Thursday, May 03, 2007

Passing in Review – Slam Dunk Tenet & General Petraeus

Asked an old pal of mine, a president of a small Virginia bank, how he reconciled the record breaking, rocketing US stock market with the fact the dollar has plunged to record lows against the EURO and that US balance of payments so desperately favor nearly every country on the globe; for example, the unfavorable balance with China is so gigantic that if the Chinese decided to dump their dollar surplus on the foreign exchanges, it would wreck the US economy. His ponderous reply was THERE WILL BE ADJUSTMENTS. About the same time I talked with the banker, former CIA Director George Tenet broke his low profile cover to hawk his book, and General David Petraeus took time off as the US Caesar in Mesopotamia to share his military/political wisdom to support congressional funding for more war. Except for deception practiced by both men that link their conduct, it is apparent in each case, THERE WILL BE ADJUSTMENTS, as the enormity of their failures sinks into the fabric of America.

Tenet made his TV debut on 60 Minutes last Sunday night. Some of his old CIA cohorts call him the Alberto Gonzales of the CIA. Based on his 30 minutes on 60 Minutes, he substantiated the title, but CIA has had other Albertos. Take Admiral Stansfield Turner's crippling of the clandestine wing of CIA, because he believed it to be a rogue element. And Woolsey, who lasted only a short time because he could not clean up the stinking spy mess at CIA after the Soviet Union recruited Aldrich Ames. Or Deutch, an appointment by Clinton, who had to be pardoned by him after he was arrested and relieved for breaches in national security. Those failures, in the main, were accomplished by those who never collected nor professionally analyzed intelligence. They had no experience in any of the intelligence crafts – they were not respected and instead were resisted by CIA rank and file, because they were not one of their kind of professionals; Tenet fit their dubious mold as CIA Director.

Coming from a background of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Tenet appeared to be a man for all seasons. Like it or not, the CIA Director is a politically charged job that has always bent to political winds of the party in power. Tenet managed to ride the tiger under Clinton and GW Bush. That is a tribute to his political agility, but not his intelligence professionalism. As history has documented, he was at the center of the storm of massive intelligence failures on 9/11 and the fiasco in Iraq. When asked on 60 Minutes why Bin Laden escaped the CIA at Tora Bora, he gasped: DID YOU EVER SEE A MAP OF TORA BORA? My take on that was the CIA and Rumsfeld agreed as an economy force principle to block the escape routes from Tora Bora with tribal mercenaries; Bin Laden just paid more bribes and flew the coop. Overall, the CIA should be given credit for nabbing second tier al Qaeda leadership and defeating the Taliban in the first round, The Afghan War, but it missed the hit-man Bin Laden and Mullah Omar who have lived to fight a second round.

Tenet now appears to be playing the role of victim. Perhaps he may even appear on Oprah Winfrey show widening his search for pity. He blames Cheney, Condoleezza and Beelzebub for his misfortunes and his disgrace – Slam Dunk Tenet is his name and all his pathetic tears will not wash it away – when his interviewer corners him on an issue, he reverts to human-beings-make mistakes arguments. He really cannot explain why he accepted the Medal of Freedom from GW Bush if he believed he was so wronged – he can always put it in a box and return it if he wishes. Slam Dunk Tenet will die a rich man; the advances on his book were enormous. He is now earning his pay flogging the book. Apparently he also lectures at Georgetown University... I am tempted to sign up for his course just to hector him, after all, America is Tenet's victim. Did you ever figure out why he named the CIA Headquarters after GW Bush's Fumbler Daddy when other former directors were more appropriate and contributed much more to the organization... try Richard Helms, Alan Dulles or Wild Bill Donovan for starters. Slam Dunk Tenet will eventually come to the conclusion that when you live by the political sword, you die by it. If Tenet is so concerned over his honor, he can always take the Japanese route: commit Hari Kari on the map of Iraq.

General David Petraeus was back in Washington to promote the war in Iraq. Like doctors promoting sickness, I still cringe when Generals turn into war advocates. It bothered me with Westmoreland in the Vietnam War and now with Petraeus in Iraq. Petreaus promised that he would tell us in September whether the war was worth continuing – he just kicked the can down the road. Does he have the moral courage to tell the truth?

