University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
George Tenet and and the Last Great Days of the Cia
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is an independent United States Government agency who are responsible for providing national security intelligence to senior United States policymakers (CIA,2007). Since the 1960’s and World War II, foreign intelligence has been important to the United States since the days of President George Washington, that such efforts have been coordinated on a government-wide level. The Central Intelligence Agency Act was passed in 1949, which supplemented the 1947 Act, granting the Agency more powers. The agency was permitted to use confidential fiscal and administrative procedures and was exempted from many of the usual limitations on expenditures. Thus, allowing funds to now be accounted in budgets of other departments and then transferred to the Agency without restrictions, while ensuring the secrecy of the CIA’s budget, which is an important consideration in covert operations. The Act created a Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) as head of the Intelligence Community, head of the CIA, and principal intelligence adviser to the president, with the additional responsibility of safeguarding intelligence sources and methods. The 1947 Act also, restricted the CIA’s internal security functions.
The CIA carries out its responsibilities which are subject to various directives and controls by the President and the National Security Commission. Established in 1953, Congress amended the National Security Act to provide for the appointment of the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence (DDCI) by the president with the advice and consent of the Senate, which the DDCI assists the director and also exercised the powers of the director during the absence of the DCI (CIA, 2007). The CIA had suffered from so many inconsistent leaderships, as direct result of the leadership and resignation of George Tenet, there was a need to make provisions, thus o improve effectiveness and efficiency. Under the new Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, the positions of DCI and DDCI were abolished, and the job of Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (D/CIA) was established (CIA, 2007). Why was the CIA
President G. W. Bush and his administration began military action against Iraq on March 19, 2003, and the regime of Saddam Hussein fell on April 9. After several reports by the United Nations (UN) weapons inspectors on their work under U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441 (November 8, 2002), the U.N. Security Council did not agree to authorize use of force against Iraq. All inspectors were withdrawn, and the United States, and Britain launched a military offensive against Iraq on March 19, 2003. SaddamHussein’s regime vacated Baghdad onApril 9. In July 2003, with virtually no Weapons of Mass Destruction(WMD) was discovered in Iraq since the war, a debate in Congress and in the media intensified over the quality and presentation of pre-war intelligence on Iraq’s WMD and the justification for war (Katzman, 2003). How did the Iraq war came about?
George Tenet was a public administrator, an appointed officer of the executive branch of the federal government as Director of the Central Intelligence (DCI) for the President of the United States. Tenet was first appointed as a cabinet member for President Bill Clinton Administration, and was confirmed by the Senate as the Director of Central Intelligence, sworn in as the eighteenth DCI, then continued as DCI for George W. Bush administration, which he served from 1997 until 2004. The requirements for fulling the duties of DCI appllied at all times, it did not matter if the President you were serving was Democratic or Republican, you were still expected to uphold the same integrity, and do an honest job accurately, effectively and efficently. As the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI), Tenet had a moral duty and obligation to the American people relating to the duties of his respective office with regards to the interest of the public and the general welfare. The most important obligation that he had was to be true to himself then to the American people, to humanity of the world, to the Constitution and democracy, to the law, and to the Nation. The exepctations of Tenet was to be truthful at all times especially as an central intelligence officer.
However, he told the utlimate lie that cost thousands of American soildiers lives, wounded soldiers and cost the federal government billions of dollars by escalating the Iraq War by torting the intelligence estimate. Tenet played a key role in selling the Iraq war debacle to the American people as to making the Iraq war justifiable when he knew there were no evidence of chemical, biological or nuclear Weapons of Mass Destruction, which would have posed a threat to the United States. Tenet’s goals, directions, duties and responsibilites with respect to the national intelligence effort was to report to the President in a timely manner and supply accurate information about the activities, capabilities, plans, and intentions of foreign powers, organizations, and persons and their agents, which is essential to the national security of the United States. He was suppose to use all reasonable and lawful means, which must be used to ensure that the United States will receive the best intelligence available in order to provide for the effective conduct of United States intelligence activities (CIA, 2007). He fail to do so. Typically, those who work for the CIA holds a very trusted and respected positions because they are expected to be truthful at all times and uphold the codes of ethics. To be appointed head of an very important, and pretigious position, to serve as head of the United States intelligence community was seen as a great honor. When a person holding the position of DCI fails to tell the truth it discredits them as being worthy to serve in that position effectively, it basically discredits he or she as a public administrator betraying the trust of the American people.
