Tenet’s Georgetown Speech

A co-worker (strongly liberal, no less) gave me the heads up about CIA Director George Tenet’s speech this afternoon. He was impressed, and said that he wished that the Bush administration would stand up and say these things. With that, I’ve got to agree.

I’m no big fan of the CIA. I realize that someone has to do the job, and I realize how important that job is. Probably more important now than ever. But I’ve not been all that impressed by their performance. That’s unfair, of course, since we don’t know (and won’t ever know) 99.9% of what they’re doing.

I just caught a repeat of the speech on CSPAN. Impressive. Very impressive.

If today’s speech is truly representative of what the CIA is all about these days, I just might change my mind.

UPDATE: DefenseTech has a slightly different take. Although were was certainly a lot of butt-covering going on, I personally took the speech as a clarification of the CIA’s position on the WMD and threat issues, which aren’t all that different than what Bush and the others were saying a year ago. But Bush & Co. have been largely unapologetic about mistakes and misinterpretations, basically saying “That’s our story and we’re sticking to it!”

Tenet came out and explained why the beliefs about the Iraq WMD programs were not accurate. I found his remarks to be very intelligent and believable, and I didn’t really interpret them as a direct slap at the White House.