[The truth is beginning to flow as to the false games that the necons played to launch the war on Iraq.Â I would call their actions criminal in a moral if not legal sense -- and perhaps that, too.Â Launching a war in violation of all the standards for engaging in wars is a criminal action.Â How many tens or hundreds of thousands have died so far from this atrocity?Â In my lifetime I can recall no precedent short of Mussolini's attack on Ethiopia and Hitler's depredations.Â We went to war against Hussein for grabbing Kuwait.Â Now the Bushies seem determined to maintain military bases in Iraq in addition to those spanning the globe (hundreds of them) to what end?
Last updated April 27, 2007 6:06 a.m. PT
White House dismisses Tenet’s criticism
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Then CIA Director George Tenet testifies about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States in this March 24, 2004 file photo. A senior White House counselor on Friday April 27, 2007 dismissed former CIA Director’s George Tenet portrait of a Bush administration that rushed to war in Iraq without serious debate. “The president did wrestle with those very serious questions,” Dan Bartlett said. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
WASHINGTON — A senior White House counselor on Friday dismissed former CIA Director’s George Tenet portrait of a Bush administration that rushed to war in Iraq without serious debate. “The president did wrestle with those very serious questions,” Dan Bartlett said.
Asked about Tenet’s upcoming book, excerpts of which were reported Friday in The New York Times, Bartlett called the former CIA chief a “true patriot” but suggested he might have been unaware of the breadth of the prewar debate that led Bush to dismiss other options, such as diplomatic means, for reining in Saddam Hussein.
“I’ve seen meetings, I’ve listened to the president, both in conversations with other world leaders like (British Prime Minister) Tony Blair as well as internally, where the president did wrestle with those very questions,” Bartlett said on NBC’s “Today” show. “This president weighed all the various proposals, weighed all the various consequences before he did make a decision.”
Tenet complains that his now-infamous “slam dunk” phrase, used at a 2002 White House meeting, has been misrepresented and used to shift blame to him. Explaining his remark for the first time in an interview taped to air Sunday on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” Tenet said he was referring broadly to the case that could be made against Saddam – not the presence of his alleged weapons of mass destruction.
Tenet said the administration misrepresented his comment and used it to shift blame as the debate heated up about the legitimacy of the Iraq invasion. Tenet, who served as CIA chief from 1997 to 2004, called the leak of the remark to journalist Bob Woodward “the most despicable thing that ever happened” to him.
Bartlett played down the significance of the “slam dunk” remark, saying the decision to go to war was shaped by intelligence reports and “a whole body of evidence and behavior by Saddam Hussein that led President Bush to believe that he had to be removed by force.”
As to Tenet’s take on the remark, Bartlett said, “I am a bit confused by that because we have never indicated the president made the sole decision based on that slam dunk comment.”
“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)
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