There was much discussion and derision back then with people wondering why retired General Tommy Franks, Paul Bremer and George Tenet, as the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, were honored with this medal. These men who the president said "played pivotal roles in great events and whose efforts have made our country more secure and advanced the cause of human liberty." Indeed. In 2007, we know now the pivotal role each of them played in accommodating the march into Baghdad. We also know now that our country is not more secure and the condition of human liberty worldwide has suffered.
These supposed men of honor should go directly to Section 60 in Arlington National Cemetery and place those medals at any one of those headstones, where more than 300 of our nation's best and brightest who were killed in Iraq & Afghanistan are buried. Any of those men & women will always have been more honorable than the 3 men who stood with the president that December day in 2004.
On 60 Minutes tonite, George Tenet complains that the administration used him as a scapegoat to make their case for the invasion of Iraq. He accused Andrew Card of this:
You've gone out and made me look stupid. It's the most despicable thing I've ever heard in my life. Men of honor don't do this.
You don't do this. You don't throw people overboard. You don't call do this — you don't call somebody in. You work your heart out. You show up every day. You're going to throw somebody overboard just because it's a deflection. Is that honorable? It's not honorable to me. OK and that's how I feel. Now had it happened and who orchestrated it and what happened, you know, at the end of the day the only thing that you have is trust and honor in this world. It's all you have. All you have is your reputation built on trust and your personal honor.
No one in the Bush adminstration is a man or woman of honor, period. That word is not in their dictionary. What is despicable is the devastation that this war in Iraq has caused to our country. My only child, Lt Ken Ballard and 3340+ other US soldiers have been sacrificed because Tenet and others wouldn't stand up to the President and tell the country the truth. For 3 years until Tenet signed a book contract, the truth was held close to Tenet's cold heart. How many lives could have been saved had Tenet had the courage to stand up and be the honorable man that he presents himself to be?
It was George Tenet who threw all of our military overboard when he didn't stand up before this country and tell us the truth that there was no planning. George Tenet complains about his loss of reputation, but where is his concern for the loss of life his silence caused?
Tenet, who for four years briefed the president nearly every day, acknowledges that the CIA made grievous errors in its assessment of Baghdad's alleged weapons programs, but argues that the agency was dismayed by equally disastrous mistakes that took place after the invasion."Our analysis assumed there was a plan for ensuring the peace," he writes in one section of a chapter called "Mission Not Accomplished," a pointed reference to Bush. "In fact, there was no strategy for when U.S. forces hit the ground."
In 2003, our military was sent into battle without adequate training and protection or a clear and defined mission. In the 5th year of the war, our military is still without the resources they need to complete the mission; whatever that mission may be.
George Tenet has a new tell all book out, so he's telling the truth now, spilling his guts. Where was the truth back in 2002-2003 when his conscience would have saved 3300+ US soldiers and countless Iraqi citizens? Now he tells us what he knew and when he knew it. Until the price was right, he chose to keep that to himself. He followed Paul Bremer's lead, who did the same thing when his book, My Year in Iraq was published a few years back. I have no patience for people whose conscience comes clean only when signing a book contract.
The money that George Tenet is receiving for writing this book and baring his pathetic soul is blood money, plain and clear. In California there are laws to prevent a criminal from profiting off his crimes. George Tenet should donate all of the profits from his book to support the troops and their families.
Tenet is not the only one who betrayed this country and betrayed the troops. He's not the first one to come clean and he won't be the last. My only question is why they waited so long and the common answer is clear- money. Tenet seems to be asking for our forgiveness, but there are some things that are unforgivable.