April 30, 2007

Artistic license

George Tenet's new book is coming under continuous fire even though its official release is today, according to yesterday's Weekly Standard.

THE WEEKLY STANDARD has now learned of a second, more stunning error in Tenet's book (which is due to appear in bookstores tomorrow). According to Michiko Kakutani's review in Saturday's Times,

On the day after 9/11, he [Tenet] adds, he ran into Richard Perle, a leading neoconservative and the head of the Defense Policy Board, coming out of the White House. He says Mr. Perle turned to him and said: "Iraq has to pay a price for what happened yesterday. They bear responsibility."

Here's the problem: Richard Perle was in France on that day, unable to fly back after September 11. In fact Perle did not return to the United State until September 15.  Did Tenet perhaps merely get the date of this encounter wrong? Well, the quote Tenet ascribes to Perle hinges on the encounter taking place September 12: "Iraq has to pay a price for what happened yesterday." And Perle in any case categorically denies to THE WEEKLY STANDARD ever having said any such thing to Tenet, while coming out of the White House or anywhere else.

According to Kakutani, Tenet concludes by paraphrasing Daniel Patrick Moynihan's comment: "Policymakers are entitled to their own opinions--but not to their own set of facts." How many other facts has George Tenet invented?

Posted by Tom Bowler at 06:06 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack