Thursday, June 03, 2004

Sleeping With the Fishes
I predicted in this blog last summer that George Tenet would be made to take 100 percent of the blame for the cooked intel leading up to the Iraq war, and White House officials would claim that they were just a bunch of innocents who got taken by the sharpers at the Agency. When Tenet didn't get sacked, I wondered if it was because he had some serious goods on Bush, and thus it was better for Bush, Tony Soprano-like, to keep him close than to let him go. I guess we'll find out now. Whether Tenet was forced out or not is really immaterial, though. His departure gives Bush the chance to take credit for cleaning up a mess he helped to create, without having to admit he was actually wrong about anything.

Here are some other guesses from the blogosphere about Tenet's adios:

Best of the Blogs surmises that it was either Ahmed Chalabi's revenge or a desire to stop the leaks that seemed to spring whenever Tenet went before Congress.

Eric Alterman says that if Tenet really is the fall guy for some of the administration's screwups, he'd like to know which ones. (In the same post, Alterman also provides 10 reasons why Bush himself may be an Al Qaeda plant. Honest to God.)

Kevin Drum thinks that Tenet was finished last week when Al Gore called him a personal friend and a good and decent man.

Josh Marshall says that the Senate Intelligence Committee's upcoming report is going to roast Tenet but good, which is why he jumped or was pushed at this moment. "Now he's the fall-guy for it all, in all likelihood made to take the fall by the true bad-actors." Marshall also gets off the best line I've seen so far: "The more interesting question is whether we get to hear from Tenet before he grabs the one-way for Guantanamo."

Like Marshall, Wonkette notes the timing: Bush announced the resignation as an afterthought following a Rose Garden appearance with the prime minister of Australia. Wonkette also marvels at the stupidity of those--including Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle--who are calling the resignation a surprise.
Recommended Reading: "Pros and Cons of John Kerry's Top Twenty Vice-Presidential Candidates." At last, a list without Tom Vilsack on it.

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