Thursday, April 15, 2004

Most of the focus on Tenet's recent testimony is on how he "failed" to brief the president in August.

Not that Tenet needs my help, but can people try to remember that it is not the job of the head of the CIA to give daily briefings to the president? What Tenet did throughout the first months of Bush's term was unprecedented -- briefings were traditionally given by underlings, not the head honcho himself:

The other senior policymaker who served in both administrations, CIA Director George Tenet, confirms the different approach to the al-Qaeda threat. Mr. Bush, he told the commission, wanted daily face-to-face briefings from the CIA director—something Mr. Tenet did not do under President Clinton.

So while the timing of Tenet's leave turned out to be horrifically bad, I don't know that I hold it against him that he wanted a month off from beating his head against the thick brick wall that was George W. Bush.

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