Tenet did the right thing, which was to resign as DCI because he could no longer be trusted as a government official. But he took a long time to make the decision to do the right thing because he did not know which way to turn, other than to play and go along to get along with the Bush Administration . Tenet played a key role in selling the Iraq war debacle to the American people as to making the Iraq war justifiable when he knew there were no evidence of chemical, biological or nuclear Weapons of Mass Destruction, which would have posed a threat to the United States. Tenet’s goals, directions, duties and responsibilites with respect to the national intelligence effort was to report to the President in a timely manner and supply accurate information about the activities, capabilities, plans, and intentions of foreign powers, organizations, and persons and their agents, which is essential to the national security of the United States. He was suppose to use all reasonable and lawful means, which must be used to ensure that the United tates will receive the best intelligence available in order to provide for the effective conduct of United States intelligence activities (CIA, 2007). He fail to do so.
At various times, public administrators will be face with dilemmas and will have their morals tested but are expected to follow organizational protocols, act accordingly to the demands of an efficient and effective organization inspite of what their personal beliefs may entail. Tenet showed greater loyalty to the President and to hispolitica inner circle which was more than his loyalty to his agency’s analysis report and ultimately, his loyalty to the truth and his responsibility to have the truth heard; rather they wanted to hear it or not (White). By allowing the intelligence estimate process to be politicize into making the analyse suit the agenda of the policy goals that the Bush administration wanted, which was an analysis to make claim that Saddam Hussein had Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) just to encounter the Iraq war, undermining the objectivity and professionalism of the intelligence process and not accurately representing the work of the intelligence community. It is believed that no matter what Tenet might have said, the decision to go to war was already made to invade Iraq especially, after he 911terriorist attack on the World Trade Center.
It was dangerous and unethical for the Bush administration to pressure the intelligence community to distort their professional judgement to support the short -term policy goals, jeopardizing their own best source of intelligence and putting the United States long-term national security interest at risk. Tenet fail to supply accurate information to the President which causesd the Iraq war controversey. He reported in the intelligence estimate that Saddam Hussein had Weapons of Mass Destruction. Months before the United States attack on Iraq, US chief weapons inspector Hans Blix and more than 400 United Nations inspectors, as well as, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors who conducted over 750 inspections at 550 sites. All inspectors failed to find any evidence of any WMD or programs, there was no imminent threat from nuclear devices, and no premises for a war instead they were told by the US to get out of country because war was about to begun before the inspection could be throughly completed (Katzman, 2003). 3. The article compares to the case analysis study of The Blood on McNamara Hands and Conscience by Jay Shafritz, and the article of the “Two Presidencies” by Aaron Waldavsky. Robert McNamara and George Tenet both were similar in so many ways, they both never ran for any political office, worked as an intelligence officer, shaped American foreign policy, nor earned academic credentials by authoring scholarly publications.
The main comparison is that they both put self before the country, never mad any omission of guilt, and was not honest about the failures they had made just made excuses for their actions. They both did not have a grand, compelling strategy concerning world aff airs, nor did they seek one, was inexperience with foreign and defense policies, was not suffiently and adequately prepared for a war. Both men played a major role in escalating the war that should of never been taken place, portrayed themselves as a poor, hapless politicize victims who knew the truth at the time and wanted to tell the truth, but, somehow, had no choice but to go along, which weaken their credibility by not telling the truth and standing up to the President with the truth as an effective leader. They both had innocent blood on their hands, both had a bad habit of often telling people what they wanted to hear, but not what they needed to hear and know, deceived the American people, the President and office that they held, they both resigned after having told such a horrible lie that cost many soldiers lives, disabled soldiers and innocent civilian lives. They both seemed to had problems dealing with the issues of the war which showed a sign of them havng a conscience because they did the wrong thing but knew to do the right thing.
They were hated men, and seen as liars who got lost in their mission and goals of the agency. They both felt the need to write books, films and memoirs in some way being apologetic and shifting the blame on the President and others still not being able to admit that they were totally responsible for escalating the war, as if speaking out now would make a difference. Both men could of have stopped the war from being created, instead they stood and watch, but did nothing in someway almost like they wanted to be seen as an important figure in America’s war history only to be considered as war criminals. Mostly, they both were more concern about the political consequences rather than speaking truth to power and asking the hard questions that needed to be answers. During the time, when the country needed them the most to display moral courage, they fail. In addition, Tenet proudly receives a medal of honor for lieing, and standing by silently watching other’s lie about the Iraq war.
In reference to the article, the “Two Presidencies” it related to George Tenet because the article talks about the President being concern about foreign and defense policies and domestic policies, whereas, the President is most concern about foreign and defense polices. The article also indicates that most democrate President tend to focus more on peace and domestic policies while Republic President likes controversey. Here we see Tenet working in the democratic administration effectively doing his job and focusing on goals of the agency, and standing up to the President Clinton on important decision-making. However, things seemed to change for him in the Bush administration as it relates to the “Two Presidencies” of how republican Presidents are more interested in foreign and defense policies. According to Tenet, the Bush administration had more of a traditional, and “perhaps more appropriate,” view regarding the CIA’s involvement (White). Unlike, President Clinton who did not seem to have much interest in the CIA and Tenet was not required to report to him daily, he preferred to read the daily intelligence estimate on his own. On the other hand, President Bush was fascinated by the CIA, and required Tenet to personally report to him each morning at 8 A.M. to brief the daily intelligence estimate.
