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Was Tenet Source For Downing Street Memo?


George Tenet claims in his new book that the Downing Street Memo "misquoted" Richard Dearlove. Dearlove, then-head of British intelligence, is referred to in the memo as "C":

C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.

Sidney Blumenthal has now written something about this that—if true—is a giant bombshell:

Tenet's account of the July 20, 2002, meeting of CIA officials and British intelligence officers in Washington is misleading, according to a former high CIA official with firsthand knowledge, who described it to me as "total bullshit." That meeting was important as the basis of the subsequent briefing of Prime Minister Tony Blair that took place at Downing Street three days later, summarized in the famous so-called Downing Street memo. In the memo, Sir Richard Dearlove, chief of MI6, is quoted: "Military action was now seen as inevitable ... Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD." Even more ominously, Dearlove warned that "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

Tenet writes that Dearlove told him he was misquoted and that Tenet "corrected it to reflect the truth of the matter." "Tenet doesn't say what the truth of the matter is," the former CIA officer told me. "Dearlove just didn't want to be blamed." Dearlove, the former CIA official emphatically insists, claiming direct knowledge, was accurately relating what Tenet had personally told him.

The former CIA official explains that the Washington meeting was an annual U.S.-U.K. event...After a daylong briefing in the director's conference room and private dining room, Tenet took Dearlove into his office. According to the CIA source, "That's where Dearlove asked where the intelligence was going, was it heading to war, did it matter what the intelligence was. Tenet said, that's the way things are heading, they are looking for intelligence to fit into this." Dearlove's "fix" was simply the British version of "fit." He was not misquoted; he was spot on.

You don't get much more momentous than the head of the CIA and MI6 discussing how the "intelligence" used to justify a war is being falsified.

Of course, it's difficult to judge the accuracy of this—not in the sense that Blumenthal might be making it up, but that it's hard to guess whether the CIA official had firsthand knowledge...and if not, how he/she knows it.

But figuring out that kind of thing is what Congressional committees are (theoretically) good for. It would be entertaining to see this person testify on live national television.

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The more and more that I hear from Tenet and others about Tenet, the more I realize this man was intentionally left out of the neocon loop. I feel the same way about Colin Powell. Keeping these two in the dark (about the ideaology that Cheney was really pushing in rogue Office of Special Plans) was to the Bush Administration's advantage.

It all depends on the meaning of "falsified." If you mean "tell the truth," it's probably not that. If you mean "the whole truth," then it certainly is. Because they had "intelligence" to say what they were telling the public. It just wasn't very good intelligence, and there was a lot they didn't say that contradicted it (i.e., cherry-picking). They didn't make up Curveball, they just didn't bother to mention that he was a totally unreliable source.

A better word would be "dishonesty." Of that, there's no question whatsoever, and no argument about definition.

George Tenet!

What a show he put on the other night with Scott Pelley on 60 Minutes...Selling his book, trying to avoid the stench and consequences of treason, and keeping the truth about the march to illegal war and occupation under wraps, like a good little neocon underling.

All in a neat little 20 minute TV segment.

Way to go George!

Your book is not worth the effort it would take to burn it. How many pills do you pop every night just so you can sleep, you war criminal bastard?

NOT YOUR DADDY'S EDITORIAL PAGE:
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Now Playing: "Mission Accomplished?"

Pelley's eyes bugged out on stalks when he asked how many people had been killed by 'enhanced interrogation' and Tenet said none!

Call me sophmoric (the shoe fits) but my favourite part of the interview was when Pelley finally got so sick of Tenet's CRAP that he started scratching his forehead with his middle finger- even better, that was the clip the producers used for the set-up and promo!

Yeah, I know, but if I didn't find little things to laugh at now and then, this crap would DRIVE ME CRAZY!

Drysdale

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