Casey Anthony Disclosure of Experts by bnz18811

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									George Tenet, Center of the
      Storm (NY: *)
Tenet’s Memoirs Covering Parts of his
 DCI Tenure under Clinton, then 9/11
            and Iraq War
September 12 2001, dawned as the first full day of a world gone
mad.” More-than-usual protected car awaited to take him to the
White House3 and excessive numbers of secret services personnel
were around. He noted air force patrols overhead. He writes: “At
the CIA, we had good reason to believe that more attacks might be
coming in the hours or days ahead and that 9/11 was just the
opening salvo of a multipronged assaults on the American
mainland.” *In other words, for Tenet on morning of 09-12-01, it
was still clearly crisis!]
Interestingly, he notes he was walking in just as Richard Perle was
leaving. “Perle is one of the godfathers of the neoconservative
movement and, at the time, was head of the Defense Policy Board,,
an independent advisory group to the secretary of defense.” Tenet
says he was an acquaintance of Perle’s but not particularly close.
*Not in Woodward’s account.+ Then:
As the doors closed behind him, we made eye
contact and nodded. I had just reached the
door myself when Perle turned to me and said
“Iraq has to pay a price for what happened
yesterday. They bear responsibility.” (xix.)
[Perle was on something called The Defense
Advisory Board (outsiders); similar ad hoc
advisers used by other presidents but here
said advisers become quite important.]
Tenet notes that the during previous 18 hours he and his
experts had poured over the intelligence including airplane
manifests where they found no connection between 9/11
and Iraq. (What he does not tell us but we know from
Woodward’s Bush at War was that as 9/11 unfolded Tenet
breakfasted with Senator Boren and when beepers began
going off Tenet said something to the effect this has
something to do with Moussaoui and the flight school info
he learned over the previous months!) “Over the months
and years to follow, we would carefully examine the
potential of a collaborative role for state [read Iraq]
sponsors. The intelligence then and now, however, showed
no evidence of Iraqi complicity” (xx).
He then notes that he looked back at the secret service
checkpoint where Perle stood and thought: “What the hell is
he talking about? Moments later a second thought came to
me: Who has Richard Perle been meeting with in the White
House so early in the morning of today of all days? I never
learned the answer to that question.”
For better or worse, the twin topics of terrorism and Iraq
would come to define my seven years [DCI]. By the time I
stepped down . . . in July 2004, those issues seemed to eclipse
all the other work American Intelligence had done, and all the
other issues we had faced during my tenure. Although I didn’t
realize it that day, I’ve since come to think of that brief
encounter with Richard Perle as the moment when these two
dominant themes in my professional life fist intersected. (xx.)
Next page he writes another important paragraph worth quoting in full:
“This is the story of how we saw that threat, what we did
about it, what was proposed and not done, how are
thinking evolved, and why the men and women of the [CIA]
were ready with a plan of action ready to respond
forcefully to the loss of American and foreign lives. This is
also about how we helped disarm a rogue nation of its
weapons of mass destruction without firing a shot and how
we brought to justice the most dangerous nuclear weapons
proliferator the world has ever known” (xxi).
“It is also a cautionary tale of threats still un-encountered
that would make the attacks of September 11 pale in
comparison” (xxii).
       Chap. 1, The Towpath
He begins with the anecdote about Anthony
Lake (“the Boss”) phoning him to tell him to
meet at the towpath on in spring 1997 when
Lake told his deputy that he would withdrawal
his (Lake’s) name the following day and insist
that President Clinton nominate George Tenet.
Interesting inside baseball stuff about the
blood sport that is Washington politics.
  Chap. 2, The Burning Platform
This is a chapter on the state of the intelligence community
(IC) when Tenet inherited it. Despite the 1947 NSA, it was 15
The agency and other IC entities suffered from the malaise
that was the end of the Cold War: the “Peace Dividend.”
Understandably, many policymakers presumed that the IC was
ripe for budget cuts and said policymakers came from both
parties. Tenet notes that the entire assumption was wrong as
all would soon learn. “Not only was the assumption wrong—
the war was simply evolving from state-run to stateless armies
and from . . . (ICBMs) to nuclear manpacks [sic] and anthrax
vials—but the supposed peace dividend was devastating to
the spy business at a time when its vitality was most needed.
The entire [IC] not just the CIA lost billions of dollars in
funding. Our workforce was slashed by almost 25 percent.”
And the way it was slashed was even more devastating.
  Chap. 2, The Burning Platform
“They simply stopped recruiting new people. As a result,
there was half a decade or so where hardly any new
talent was coming in, and many, many, experience hands
were going out the door.” He write a little farther on the
page that they later learned “that while we were training
a handful of case officers each year, al-Qa’ida was
training literally thousands of potential terrorists at its
camps in Afghanistan, the Sudan, and elsewhere” (14).
Indeed, one comparison he learned of was this: the FBI
had more agents in New York City than the CIA had
clandestine officers covering the whole world” (15).
Apart from budget, nobody knew quite what the mission
of the community was. (16.)
  Chap. 2, The Burning Platform
He discusses some of the top reorganizations undertaken
quickly under Tenet. I selected Lt. General John Gordon
(USAF) as his deputy DCI to strengthen liaison with the
military. We shall see the military actually had
unsurpassed much if the DCI’s and the entire IC’s
authorities and budgets. He pulled legendary Jack
Downing out of semi retirement as the DDO [now
clandestine services]. John McLaughlin, well know by
Washington insiders as exceptionally bright, honest, full
of integrity, and more, was selected DDI (that is the
analysis branch). (17.) Bill Harlow was the CIA’s PR guy
[also co-author of the book].
Chapter 3, Shot out of A Cannon
This is about the day-in, day-out management of
former DCI. Mostly anecdotes but some interesting
ones. Everything his job as DCI turned on was the
President’s Daily Briefing (PDB). *As we shall see, a
infamous one of August 6 2001 became controversial
and remains so to date.] He notes that among what
might be properly called espionage was the CIA’s
following local news media to anticipate what the
daily media agenda would be to which they were
forever responding and spending far too much time
doing so. [Important for SOPs.]
Chapter 3, Shot out of A Cannon
Interestingly, he discusses the morning ride into
Washington. When Clinton was president a “briefer”
typically delivered the PDB and the DCI could head to
Langley. When W. became president the new president
insisted that the DCI deliver it himself. [We learned from
Woodward that George H.W. Bush told his son, the
president elect that the brief would be among the most
important things of the day and that’s why W. insisted on
the DCI.] We also learned that each of the NSC principals
had their own briefers before the daily (or three days a
week) NSC principals meetings. “All around Washington,
other briefers were doing the same thing—meeting with
their principals, from the vice president and the
secretaries of state and defense, to a handful of others
privileged to receive the PDB” (32).
Chapter 3, Shot out of A Cannon
*That’s something that didn’t happen before the Bush 43
administration! I would argue it is one of the ways the
veep and the secdef coordinated and controlled so much
of the NSC principals business!] But then later on the
page Tenet notes that W. was curious. The items of the
PDB were short with some info on sources and methods.
“The written items were generally short, and the
president would read them carefully. Sometimes he
would start tossing out questions before getting to the
bottom line—a practice that would cause others in the
room to start doing so as well. This interactive practice
was something I welcomed” (Ibid).
Chapter 3, Shot out of A Cannon
[Did W. truly improvise, or was the seeming
impromtu scripted in his pre-meetings about
which we’ve read: Rumsfeld, Cheney, Libby,
Wolfowitz, and sometime Addington would meet
ahead of the NSC principals meetings? It’s an
interesting question to which we may never know
the answers but we get clues in Woodward’s April
2003 victory dinner to which Ken Adelman and
family returned from Paris to attend.]
Chapter 3, Shot out of A Cannon
Bottom on next page he notes one of the
principals reasons for creating the DNI in 2004.
As DCI he was responsible for all he’s already
described as the head of the CIA but additionally
ostensibly in charge of NSA (thousands of daily
intercepts) NGIA and the rest (15 beside the CIA
including several under the DOD and one under
both State and Energy). [A good question is
whether or not the new DCI had fixed it?] (33.)
[Much more in my NSC book on this.]
Chapter 3, Shot out of A Cannon
He eventually gets around to intelligence failures, the
bane of the IC. He uses the India nuclear test on May 11,
1998. The program was covert and purposely
underground (literally). He admits that while they knew
both India and Pakistan were up to mischief, the timing
did surprise CIA. (44.) Some interesting stuff on Jeremiah
report that sought to understand the entire failure (45).
He then gets to the China embassy screwup in Serbia in
May 1999 for which he nearly lost his job. It turned out it
was CIA miss-programming and DOD not communicating
or sharing with CIA unless-until DOD absolute had to as
that usually meant DOD had to share something as well.
The CIA maps were never intended as “strike packages”
but the military so quickly ran out of their own they
turned to CIA. (46-47.)
 Chapter 4, Waging Peace [i.e. Israeli-
           Palestinian Conflict & USFP]
It’s an interesting chapter about America’s role in the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Though DCI was explicitly
not intended to be a policymakers, in Clinton
administration Tenet was. He was integrally involved
in the Wye River Plantation Memorandum that was
signed and very nearly succeeded. The juicy stuff is
the role King Hussein played nearly on his death bed,
and the Jonathan Pollard case and how the Israelis
cleverly played chicken with Pollard and the chaos it
caused. (64-71.) It’s worth reading the concluding
paragraph of the chapter (p. 72).
       Chapter V, Beyond Wye
He begins with some self-serving observations,
perhaps fair. Between close of Wye (October 1998)
and end of September 2000 (nearly two years),
incredible stability seldom seen in the region. No
“terrorist attacks” inside the Green line Israel. Then
on September 28, 2000 Ariel Sharon traveled to the
dome of the rock under the pretense of checking
whether archeologists’ complaints of vadelism were
valide, and the region re-ignited. The second
intifada. (73.)
        Chapter V, Beyond Wye
A chapter on how the Wye Plantation Memo devolved
into chaos. It was not for a lack of trying. Tenet seems to
try to paint a relatively objective portrait of the principals
and how things went south. He agrees with the
conventional wisdom in the U.S. that it was principally
Arafat who prevented peace. Arafat’s interest was
continual process wherein Arafat would be portrayed on
CNN and elsewhere as the dedicated savior for the
Palestinians. In fact, there were prima donnas on both
sides and the truism remains: the U.S. cannot want
peace more than the principals. He does outline some of
Clinton’s dedication, prodigious capabilities a la personal
negotiations, intellectual acumen, as well as similar traits
with Albright, Berger, and important negotiators on both
the Palestinian and Israeli side.
       Chapter V, Beyond Wye
He obliquely refers to how the new Bush
administration was not comfortable with how Clinton
had elevated the DCI to a policymaker.
  When the Bush administration cam e to power, they did not
  hold Arafat in high regard. [Hardly surprising as he earlier noted
  Albright had love-hate relationship with Arafat that was mostly
  toward hate.] The Clinton team had made [Arafat] a central part
  of the peace process. Yet Arafat could never get the deal done.
  Therefore—and it was a view I supported—there would be no
  more letting him in the front door. No more conveying the
  image of him as a global player. No more reward for behavior
  that led us nowhere. (80.)
      Chapter V, Beyond Wye
*What he neglects is whether the administration’s
Anything but Clinton (ABC) slowed down needed NSC
meetings on al Qaeda or exactly how Tenet’s role
changed in NSC principals. We know from Richard
Clarke’s book that he was demoted and demoralized
despite the fact that he had worked for George H.W.
