Thursday, May 03, 2007


The open letter to George Tenet by former CIA officers Phil Giraldi, Ray McGovern, Larry Johnson, Jim Marcinkowski, Vince Cannistraro, David MacMichael and distributed to the press by Larry Johnson, and later signed by a long list of former officials, military and intelligence, denounces not only George Tenet but a long list of the top decision makers of this administration: George Bush, Richard Cheney, Richard Rumsfeld, Condi Rice. And it further embarrasses the Attorney General by the statement: “you were the Alberto Gonzales of the intelligence community -- a grotesque mixture of incompetence and sycophancy shielded by a genial personality.” One more exposure of the irresponsibility of the administration of this country for the last several years.

One of the great blessings of this country, scarcely ever mentioned, is a highly professional bureaucracy. Many of those who serve in the intelligence community, as well as the military, and the other agencies of government are the best that our country can produce. A strength of our system is that these highly professional and dedicated people are placed at the disposal of the elected leaders of our country. Collectively they represent great erudition, great knowledge, and even much wisdom. But collectively they are at the mercy of elected leaders. When our leaders are irresponsible, incompentent, indifferent to the high requirements of leading the greatest economic, political, and military system in human history, the American people and indeed the peoples of the world lose. Thanks to those eminent figures mentioned in this letter, we have all lost much.

Here, in brief, are the most damning statements in the letter to Tenet. [From, accessed 5/3/07]:

“Vice President Dick Cheney and other Bush administration officials took the United States to war for flimsy reasons.”

“…. the war of choice in Iraq was ill-advised and wrong headed.”

“You were a willing participant in a poorly considered policy to start an unnecessary war and you share culpability with Dick Cheney and George Bush for the debacle in Iraq.”

“Those who remained silent when they could have made a difference also share the blame …”

“You helped send very mixed signals to the American people and their legislators in the fall of 2002. CIA field operatives produced solid intelligence in September 2002 that stated clearly there was no stockpile of any kind of WMD in Iraq. This intelligence was ignored and later misused. On October 1 you signed and gave to President Bush and senior policy makers a fraudulent National Intelligence Estimate (NIE)—which dovetailed with unsupported threats presented by Vice President Dick Cheney in an alarmist speech on August 26, 2002.”

“… the White House tried to present as fact intelligence you knew was unreliable.”

“Although CIA officers learned in late September 2002 from a high-level member of Saddam Hussein's inner circle that Iraq had no past or present contact with Osama bin Laden and that the Iraqi leader considered bin Laden an enemy of the Baghdad regime, you still went before Congress in February 2003 and testified that Iraq did indeed have links to Al Qaeda.”

“…the Bush Administration pushed and cajoled analysts and managers to let them
make the bogus claim that Iraq was on the verge of getting its hands on uranium.”

“…you allowed suspect sources, like Curveball, to be used based on very limited reporting and evidence. Yet you were informed in no uncertain terms that Curveball was not reliable.”

“… you were the Alberto Gonzales of the intelligence community -- a grotesque mixture of incompetence and sycophancy shielded by a genial personality.

“Your candor during your one-on-one with Sir Richard Dearlove, then-head of British Intelligence, of July 20, 2002" provides documentary evidence that you knew exactly what you were doing; namely, "fixing" the intelligence to the policy.”

“By your silence you helped build the case for war. You betrayed the CIA officers who collected the intelligence that made it clear that Saddam did not pose an imminent threat. You betrayed the analysts who tried to withstand the pressure applied by Cheney and Rumsfeld.”

“Your silence contributed to the willingness of the public to support the disastrous war in Iraq, which has killed more than 3300 Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.”

“The reality of Iraq, however, has not made our nation more secure nor has the cause of human liberty been advanced. In fact, your tenure as head of the CIA has helped create a world that is more dangerous.”

“…you seem still to lack an adequate appreciation of the enormous amount of death and carnage you have facilitated.”

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