Petreaus' appearance does not inspire confidence; even at the photo-op in the White House, he slouched as he posed seated with GW Bush in front of the fireplace. He is well decorated and has demonstrated physical courage, but his uniform needs a better tailor as it pulls away from his long neck at the back. Appearance counts big in military leadership; MacArthur's imperial bearing, the indomitable bullishness of Ridgeway, Abrams and Halsey, and the kiss my ass arrogance of Patton with his ivory handled revolvers and all. Westmoreland's handsome Hollywood looks were straight from central casting. Patraeus body language inspires no confidence; Petraeus' best attribute appears to be earnestness and that does not lead men. The pro war neocons and Republicans have tried to make him a poster boy despite this, but Petreaus was already in trouble in his second tour in Iraq because of his difficulty counting ready to fight Iraq military units. He was sent to Ft. Leavenworth to head the Army staff college. By most reckoning his career was over, but he defied the odds, got another star and now runs the war in Iraq. Much hoopla is made by pro war advocates because he edited a Counter Insurgency Manual with the USMC while he was there, but most of the manual's substance is over taken by events. You cannot put Abu Gahrib, Debaathification, disbandment of the Iraqi Army and Police, and failure to secure ammo dumps back in the bottle; so, disregard the training manual hype – it is baloney. Who reads training manuals in combat anyway? Recently reported massive failures in US reconstruction efforts in Iraq certainly do not aid Petraeus' mojo.

As of this writing 104 Americans have been killed in Iraq in April. None of the political benchmarks for Iraqis are close to being met. No oil sharing, no constitutional reform, no integration of the Baathists, no security as sectarian violence mounts and except for the Kurds, most Iraq regular military forces will not fight. Are you certain General, that we can wait until September until you tell us what the average American knows now: it ain’t working and the costs mount pointlessly. Contrary to Petraeus' assessment, there are not two clocks working in Iraq, namely, an Iraqi clock and a US clock. My General, there is only one clock that is working – the American one. Colonel Robert E Bartos USA RET

Photograph: Nohubo remedio by Francisco de Goya


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Mess the US created in Iraq is amazing. I am surprised the leasons of Vietnam and insurgency were not learned by this generation of American military and that the Army was not better prepared after taking Bagdad.

There have been hundred of books writen in the last century about both. I read "About Face" by Hackworth, as a Navy Ensign. I would guess that is unusual for todays Officers to read a book that thick. (I used to read your stories on his old site).

Bush was a failure prior to taking the Presidency. I guess we should not be surprised how bad he has done.


On the finance side:
A term America may need to learn (replace Continental with "dollar"):

"Not Worth a Continental"

- The Continental Congress decided in May 1775 to issue paper money to finance the war. More and more "Continentals" flowed into circulation as the war progressed, and people realized that Congress could not possibly redeem them in Spanish dollars, gold, or silver. This loss of confidence brought rapid declines in the purchasing power of Continental currency. "Not worth a Continental" became a commonplace saying.

Blogger Seven Star Hand said...

Hi Shrapnel and all,

Remember that those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. Consequently, if we fail to force these scoundrels to face the Truth and Justice necessary to end such evil, similar scenarios are guaranteed to occur again and again in the future.

The pivotal import of Yellow Cake, False Flags, & "Big Time" Evil

The combination of George Tenet's book, At the Center of the Storm, Eisner & Royce's The Italian Letter and the books and research of many others in recent years now provides enough of a foundation for everyone to finally discern that 9:11 was a "false flag" operation against both the American public and the Muslim world. Likewise, the uncanny synchronicity of Al Qaeda's videos and other activities perfectly timed to reinforce and support the Bush/Cheney administration's political needs coupled with the actions of the Bush admin actually serving to strengthen Al Qaeda's position, now makes perfect sense. The apparent mistakes and chaos that have characterized the Iraq war, the easily prevented resurgence of the Taliban, and permitting Bin Laden to escape Tora Bora to a safe haven in Pakistan all fit the same pattern. It's hard to maintain a state of continuous war if you allow your made-to-order enemies to be defeated too early. It is likewise hard to remain a "war president" if your wars end too soon!

The letterhead used to forge the "Yellowcake letter" that was then used to help "sell" the Iraq war was stolen in Rome on 1/1/2001, more than nine months before 9:11 and before Little W. became president. Consequently, the use of the "Yellow-Cake Lie" was obviously discussed and planned before then! The import of this fact is that the Niger embassy in Rome was burglarized, before Bush became president, to lay the groundwork for the web of deception used to sell the Iraq War, after 9:11. More importantly, it is highly unlikely that the Iraq war could ever have been sold to the American public, without something like 9:11 happening first. Any excuses of other uses for the stolen letterhead are laughable since the letterhead burglary would have been pointless, without 9:11. This evidences foreknowledge of those attacks, a full nine months before they occurred, among other things!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ron Paul at the Republican debate:

Is there hope for America after all?


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