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In his farewell remarks July 8, 2004, CIA director George Tenet said of President George Bush...
"The American people know about your honesty and integrity. Of your commitment to truth -- to accountability and responsibility -- that is the very core of intelligence in a democratic society."
Yes George, you showed no honesty and no integrity when, on Dec. 14, 2004, just a few months after you made that remark, you accepted the Presidential Medal of Freedom presented to you by Bush in the East Room of the White House.
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You showed neither honesty nor integrity when you sat behind Secretary of State Colin Powell on Feb 5, 2003 at the UN Security Council while he delivered his infamous lies about Iraqi WMD -- "What we are giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence." Yes George, you were there to give credibility to what Powell was delivering.
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Last month, your book, "At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the CIA," was published. Your main point is that you want to clarify the "slam dunk" comment Vice President Dick Cheney and others cited as the main reason George Bush decided to invade Afghanistan and Iraq.
You say that your comment was taken out of context -- that it was in response to Bush wondering if he could sell the war on Iraq to the American people based on Iraq's WMD, to which you replied, "Yes, it's a slam dunk."
George, your clarification is even worse than the way Cheney and others used the phrase. You knew the whole thing was a lie, yet you said that it was a "slam dunk." You were willing to deceive the American people into war. You convinced them with garbage that you knew beforehand stunk.
George, at least a million, if not more, Iraqis have been killed. Millions have been maimed for life. Two million have been forced to leave Iraq and live as refugees; some in the desert with no roof over their heads. Thousands of Americans are dead; tens of thousands are wounded and maimed for life. Do I need to say more? You know the rest of the story.
Your opinion does not matter now, George. It's too late, and it wouldn't make any difference. I wanted you to take a stand, George, when you were sitting behind Powell while he showed fake pictures to convince the world Iraq had WMD.
You should have asked Powell to have a moment at the microphone while the world was watching. You should have told the world that Powell was lying. You could have saved lots of lives, George. Just imagine, if after Bush placed the Medal of Freedom around your neck, you had ripped it off, "slam dunked" it in Bush's hand and said, "I'm sorry, I don't deserve it --take this medal and shove it!" If you had turned and walked out while the cameras were rolling, just imagine the lives you would have saved.
You are no maverick, George. You're just a coward like the many cowards who have caused so much pain and misery, both in America and the world. You're going down in infamy and should be prosecuted with the rest of the "JINSA" crowd. The least you can do is give ALL proceeds from your book to the Iraqi people.
You said the only thing you regret in life is that your father was not living to see you in the position of the Director of the CIA. You're lucky, George, that your father did not see you blow an opportunity to stop a war based on lies by those like Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, and especially Douglas Feith, who was at the Pentagon's Office of Special Plans where the fake documents Powell used were concocted and given credibility by your presence at the UN with Powell. Your father would be very disappointed in you.
George, your "kiss and tell" book is an insult to our nation. You are no maverick. You are just one of them. You should be tried for war crimes just like the rest of them.
Hesham Tillawi is a host of Current Issues TV and Current Issues Radio talk shows