CIA's Tenet Takes the Dive:
Diverts Attention from Larger White House Deception

The major papers are running with the Tenet mea culpa story today, advancing the White House's public relations campaign to deflect blame from President Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell, et al. Its become a worrisome pattern for Bush & Co to blame the CIA, the British government, the Democrats and anyone else, rather than taking responsibility for their own statements and actions.

What is being reported is that President Bush used bogus intelligence about Iraq's efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction.

CIA officials "raised several concerns about the fragmentary nature of the intelligence with National Security Council colleagues," Tenet said. "Some of the language was changed. From what we now know, agency officials in the end concurred that the text in the speech was factually correct -- i.e., that the British government report said that Iraq sought uranium from Africa."

Tenet made the statement hours after Bush and national security adviser Condoleezza Rice had placed full responsibility on the Central Intelligence Agency for the inclusion of the charges in the president's speech on Jan. 28.

What is not being reported, and is much more important, is that the White House decided it would go after Saddam Hussein immediately after the attacks of 9/11.

General Wesley Clark told Tim Russert on June 15 that he was called on September 11 and asked to link Hussein to the attacks:

CLARK: "There was a concerted effort during the fall of 2001, starting immediately after 9/11, to pin 9/11 and the terrorism problem on Saddam Hussein."

RUSSERT: "By who? Who did that?"

CLARK: "Well, it came from the White House, it came from people around the White House. It came from all over. I got a call on 9/11. I was on CNN, and I got a call at my home saying, 'You got to say this is connected. This is state-sponsored terrorism. This has to be connected to Saddam Hussein.' I said, 'But--I'm willing to say it, but what's your evidence?' And I never got any evidence."

An interesting sidenote ... General Clark is considering a run for the Democratic Presidential nomination and had some strong criticism for Bush and his foreign policy this week in an interview with Newsweek. Here is a good line about Bush's aircraft carrier publicity stunt:
NEWSWEEK: What do you think of President Bush’s using war imagery as a political tool, like when he recently flew onto an aircraft carrier?

CLARK: The world expects something more of an American president than to prance around on a flight deck dressed up like [a] pilot. He’s expected to be a leader. That’s my fundamental issue with it. It doesn’t reflect the gravitas of the office. Furthermore, it’s a little phony.

Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR), the media watchdog group, goes on to note that there is more evidence of a deliberate campaign to use 9/11 to invade Iraq, despite any damning evidence against Hussein.
Clark's assertion corroborates a little-noted CBS Evening News story that aired on September 4, 2002. As correspondent David Martin reported: "Barely five hours after American Airlines Flight 77 plowed into the Pentagon, the secretary of defense was telling his aides to start thinking about striking Iraq, even though there was no evidence linking Saddam Hussein to the attacks." According to CBS, a Pentagon aide's notes from that day quote Rumsfeld asking for the "best info fast" to "judge whether good enough to hit SH at the same time, not only UBL." (The initials SH and UBL stand for Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden.) The notes then quote Rumsfeld as demanding, ominously, that the administration's response "go massive...sweep it all up, things related and not."

FAIR is asking citizens to encourage media outlets to investigate this story. See FAIR's Media Contact list at: