Saturday, July 12, 2003

To be clear, this is bullshit. Tenet as the fall-guy, but not really. Should we expect Tenet's resignation any day now- he did, after all, walk the president into a minefield? Nope.

I have what I consider a bit of familiarity with type of activity (though in matters far, far less important than national security and the decision to go to war). Your boss gets an idea in his head and keeps dropping it into drafts, memos, etc. You regularly remind him that the statement isn't accurate, but he never takes ownership of the fact. It remains in his mind and pops up again and again. Eventually, you tire of this fight. You decide to sit out a round here and there- you will pick it up later when it matters more. In psychology (and sales), they call this the foot in the door technique. Maybe the boss changes some language to make you less uncomfortable (say, perhaps, a statement about Africa rather than Niger). Either way, you start losing ground, slipping in the fight. And soon the battle is lost.

This is the result of not being interested in the truth, but rather being interested in furthering an agenda. And once you lose this war, it is time for you to step aside. You no longer provide the rigorous advice your boss requires- you are broken. But Tenet will not be stepping aside. For if he were to leave, he'd have the chance to talk about all the times he corrected the White House over the course of 2002. And on other issues one imagines. And the White House's "we were out of the loop" mantra would crumble.

Free George Tenet!

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