Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Tenet’s Take on the Clinton Administration

While the mainstream media has focused on former CIA Director George Tenet’s battle against the Bushies—namely what a “slam dunk” really means—and whether the administration fully considered the consequences of an Iraq war, it turns out that Mr. Tenet was highly critical of the Clinton administration as well in his new book, At the Center of the Storm.

Newsmax.com reports that the Tenet book rips former President Clinton for defunding the CIA budget by 25 percent. That is incredible. Former budget and defense official William Schneider (who chaired one of the Rumsfeld Defense Department advisory planning boards) told me this a few years ago, but I plum forgot it.

As it turns out, Tenet made a special deal with then House Speaker Newt Gingrich for supplemental appropriations increases to help out the CIA in the late 1990s, to help get around the Clinton budget cuts. But that’s no way to run a railroad.

I intend to go out and purchase Tenet’s book and read it. I suspect it’s more balanced than the MSM would have us believe.

At President Reagan’s memorial funeral service in Washington during the summer of 2004, I sat next to Mr. Tenet. We chatted at length before the ceremony began. I was very impressed at the time. Bush spokesman Dan Bartlett is calling him a patriot.

I intend to read the book.