The Real Deal On George Tenet’s Speech

CIA Director George Tenet gave a speech at Georgetown today that made it absolutely clear that the CIA believed Iraq had WMD before the war & that the Bush administration didn’t push them to spin the evidence. But of course, much of the liberal mainstream media is obsessively focusing on this quote from Tenet,

(Analysts) never said there was an imminent threat.”

The implication being, that the Bush administration said the threat was imminent and Tenet is saying that it wasn’t. Rather than rehash that issue, I’ll just once again point out this quote from George Bush’s 2003 SOTU speech and let the left try to come up with reasons why Bush means exactly the opposite of what he said,

“Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike?”

Now, let’s take a look at just some of the meat from this informative speech that I’d strongly recommend that you read in its entirety,

— “No one told us what to say or how to say it.”

— “Our community said with high confidence that Saddam was continuing and expanding his missile programs, contrary to U.N. resolutions. He had missiles and other systems with ranges in excess of U.N. restrictions and he was seeking missiles with even longer ranges.”

— “Significantly, the Iraq Survey Group has also confirmed prewar intelligence that Iraq was in secret negotiations with North Korea to obtain some of its most dangerous missile technology.”

— “The Iraq Survey Group found that two separate groups in Iraq were working on a number of unmanned aerial vehicles designed that were hidden from the U.N. until Iraq’s declaration in December of 2002. Now we know that important design elements were never fully declared. The question of intent, especially regarding the smaller unmanned aerial vehicle, is still out there. But we should remember that the Iraqis flight tested an aerial biological weapons spray system intended for a large unmanned aerial vehicle. A senior Iraqi official has now admit that their two large unmanned vehicles, one developed in the early ’90s and the other under development in late 2000, were intended for the delivery of biological weapons. My provisional bottom line today: We detected the development of prohibited and undeclared unmanned aerial vehicles. But the jury is still out on whether Iraq intended to use its newer, smaller unmanned aerial vehicle to deliver biological weapons.”

— “My provisional bottom line today: Saddam did not have a nuclear weapon, he still wanted one, and Iraq intended to reconstitute a nuclear program at some point.”

— “My provisional bottom line today: Iraq intended to develop biological weapons. Clearly, research and development work was under way that would have permitted a rapid shift to agent production if seed stocks were available. But we do not yet know if production took place. And just as clearly, we have not yet found biological weapons.”

— “We said in the estimate with high confidence that Iraq had (chemical weapons). We also believed, though with less certainty, that Saddam had stocked at least 100 metric tons of agent.”

— “My provisional bottom line today: Saddam had the intent and capability to quickly convert civilian industry to chemical weapons production. However, we have not yet found the weapons we expected.”

— “Several sensitive reports crossed my desk from two sources characterized by our foreign partners as established and reliable. The first from a source who had direct access to Saddam and his inner circle said Iraq was not in the possession of a nuclear weapon. However, Iraq was aggressively and covertly developing such a weapon. Saddam had recently called together his nuclear weapons committee, irate that Iraq did not yet have a weapon because money was no object and they possessed the scientific know-how. The committee members assured Saddam that once fissile material was in hand, a bomb could be ready in 18 to 24 months. The return of U.N. inspectors would cause minimal disruption because, according to the source, Iraq was expert at denial and deception. The same source said that Iraq was stockpiling chemical weapons and that equipment to produce insecticides under the oil-for-food program had been diverted to covert chemical weapons production.”

The bottom line here is that the CIA without question believed that the Saddam Hussein had WMD, that the Bush administration didn’t tell them “what to say or how to say it,” and that although the WMD haven’t been found, Saddam was still violating UN resolutions, had WMD programs in progress, and had every intention of building WMD.

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