Director of the CIA George J. Tenet resigned due to “personal reasons.”
In his final speech before members of his organization, he stated that he had made up his mind “for the good of his happy family.” So, this means that while he was employed by the Central Intelligence his family life was “unhappy”. Obviously, very few were satisfied with such official explanation, especially coming from the man who had been heading the world's most powerful intelligence service. However, when someone is being dismissed from his post, these are the kinds of words people get to hear, the words that has got little or nothing to do with the real circumstances.
Tenet's name is connected with some major CIA failures. We are not talking about a few American spies who failed while working undercover. Tenet has got much more serious things on his account. The events of September 11, for instance. Currently, many are concerned not so much about the reason why Tenet resigned but how he managed to stay at power for so long.
Tenet was appointed chief of Central Intelligence Agency on June 11th 1997. In May of next year, India had conducted underground tests of nuclear weapons. The actual preparatory procedures had somehow escaped CIA's attention. Afterward, special commission was appointed to examine the agency’s flop. The commission concluded that CIA agents had simply failed to do their job on the spot and analysts failed to pay attention at rather obvious satellite photos.
On August 20th of the same year Americans attacked chemical factory in Sudan. CIA assumed the factory had some ties with Osama bin laden. According to American intelligence, the number one terrorist was supposed to be in the factory “waiting” for American rockets. Somehow, bin Laden was some place else in time of the attack. In fact, he is never there where CIA is trying to capture him. Such unprofessional CIA's race after bin Laden is yet another Tenet's flop.
In October of 2000 terrorists sent a warning to Americans by exploding torpedo-boat “Coul” by Yemen. 17 sailors died. There was a year left until the attack of the New York twin towers and Washington's Pentagon. CIA has not done anything.
According to president's national security advisor Rickard Clarke, in 2001 Tenet had told him he could feel Al Qaeda's attack of the US. “Sixth sense prompted me that it was coming. And that it will be something major.” Sixth sense is a good thing indeed, especially for the agent. Perhaps, Tenet considered himself a good agent, but in fact was incompetent director. Because, as it is being revealed nowadays, aside from the “sixth sense”, he possessed several facts regarding the fact that Al Qaeda was planning a terrorist act, which in fact take place on Sept. 11 of 2001.
The US doctrine of the war on terrorism contains certain “information of the secret services”, including the fact that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction. Now, America has gotten itself into a real mess, “the second Vietnam”; and doesn’t know what to do next. Bush’s war address contained not only this false information (provided by the CIA) but also information concerning the fact that Iraq, supposedly, had something to do with purchasing uranium from Africa.
March of 2003 marked the beginning of the war in Iraq. More than 800 American troops have died. No traces of biological, chemical or nuclear weapons have been found in Iraq.
This is no secret that any special services would come up with such tales of the enemy's “superweapon” in order to justify their actions. But such things happen in “peaceful times” before the first major “missed” terrorist act. It turned out that Central Intelligence couldn't distinguish between pure bluff and a serious threat. In the end, Tenet was the one to pay for the mistake. It can actually be said that both Saddam and bin Laden dismissed Tenet.
Shortly after tenet's resignation, Deputy Director for field operations James Pavitt has also announced his resignation. Pavitt was a spy commander. He declared that his resignation has nothing to do with Tenet's. Most likely, he had his “personal reasons.”
Tenet leaves 5 months before the upcoming presidential elections. This isn’t his best gift for Bush at the time of the election campaign. Even if the president really wanted Tenet to leave the office, he still would have spent considerable amount of time coming up with a new candidate to fill his position. And now the public will say in unison that the CIA has been left without a leader in such difficult times. While addressing his colleagues, Tenet stated that leaving such organization as the Central Intelligence Agency will always be “untimely.” “There will always be plenty of urgent work, threats… and calls that would require total dedication,” stated he.
Tenet also said he wanted to spend more time with his son, who is already a high school senior. “It is hard to realize,” stated Tenet, “that I will no longer be of help to thousands of men and women who sacrifice everything defending our country abroad.” The ex-chief of the CIA admitted the fact that the organization has made quite a few mistakes. He also mentioned that a lot had been done to strengthen American secret services in the course of his nine-year career. “We are not perfect…But our main secret is that we are very, very, very good.”
Nowadays, the FBI questions Pentagon staff in connection with Akhmed Chalabi. He was a prospective Prime-Minister of Iran, and now Americans accuse him in cooperating with Iranian intelligence. Scandal evolving around the tortures of the Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib does not cease to exist. This makes us to believe that Pentagon's chief Donald Rumsfeld will also have to come up with his “personal reasons” in a not so distant future. It all depends how long George Bush will hold on to him.