What The Hell Is He Talking About?

Andrew McCarthy picks apart George Tenet’s arguments on the Iraq War.

He also catches Tenet in an apparent “misstatement”:

… Tenet has apparently fabricated a September 12, 2001, meeting with Richard Perle at which Tenet insists Perle said Iraq had to be made to pay for 9/11. (Tenet: “[Perle] said to me, ‘Iraq has to pay a price for what happened yesterday, they bear responsibility.’ It’s September the 12th. I’ve got the manifest with me that tell [sic] me al Qaeda did this. Nothing in my head that says there is any Iraqi involvement in this in any way shape or form and I remember thinking to myself, as I’m about to go brief the president, ‘What the hell is he talking about?’” (Emphasis added).)

Leaving aside that Perle denies Tenet’s account, the meeting Tenet vividly recounts could not have happened. Perle was not in the United States on September 12; he was stranded outside the country, unable to return due to the closure of U.S. airspace. Keep that in mind: When Tenet recalls standing there with the manifest in his hand about to brief the president the day after the shocking 9/11 attacks, and then being thrown for a loop by Richard Perle (translation: rabid neocons) raving about Iraq, that never happened.

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