand.

Njorl
 
  • #9
Njorl said:
Tenet's only connection to it was his allowance of data to be sent to them.
But they used a trick to get highly classified material, which Wurmser ( closely linked to Israel's Likud)- who had not that clearance - could 'study' as raw data (including all junk of double-spies, rumors, etc. that CIA normally filters before internal use). Isn't that illegal? How is it called?

(quote) Despite their access to the Pentagon leadership, Maloof and Wurmser faced resistance from the CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency.

They were initially denied access, for example, to the most highly classified documents in the Pentagon computer system. So Maloof returned regularly to his old office in another branch of the Department of Defense, where he still could get the material.(end quote)

http://www.iht.com/articles/517591.html

I don't say Wurmser works for the Shin Bet but he had highly classified information - illicitly received without clearance - that could interest many people, like his good friend Benjamin Netanyahu.
Shin Bet http://www.fas.org/irp/world/israel/shin_bet/

On Wurmser - actually Cheney's Top advisor on the Middle East - and Netanyahu: http://www.disinfopedia.org/wiki.phtml?title=David_Wurmser
Also : http://www.antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=2727
Wurmser was also a stronger supporter of Ahmad Chalabi.

And this guy is now designing the USA policy in the Middle East!
 
  • #10
What I want to know is how could Tenet miss the Iranian agent mentioned in this story. :wink:

http://www.prospect.org/web/page.ww?section=root&name=ViewWeb&articleId=7799

Njorl
 
  • #11
Look whos in charge of Afganistan, former executives of Unicol, and the pipeline is going to be built. Which is what was wanted in the first place since millions had already been invested. Source - Michael Moore - Wheres my country?
 
  • #12
amp said:
Look whos in charge of Afganistan, former executives of Unicol, and the pipeline is going to be built. Which is what was wanted in the first place since millions had already been invested. Source - Michael Moore - Wheres my country?


Unocal, not Unicol - Do you suggest that the attack on Afghanistan, supported by the world in a very large majority, was all a ploy to help the USA build a pipeline (which would be built anyways, considering Taliban representatives were at the location I worked at negotiatiing such a deal a year before 9/11!). Or did we just manipulate everyone, and then lose that ability with Iraq?
 
  • #13
YES, I READ THAT Taliban reps were in Texas (were they at the Bush ranch?) before 9/11 to negotiate a deal to get some 16 billion $$ for the pipeline.
 
  • #14
amp said:
YES, I READ THAT Taliban reps were in Texas (were they at the Bush ranch?) before 9/11 to negotiate a deal to get some 16 billion $$ for the pipeline.


They were in Sugarland (near Houston) meeting with UNOCAL execs - and all was going well on the deal.
The war wasn't needed to secure the deal.
The war, from a profiteering point, would only be good if security was guaranteed, and instantaneous, as UNOCAL already had other vested interests in Afghanistan that would/were interrupted by the war.
 
  • #15
pelastration said:
2. WMD: CIA didn't confirm WMD presence in Iraq, but was forced too.
Remember the Feith/Wurmser cell (PNAC) in the Pentagon that fabricated conclusions (about Iraq) which were opposed by CIA field fact. Also CIA warned against the Nigeria papers.

3. CIA opposed to Wolfowitz/Rumsfeld friend Chalabi (who also fabricated 'proves'). Secretary of State Colin Powell recently pressed the CIA to account for the faulty intelligence that led Powell to tell the United Nations last year that Iraq definitely possessed illicit weapons (mobile biological weapons laboratories) but the sources were Iraqi defectors introduced to intelligence agencies by Ahmad Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress.

Now many - such as Powell - point the CIA for the failures the PNAC-guys made.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A14025-2004Jun3.html
(quote)
...
White House officials have sought to blame Tenet for leading the president into war based on bad intelligence. But even before the intelligence community had produced its definitive reports on Iraq, Vice President Cheney and other top administration officials were describing the threat from Saddam Hussein in more dramatic and unequivocal terms than the intelligence ever supported.

Tenet's relationship with White House staff members grew tense when he refused to take sole blame for an inaccurate statement about Iraq in the president's State of the Union address in 2003. It worsened after a speech by Tenet at Georgetown University in February, in which he pointed out that the agency had never used the word "imminent" to characterize the threat from Hussein's weapons.
...
(end quote)
 
  • #16
Njorl said:
Tenet's biggest failure was not cutting off Cheney, Feith and Cambone from raw intelligence data they should not have seen. The Office of Special Plans was the biggest source of fraudulent intelligence concerning the Iraq war. Not just wrong, fraudulent. Tenet's only connection to it was his allowance of data to be sent to them. The OSP manipulated intelligence to get the war they wanted. The OSP was formed by Cheney and run by Feith. This is the same Douglas Feith that General Tommy Franks called "..the stupidest man in the world..."

The White House was poorly served by Tenet's CIA because it demanded that it be poorly served. Tenet's fault was giving into that demand.

Njorl
It's absurd that more Americans aren't absolutely outraged over the OSP. But then, how many know about it?
 

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