Bush as well as Clinton. Worth considering—9/11
report. While this is important it’s only indirectly
related to this course—Bush’s “Freedom Agenda”
linked to regime change in Iraq.]
         Chapter VI, Arafat
Mostly personal observations of Arafat and his
various dilemmas. One gets the feeling that
Tenet actually liked him somewhat thought he
didn’t trust his ever to deliver. Ultimately,
Arafat was neither Moses (who would not
compromise for his people) nor Ben Gurion
(the famous Israeli who created modern
                   Part II
Chap VII—Gathering Storm . . .

. . . Chap XIV—They Want to Change History
Chapter VII, The Gathering Storm
A really important chapter that details a) the
pre-9/11 law-enforcement approach that was
SOP in both GOP and Dem administrations to
date, b) the fairly exceptional measures taken
by the Clinton administration (in a pre-9/11
world), c) the bureaucratic nonsense that
hinders unified plans; d) the politics that
similarly thwart exceptional efforts, e) the
efforts to disrupt the Millennium attacks and
the odd reality that it actually caused parts of
the government to relax;
Chapter VII, The Gathering Storm
f) the war CIA declared on OBL and al Qaeda, g)
the practical problems wherein the U.S.
couldn’t simply blow everything up and hope to
kill OBL (not that his death would have stopped
anything) h) some of the transition between
Clinton (late December 2000-early 2001) Bush
(January 2001) and i) the actually strategic plan
(“Blue Sky”) that CIA had which Tenet maintains
the 9/11 Commission underestimated.
Chapter VII, The Gathering Storm
Tenet admits that contrary to conventional wisdom,
the IC saw it coming for many years before 9/11 and
took relatively muscular and creative actions to
counter it that, in a pre-9/11 world were about all
they could have done. Most Americans during the
period thought of the terrorist problems as over
there. He notes that former DCI Deutch actually
started “virtual stations.” It turned into one virtual
station located outside the CIA campus that was
eventually brought back into the fold. That station
became known as the Bin laden Unit, headed by
Micheal Scheuer, and eventual Alec station, after
Scheuer’s son. (99-100.)
Chapter VII, The Gathering Storm
Scheuer and Tenet disagree on some details but agree
on more than they disagree. [You may recall that in
2006 the Bush administration dismantled then later
recreated it under pressure.+ (There’s a powerful
anecdote later where after the Alec folk recommended
a strike on OBL, the six persons in the hierarchy
between Scheuer and Tenet—most of whom had field
experience whereas Scheuer was an analyst—
recommended against it. Some days after the African
embassy, attack a female member of the Alec until
passionately accused Tenet of being responsible for
deaths of many of those people. [pp. 114-115.])
Chapter VII, The Gathering Storm
It is clear the IC knew of OBL if not al Qaeda (it formed
later) early in the 1990s. As early as 1993 before Tenet
moved to CIA the agency declared OBL “a significant
financial backer of Islamic terrorist movements” (100).
Similarly, by the middle of the 1990s “was front and
center on the Agency’s radar screen” (Ibid). He explains
what’s commonly known that OBL left Afghanistan and
the Afghan Arabs to return to Saudi around 1989. The
Kingdom already was reaping the whirlwind of their
short-sighted support of Arabs fighting Soviets in
Afghanistan and despite OBL’s connections, the Saudis
didn’t want him. Tenet also write unequivocally that
there was no offer from the Saudis to give OBL to the
Americans—none that Tenet ever knew of. (101.)
Chapter VII, The Gathering Storm
Once the Saudis cooperated with the U.S. on Desert Storm,
OBL went ballistic and openly challenged the royals. OBL
migrated to Sudan where he found a warm welcome and as
many other sources have detailed, set up real businesses
there and cemented a strong relationship with Sudan’s
government. By 1996 the IC knew that OBL was far more than
a financier. By then an al Qaeda defector confirmed that OBL
“was the head of a world-wide terrorist organization with a
board of directors that” included “the likes of Ayman al-
Zawahiri and that he wanted to strike the United States on our
soil” (102; my emphasis). In May 1996 OBL left Sudan and
returned to Afghanistan where he set up a symbiotic
relationship with Mullah Omar—the Taliban had effectively
taken control of the south (Khandahar as its capital) in the
ongoing civil war. As reported elsewhere, OBL lavished Omar
with Toyota 4 Runners and the like. (103.)
Chapter VII, The Gathering Storm
In July 1996 the Independent published an article in
which OBL was quoted as saying “that the killing of
Americans at the Khobar Towers the previous month
was the beginning of a war between Muslims and
the United States” (103). *This is a little strange that
Tenet leaves this statement without qualification.
There’s at least one theory that Iran and Hezbollah
were behind Khobar Towers and in Age of Sacred
Terror Simon and Benjamin make a bid deal about
FBI director Louis Freeh breaking with the
administration and becoming somewhat estranged
from the IC over the incident.] He noted that it was
August when OBL issued his 1996 fatwa. (103-104).
“It should not be hidden from you that the people of Islam
had suffered from aggression, iniquity and injustice imposed
on them by the Zionist-Crusaders alliance and their
collaborators; to the extent that the Muslims blood became
the cheapest and their wealth as loot in the hands of the
enemies. Their blood was spilled in Palestine and Iraq. The
horrifying pictures of the massacre of Qana, in Lebanon are
still fresh in our memory. Massacres in Tajakestan, Burma,
Cashmere, Assam, Philippine, Fatani, Ogadin, Somalia,
Erithria, Chechnia and in Bosnia-Herzegovina took place,
massacres that send shivers in the body and shake the
conscience. All of this and the world watch and hear, and not
only didn't respond to these atrocities, but also with a clear
conspiracy between the USA and its' allies and under the
cover of the iniquitous United Nations, the dispossessed
people were even prevented from obtaining arms to defend
“The people of Islam awakened and realised that they are the main
target for the aggression of the Zionist-Crusaders alliance. All false
claims and propaganda about "Human Rights" were hammered
down and exposed by the massacres that took place against the
Muslims in every part of the world.”
“From here, today we begin the work, talking and discussing the
ways of correcting what had happened to the Islamic world in
general, and the Land of the two Holy Places in particular. We wish
to study the means that we could follow to return the situation to
its' normal path. And to return to the people their own rights,
particularly after the large damages and the great aggression on the
life and the religion of the people. An injustice that had affected
every section and group of the people; the civilians, military and
security men, government officials and merchants, the young and
the old people as well as schools and university students. Hundred
of thousands of the unemployed graduates, who became the
widest section of the society, were also affected.”
“Our Lord, the people of the cross had come with their horses
(soldiers) and occupied the land of the two Holy places. And
the Zionist Jews fiddling as they wish with the Al-Aqsa
Mosque, the route of the ascendance of the messenger of
Lord, shatter their gathering, divide them among themselves,
shaken the earth under their feet and give us control over
them; Our Lord, we take refuge in you from their deeds and
take you as a shield between us and them”
“Our Lord, show us a black day in them!”
“Our Lord, show us the wonderment of your ability in them!”
“Our Lord, You are the Revealer of the book, Director of the
clouds, You defeated the allies (Ahzab); defeat them and make
us victorious over them.”
“Our Lord, You are the one who help us and You are the one who assist
us, with Your Power we move and by Your Power we fight. On You we
rely and You are our cause.
Our Lord, those youths got together to make Your religion victorious
and raise Your banner. Our Lord, send them Your help and strengthen
their hearts.
Our Lord, make the youths of Islam steadfast and descend patience on
them and guide their shots!
Our Lord, unify the Muslims and bestow love among their hearts!
O Lord pour down upon us patience, and make our steps firm and
assist us against the unbelieving people!
Our Lord, do not lay on us a burden as Thou didst lay on those before
us; Our Lord, do not impose upon us that which we have no strength
to bear; and pardon us and grant us protection and have mercy on us,
Thou art our patron, so help us against the unbelieving people.”
“Our Lord, guide this Ummah, and make the right conditions
(by which) the people of your obedience will be in dignity and
the people of disobedience in humiliation, and by which the
good deeds are enjoined and the bad deeds are forebode.
Our Lord, bless Muhammad, Your slave and messenger, his
family and descendants, and companions and salute him with
a (becoming) salutation.
And our last supplication is: All praise is due to Allah.” (PBS,
The News Hour Online,
    Chap. 7, Gathering Storms
Tenet notes that the IC published a National
Intelligence Estimate (NIE) in 1995 in which the IC
warned about the threat entitled “The Foreign
Terrorist Threat in the United States.” It warned
of jihadis enhanced capabilities to operate in the
US. The NIE warned that the likely targets would
be ‘national symbols such as the White House
and the Capitol and symbols of U.S. capitialism
such as Wall Street’ (104). In 1997 another
alarming NIE was released. In February 1997
Tenet testified to Congress and said the following:
   Chap. 7, Gathering Storms
“Even as our counterterrorism efforts are
improving, international groups are
expanding their networks, improving
their skills and sophistication, and
working to stage more spectacular
attacks” (104).
    Chap. 7, Gathering Storms
Similarly in early 1998 he warned Congress again.
In a Presidential Daily Briefing (PDB) to Clinton on
December 4, 1998, called ‘Bin Laden Preparing to
Hijack US Aircraft and Other Attacks,” he alerted
the NSC of which he was a principal that the threat
was real and materializing. “Between April 1, 2001
and September 11, 2001,l as many as 105 daily
intelligence summaries were produced. . . . These
reports were based on information received from
the intelligence community. Almost half of these
mentioned al-Qa’ida, Usama bin Ladin, or both”
     Chap. 7, Gathering Storms
The point quite plainly is that there was no dearth of
warning about what was coming. [We shall discuss
later why 9/11 still surprised policymakers.] Point 2
is that Tenet is in full CYA mode which is fair enough.
What he neglects to mention is all the stuff that was
happening. If one reads Richard Clarke’s book or
Simon and Benjamin, or the 9/11 Report as we shall
see, much was being done. In lieu of a huge
perturbation (viz., a foreign-policy crisis), the
bureaucracy was only slowly and incrementally
moved. In fairness to Tenet, he does also detail the
responses he was getting from the Clinton
administration including increased budgeting.
    Chap. 7, Gathering Storms
The reality is that lots of action was occurring but
it was occurring while all the other threats were
happening: former Yugoslavia was one “crisis”
after another from 1991 through 1998 and
beyond. In 1998 both India and Pakistan tested
nukes (in India’s case retested) and war nearly
occurred. DPRK was covertly building a nuke and
the IC community knew it but knew it was nearly
blind. China was modernizing its military at an
alarming rate. And these are just the most
obvious “crises.” And on and on, ad infinitum.
Such is the daily flow.
     Chap. 7, Gathering Storms
[Tenet makes quit clear that SOP for both Republicans
and Democrats was to treat terrorism as a law-
enforcement problem. (108.) And he makes clear that it
was not a partisan issue. On the contrary insofar as
partisanship was involved it was the regularity of either
party’s central dogmas on foreign policy—their
respective hobby horses. For GOP it was missile defense.
Missile defense was a function of state threats, not non-
state actors. Nevertheless, Republicans squeezed money
out of intelligence and defense budgets for their projects
and counterterrorism lost. For the Democrats,
“peacemaking.” “enlargement,” and nation building were
their cherished programs.]
    Chap. 7, Gathering Storms
[Therefore, Democrats squeezed money out of
both budgets for their cherished programs. Both
parties believed that the best approach to
terrorism—that after all, had always been “over
there”—was law enforcement. That’s why the
FBI played such a huge role that eclipsed other
intelligence-gathering and intelligence-analysis
agencies. And put simply, the US had no MI5 of
similar agency to protect the US against foreign
threats other than state ones.]
