Directors of Central Intelligence

Tenet Beyond Resignation as DCI

From 2005

Materials arranged chronologically.

Shane, Scott. "Ex-C.I.A. Chief Denies Knowing of Doubt About Defector's Word." New York Times, 2 Apr. 2005. [http://www.nytimes.com]

Former DCI George J. Tenet said on 1 April 2005 "that he had never been told of a foreign intelligence service's grave doubts about the reliability of an important source of information on Iraq's purported biological weapons program, an Iraqi defector code-named Curveball." The WMD commission "wrote in its report ... that an unnamed subordinate of Mr. Tenet's had been told in 2002 by a foreign intelligence contact not to trust Curveball." According to an Associated Press report, "John McLaughlin, who was Mr. Tenet's deputy and then acting director after he stepped down, issued his own statement, saying he, too, was not told of the doubts about Curveball."

Shane, Scott. "With Only Reputations at Stake, Talk on C.I.A. Report Turns to How Much to Publish." New York Times, 27 Aug. 2005. [http://www.nytimes.com]

"Most of the central figures faulted" in CIA Inspector General (IG) John L. Helgerson's "report, notably [former DCI] George J. Tenet,... retired last year." On 25 August 2005, "the September 11 Advocates group demanded the immediate declassification and release of Mr. Helgerson's report.... On the other side, Mr. Tenet and some of his colleagues have been fighting ... to soften the report's tough judgments, which they consider unfair, distorted and uninformed." Tenet's supporters say the "report is seriously flawed" because the IG's "investigators never talked to policy makers to get their views on the C.I.A.'s performance. Even some key people inside the agency were not interviewed, they say, including Charles E. Allen, whose title in 2001 was assistant director of central intelligence for collection."

Roberts, John B., II. "Potential Bush-CIA Crisis." Washington Times, 1 Sep. 2005. [http://www.washingtontimes.com]

In this Op-Ed piece, the author quotes a former intelligence officer and a source friendly to former DCI George J. Tenet for the belief that "Tenet is not going to let himself become the fall guy for the September 11 intelligence failures." According to the friendly source, Tenet's response to the CIA Inspector General's report, critical of Tenet and other senior CIA managers, "is a 20-page, tightly knitted rebuttal of responsibility.... The latest salvo in the ongoing wars between the CIA and the White House may be about to burst.... Tenet has kept silent about what [President] Bush knew and when he knew it." Tenet's decision to defend himself "puts the White House back in the spotlight."

Tenet, George J., with Bill Harlow. At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the CIA. New York: HarperCollins, 2007.

Shane, Scott, and Mark Mazzetti. "Ex-C.I.A. Chief, in Book, Assails Cheney on Iraq." New York Times, 27 Apr. 2007. [http://www.nytimes.com]

In At the Center of the Storm (2007), former DCI George J. Tenet "has lashed out against Vice President Dick Cheney and other Bush administration officials..., saying they pushed the country to war in Iraq without ever conducting a 'serious debate' about whether Saddam Hussein posed an imminent threat to the United States." Tenet argues that the "slam dunk" remark "was taken out of context and that it had little impact on President Bush's decision to go to war. He also makes clear his bitter view that the administration made him a scapegoat for the Iraq war."

CNN. "Officers: Ex-CIA Chief Tenet a 'Failed' Leader." 29 Apr. 2007. [http://www.cnn.com]

In a letter written on 28 April 2007 to former DCI George Tenet, six former CIA officers "called his book 'an admission of failed leadership.'... The letter, signed by Phil Giraldi, Ray McGovern, Larry Johnson, Jim Marcinkowski, Vince Cannistraro and David MacMichael, said Tenet should have resigned in protest rather than take part in the administration's buildup to the war."

Scheuer, Michael F. "Tenet Tries to Shift the Blame. Don't Buy It." Washington Post, 29 Apr. 2007, B1. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

The author rips George Tenet as "a man who never went from cheerleader to leader." Tenet "helped preside over every step of the [clandestine] service's decline during three consecutive administrations -- Bush, Clinton, Bush -- in a series of key intelligence jobs for the Senate, the National Security Council and the CIA.... [W]hat troubles me most is Tenet's handling of the opportunities that CIA officers gave the Clinton administration to capture or kill bin Laden between May 1998 and May 1999.... [S]everal key Clinton counterterrorism insiders ... have reported that Tenet consistently denigrated the targeting data on bin Laden, causing the president and his team to lose confidence in the hard-won intelligence."

Linzer, Dafna. "Teaching Recent History From Opposite Perspectives: At Georgetown, It's Feith vs. Tenet and Policy vs. Intelligence." Washington Post, 7 May 2007, A17. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

George Tenet and Douglas Feith are both teaching courses at Georgetown University in what "is shaping up as a reproduction in miniature of the Bush administration's titanic struggle over Iraq.... Each is teaching a class that reflects his own worldview and experience in institutions -- the Defense Department [Feith] and the CIA [Tenet] -- that saw the world in starkly different terms." One of the two students taking both classes said that "neither professor used the class to defend his record.... "'I think both of them honestly said there are things they got wrong.... They were both pretty honest.'"

Benson, Pam. "Former CIA Chiefs Call on President to Stop Interrogation Probe." CNN, 18 Sep. 2009. [http://www.cnn.com]

In a letter sent to President Barack Obama on 18 September 2009, former CIA directors John Deutch, Porter Goss, Michael Hayden, James Schlesinger, George Tenet, William Webster, and James Woolsey urged the president "to stop the criminal investigation of people involved in the CIA's harsh interrogations of suspected terrorists."

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