Friday, April 27, 2007


Now that George Tenet is coming out with his tell-all (or thereabouts), he's trying to justify the notorious "slam dunk" remark. But here's my question: why was it a big deal at all?

Here's how the story goes:
As the war planning progressed, on December 21, 2002, Tenet and his top deputy, John McLaughlin, went to the White House to brief Bush and Cheney on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, Woodward reports.

The president, unimpressed by the presentation of satellite photographs and intercepts, pressed Tenet and McLaughlin, saying their information would not "convince Joe Public" and asking Tenet, "This is the best we've got?" Woodward reports.

According to Woodward, Tenet reassured the president that "it's a slam dunk case" that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction.
So we're supposed to believe that Bush was skeptical, but then Tenet leaped up and said the magic words "slam dunk," and that was all Bush needed to be convinced. Uh-huh.

The fact is, Bush wanted this war from the moment he took office. Tenet could have said it was a slam dunk, a hail mary, an infield fly, or a dipsy-doodle, and it wouldn't have mattered one way or the other. He could have gotten down on his knees and begged Bush not to go to war, and it wouldn't have mattered. It was going to happen no matter what Tenet said.

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