Quick, Give Him Another Medal

George Tenet doesn’t go quietly into deserved obscurity:

A former U.S. spy chief accused President Bush’s administration of ruining his reputation by misusing a “slam dunk” comment he made during a White House meeting ahead of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

Former CIA Director George Tenet told CBS Television’s “60 Minutes” that the administration leaked his comment as opposition to the war grew when no weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq.

“You don’t do this. You don’t throw somebody overboard just because it’s a deflection. Is that honorable? It’s not honorable to me,” Tenet said in an interview to be broadcast Sunday.

Tenet said his comment did not refer to whether Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, but related to what information could be used to make a public case for the war.

The “slam-dunk” comment first surfaced in journalist Bob Woodward’s 2004 book, “Plan of Attack,” which portrayed Tenet as assuring Bush that finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq would be a virtual certainty.

“We can put a better case together for a public case. That’s what I meant,” Tenet told “60 Minutes.” [Emphasis added.]

So his comment wasn’t about facts, it was about spin. Come on, Tenet, you’re not exactly burnishing your what-you-would-call-honorable legacy by implying that your agency was all about building a case instead of uncovering the facts.

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