     Chap. 7, Gathering Storms
Tenet details the late entrée of the Predator and how on
the first flight they probably sighted OBL. (108-131.) He
also details his declaration of war on al Qaeda in 1998.
[Again, comparing the 9/11 report and Tenets memoirs is
often instructive.+ “My frustration with the quality and
depth of our intelligence regarding [al Qaeda] and [OBL]
continued to grow, I was tired of relying on one tribal
group without much corroborating data to make
decisions as to whether we should launch capture
operations, or cruise missiles, within narrow windows of
time” 118).
     Chap. 7, Gathering Storms
He admits that America’s IC as well as its partners
needed to get over “the hump.” Consequently, “on
December 3, 1998, I sat at home and furiously
drafted in longhand the memo I titled ‘We Are at
War.’ In it I told my staff that I wanted no resources
or people spared in the efforts to go after *al Qaeda+”
(118-119). He then complains that the 9/11
Commission mischaracterized his declaration,
concluding that *Tenet’ declared war but that no one
showed up. They were wrong” (119).
    Chap. 7, Gathering Storms
Tenet goes on to explain how many dedicated
Agency people (and he conspicuously leaves
out NSC folks such as Richard Clarke for no
clear reason) put together several programs
and plans. Charles Allen and Cofer Black and
others apparently worked hard and were
dedicated public servants who are too often
    Chap. 7, Gathering Storms
A few of the chapter’s other interesting tidbits
are theses. “Throughout the fall of 1999, the
threat situation was bad, And then it got
worse. A steady drumbeat of reports leading
up to the millennium told us that [al Qaeda]
had entered into the execution phase of
numerous attacks, although we couldn’t’ say
with certainly where or when” (124). *This
incidentally in why surprise was a factor!]
     Chap. 7, Gathering Storms
He write about both the Los Angeles and the Jordan
attacks that were disrupted—both pretty well
documented in the 9/11 Committee report. (see 125-
126.) [My recollection of the 9/11 description of the
Jordan attack is that it had less detail than Tenet’s. In
Amman, al Qaeda fold intended to use poisons and
improvised devices to maximize casualties as the
Radisson, Amman. (125.) Interestingly, in one of the
few times he talks about top NSC people or even FBI
director Freeh, he discusses the frenzy of FISA warrants
they pushed through the government. [Evidence, by
the way, that FISA was not broken.]
    Chap. 7, Gathering Storms
“I must have talked to Sandy Berger, Louis
Freeh, and Janet Reno three times a day
during this period. [FISA] warrants were being
processed by Fran Townsend at the
Department of Justice at a record pace” (125).
[Note, this is the same Frances Fragos
Townsend who resigned as Bush’s first
homeland security advisor (the equivalent of
the NSC advisor for homeland security in the
post-IRTPA world.]
     Chap. 7, Gathering Storms
The end of the chapter sums up his experience in the Clinton
administration and is relatively charitable.
“In authorizing several covert-actions authorities, the
principal policy makers [note: not necessarily the
NSC principals] of the Clinton administration
understood fully the nature of the threat we were
facing. . . . These written authorities made clear that
[OBL] posed a serious, continuing, and imminent
threat of violence to U.S. interests throughout the
world. . . . I know that the most senior decision
makers in the Clinton administration understood the
magnitude of what we were facing.” (130.)
     Chap. 7, Gathering Storms
He concludes with the Sandy Berger inspired (a question
posed by Berger) cue that became Blue Sky which to
Tenet’s mind “was a compelling blueprint for the future.
It was brimming with good ideas—plans and strategies
we would roll out less than ten months later [i.e., after
Bush had been president for nine months], days after
9/11—but the timing of it meant that, for now, most of
those good ideas would simply sit in Dick Clarke’s safe
and await the new administration” (131). *There’s an
excellent section on the transition in the 9/11 Report
from which I drew for my book.]
Chap. VIII, “They’re Coming Here”
This is an incredible chapter that chronicled late fall—during
the transition from Clinton to Bush—and up through 9/11
2001. The chapter details intelligence nugget after nugget
that makes clear that policymakers—at least those below the
NSC principals and mostly below the NSC deputies
committees—knew something horrible was coming. For
much of the time they naturally assumed it was something to
be aimed at American assets abroad—that’s principally the
basis of the conventional wisdom in both administrations
prior to late summer 2001. Taken together, the intelligence
demonstrates that unless top policymakers are prepared to
respond (which is understandably diminished during
presidential transitions), all the intelligence reports in the
world matter little. While Tenet does not set about to belittle
the Bush team relative to the Clinton team, it is clear that the
transition and Anything But Clinton (ABC) attitude equaled
Chap. VIII, “They’re Coming Here”
Tenet begins with some stuff on his assumption that he would
be fired in the new administration. Rumsfeld was rumored to
be the replacement and Cheney’s transition team apparently
did what it could to encourage the rumors. Both Clarke,
Tenet, and some others were understandably viewed with
some suspicion and that comes through. Also, it comes
through that the IC and the DCI in particular were running
around with their “hair on fire,” but to little avail for a variety
of reasons. Once Tenet learned that Rumsfeld was to be sec
def he breathed a slight sigh but thought until a meeting with
Bush in Jan 2001 that he was unlikely to be staying around as
DCI. Nevertheless, in November while the courts worked
through who won, Clinton gave IC permission to keep the
potential president-elect informed of all important matters
along with Vice President Gore. Tenet sent a team to brief
Bush in November at the president’s Crawford ranch. (134-
Chap. VIII, “They’re Coming Here”
In January Bush moved into the Blair House. On
January 13 Tenet went to see him there to brief him
along with McLaughlin on the latest. Bush was
joined by Cheney and Andy Card. [Oddly, Rice not
there.] The meeting addressed three pressing issues:
terrorism, proliferation, and China. Tenet does not
recall Iraq coming up in the meeting at all. W. was a
pretty likable sort and basically told Tenet in so many
words that they’d wait to see how things went for
awhile—Tenet took that to mean he was on
probation. (136.)
Chap. VIII, “They’re Coming Here”
 On the next page Tenet makes an interesting comparison
between veeps Gore and Cheney. Gore was a wonk who
ranged around the board on issues but from whom Tenet
says he learned important issues. “Cheney had a more
traditional view and knew a hell of a lot about our
business. Both were avid consumers of intelligence and
provided considerable assistance to [CIA+.” He elaborates
a bit on Cheney’s pervasive role. “The one big difference
between the two was that Gore had his national security
adviser, Leon Fuerth, represent him at Principals’
meetings, while Cheney generally sat in on them himself”
Chap. VIII, “They’re Coming Here”
“Under President Clinton, I was a Cabinet
member *a remnant of Deutch’s requirements
but Tenet neglect to note that it was Casey first] .
. . but my contacts with the president, while
always interesting, were sporadic. I could see
him as often as I wanted but was not on a regular
schedule. Under President Bush, the DCI post
lost its Cabinet-level status. But I soon found out
that I was to have extraordinary access
nonetheless” (136).
Chap. VIII, “They’re Coming Here”
Tenet says the either have benefits but “having one fo the
ultimate decision makers actually participating in the debate
made it more difficult for Condi Rice, the president’s national
security advisor, who chaired the meeting. The vice
president’s presence may also have had an unintended
chilling effect on the free flow of views as important policy
matters were debated” 138). *What Tenet doesn’t mention is
that Cheney’s national security adviser was treated as an NSC
principal and attended the same meetings with Cheney giving
the veep even more clout. Moreover, when Rumsfeld was sec
def his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, normally attended principals’
meetings as well. I contend this is one of the ways that
Cheney and Rumsfeld effect5ively controlled the bureaucracy
and kneecapped Colin Powell. We’ll read more about it in my
NSC book.]
Chap. VIII, “They’re Coming Here”
Tenet goes on to note that normally the most
important relationship for the DCI [now DNI] is with
the NSC advisor—that’s by design in the statute. He
compares Berger who liked to role up his sleeves and
grapple with details and the politics, Rice was “very
disciplined. Tough, and smart, but she brought a
much different approach to the job that her
predecessor.” Dr. Rice by contrast, “was more
remote. She knew the president’s mind well but
tended to stay out of the policy fights that Sandy
would have come brawling into” (138). He also notes
the aversion the Bushies had to anything Clinton.
Chap. VIII, “They’re Coming Here”
[This of course is common when one party replace
another—it even happens at time such as when Vice
President George H.W. Bush became president after eight
years. They seek to create all sort of distance in the
campaigns in terms of articulating their “grand designs,”
“strategic objectives,” and so on. *Those of you who
have taken my foreign policy course know that some
scholars—Melanson—actually think these rhetorical
flourishes are significant! I don’t.+ But in this case and as
often happens, initially the new administration attempts
to create all kind of distinctions where invariably
distinctions without differences are the reality.
Chap. VIII, “They’re Coming Here”
Thus, the Bushies “carried a heavy load of
aversion to any policy the Clinton
administration had favored” 139). *Clinton did
the same with Bush 41 then ended up
emulating him in so very many ways I detail in
my book, especially his NSC.] In this case it
may have created real problems in terms of
disrupting 9/11—although my own view is
probably not many. The new administrations
domestic and foreign policies were affected
according to Tenet. In Tenet’s words:
Chap. VIII, “They’re Coming Here”
Tenet writes:
  it had the greatest impact, . . . on the war
  on terror. It wasn’t that they didn’t care
  about [OBL] or [al Qaeda], or that they got
  rid of people who did. Below the top level
  of the new government virtually the entire
  counterterrorism team stayed in place. But
  at the top tier, there was a lot less urgency”
Chap. VIII, “They’re Coming Here”
  Tenet moves onto the Blue Sky plan again and
  how it got lost in the transition. He mostly
  treats it fairly objectively although he clearly
  has an agenda of making his shop look like
  they didn’t drop the ball. The truth is, and the
  9/11 Report confirms it in spades, that
  everybody dropped the ball: the Clinton and
  Bush administrations, the IC, the two NSCs,
  and others. “Until 9/11,the Bush
  administration found itself in the same box
  with regard to Pakistan that had plagued the
  Clinton years.” *Discuss the history.+
Chap. VIII, “They’re Coming Here”
“Even though thousands of terrorist had been
trained in [al Qaeda] camps in Afghanistan, policy
makers had become consumed with Pakistan’s
internal stability, the command and control of their
nuclear weapons, and the likelihood of nuclear
conflict with India” (140). [What was needed were
boots on the ground and what both the Clinton and
early Bush administration did (pre-9/11) were small
cover projects wherein they tried to get good
HUMINT but were stymied regularly. The result for
Clinton was pounding sand with cruise missiles.
Once 9/11 occurred, much more was demanded and
the bureaucracy understandably moved agilely for a
Chap. VIII, “They’re Coming Here”
[Why? A foreign-policy crisis]. Tenet does not discuss
it in those precise terms but it’s what he’s saying in so
many words. [he also unwittingly makes my argument
for continuity]
The events of 9/11 changed that calculus entirely.
Until then, the new Bush team had to sort through this
incredibly complicated and delicate set of issues, and
decide where they stood on the questions and what
actions to take and postures to assume. And in truth,
for all that they wanted to put daylight between
themselves and the Clinton administration, they
weren’t any more successful at resolving the difficult
and competing issues in their opening months that
their predecessors had been. (142.)
Chap. VIII, “They’re Coming Here”
He notes that he later discovered that Richard Clarke
had sent an urgent memorandum to NSC advisor
Rice in late January 2001—just after inauguration.
*In the 9/11 Report it’s called the Delenda plan
rather than Blue Sky.] Clarke argued it was urgent
that the NSC principals have a meeting on it ASAP;
[Clarke may have still be under the misapprehension
that he was an ad hoc NSC principal as he had been
under Clinton.] In early March Tenet visited Hadley
(then deputy NSC advisor) whereupon he handed
Hadley a list of “expanded authorities” the CIA and IC
would need to put the US on an offensive proactive
footing rather than constantly playing reaction.
Chap. VIII, “They’re Coming Here”
This is a critically important set of details of
how things fell through the cracks during the
early Bush administration and it should be
noted that it could have easily been the same
under a Gore administration. Nevertheless,
it’s important to understand what Tenet is
claiming. The day after Tenet handed Hadley
the list, it must have made the rounds among
the NSC principals as well as politicos.
Chap. VIII, “They’re Coming Here”
Mary McCarthy, a CIA officer seconded to the NSC as special
liaison, Tenet’s chief of staff (Moseman) and told him ‘We
need you to take back the draft covert-action finding draft
*sic.+.’ Then, ‘If you formally transmit these to the NSC, the
clock will be ticking, and we don’t want the clock to tick just
now’ (144). Tenet, with practices insouciance, writes, the new
administration needed more time to figure out what their
new policies were, and thus didn’t want to be in a position
someday to be criticized for not moving quickly enough on a
critical intelligence community proposal” (144). *It could have
happened to most any administration. These things do take
time. How policies interact synergistically and so on need to
be computed. In the Bush administration’s case, however, it
was exacerbated by ABC. They were so intent on re-creating
the wheel differently than Clinton, they wasted even more
time that usual.]
Chap. VIII, “They’re Coming Here”
Tenet then re-engages in understandable CYA work. In his first
public testimony for the new administration he told Congress
(February) that the jihadis threat was “real, it is immediate,
and it is evolving . . .. [OBL] is capable of planning multiple
attacks with little or no warning’ (Ibid). He then writes in
spring (he doesn’t say when precisely) he told congress that
the U.S. ‘will generally not have specific time and place
warning of terrorist attacks” and he added that the result was
Tenet ‘consider*ed] it likely that over the next year or so that
there will be an attempted terrorist attacks against U.S.
interests’ (145). Note, even then Tenet and others were loath
to say on the U.S. homeland because conventional wisdom
was that it will happen but it will happen “over there.” “My
sense was that something was coming—something big—but
to [his] great frustration we could not determine exactly what,
where, when, or how” (Ibid).
Chap. VIII, “They’re Coming Here”
In a regularly schedule meeting with Rice on May 30,
2001, Tenet and McLaughlin, Cofer Black (CTC] and
“Rich” met and Rich “ran through the mounting
warning signs of a coming attack. They were truly
frightening. Among other things, we told Condi that
a notorious [al Qaeda] operative named Abu
Zubaydah was working on attack plans” Ibid). *You’ll
recall Zubaydah was a key operative for KSM and
became the subject of the CIA destroyed
interrogation tapes in late 2007.] A couple of pages
later he summarizes some of the warning signs the IC
had received by spring 2001.
  Chap. VIII, “They’re Coming Here”
• Yemeni terrorist were planning an attack in Jordan;
• Pakistanis were planning to bomb the American community in
  Jeddah (Saudi), possibly the U.S. or British schools there;
• FARC in Columbia?
• Hezbollah was planning a large-scale attacks against operations in
• An extremist group was planning an attack against the US embassy
  in Sanna (Yemen);
• Four Saudis were heading to Kuwait to attack U.S. interests there;
• Three suspects arrested in Malaysia in May had cased U.S. facilities
  including U.S. Navy vessels in preparation for an attack
• An Algerian-based jihadis group planning to hit the U.S. embassy in
  Rome and/or the Vatican were arrested by the Italians;
• The leading operatives involved in the Cole attack were in
  Afghanistan planning new attacks against the U.S. (147).
Chap. VIII, “They’re Coming Here”
In June the IC learned that several camps in Afghanistan
were closing down—the presumption being they were
preparing for an attack from the U.S. as retaliation! An
Arab satellite network broadcast a tape of OBL where
OBL and Zawahiri promised a ‘big surprise.’ (148). On
June 28, 2001 Cofer Black and Tenet sat down with rich
for an update. “We now had more than ten specific
pieces of intelligence about impending attacks” (149). By
July 10, 2001 CIA’s team had put together a
“consolidated, strategic assessment” (151). Cofer Black
asked to see Tenet that day and what he told Tenet made
the DCI’s hair “stand on end.”
Chap. VIII, “They’re Coming Here”
After the brief, Tenet picked up the secure phone
that was a direct line to the NSC advisor. Tenet
writes “I can recall no other time in my seven years
as DCI that I sought such an urgent meeting at the
White House.” Tenet and his team reassembled that
day at Rice’s office. Richard Clarke was there as was
Hadley. “Rich” handed out briefing materials for all
assembled. “*Rich’s+ opening line got everyone’s
attention, in part because it left no room for
misunderstanding: ‘There will be a significant
terrorist attack in the coming weeks or months!’”
Chap. VIII, “They’re Coming Here”
[Almost exactly two months before 9/11.] Without
recounting all the details again, a few paragraphs later Tenet
writes the following. “The attack will be ‘spectacular,’ Rich
told Condi and the others, and it will be designed to inflict
mass casualties against the U.S. facilities and interests.” (152).
‘Multiple and simultaneous attacks are possible and they will
occur with little or no warning. [Al Qaeda] is waiting us out
and looking for vulnerability” (Ibid). Cofer Black noted that it
was imperative for the U.S. to ‘go on a war footing now’ (153).
When Rice asked what needed to be done specifically, Tenet
and Cofer Black told her the authorities that had first been
submitted in March—the same request that Mary McCarthy
had suggested be withdrawn to preclude a ticking clock—
needed to be authorized immediately. (153.)
Chap. VIII, “They’re Coming Here”
Tenet admits that some in the administration
subsequently argued that the briefing had not
occurred or that it had occurred under different
circumstances. This was in the 2003 period in the
lead up to the 9/11 Commission. Ultimately, Rice
maintained during the 9/11 hearings—and it was
embarrassing to watch as I remember her tortured
parsing and dissembling on under oath on television
and in the transcripts—the briefing had occurred but
it contained “no new or urgent information” (153).
Chap. VIII, “They’re Coming Here”
[A page later he mentions Steve Cambone—about
whom you’ll read more in my book—who was
effectively Rumsfeld’s number three person. After
a different meeting in which most of the same folks
spoke alarmingly about jihadis, Cambone came to
visit Tenet, implied is that it was a day or two after
a meeting. Cambone asked Tenet if it couldn’t be
the case the al Qaeda was creating a blizzard of
high-threat reporting intentionally to throw the
U.S. in a dither and to accomplish their goal:
terrorize but doing so with inundation of threats
rather than any real attack or plans.
Chap. VIII, “They’re Coming Here”
Tenet writes that after 9/11 Cambone graciously
admitted that Tenet had be right and Cambone
wrong. It’s all rather interesting inasmuch as
there’s no reason for bringing it up other than
getting on the record that a high official in
Rumsfeld’s office *and one as we shall learn was
exceptionally important in Rumsfeld’s usurpation
of the DCI and other IC power and budgets!
Chap. VIII, “They’re Coming Here”
On July 24 Tenet learned that Jordan’s King Abdullah had
warned and offered to send some Jordanian special
forces into Afghanistan! Clearly, the U.S. relationship
with Jordan is a valuable one. However, the real point of
it is that Tenet learned about Abdullah during an
important IC meeting in late July (it’s unclear whether it
was the July 24th or a different meeting from the same
timeframe). We learn from the anecdote that the
chapter’s title came from this particular meeting, some
two weeks after the earlier crucial meeting with Rice.
The key paragraph is also a way of wrapping up his
summary of the intelligence warning the IC and White
House were receiving.
Chap. VIII, “They’re Coming Here”
         If you are getting confused, frustrated,
  or exhausted reading this litany, imagine how
  we felt at the time living through it. And
  imagine how I and everyone else in the room
  reacted during one of my updates in late July
  when, as we speculated about the kind of
  attacks we could face, Rich B. suddenly said,
  with complete conviction, “They’re coming
  here.” I’ll never forget the silence that
  followed. (158.)
Chap. VIII, “They’re Coming Here”
He also brings up the infamous now August
6, 2001 PDB which brought no small amount
of ridicule from critics when the White
House argued no new information had been
discovered and that the White House had
therefore done what it could legitimately be
expected to have done. The PDB was
entitled “Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in
the US” 158-159). [See Aug6th01pdb.pdf]
Chap. VIII, “They’re Coming Here”
Also, we learn that IC believed—he writes
“learned”—during the period (while Bush in
Crawford) that OBL was waiting for Labor Day
as the president and Congress would have
returned from their respective summer
breaks! (159.) Interestingly and apart from the
historical revisionism that’s at play in all these
memoirs and so forth, we learn that President
Bush headed out for his August vacation at
Crawford and relatively little occurred
involving the president on the looming threat.
Chap. VIII, “They’re Coming Here”
Finally, Tenet concludes the chapter with the
September 4, 2001 NSC Principals’ meeting—the
9/11 Report concludes it was the first Principal’s
meeting on al Qaeda. “On September 4, the
principals—Condi, Don Rumsfeld, others, and I—
finally convened in the White House Situation
Room. [This is quite odd in those whom he does
not enumerate as being in attendance. Powell we
learn elsewhere was there; possibly Richard
Armitage was there too? I decided to back to see
how Richard Clarke described the meeting in his
memoirs Against All Enemies (NY: Free Press,
Chap. VIII, “They’re Coming Here”
On September 4, 2001 the Principals Committee
meeting on al Qaeda that I called for “urgently” on
January 25 finally met. . . .
“The Principals meeting, when it finally took place, was
largely a nonevent. Tenet and I spoke passionately
about the urgency and seriousness of the al Qaeda
threat. No one disagreed.” [Although he earlier notes
that Wolfowitz had been belittling Clarke and a few
others over all the al Qaeda hysteria. Wolfowitz was
convinced, according to Clarke, that Iraq was the real
threat and the al Qaeda sky-was-falling group was
Chap. VIII, “They’re Coming Here”
*Continued from previous slide+. “Powell laid out
an aggressive strategy for putting pressure
on Pakistan to side with us against the
Taliban and al Qaeda. . . . .”
“Rumsfeld, who looked distracted
throughout the session, took the Wolfowitz
line that there were other terrorist
concerns, like Iraq, and whatever we did on
the al Qaeda business, we had to deal with
other sources of terrorism” (237-238).
        9/11 Commission Report
The 9/11 Commission wrote this about the same meeting:
The Principals Committee had its first meeting on al
Qaeda on September 4. On the day of the meeting,
Clarke sent Rice an impassioned personal note. He
criticized U.S. counterterrorism efforts past and
present. The “real question” before the principals, he
wrote, was “are we serious about dealing with the al
[Qaeda] threat? ...Is al [Qaeda] a big deal? ... Decision
makers should imagine themselves on a future day
when the CSG has not succeeded in stopping al
[Qaeda] attacks and hundreds of Americans lay dead in
several countries, including the US,” Clarke wrote.
“What would those decision makers wish that they had
done earlier? That future day could happen at any
       9/11 Commission Report
The Defense Department favored strong action.
Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz questioned the United
States’ ability to deliver [OBL] and bring him to
justice. He favored going after [OBL] as part of a
larger air strike, simi-lar to what had been done in
the 1986 U.S. strike against Libya. General Myers [the
then CJCS+ emphasized the Predator’s value for
surveillance, perhaps enabling broader air strikes
that would go beyond Bin Ladin to attack al Qaeda’s
training infrastructure.
The principals also discussed which agency—CIA or
Defense—should have the authority to fire a missile
from the armed Predator.
      9/11 Commission Report
At the end, Rice summarized the meeting’s
conclusions. The armed Preda-tor capability was
needed but not ready. The Predator would be
available for the military to consider along with
its other options. The CIA should consider flying
reconnaissance-only missions. The principals—
including the previously reluctant Tenet—thought
that such reconnaissance flights were a good
idea, combined with other efforts to get
actionable intelligence. Tenet deferred an answer
on the additional reconnaissance flights,
conferred with his staff after the meeting, and
then directed the CIA to press ahead with them.
      9/11 Commission Report
A few days later, a final version of the draft
presidential directive was circu-lated,
incorporating two minor changes made by the

[All previous slides from 9/11 Commission Report
should be read as block quote.
A week later the 9/11 attacks occurred and the world
            Chapter IX, 9/11
Predictably, not much new in this chapter. It’s the
story that we’ve all read in my book, in
Woodward’s Bush at War, or my favorite source,
The 9/11 Commission Report. The latter is truly
the most complete and comprehensive there is.
Though a few controversies have arisen
(conspiracies, stories about evidence hidden even
from the Commissioners, the like) but from
Tenet’s perspective. Still there are a few
important gems contained in the pages.
               Chapter IX, 9/11
[A couple of pages in he approaches foreign-policy crises in
one of many different attempts throughout the book. He
of course is writing as a former policymaker, not an
academic. Thus, he doesn’t call such events foreign-policy
crises but he’s getting at many of the same issues about
which I make a bid deal in my past two books. Discussing
how the top Agency people conducted themselves that
day—partial sentences that others knew instinctively what
was being said despite proper syntax or complete
articulations.] He argues that “anticipating an attack and
having it happen—seeing the collapse of the World Trade
Center—are not the same thing. The first is intellectual.
The second quickly becomes visceral, and the anxiety level
in the conference room in that first hour was
extraordinary” (163).
             Chapter IX, 9/11
We get more detail on timelines than found elsewhere.
For instance, we learned that the CIA knew very quickly
via airline manifests that it was almost certainly al
Qaeda. Sometime between 1000-1100 CIA recognized
a couple of the names from their own intelligence on al
Qaeda. Mentioned in other works we learn a few new
details. A blur of meetings. But around 1530 (2:30
p.m.) on Tuesday a teleconference between some of
those who would become the “war cabinet” and the
president occurred while the president was in a bunker
at Offutt Airbase (Nebraska). At that teleconference
we learn that Tenet told Bush it was almost certainly al
Qaeda, something he admits he had already told the
vice president at least once. (169.)
             Chapter IX, 9/11
Bush returned that evening and Tenet like many of us
was struck by the change that had occurred—he had
grown into the commander in chief and it was clear to
everyone. By the time Tenet arrived sometime after
9:00 p.m. (2100) a meeting was preparing to convene
in the “bunker” (an underground situation room).
Tenet had never seen it before. “The president and
vice president were both there, along with Dick Clarke,
Condi Rice, Colin Powell [who had quickly turned a
plane around that was headed to Latin America and
returned for the meeting], Don Rumsfeld, [CJCS] Hugh
Shelton, and a few others including Lynn Cheney and
Laura Bush” (170).
            Chapter IX, 9/11
Sheldon would shortly be replaced by USAF
General Dick Meyers; FBI director Meuller literally
had been director for about a week at that point.]
He again comes at the atmospherics or what I call
the situational context. He describes the setting
as having a “definite warlike feel to the room and,
that day, more raw emotion in one place than I
think I’ve ever experienced in my life: anger that
this could have happened, shock that it had,
overwhelming sorrow for the dead, a compelling
sense of urgency that we had to respond and do
so quickly, and a continuing feeling of dread
about what might lie ahead” (Ibid; my emphasis.)
           Chapter IX, 9/11
The next day another important meeting
occurred—this one a full NSC meeting in the
same bunker. This is where he complements
Bush’s leadership so prominently. Bush “was
absolutely in charge, determined, and
directed. He stressed the urgency of the
moment, and he made it clear, by word and
example, what his expectations were for us in
terms of thinking how we would respond”
(171; my emphasis).
       Chap. X, “We’re at War”
“On September 12, 2001 the president chaired
and NSC meeting and stressed in stronger terms
what he had said on television the evening
before: he wanted not just to punish those
behind the previous day’s attacks but to go after
terrorists and those around the globe who
harbored them,” in short, what became known as
the Bush Doctrine (we will make no distinction
between the terrorist and those who harbor
them) 175). In another unwitting confirmation of
the event as a foreign-policy crisis, he also takes a
shot at Rumsfeld’s-Wolfowitz’s DOD.
      Chap. X, “We’re at War”
“The president had been disappointed to learn
that the Pentagon had no contingency plan in
place for going after [al Qaeda] and the Taliban”
(176; my emphasis.) He discusses the next day’s
meeting at Camp David when I contend in my
Hydra book that the crisis ended. In a free-
wheeling meeting at Camp David Tenet, Black,
and McLaughlin met with Powell and the veep—
respectively positioned on either side of the
president—along with Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Rice,
Hadley, Armitage, AG Ashcroft, and the new FBI
director, Robert Mueller. (177.)
       Chap. X, “We’re at War”
[In Woodward’s State of Denial, which I’m not making you
read, there is an interesting paragraph about how the DOD
was caught flatfooted and embarrassed by it and Woodward
more or less confirms that Rumsfeld was not about to allow
that to happen again with Iraq.]
“. . . Rumsfeld and the Pentagon were empty-handed.
His efforts at transformation had not taken hold.
General Tommy Franks . . .[CENTCOM] . . .had no plan
to attack Afghanistan, where bin Laden and his
network had found sanctuary. He told Rumsfeld it
migh take months before they could put forces on the
ground in the country. At an NSC meeting the day after
the attacks, Bush asked what the military could do
immediately. Rumsfeld replied, “Very little effectively”
(Woodward, 77).]
      Chap. X, “We’re at War”
With understandable pride Tenet notes that
on September 27, 16 days after the attacks,
CIA inserted its first covert teams into
Afghanistan. [It should be noted that there
were covert teams in and out of Afghanistan
from the late Clinton administration through
the early Bush administration. He means the
teams that were created as a result of 9/11
and the new authorities the president gave
CIA and the IC.
 Chap. XI, Missed Opportunities
A reasonably good explanation of the complexity of the
failure of the bureaucracy. There was a lot of good
work being done by the entire IC but mistakes were
made due to inundation of information and too few
people to process it properly. He more or less
successfully debunks two bits of conventional wisdom,
some of which was fostered by 9/11 Commission.
First, had the FBI and CIA cooperated more there
would have been sufficient evidence for a FISA warrant
to go through Moussaoui’s computer and, hence,
disrupt the plot. Doubtful. There was evidence as the
9/11 Commission concluded.
 Chap. XI, Missed Opportunities
The info that might have helped disrupt was in his
luggage not his computer. The CIA and FBI were
cooperating and conducting mostly reasonably
liaison actions. The second one is that the two
hijackers who were lost after the Kuala Lumpur
meeting should not have been lost. Moreover, had
the CIA told the FBI what it knew, the FBI would have
surveilled the two and broken up at least part of the
plots. Again, there’s a bit of CYA in here but is largely
believable for anyone who has studied the
government. There is an interesting anecdote early
on about how both the CIA and the FBI spin their
media sources to outmaneuver the other (192).
    Chap. 12, Into the Sanctuary
This is a good chapter not for the insights it gives on
9/11 or its aftermath thought it’s chocked full of
interesting bits of info about how the CIA was on the
ground by late September and the DOD had to sit on its
hands for a while (except of special and joint ops who
teamed with CIA). Additionally, the chapter provides
some rather sincere appreciation for the former
Marine and CIA agent who was killed at Mazar-e-Sharif
and about the bravery and heroism of his colleagues.
Rather, it’s an important chapter in that it illustrates
time and again how much the response to 9/11 was
improvised. [Part of a foreign-policy crisis is surprise.
Surprise leads to improvisation as no contingency plans
are ready!]
  Chap. 12, Into the Sanctuary
[Block quote.]
  Ours was a strategy unlike any other in recent
  American history. The plan CIA laid out for the
  president on September 13 and expanded at
  Camp David two days later [Saturday, September
  15] stressed one thing: we would be the
  insurgents. Working closely with military Special
  Forces, the CIA would be the ones using speed
  and agility to dislodge an emplaced foe. (207.)
   Chap. 12, Into the Sanctuary
That is not to say that the CIA had not been in
Afghanistan or had no connections there. [On the
contrary, as the 9/11 Commission makes clear, both
Clinton and Bush had covert ops running in and out
of Afghanistan for years.+ “Five times in the previous
two years prior to 9/11, CIA teams deployed to the
Panjshir Valley of northern Afghanistan” to meet
with Ahmed Shah Masood and the Northern Alliance
the Masood controlled. (Ibid.) The Northern Alliance
was problematic and in fact we learn in the chapter
that factions within CIA and elsewhere thought it a
mistake to rely too much on them as they Were
Usbeks, Tajiks, and others who might offend the
Pashtun tribes of southern Afghanistan.
   Chap. 12, Into the Sanctuary
Some pages later Tenet rightly explains that the CIA
was created to collect intelligence not fight wars.
“When it became clear that we were going to be asked
to play a leading role in ousting [al Qaeda], we added a
new branch to our Counterterrorism Center—CTC
Special Operations, or CTC/SO” in typical
bureaucratese. (211.) Elsewhere Tenet writes that the
“routing of the Taliban and *al Qaeda+ from Afghanistan
in a matter of weeks was accomplished by 110 CIA
officers, 316 Special Forces personnel, and scores of
Joint Special Operations Command raiders creating
havoc behind enemy lines—a band of brothers with
the support of U.S. airpower, following a CIA plan, that
has to rank as one of the great successes in Agency
history” (225).
   Chap. 12, Into the Sanctuary
Another part of the chapter gives Tenet’s insights into
the bureaucratic turf wars between CIA and the DOD.
“There was a lot of bureaucratic tension. In early
October, I was taking part in a secure teleconference
with the vice president, the secretary of defense, and
others when Don Rumsfeld [SOD] questioned who was
in charge on the ground in Afghanistan. CIA and the
Defense Department operated under different
authorities.” He goes on about how Rummy grumbled
throughout the meeting continually bringing the
conversation back to who was in charge, CIA or DOD?
In a rare example of the protégée schooling the
mentor, we learn that after a while of this nonsense
Vice President Cheney said: ‘Don, just let the CIA do
their job’ (215).
      Chap. 12, Threat Matrix
A somewhat oddly named chapter inasmuch
as it’s only partially about the threat matrix
that the IC developed and used in frequent
PDBs during the first two years or so after
9/11 and for the 3 years during which CIA met
daily at 5:00 p.m. in a meeting that grew over
time but served the U.S. well in terms of
thwarting other plots.
       Chap. 12, Threat Matrix
More importantly, Tenet gets into two of the
most controversial of actions that were
undertaken relatively early following 9/11
[perhaps even before in one case]: the NSA
warrant-less spy program and enhanced
interrogation techniques. [If recent rumor prove
true—and it’s still a big if—it may be that the NSA
began tapping communications with one end in
U.S. territory before 9/11; if true Tenet is either
blatantly lying or was ignorant of what NSA was
doing despite the fact that the DCI was the titular
head of the entire IC.]
