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In the Loop

Tenet: Iraq Not 'Wrong' -- Just 'Looking Bad'

By Al Kamen
Wednesday, October 27, 2004; Page A23

Former CIA director George J. Tenet, speaking last week to 2,000 members of the Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan, "called the war in Iraq 'wrong,' " according to an account in the Herald-Palladium, a daily paper in St. Joseph, Mich.

This small nuclear explosion could be found tucked into the third paragraph of the article on Thursday, along with an explanation that Tenet "did not elaborate."

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Probably just as well, for on Saturday we find the story needed a clarification. Seems, the Herald-Palladium said, that "after reviewing the reporter's notes (Tenet barred reporters from using tape recorders), the newspaper now believes Tenet used the word 'wrong' in the context of U.S. intelligence" on the war, not about the war itself.

Oh.

Tenet, according to the reporter's notes, said: "I did not walk in and tell the president that it (the Iraq invasion) was wrong to do. I won't say at the end of the game, when things are looking bad, that I was against it all along."

So he was for it all along? For it or against it some of the time? Maybe a tape recorder would help.

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A Mail Screen 18 Months Long

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So about 18 months later, DHS replied: "Thank you for your letter. Your inquiry is important to us and we wanted to let you know that, due to the mail screening and security procedures imposed after the Anthrax and Ricin incidents, we have only recently received your correspondence.

"After careful review, your letter has been sent to the appropriate division within DHS for consideration and response if applicable.

"We thank you for your patience and understanding, and assure you that mail recently received is processed in a timely manner."


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