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Spooksville, USA

This column ran in print in May 2007, but I’ve brought it back from the dead in honor of Halloween and spooks everywhere!

Last Sunday morning, after watching Tim Russert hold former CIA Director George Tenet’s feet to the fire on Meet the Press, all I could say was …”Somebody get me a double vodka, no rocks; it must be after noon somewhere.”

On reflection, I would have been better off asking for a ghostbuster.

During the show, Tenet’s fallback position was believability. Everything was “What we believed at the time …,” “It was believed …,” “Our belief was ….”

The only thing it seemed Tenet didn’t believe in was the sixteen-word statement that led us into war. When GW said Saddam had sought “significant quantities of uranium from Africa” in his State of the Union speech on January 28, 2003, Tenet claims the U.S. intelligence community “didn’t believe it” – didn’t believe what Bush said was true — and had been telling the President that all along.

Tenet says he didn’t “catch” this bombshell in Bush’s prepared speech – even though he did catch it – and insisted it be removed – from an earlier speech given in Cincinnati.

So it’s caught and deleted from a run-of-the-mill roadshow speech but somehow missed going into the globally-watched State of the Union address – the very speech that took us to war? (A speech Tenet claims he didn’t bother to watch.)

If only I had the intellectual wherewithal to keep up with slippery ex-CIA Directors. He seemed so sincere, didn’t he? But if you’ve got half a brain (as I do – at least on a good day), you’ve got to ask yourself: Just how much yellowcake does it take these days to manufacture a coward?

How much guts does it take to air out all that dirty laundry in a bid for book-buyers’ dollars and run it all through a wash, rinse and spin cycle so fast and furious that it actually comes out dirtier than when it went in?

Tenet’s attempt at steam-cleaning his tenure at the CIA only embedded the wrinkles and stink of the last few years ever deeper into the cloak of shame that covers the Bush administration.

What the heck was he talking about when he said Colin Powell’s February ‘03 “Iraq has a stockpile” speech “was a dark moment for all of us?” For all of us? I don’t think so. It was a dark moment for him, for Colin, for GW and Condi, but not for the American people.

All we did wrong was believe in our leaders.

What’s all that intelligence-gathering for if the powers-that-be are just going to play the American people so dumb?

Tenet calls his book “At the Center of the Storm.” I think he should have put about four more letters before the word storm – because he’s giving us a pile of it. Last time I checked, slinging mud and trying to wash it off at the same time kind of cancels each other out.

Oh. Wait a minute ….

Maybe that’s exactly what Tenet’s trying to do — cancel himself out. Make it look as if he almost wasn’t there at all.

That’s something spooks are known for; that’s how they got the name. They come in under cover of dark, raise hairs on the back of necks, make a few things go bump in the night, scare a few people to death or get others killed in the process, and then make like a ghost.

Woooshhh. Like he was never there.

If seeing is believing — if we can “see” weapons of mass destruction where none exist, maybe he’s hoping we’ll just as easily “unsee” the apparition of a man who appears to have believed in nothing and not believed in everything else … not himself, not his president. Not even his country.

Talk about spooky.

Posted on May 31st, 2007Comments RSS Feed
4 Responses to Spooksville, USA
  1. John W. Perkins
    October 31, 2008 at 9:39 am

    I know it’s not a new thought, but I strongly hold to the tenet, “Question Authority”.

    Which reminds me, why isn’t the press questioning Sen. Obama on so many issues that are of real concern for the “thinking” voter??

  2. Being held hostage in a Blue State
    November 1, 2008 at 5:06 am

    I believe there’s a video tape out there the LA Times should release; I also believe in allowing all members of the media a seat on the plane regardless of who they endorsed for the November 4th election.

    Isn’t it ironic, how all of you only believe in questioning authority when the Republicans are that authority?

  3. Being held hostage in a Blue State
    November 1, 2008 at 6:44 am

    I see where the income threshold to be taxed is now at $120,000 and SSA/FICA taxes will no longer be capped at incomes of $104,000………… well, well, well is American’s chicken coming home to roost??

    it reminds me of that old pre WWII story……… first the came for the communist, then they came for the catholics……

    Democrats be careful what you wish/vote for……… You all need to stop trying to appease your guilt

  4. Well again I agree with you Ernie 100% on both statements.Enough said..


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