      Chap. 12, Threat Matrix
“After the 9/11 attacks, using his existing
authorities, [General Michael] Hayden [then
director of NSA] implemented a program to
monitor communications to and from
Afghanistan, where the 9/11 attacks were
planned” (237). *That formulation smells a bit
odd, what with his redundant and awkward
reference to Afghanistan being the place where
the plans were hatched. The entire books has
made that clear repeatedly.+ “Mike moved from
a peacetime to a wartime standard. He briefed
me on this and I approved.
       Chap. 12, Threat Matrix
By early October 2001, Hayden briefed the full House
Intelligence Committee and the leadership of the
Senate Intelligence Committee [sic+” 237). He then
notes that the veep asked Tenet shortly thereafter—
not the president—if the NSA could do more than it
was doing already? [The timeframe appears to be
early October 2001 as the program, once leaked, is said
to have begun on October 6, 2001.] That request
resulted in director Hayden and DCI Tenet, going “to
see the vice president together. Mile laid out what
could be done that would be feasible, prudent, and
effective” (Ibid). Then in the next paragraph:
    Chap. 12, Threat Matrix
Within a week new authorities were granted to
allow NSA to pursue what is now know as the
terrorist surveillance program [actually often
referred to as plural, “programs,” or TSPs,
suggesting there’s at least one other about which
we still don’t know+. The rules required that at
least one side of the phone call being surveilled be
outside the United States and that there be
probably cause to believe that at least one end of
the communication was with someone associated
with *al Qaeda+” (237-238). [Block quote]
      Chap. 12, Threat Matrix
[He says little more on who in Congress was
briefed, if anyone, and while he goes on about
FISA being outdated, he never attempts to
explain why no one made the effort (recall, the
GOP was then in control of Congress in both
chambers) to work with Congress to amend FISA.
[The Patriot Act for example is a set of
amendments to FISA as was the cravenly Protect
America Act enacted just before all of
Washington left town for summer break during
       Chap. 12, Threat Matrix
Tenet also implies that he strongly believes that the
surveillance program has been a critical factor in
America not being hit again (see paragraph that
begins on bottom of 238 and concluded top of 239)?
Perhaps. *It’s worth thinking about especially given
the December FOIA request that finally pried loose a
Hoover memorandum on suspending habeas corpus
and detaining as many as 12,000 Americans. Brings
up great philosophical debates such as is humankind
essentially evil or good? One can assume the latter
and still account for a certain small percentage of
humankind will always abuse its opportunity to act
       Chap. 12, Threat Matrix
He gets into the second controversial action—
enhanced interrogation techniques—of what he
calls High-value detainees (HVDs) and
“interrogating” them “in a serious way” (241). *It
was just December 2007 when the story leaked
to the media of CIA having videotaped
interrogations of Abu Zubaydah and Moussaoui
at least and possibly others. The 9/11
Commission (specifically Governor Kean and Lee
Hamilton as well as Professor Zelikow.] Clearly
Tenet feels that the techniques were appropriate.
       Chap. 12, Threat Matrix
And he argues that their usage were rare with only
HVD with info on so-called ticking-time bomb. He
admits, and this is well before the recent news, that
he fully expected the techniques to leak someday.
It’s a little hard to square what he writes with what
most CIA and intel folk say about torture producing
bad intelligence. He does not raise the larger issue of
quid pro quo. He does write the following, however,
and I suppose one either has to take his word for it
or not. “Information from these interrogations
helped disrupt plots aimed at locations in the United
States, the United Kingdom, the Middle East, South
Asia, and Central Asia” (242).
       Chap. 12, Threat Matrix
There’s a very funny anecdote on the following page
about Abu Zubaydah’s diary. As far as I can tell,
Tenet slips it in essentially to insert the shiv into
Wolfowitz one more time. CIA translators worked on
Zubaydah’s diary for a while until they determined
that it contained no information about al Qaeda or
jihadis and the like. Rather, it was apparently a
personal diary of a young sexually repressed Arab
Muslim. He apparently used sophisticated literary
schemata that made some think Zubaydah was
emotionally or psychologically disturbed. Tenet
attributes the leaks to the media on that matter to
DOD personnel pissed over CIA getting too much
good press. [next slide for anecdote]
       Chap. 12, Threat Matrix
In any event, once it was determined that full
translation would be futile the CIA diverted resources
elsewhere. Wolfowitz “seemed fascinated with the
subject and kept bugging us to translate the whole
document.” In one meeting Wolfowitz’s apparently
“bugs” CIA repeatedly whereupon the CIA briefer
explained that CIA knew enough about the diary to
determine it simply contained “a young man’s thoughts
about life—and especially about what he wanted to do
with women.” To that Wolfowitz reportedly
responded: ‘Well, what have you learned from that?”
“Without missing a beat” the CIA briefer responded
“That men are pigs!” (243).
        Chap. 12, Threat Matrix
“From our interrogation of KSM and other senior [al
Qaeda] members, and our examination of documents
found on them, we learned many things—not just
tactical information leading to the next capture. For
example, more than twenty plots had been put in motion
by [al Qaeda] against U.S. infrastructure targets,
including communications nodes, nuclear power plants,
dams, bridges, and tunnels. All these plots were in
various stages of planning when we captured or killed
the pre-9/11 [al Qaeda+ leaders behind them” (255). He
argues persuasively that they will be back and that he
fears Americans are becoming too apathetic again and to
comfortable thinking “over there” again. He may
unwittingly confirm another TSP, the issue of plural raised
       Chap. 12, Threat Matrix
“We were successful with information gained
from NSA’s terrorist surveillance program, CIA’s
interrogation of a handful of [HVDs], and leads
provide by another highly classified program that
tracked terrorist financial transactions. Each of
these programs informed and enabled the
others” (255). Much of the rumor mill on the
TSPs is that data mining is involved; his admission
of a highly classified program on financial
transactions certainly fits the general profile of
data mining. We have his view and our again left
to take his word for it that it tracks only “terrorist
financial transactions.”
      Chap. 12, Threat Matrix
“I am convinced” he writes, “the next major
attack against the United States may well be
conducted by people with Asian or African
faces, not the ones that many Americans are
alert to” (257). *I don’t know whether he’s
right or not but he’s seen a lot more
intelligence than any of us. Nothing jihadis
could do would surprise me anymore. I
expect the worst.]
Chap. 14, They Want to Change History
 Lots of detail of AQ Khan’s network and how they
 eventually unraveled it. With AQ Khan lost of
 cloak and dagger stuff of how he stole blueprints
 from Europe where he was trained and employed
 as metallurgist. (He was actually convicted in
 abstentia then subsequently overturned on
 technicality.) An interesting front company (NGO
 technically but also MNC) called Umma Tameer-
 e-Nau (UTN) that had some of Pakistan’s most
 esteemed scientists working for it some of whom,
 at least, believed in the apocalyptic view of a
 nuclear holocaust ushering in new metaphysical
 era (not unlike Christianity).
Chap. 14, They Want to Change History
 Some frightening information on how little
 Musharraf—head of the military and a dictator who
 seized the presidency—knew of the program and its
 tentacles. This does not auger well for the world’s
 future. [Indeed, as I sit here typing up my notes from
 this chapter, I learned in the past few hours that
 someone successfully assassinated Benazir Bhutto;
 Musharaff admits that jihadis are ramping up on 2007,
 as confirmed in today’s newspapers, was a record year
 in Pakistan for suicide attacks. I see some very
 frightening indicators of 2008 being a bad year
 including jihadis’ fervent desire to give president Bush
 a going-away present before he leaves in January
Chap. 14, They Want to Change History
 UTN, as it turned out had connections and
 meetings with both the Taliban and al Qaeda.
 (263). Subsequently Tenet describes a
 meeting some of UTN’s directors had with OBL
 during which they discussed possibilities
 around a campfire. Tenet quotes Suleiman
 Abu Gaith (as I have) of jihadis calculus that
 they have the right to kill as many as 4 million
 Americans including 1 million children to even
 the score. (269.)
Chap. 14, They Want to Change History
 We learn of a rumor I have heard before—
 whether it’s true or apocryphal, I don’t know and
 neither does Tenet though he seems to believe it.
 It is that in 2003 a jihadis group working out of
 Bahrain created a device they called “mobtaker”
 (roughly translated from Arabic as invention) that
 could disperse chemicals. Apparently they paid
 homage to OBL in order to get his blessing for the
 operation which was to release cyanide gas in
 New York. (273.) Sometime in 2003 Ayman al
 Zawahiri is reported to have called it off with
 these words: ‘we have something better in mind’
Chap. 14, They Want to Change History
 As many experts on Islam on jihadis have
 pointed out (Walid Phares, Bernard Lewis)
 religious justification is sought for many things
 including quantum leaps in previous tactics.
 In May 2003 a Saudi cleric published a tract “A
 Treatise on the Legal Status of Using Weapons
 of Mass Destruction against Infidels” (274).
 The Saudis subsequently prevailed on him to
 go on television and say that he had been
 misguided—[but due to takfir and the creed
 of the Salafis, it’s out there+.
Chap. 14, They Want to Change History
 Tenet confirms that Iran has had an uneasy
 relationship with al Qaeda’s leadership—they have
 allowed transit but have put principal leaders under
 a form of house arrest. We also learn [and anyone
 interested in more on this needs to google “Flynt
 Everett” a former NSC Iran specialist in the Bush
 administration who left under duress and maintains
 the Iranians offered to help the U.S. immediately
 after 9/11 and again in 2002-2003 only to be
 snubbed] of the that the CIA had a working
 relationship with elements in Iran in 2003 when the
 CIA learned of senior al Qaeda members who were
 working on nukes. (275).
Chap. 14, They Want to Change History
 We get confirmation of at least one Russian
 mafia type who crossed into Armenia with a
 small amount of HEU, though he was
 captured. Tenet frets that they don’t know
 how many others may have not been
 stopped? (276-277.)
Chap. 14, They Want to Change History
 This loose association of groups planned a string of
 poison plots across Europe that began to mature in
 December 2002. The coordinated disruption of this
 European-based network represented one of the great
 successes of the post-9/11 war on terrorism. A global
 coalition of more than two dozen countries shared
 intelligence information on a near real-time basis.
 Numerous operatives and the couriers were captured.
 Plots were disrupted in the United Kingdom, France,
 Spain, and Italy, among others, and lives were saved.
 We were able to keep the president, vice president,
 and other senior administration officials constantly
 updates as to the threats and our unfolding responses.
 (277.) [Block quote]
Chap. 14, They Want to Change History
 He concludes the chapter with this. He
 confirms that al Qaeda and likeminded jihadis
 are patient; they return time and again to the
 same targets whether they’ve been successful
 or not—it’s the important symbolism or the
 practical effect that matters. “One mushroom
 cloud would change history. My deepest fear
 is that this is exactly what they intend” 280).
 *One needn’t approve of the administration’s
 hype of same to fear it in due course.]
Chap. 15, The Merchant of Death and
            the Colonel
A lot of interesting details on the British-US breakthrough
with Libya and debunking of the neoconservative mythology
that toppling Saddam was what created the impetus for the
Colonel to act. They had been working with him since 1998-
99 on normalization and the Brits even longer. And while
John Bolton and others heralded the seizure of the BBC China
with its centrifuges, negotiations were well under way by then
and it appears that Gadhafi had simply not told his
government of what he was undertaking—he had to prepare
them for a change of a generations. Many more details of AQ
Khan’s network and how it ultimately produced turnkey nuke-
weapons programs; if one had about $100 million one could
be a nuclear power. (The stab at Bolton, see 294.)
