Thursday, November 1, 2007

George John Tenet (born January 5, 1953) was previously the Director of Central Intelligence for the United States Central Intelligence Agency and is Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at Georgetown University. Tenet held the position as the DCI from July 1997 to July 2004, making him the second-longest serving director in the agency's history — behind Allen Welsh Dulles — as well as one of the few DCIs to serve under two U.S. presidents of opposing political parties.

George Tenet Early career
Tenet was appointed Deputy Director of Central Intelligence in July 1995. After John Deutch's abrupt resignation in December 1996, Tenet served as acting director until he was officially appointed the position on July 11, 1997, after a unanimous confirmation vote in the Senate. This was followed by the withdrawal of Anthony Lake, whose nomination had been blocked by Republicans in Congress. While the Director of Central Intelligence has typically been replaced by an incoming administration ever since Jimmy Carter replaced DCI George H. W. Bush, Tenet served through the end of the Clinton administration and well into the term of George W. Bush.
On September 15, 2001, at Camp David, Tenet presented the Worldwide Attack Matrix, an outline of an anti-terrorism campaign in 80 countries. However, after the September 11 attacks, many observers criticized the Intelligence Community for numerous "intelligence failures" as one of the major reasons why the attacks were not prevented.

CIA career
According to a report by veteran investigative journalist Bob Woodward in his book Plan of Attack, Tenet privately lent his personal authority to the intelligence reports about weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) in Iraq. At a meeting on December 12, 2002, he assured Bush that the evidence against Saddam Hussein amounted to a "slam dunk case" After several months of refusing to confirm this statement, Tenet later stated that this remark was taken out of context. (Tenet indicated that the comment was made pursuant to a discussion about how to convince the American people to support invading Iraq, and that, in his opinion, the best way to convince the people would be by explaining the dangers posed by Iraq's WMD i.e., the public relations sale of the war via the WMD, according to Tenet, would be a "slam dunk"). The search following the 2003 invasion of Iraq by U.S., British and international forces yielded no stockpiles of WMDs, however.

Tenet and Iraq WMD controversy
Citing "personal reasons," Tenet submitted his resignation to President Bush on June 3, 2004. James Pavitt, his Deputy Director for Operations at the CIA, announced his resignation the following day, leading to speculation that the exit of both senior intelligence officials was related to the controversy over alleged Iraqi WMDs and the decision to go to war. Admiral Stansfield Turner, director of the CIA under President Jimmy Carter, said, "I think the president feels he's in enough trouble that he's got to begin to cast some of the blame for the morass that we are in Iraq on to somebody else and this was one subtle way to do it." (Boston Herald, June 4, 2004) However, Bush voiced support for Tenet's efforts, stating, "George Tenet did a superb job for America. It was a high honor to work with him, and I'm sorry he left." (Reuters, June 5, 2004)

Tenet's seven-year term as Director of Central Intelligence was the second-longest in U.S. history. On December 14, 2004, President Bush awarded Tenet the Presidential Medal of Freedom. This was a decision that some senior Democrats questioned, citing intelligence failures to find WMDs in Iraq. A spokesperson for Senator and 2004 presidential candidate John Kerry said that "George Bush wasn't using the same standard when honoring Tenet and [Coalition Provisional Authority head L. Paul] Bremer that was applied to previous honorees." Democratic Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, in response to the award said that he "would have reached a different conclusion" on Tenet. "I don't think [he] served the president or the nation well."

Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom
In October 2006 Tenet joined QinetiQ as an independent non-executive director.

George Tenet Memoir

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