And what will you see? A gleaming presidential medal, the $4 million from your lucrative book deal or just 30 pieces of dirty silver? Your soul is worth more than these things so please stop selling it. Your original mistakes and weaknesses could be forgiven so much easier if you would just honestly admit them instead of continuing these deceptive cat and mouse interviews on TV that, in the end, do nothing but compound your original errors.
Yesterday on Meet the Press you told Tim Russert that there was no "texture" to the pre 9-11 threat reporting despite the "system blinking red" and despite your "hair (being) on fire" which resulted in your emergency meeting with Condoleeza Rice in mid July and the CIA's Presidential Daily Brief given to President George W. Bush on August 6, 2001 entitled, "Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US." Then, even more disingenuously, you added that "everything went silent" in August 2001.
How could you forget, former DCI Tenet, that on August 23, 2001, you were briefed about the Moussaoui case in a power point briefing titled, "Islamic Extremist Learns to Fly." You were told among other things: that Moussaoui wanted to learn to fly a 747, paid for his training in cash, was interested to learn the doors do not open in flight, and wanted to fly a simulated flight from London to New York. You were also told that the FBI had arrested Moussaoui because of a visa overstay and that the CIA was working the case with the FBI. One of the documents given to you even had Bin Laden's picture on it! And the CIA held successive briefings about Moussaoui: August 27th, 2001, with the deputy director of operations; August 28th, 2001, with the executive director of the CIA; August 30, 2001 with the director of Central Intelligence; September 4th, with the executive director of the CIA; and September 10th, with the deputy director of operations (see Moussaoui defense exhibits 660, 670, 671,672,673, and 674). So how can you say "everything went silent" in August?!
Certainly your lack of pre 9-11 action after all this is hard to explain and something you'd like to forget. Your excuses that "the president is not the action officer" or "all I can tell you is, it wasn't the appropriate place. I just can't take you any farther than that" (for why you did not alert others during an early September 2001 Cabinet-level meeting on terrorism) are pretty weak. A lot could have been done in those remaining 18 days had you taken some action. Bolting our airline cockpit doors, for example, something Israeli airlines already did and which would have cost only an estimated $900 per door, would have been logical and could have foiled the suicide hijackers.
But when this information about the August 23rd power point briefing was dragged out of you by the 9-11 Commission, you claimed, oddly enough, that you made no connection between Moussaoui's presence in the United States and the earlier threat reporting. You did, however, according to news reports, make the connection very quickly on the morning of 9-11. In fact it was reported to be the first thing out of your mouth that morning upon learning of planes flying into the World Trade Center.
Why was it that the information about the August 23rd briefing--about the only Al Qaeda terrorist to be thus far prosecuted and convicted of the 9-11 conspiracy in the United States--had to be practically dragged out of you by the 9-11 Commission?
Sadly, Mr. Tenet, this inconsistency is just the beginning of your larger, tragic sellout in attempting to defend the indefensible, helping the Bush administration make its public case to go to war against Iraq. You still obviously mistake a "marketing campaign" for the truth and ego-defense mechanisms for conscience.
Even more sadly, you are not the first who has left the Bush Administration who feels compelled to cover up everything to continue to make money. Full page, several thousand dollar ads of Zig Ziglar next to a smiling "Legendary Soldier-Statesman" General Colin Powell as part of Ziglar's "Get Motivated" Seminar have begun appearing almost daily in our Twin City newspapers. For $225 per person, the Ziglar-Powell seminar promises "Motivation! Inspiration! Career Skills! (and) Wealth Building!" but alas no truth.