April 19th, 2004

An alert listener to the Randi Rhodes show caught George Tenet in a lie. During his testimony, Tenet claimed that Bush could not have gotten the information about Moussaoui, arrested by the FBI on August 16th, because he did not see Bush in time. Previously, there was the claim that the Moussaoui information had not been distributed at high levels, but when the CIA report entitled “Islamic Extremist Learns to Fly” came to the attention of the 9/11 commission and the public, it was a wee bit hard to deny. Still, Tenet tried to cover for Bush:

ROEMER: “And do you have the information at that point on Moussaoui?”

TENET: “Yes, I was briefed on Moussaoui in late August. . . . I believe it’s the 23rd or the 24th.”

. . . . .

ROEMER: “Would it have made any difference if you had mentioned — did you ever mention it, for instance, to the president?”

TENET: “I didn’t see the president. I was not in briefings with him during this time.”

ROEMER: “You didn’t see the president between August 6, 2001, and September 10th?”

TENET: “Well, no. Before — saw him after Labor Day, to be sure.”

ROEMER: “So you saw him September 4th — at the principals’ meeting?”

TENET: “It was not at the principals’ meeting.”

ROEMER: “OK I’m just confused. You see him on August 6th with the (President’s Daily Brief).”

TENET: “No, I do not, sir. I’m not there.”

ROEMER: “OK. You’re not — when do you see him in August?”

TENET: “I don’t believe I do.”

ROEMER: “You don’t see the president of the United States once in the month of August?”

TENET: “He’s in Texas, and I’m either here or on leave.”

ROEMER: “But you never get on the phone or in any kind of conference with him to talk at this level of high chatter and huge warnings during the spring and summer to talk to him through the whole month of August?”

TENET: “We talked to him directly throughout the spring and early summer almost every day.”

ROEMER: “But not in August?”

TENET: “In this time period, I’m not talking to him, no.”

Well, later it turns out that this was not entirely true–Tenet did meet Bush in August, but the CIA spokesman said it was OK, because “Tenet had, in fact, briefed Bush in Texas on August 17, but not about Moussaoui.” So Tenet did see Bush in Crawford, but a week before he found out about Moussaoui. Right?

Erm, well, not really. The alert Rhodes listener pointed to this page on the White House web site, an interview with Bush at Crawford on August 25th, in which Bush said:

Actually, you know, what we call the governor’s house, the place where you all came out during the — that’s where we went. Condi and Karen Hughes stayed there. And right across the street from that is a — it’s a nice looking government doublewide. (Laughter.) And that’s where the mil aide, the nurse, the WHCA head, the doc, they stay.

The CIA briefings, I have on our porch, the end of our porch looking out over the lake. When Tenet came up, that’s where we visited, out there.

You know, everybody wants to see the ranch, which I’m proud to show it off. So George Tenet and I — yesterday, we piled in the new nominees for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, the Vice Chairman and their wives and went right up the canyon. [emphasis mine]


So, Hastert was screaming for Richard Clarke to be tried for perjury. How about Tenet?

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