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Thus Spake the Chief Spook

Even before 9/11, I didn't much like the CIA (I've always been more of a MI6 man myself, and as for as cold, brutal efficiency in international spycraft, I'm sorry, but the Russians simply did it better).  But listening to … Read More

By / May 14, 2007

Even before 9/11, I didn't much like the CIA (I've always been more of a MI6 man myself, and as for as cold, brutal efficiency in international spycraft, I'm sorry, but the Russians simply did it better).  But listening to Jeffrey Goldberg's interview the the universally execrated George Tenet has left me in no state of confusion as to how Al Qaeda managed to invade the United States: We had Woody Allen as our last line of defense.

“Well, the only thing I can say—I mean, well, I think people may believe that we knew all the answers to these questions,” he said. “And then there’s the whole ‘Well, why didn’t you resign?’ But wait a minute. I had, you know—anybody has misgivings about going to war. And I thought about this. In my view, there’s a little bit of misunderstanding about the job of director. I mean, you know, you don’t cross that policy line. You’re supposed to provide objective assessments and analysis. They”—policymakers—“make decisions on the policies they’re going to make. Obviously, you know, we said what we said about W.M.D. They do the cost-benefit, risk calculation about what they think that means. We don’t. They do.”

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