Bush Blames CIA's Tenet for Lies He Told

Earlier this week, the White House admitted that President Bush made false claims in his State of the Union, stating that Iraq had sought uranium in Africa. Its becoming readily apparent that this administration is willing to say anything to get what it wants, and this is just one example.

Howard Dean spoke with CNN congressional correspondent Jonathan Karl today and said what is on a lot of people's minds:

KARL: The president and his national security adviser are saying that the CIA, and George Tenet specifically, cleared this speech and signed off on it. Does that get the president off the hook?

DEAN: We don't know that. The fact is that [former U.S.] Ambassador [to Niger Joseph] Wilson, in a public statement in The New York Times, has indicated that his report showing that there was no involvement between Niger and Iraq in terms of the uranium deal went to the office of the vice president, the secretary of state and the CIA. So I don't know what the president knew and when the president knew it, but I know that this intelligence-handling is a disaster for the administration at best, and either no one got to the secretary of defense or the president, or his own senior advisors withheld information.

So this is a serious credibility problem, and it's a lot deeper than just the Iraq-Niger deal, it has to do with assertions by the secretary of defense that he knew where weapons were that turned out not to be there, it has to do with assertions by the vice president there was a nuclear program that turned out not to exist, and assertions made by the president himself, not just about the acquisition of uranium, but also about the ability of [deposed Iraqi President] Saddam [Hussein] to use chemical weapons on the United States. We need a full-blown public investigation not held in Congress but by an outside bipartisan commission.

KARL: Condoleezza Rice specifically mentioned George Tenet, and now the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee is specifically saying that George Tenet had a responsibility to tell the president about this but didn't.

DEAN: It's beginning to sound a little like Watergate. They start throwing people over the side. The deeper you go, the more interesting it will be. It's very clear that it may be George Tenet's responsibility, but that information also existed in the State Department and it also existed in the vice president's office, so they will not get away with simply throwing George Tenet over the side.

Based on comments he made today in Sun Valley, Idaho, CIA Director George Tenet seems all to willing to be the patsy, if need be.
"The president had every reason to believe that the text presented to him was sound. These 16 words should never have been included in the text written for the president," he said.

The CIA director also said, "I am responsible for the approval process in my agency."

Did Bush & Co. think they would be let off the hook by making a minor admission of fault and blaming the very agency that had warned them against invading Iraq? Or did they think that the press was too busy praising them for their historic trip to Africa to notice their subterfuge?

Speaking of Africa, who is Randall Tobias, former CEO of pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly? And what qualifies him to be the US "AIDS tsar," besides the fact that he gave large sums of cash to help elect Bush and his former employer stands to make millions if it can keep generic equivalents out of the African markets?