A basic tenet of public life, part 5

The column by Christopher Hitchens on George Tenet’s new book deserves notice by itself: “A loser’s history.” Hitchens formulates the “only really interesting question” raised by the book:

[T]he only really interesting question is why the president did not fire this vain and useless person on the very first day of the war. Instead, he awarded him a Presidential Medal of Freedom! Tenet is now so self-pitying that he expects us to believe that he was “not at all sure that [he] really wanted to accept” this honor. But it seems that he allowed or persuaded himself to do so, given that the citation didn’t mention Iraq. You could imagine that Tenet had never sat directly behind Colin Powell at the United Nations, beaming like an overfed cat, as the secretary of state went through his rather ill-starred presentation. And who cares whether his “slam dunk” vulgarity was misquoted or not? We have better evidence than that. Here is what Tenet told the relevant Senate committee in February 2002…

Hitchens concludes: “In this case, a bogus history is being offered by a real loser whose hindsight is cockeyed and who had no foresight at all.”
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