[Incidentally that does not mean the Proliferation Security
Initiative has not worked—it simply was not particularly
germane in the case of Libya.]
                       Part III
PART III [How the Bush administration who had
  improvised its response to 9/11 into an effective war
  against global jihadis and how the process got
  hijacked by neoconservative ideologues!!!]
       Chapter 16, Causus Belli
There’s nothing subtle or coy about this chapter. Tenet
lays the case out that a group of neoconservatives who
returned to policymaking with W. had planned for
toppling Saddam at least since the late 1990s. [I go into
more detail on how the group, PNAC, worked and how
influential they were in the Bush administration’s
polices.] This is Tenet, former DCI, and a statutory NSC
principal (adviser rather than member but a principal
nevertheless.) And he continues to grind his axe (I’d say
with some justification considering how he was made to
fall on his sword over the neoconservatives’ policies)
with the likes of Douglas Feith, “Scooter” Libby,
Wolfowitz of Arabia, and persons on the periphery of
policymaking such as Perle and Ledeen.
       Chapter 16, Causus Belli
“One of the great mysteries to me is exactly when the
war in Iraq became inevitable. In the period after 9/11,
just as in the months before it, I was singularly obsessed
with the war on terrorism. My many sleepless nights
back then didn’t center on Saddam Hussein. *Al Qaeda+
occupied my nightmares—not if but how they would
strike again. I was wracking my brain for things we could
do to delay, disrupt, or—God willing—prevent an attack.
Looking back, I wish I could have devoted equal energy
and attention to Iraq. Given all the mistakes that would
eventually be made, Iraq deserved more of my time. But
this simple fact is that I didn’t see that freight train
coming as early as I should have.” (301.)
       Chapter 16, Causus Belli
He makes clear that Vice President Cheney intended
to take an active interest in CIA’s *presumably the IC
more broadly] work product and how it arrived at its
conclusions. Tenet notes that the vice president was
none to be suspicious of the CIA and believed it had
missed too many big events. Cheney’s VFW speech
was not vetted and Tenet realized at the time that
the veep was overstating the case in major ways.
Wolfowitz, Libby, and Cheney—and remarkably little
of Rummy—were instrumental in moving things
forward on Iraq and creating the momentum for war.
Harebrained schemes on Iraq and Iran are discussed.
       Chapter 16, Causus Belli
But so too is the fact that official U.S. policy since
Clinton’s last few years and the 1998 Iraqi Liberation
Act, ridding the world of Saddam was official U.S.
policy. The neoconservatives simply took that fait
accompli and shaped it into regime change by
military force! On the other side were much of CIA’s
top leadership, Colin Powell and State, and at times
Rice-Hadley. The former group created a back-
channel NSC group centered in civilian leadership of
DOD and veep’s office—an aberration of the 1947
NSA. *We’ll revisit with my NSC book+
           Chapter 16, Causus Belli
  Main Points:
• Some of the CIA high-level folk complained to Tenet about the
  “drumbeat” created by Libby and Wolfowitz. (302,)
• Shockingly, the actual NSC had its first meeting on Iraq on
  February 7, 2001, [a full seven months before its first al Qaeda
  meeting] (303.)
• “After 9/11, everything changed. . . . For many in the Bush
  administration, Iraq was unfinished business. They seized on
  the emotional impact of 9/11 and created a psychological
  connection between the failure to act decisively against [al
  Qaeda+ and the danger pose by Iraq’s WMD programs. . . .
  Unfortunately, this train of thought also led to some
  overheated and misleading rhetoric, such as the argument
  that we don’t want our ‘smoking gun to be a mushroom
  cloud” (305).
          Chapter 16, Causus Belli
• “To be sure, a number of people were fixated on Iraq, and a
  number of decisions and action during the late fall of 2001
  and into early 2002 created a momentum all their own” (307).
• As far as Tenet knows, there were meetings on how and when
  to invade Iraq without ever holding a meeting on what would
  happen if the U.S. took such an action. (308.)
• The Executive Steering Committee, physically at Pentagon
  *but we know also directed from veep’s office+ became an
  aberrant NSC group. (309).
• Confirms that there was never an issue of imminent threat
  (305). [Thus all the rhetoric since about preemption is quite
  literally inaccurate!]
           Chapter 16, Causus Belli
• An incredibly harebrained initiative with Ledeen and
  associates in Iran and inside White House broadly that
  smacked of Iran-Contra scandal. Importantly, the Pentagon
  appears to have attempted to insinuate itself into covert
  operations vis-à-vis Iran (312.) [Why would it be
  inconceivable for DOD to conduct “covert” operations?+
• Cheney VFW speech fait accompli (315-316.) “The VFW
  speech, I suspect, was an attempt by the vice president to
  regain the momentum toward action against Iraq that had
  been stalled eleven days earlier by Scowcroft’s Op-Ed piece. I
  have the impression that the president really wasn’t any more
  aware than we were of what his number-two was going to say
  to VFW until he said it. But if the speech was meant mostly as
  a wake-up call, it was a very loud one” 316).
    Chap. 17, ‘The One Thing that
     Everybody Could Agree On’
The United States did not go to war in Iraq
solely because of WMD. In my view, I doubt
that it was even the principal cause. Yet it was
the public face that was put on it” (321).
The chapter is a lot more detail on the
runaway process wherein ideologues
circumvented the normal NSC process and
turned it into a group of true believers who
manipulated, massaged, and “cherry picked”
*to use Paul Pillar’s Foreign Affairs article].
    Chap. 17, ‘The One Thing that
     Everybody Could Agree On’
Why do most Americans believe that a) Saddam
Hussein had reconstituted his former WMD
capabilities—effectively degraded by the sanctions as it
turned out—and b) that there existed a basis to believe
that Saddam had a connection with al Qaeda by which
he might give al Qaeda or other jihadis his WMD for
them to U.S. against the common enemy, America?
Because that was the case the administration made in
public. As we’ve learned, Tenet, Bush, and others
including Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Libby, even
Powell and Armitage as well as several foreign
intelligence services wrongly believed Saddam’s bluff
that he had them.
    Chap. 17, ‘The One Thing that
     Everybody Could Agree On’
Saddam wrongly calculated that pretending he
had WMD would prevent the U.S. and others
(i.e., Iran) from attacking him. And while no
directional or operational relationship
between Saddam and al Qaeda or other
jihadis existed, Saddam did allow transit at did
many of the area’s governments (including the
Saudis until 2003 and the Pakistanis until?).
    Chap. 17, ‘The One Thing that
     Everybody Could Agree On’
A fellow named Bob Walpole, “the national
intelligence officer for strategic program” in the
CIA. [full disclosure—I’m nominally Mormon.+
Both the White House and its supporters in the
Congress as well as the administration’s critics,
demanded an NIE on Iraq as war drums
increasingly pounded. Here’s how Tenet
describes Walpole. “Not your typical
bureaucrat—he’s a Mormon bishop who oftne
comes to work on a motorcycle—Bob is both a
brilliant analyst and of the most unlikely people
to be accused of being a war hawk you could
    Chap. 17, ‘The One Thing that
     Everybody Could Agree On’
When he was given the mission of coordinating
the NIE, he came to me quite concerned. ‘I just
don’t believe in this war,’ he said with
considerable angst. ‘Some wars are justifiable,
but not this one’” (323). This is the fellow who
headed up the NIE in record time and got it to
both the White House and Capitol Hill. Plenty
more examples throughout of Libby and
Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith creating alternative
analyses from an ad hoc operation created inside
the civilians of the Pentagon—and plenty of
evidence that
    Chap. 17, ‘The One Thing that
     Everybody Could Agree On’
Cheney either directed or co-directed it with
Rumsfeld. Selected leaks, just like the rest of
Washington, to get their stories out to spin
the public.
The Weekly Standard comes up as does the
New York Times and Washington Post (the
usually very sagacious Jim Hoagland.
He goes into some detail and makes major
mea culpa along the way and slams the
neocons he’s whacked before.
Chap. 18, No Authority, Direction, or
Basically more of the same of last few chapters. This
one focuses mostly on presumed connections and why
they were faked out by some of the evidence including
very bad sources: most infamously “Curve Ball” but the
Iraqi National Congress [which the Pentagon was
paying between $100-200 thousand a month.] Feith
and Libby come in for special opprobrium in this
chapter. To cite just one example of the latter, “In fact,
much of the material in the memo was the kind of
cherry-picked, selective data that Feith, Libby, and
others had been enamored of for so long” (357).
Somewhere in the chapter he notes that CIA personnel
who loathed the interlopers took to calling it “Feith-
based analysis.” We know what Gen Franks thought of
        Chapter 19, Slam Dunk
His infamous words that have haunted him ever since
Woodward published them in trilogy on the Bush
administration. [I should think they would have haunted
him before they became public even if Woodward’s
account embellished and excluded necessary context.] He
admits that after a late 2002 briefing for the president
where John McLaughlin presented them the details of what
would become the Colin Powell February 2003 UN speech,
when the president said it would not convince “Joe Public,”
had Tenet simply said yes sir, we’ll go back and do better,
he’d probably not be writing this chapter and possibly not
this book! “Those two words and a meeting that took
place in the Oval Office in December 2002 had nothing to
do with the president’s decision send American troops to
Iraq. That decision had already been made” (359).
        Chapter 19, Slam Dunk
His infamous words that have haunted him ever since
Woodward published them in trilogy on the Bush
administration. [I should think they would have haunted
him before they became public even if Woodward’s
account embellished and excluded necessary context.] He
admits that after a late 2002 briefing for the president
where John McLaughlin presented them the details of what
would become the Colin Powell February 2003 UN speech,
when the president said it would not convince “Joe Public,”
had Tenet simply said yes sir, we’ll go back and do better,
he’d probably not be writing this chapter and possibly not
this book! “Those two words and a meeting that took
place in the Oval Office in December 2002 had nothing to
do with the president’s decision send American troops to
Iraq. That decision had already been made” (359).
Chap. 20, ‘Taking the Case’ Public
This chapter is really about the obscure issue of
the German BND’s source “Curve Ball,” and the
Agency’s European desk head at Langley, Tyler
Drummehler. The issue is whether or not T.D.
informed Tenet and/or McLaughlin of a reported
lunch he had with a German counterpart around
the time of Powell’s UN speech. T.D. says he was
told that Curve Ball was a “fabricator,” possibly
and alcoholic, and possibly psychologically
unhinged. It’s still doesn’t make any sense to me.
Tenet and McLaughlin argue they were never
alerted to the supposed meeting.
Chap. 20, ‘Taking the Case’ Public
T.D. (well after the fact and after leaving CIA)
says it did happen and that T.D. called Tenet at
midnight the night before Powell’s UN speech
to say effectively “Boss, you know that this
guy has serious problems as a sources, right?”
Tenet says it never happened and cites a
search of records, phone and memo logs, and
other sources suggesting that T.D. for
whatever reason embellished the record after
the fact to cover his own [rather substantial]
Chap. 20, ‘Taking the Case’ Public
“The best reason I can come up with is that
the people who knew that Curve Ball might be
a fabricator figured that coming forward
wouldn’t make any difference. The rush to
Baghdad wasn’t going away. They would just
be stepping in front of a roaring train. If that
was their thinking, then their reticence is
inexcusable” 383).
