Tenet: Bush distorted 'slam dunk' comment
Ex-CIA director George Tenet has lashed out against the Bush administration in an interview broadcast on CBS' 60 Minutes, accusing it of distorting his pre-Iraq War claim that the existence of weapons of mass destruction was a "slam dunk."
Tenet, who called the administration's distortion "disingenuous and dishonorable," says it has resulted in the ruining of his career and reputation.
"The phrase 'slam dunk' didn't refer to whether Saddam Hussein actually had WMDs," Tenet says, according to a CBS News report. "He says he was talking about what information could be used to make that case when he uttered those words. 'We can put a better case together for a public case. That's what I meant,'" Tenet explained.
"It's the most despicable thing that ever happened to me," the former CIA director is quoted as saying. "You don't do this. You don't throw somebody overboard just because it's a deflection. Is that honorable? It's not honorable to me."
Tenet goes on to sharply criticize President Bush for basing his decision to go to war on the "slam dunk" statement, as well as Vice President Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for continuing to use it as a talking point.
"And the hardest part of all this has been just listening to this for almost three years, listening to the vice president go on Meet the Press on the fifth year [anniversary] of 9/11 and say, 'Well, George Tenet said slam dunk' as if he needed me to say 'slam dunk' to go to war with Iraq," Tenet was quoted.
Video from Tenet's 60 Minutes appearance is contained in the following clip from CBS' Early Show.
In the following clip from CBS Evening News, George Tenet is critical of the White House for their characterization of his "slam dunk" quote.
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