As Tenet became more deeply involved in providing the daily intelligence estimate to President Bush and attending White House policy meetings, he no longer was able to focus on goals of rebuilding the CIA because there was not enough time in the day for him to devote himself to being a spymaster. Instead, he was politically complicating his role as DCI, spending his time trying to be a diplomat pleasing the President and creating something that was not there; as if he had to play along to get along with the administration. 4. Most importantly, Tenet leadership skills was weak as a public administrator. A public administrator needs to have clear goals, duties, directions, and responsibilites. Tenet weaken his credibility as the Director of Central Intelligence and of the agency by not “telling the truth” about Saddam Hussein having Weapons of Mass Destructions.
This showed that he was incompetent of producing accurate intelligence analysis on complex global issues. Another weakness that Tenet shown was that he did not think that the CIA made polices they only implemented them. It is important for an administrator to not be confused about the roles of his or her job. Public administrators are the one’s who are behind the scenes, who are responsible for enacting most of the policy changes; tasked with achieving agency missions and providing public service in the heat of such political environments. Understanding the political ramifications confronting elected officials in light of bureaucratic processes and final recommendations is essential to accomplishing agency tasks and achieving success (Clary, 2010). Administrator who are higher up in the organizational structure, generally understand the concept of politics policy decision making regarding to the outcomes of how certain decisions are made. Clearly, Tenet did not understand policy formulation. He thought that the job of the intelligence community was only to gather intelligence, pass it along to those who were responsible for making and deciding policies; deciding what should be done on the basis of the intelligence estimate, which had been prepared and gathered for them and then transmitted to them. When in fact his agency was apart of the decison-making process because making foreign and defense policies was based upon the intelligence estimate.
Apparently, he did not understand that the intelligence assessment underlayed the administration’s decision to go to war in Iraq nor considered how much his agency contributed to making policies on complex global issues. Tenet showed strength when he served in the Clinton administration. At various times, he showed a burst of fortitude to standing up to what he believed, as when he stood up to President Clinton and insisted that he not release convicted spy Jonathan Pollard or he would resign. But appeared weak when he told President Bush that he opposed a speech to be given by Vice President Cheney that linked Iraq and al-Qaeda involvement in the 911attack on the World Trade Center. He did not object to the misuse of the intelligence analysis for political agenda, nor did he have the courage to resign when information was misused. Basically, he never gave an opinion nor opposed the Iraq war. As a civil servant one is expect to give support to all, there is no separation between partisan, policies and administration in practice of public service on all levels of government (Nigro, 2007). Tenet was well known under the assumption that he was bipartisan because he never really discuss what affiliation that he belong to with friends nor at work.
His appointment as DCI with the Bush administration, took him out of his character by becoming too involved in politics and the political inner circle, especially as the DCI, he should have remained neutral/ bipartisan, avoided direct involvement and conflict in foreign defense policy making tobe able to effectively do his job instead he was behaving as if he was a congressional staffer working at the pleasure of the President. As a public Administrator having effective leadership skills and strategies ie essential to the administration. Tenet made himself look incompetent and disingenuous when made the statment that the position of Director of Central Intelligence was too big for one person, then in the end he only proved that it too big for him. The lesson and implication that the article provides that can be taken to today’s world situations is that we all have a consciencious and the moral obligations to do what is right. One of the greatest lessson is to always be true to yourself, always tell “the truth” because a lie will fall and pride comes before a fall.
Once a person is perceived to be a liar, no one wants to hear anything that he or she have to say because their is distrust. One should always take accountability for their actions and assume responsibilities of their actions. People want to satisfy and please their boss but does it mean that you have to stop believing in what you believe to be right or wrong? Stand up for what you believe regardless of who it maybe. Members of the career service are bond to follow the leadership of the President as head of the executive branch of government and commander in chief of the armed forces (Stillman, 2010). Even though he may be the President of the United States, a person still have stand for what is he or she knows to be right, regardless of who the person maybe and not be a coward.
References Katzman, K., (2003). Iraq: Weapons Programs, U.N. Requirements, and U.S. Policy, Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress, From http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/22888.pdf Clary, M., (2009). The Importance of Understanding the Politics of Public Administration, http://aspanational.wordpress.com/2009/09/04/the-importance-of-understanding-the-politics-of-public-administration. Central Intelliegence Agency, (1981). The Provisions of Executive Order 12333: United States Intelligence, Activities, Appear at 46 FR 59941, 3 CFR, Comp., p. 200, From www.cia.gov. Nigro, L., Nigro, F., and Kellough J. E., (2007). The New Republic