Chap. 21, Diplomacy by Other Means
   [famous Clausewitz aphorism]
It’s a chapter about how different Iraq was
than Afghanistan. The CIA improvised gsave
but the DOD tweaked a SOP for the Iraq
invasion. [As it turned out, some of
Rumsfeld’s (et al.) plans about making the
military one for the 21st century probably
proved a little before their time. [The plan
had much to recommend it but the U.S. was
not prepared for it when it invaded Iraq nor
was Iraq the Petri dish in which to test the
new ideas.]
Chap. 21, Diplomacy by Other Means
   [famous Clausewitz aphorism]
Nevertheless, CIA special teams did a lot of
exemplary work in the run-up to the air
campaign and in fairness to all, the invasion of
Iraq and march to Baghdad worked as
flawlessly as any military campaign can be
expected to work. For many strange reasons
having much to do with bureaucratic politics
caused Rumsfeld and team along with Jerry
Bremer and their Iraqi National Congress allies
were woefully unprepared for the occupation
after destroying the Iraqi military.
Chap. 21, Diplomacy by Other Means
      [Woodward addendum]
[Also from Woodward’s State of Denial, we
read that Rumsfeld repeatedly attempted to
sabotage various competing agencies to
ensure DOD and Rumsfeld controlled Iraq.
Oddly enough, Rumsfeld later came to believe
or at least repeatedly state that CIA and State
bungled Afghanistan. Rumsfeld and veep
Cheney apparently used that mis-
characterization to justify sabotage—
particularly furtively preventing Garner from
getting staff Garner deemed imperative.
Chap. 21, Diplomacy by Other Means
      [Woodward addendum]
[Also from Woodward’s State of Denial, we
read that Rumsfeld repeatedly attempted to
sabotage various competing agencies to
ensure DOD and Rumsfeld controlled Iraq.
Oddly enough, Rumsfeld later came to believe
or at least repeatedly state that CIA and State
bungled Afghanistan. Rumsfeld and veep
Cheney apparently used that mis-
characterization to justify sabotage—
particularly furtively preventing Garner from
getting staff Garner deemed imperative.
Chap. 21, Diplomacy by Other Means
We learn that Jay Garner actually did some pretty
smart things but was constantly fighting with Rumsfeld
over staff Garner attempted to second from state, NSC,
or other agencies. For instance, we learn of two
experts with whom Garner was impressed from various
meetings. One was Tom Warrick from State who’d
done a complete study on Iraq after the invasion and
what it would need. Garner had a briefing in which
Warrick impressed the hell out of him. Another one
who was a holdover from Clinton days was Meghan
O’Sullivan. *Note: in term 2, she became a sort of Iraq
War czar for Bush despite sabotage.] Garner told them
to move to his shop ASAP.
Chap. 21, Diplomacy by Other Means
A few days later, Rumsfeld “summoned Garner
to Rumsfeld’s office” for a meeting with
Rummy and Wolfowitz. After the meeting
Rummy pulled Garner aside and asked him if
he had a guy named ‘Tom Warrick who did the
“Future of Iraq” study and a woman named
O’Sullivan’? Garner said yes and explained
why they were so critical. ‘I’ve got to ask you
to take them both off the team,” responded
Rumsfeld. Garner said he wouldn’t do it and
couldn’t and argued why.
Chap. 21, Diplomacy by Other Means
“Rumsfeld stared at Garner briefly. ‘Look, Jay,
I’ve gotten this request from such a high level
that I can’t turn it down. So I’ve got to ask you
to remove them from your team” (Woodward,
127). On the next page Woodward reports
that after digging into it both had offended
Cheney’s man Ahmed Chalabi. In particular,
Woodward reports that “the opposition to
Warrick is coming from a ‘group of about five
people’ in Cheney’s office—‘a cabal’ as it was
described! (Ibid, 128)]
   Chap. 22, The Hunt for WMD
The is a chapter about the Iraqi Survey Group
and what Tenet believes was Dr. David Kay’s
duplicity. I have no real feel for it one way or
another. If Tenet can be believed, Kay is a
weenie. [My own sense is that he was always
a publicity hound but so are a lot of others.]
The best part of the chapter is the inside
information on the so-called Duelfer report.
[We will take a look at it and discuss its
findings elsewhere.]
Chap. 23, Mission Not Accomplished
The question is how could such a successful
military operation capable of removing the
regime from power so quickly turn into such a
post-invasion failure and quagmire? The answer
from Tenet’s viewpoint is principally a
combination of ideologues with whom we are
becoming familiar along with the DOD taking
control of a mission is was neither equipped or
intended to do nor that its secretary (Rumsfeld)
that was terribly important. Democracy would
grow as it had in Germany after WWII. How did
Iraq turn into “slow-motion car crash”? Through
a series of poor decisions as follows.
Chap. 23, Mission Not Accomplished
Gen (retired) was sent there and quickly learned
that Iraq was nothing like Germany. As he
attempted to get a hold of the mess, politics in
Washington were fierce. “The debates generally
broke down along familiar lines: State, CIA, and
NSC favored a more inclusive and transparent
approach in which the Iraqis representing the
many tribes, sects, and interest groups . . . would
be brought together to consult and put together
some sort of constituent assembly that might
then select and advisory council and a group of
ministers to govern the country” (418).
Chap. 23, Mission Not Accomplished
Arrayed against them were the “vice president and
Pentagon civilians” who “advocated a very different
approach” (419). The latter wanted to be able to hand
select which Iraqis would and would not participate [as
we’ve learned the Iraqi National Congress was literally
on the Pentagon’s payroll. These were Iraqis who had
been living abroad in exile who had little legitimacy
inside Iraq.] According to Tenet, Douglas Feith argued
in one meeting that the U.S. “could legitimize them”
never understanding the essential conflict between
democracy (governance by the people) and U.S. and
Iraqi expats being hand selected by civilians in
Washington. (Ibid.)
Chap. 23, Mission Not Accomplished
In January 2003 [that is before the invasion]
the president signed an NSC presidential
directive, number 24, that put the Pentagon
“complete ownership” of the post-war
environment. Tenet goes on to address
Ahmed Chalabi who was the man in charge of
the Iraqi National Congress. [This is the guy
who with his retinue, the Pentagon choppered
into Iraq after the invasion!]
Chap. 23, Mission Not Accomplished
Tenet proceeds to detail the Coalition
Provisional Authority that was put together
under Jerry Bremer *as you’ll find in my book,
part of the neocon clique]. He was
authoritarian and from Tenet’s perspective it
was not entirely clear to whom he reported
though Tenet strongly implies the vice
president’s office! (429.)
Chap. 23, Mission Not Accomplished
The State Department had earlier assembled a
team of experts to plan for a postwar Iraq, and
Richard Armitage had 737s all lined up to fly
them and their computers and some eighty
Arabic linguists with regional knowledge out
to Baghdad to begin setting up an embassy-in-
waiting. The Pentagon, though, had other
plans, and they didn’t include the Department
of State, which many in Rumsfeld’s circle
thought had performed poorly in Afghanistan”
Chap. 23, Mission Not Accomplished
The CPA, by contrast was a bunch of ideologues who
wanted to use Iraq and an experiment for setting up
a stock exchange in a former command economy, try
out a flat-tax system “and impose other elements of
a lab-school democratic-capitalist social structure.”
One of Tenet’s people reported back after a trip to
Tenet as follows: ‘Boss, that place runs like a
graduate school seminar [sic.], none of them speaks
Arabic, almost nobody’s ever been to an Arab
country, and no one makes a decision but Bremer’
(Ibid). Without any input from CIA—and Tenet
strongly implies and I and others have confirmed—or
the state department.
Chap. 23, Mission Not Accomplished
The two first and disastrous decisions were
de-baathification and dissolving the Iraqi
military. As Tenet explains, Baath
membership was requisite for any decent job
in Iraq under Saddam including being a
school teacher in many instances. Thus, the
decision through out of work many regular
Iraqis who had suffered under Saddam and
who constituted the basic infrastructure to
runt eh country (bureaucrats in key
ministries, school teachers, engineers, so
Chap. 23, Mission Not Accomplished
With respect to the military the people running
things apparently thought they could simply
start over from scratch. That was probably
possible in some situations. In Iraq, however, it
exacerbated long-suppressed ethnic cleavages
that broke into a prairie fire quickly. He quotes
one person explaining that Iraqis (perhaps with
the exception of Basra and one or two northern
cities) were not use to thinking in terms of
Sunnis versus Shiia. They intermarried and lived
together. Sunnis, though a minority, dominated
the Shiia majority well before Saddam, literally
for generations.
Chap. 23, Mission Not Accomplished
When Bremer dissolved the Iraqi military with the
stroke of his pen, Shiias began thinking they
deserved some proportional representation in
the new military and officer corp and Sunnis to
experience payback which led to insurgency.
When Garner went to Bremer and told him the
results the decisions were having (the military
one in this case) Bremer is quoted as saying
Garner could go over his head to Rumsfeld if he
wished but the decisions were made at a pay
grade higher than Rumsfeld’s—there are only two
and no evidence that president Bush sided with
either faction. (429.)
Chap. 23, Mission Not Accomplished
He quotes Feith and Wolfowitz in separate
incidents speaking arrogantly to anyone who
dared challenge their wisdom in the face of
the rapidly spreading insurgency. And he
portrays a Condi Rice who was frustrated but
unable to insinuate herself into the process!
The rest of the chapter is Tenet attempting to
show that CIA attempted to insert itself at
appropriate points through the NSC and other
processes but to little avail.
     Chapter 24, Sixteen Words
It’s a good story but more about cutthroat Washington
politics and the exigencies of speechwriters than it is
about the IC, much less the NSC. Hadley fell on his
sword for it and from Tenet’s details, it appears that
Hadley was only partially responsible. Many others
were at least a culpable, including again the vice
president’s office. *We’ve have all learned about how
Scooter Libby consciously attempted to smear
Ambassador Wilson and that Ambassador Wilson is far
from a choir boy on this matter. We all know that
during summer of 2007 President Bush commuted
Libby’s jail term for lying to federal prosecutors, the
FBI, and perjury.
     Chapter 24, Sixteen Words
[I will make a prediction here that has little to do
with this class but we shall all see by year’s end
whether I’m correct or not. President Bush will
pardon Scooter Libby! I personally had no huge
problem with the commutation—seldom have
similar political crimes resulted in prison terms
being served. Nixon’s administration is one of the
last and many of those went on to become
famous and rich because of it. I don’t believe
Scooter Libby or Vice President Cheney or any of
the others I’ve identified as neoconservatives are
essentially evil people. Needed a cold towel.]
     Chapter 24, Sixteen Words
[They are arrogant, to be sure. They suffered the fatal
flaw that is the basis of Greek tragedies over the
centuries: hubris. They believed what they were doing
was badly needed. I want to qualify the last comment:
while I do not in an way equate them to Nazis, so too
did many Nazis! They are symptoms of problems with
the way we elect presidents and others and some of
the many ways in which Washington is dysfunctional.
Despite all that, I don’t believe Libby should be
pardoned though I had no substantial problem with his
commutation. If pardoned, the relationships and
processes that intentionally circumvented the NSC
process may never be fully understood and that is what
I feel is the more important issue.]
          Chapter 25, Going
Not much about the NSC here. A bit of self
pity on Tenet’s part but it’s his book and that’s
fair enough.
 Lots of good observations about not remaking
the same sorts of institutional strictures. He
admits that the DNI (when Tenet wrote this
Negroponte had moved and McConnell had
become America’s second DNI) and the ODNI,
IRTPA, and what became the NCTC. Some
good insights. *We’ll return to it with my NSC

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