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Current Topic: Current Events

The Tipping Points
Topic: Current Events 4:49 pm EST, Feb 27, 2005

Can you know you are in the middle of a tipping point, or is it only something you can see in retrospect?

The Tipping Points

Tenet Remarks to CIA Colleagues
Topic: Current Events 11:57 pm EDT, Jun  3, 2004

The following is a transcript of remarks by CIA Director George J. Tenet to employees and members of the US Intelligence Community.

I have decided to step down as Director of Central Intelligence, effective July 11th, the seventh anniversary of my being sworn in as DCI.

I did not make this decision quickly or easily. But I know in my heart that the time is right to move on to the next phase of our lives.

As I look back on how the Intelligence Community has evolved over the past decade, there is much to be proud of.

What you have achieved in this fight against a clever, fanatical enemy, around the world the cells destroyed, the conspiracies defeated, the innocent lives saved will for most Americans be forever unknown and uncounted. But for those privileged to observe these often hidden successes, they will be an unforgettable testament to your dedication and your valor.

In short: each day, here and abroad, from diverse backgrounds, with varied skills, you come together for a single purpose: to give our country an essential advantage in its understanding of the conditions in the world, and in its ability to change those conditions for the better.

We are not perfect but one of our best kept secrets is that we are very, very, very good.

It is difficult in knowing that I will not be as directly connected to the thousands of men and women overseas who along with their families sacrifice so much to protect our country.

But there is also great joy in knowing that I will never be far away in heart and spirit from all of you. You will have no greater advocate wherever I may be for you and your families.

As Dick Helms used to say, let's get on with it and get back to work.

Tenet Remarks to CIA Colleagues

Instant Analysis: Tenet Resigns
Topic: Current Events 11:51 pm EDT, Jun  3, 2004

Remember how Colin Powell insisted Tenet sit behind him, right in the camera shot, when he spoke to the UN in February last year?

Powell was sharing the responsibility for what he said that day.

Will the world remember?

I doubt it.

[Tenet's resignation and departure] will devastate morale [at the Agency], I think, partly because he was so popular there himself, and partly because there is no prospect of a strong, effective successor coming on the scene any time soon.

Question from Los Angeles: Do you see any connection to the news that Chalabi told the Iranians that their code had been broken?

Kaiser: Maybe. To me this is a very big story. I can imagine him thinking this was the straw that broke the camel's back, so to speak.

Ashcroft's odd recent press conference, announcing that al Qaeda is "90 percent of the way" to launching an attack on the USA, really troubled me.

What on Earth is he talking about?

Instant Analysis: Tenet Resigns

CIA Director Tenet Resigns
Topic: Current Events 11:44 pm EDT, Jun  3, 2004

CIA Director George J. Tenet, dogged by controversies over a string of US intelligence setbacks, has decided to resign for personal reasons and will leave the agency in July, President Bush announced today.

"George Tenet is the kind of public servant you like to work with. He's strong, he's resolute, he's served his nation as the director for seven years. He's been a strong leader in the war on terror, and I will miss him."

The timing of Tenet's resignation came as a surprise in Washington.

CIA Director Tenet Resigns

MSNBC - About last night
Topic: Current Events 1:43 am EDT, May 26, 2004

Decius wrote:
]] Tonight, as he vowed to stay the
]] course in Iraq, Bush demonstrated another mental defect:
]] incomprehension of his role in history as a fallible
]] human agent. Absent such comprehension, Bush can't fix
]] his mistakes in Iraq because he can't see how or even
]] that he screwed up.
] That's pretty much how I feel about the present spin work that
] Bush is engaged in. The situation in Iraq is fucked up. I want
] to see changes on the ground. Spin doctoring doesn't influence
] me.

Bush's unwillingness to reflect on the past, either distant or recent, is a serious flaw. It is even more troublesome that despite having smart, thoughtful people on his team -- I'm thinking mainly of Rumsfeld, Powell, and Rice -- he seems largely unable or unwilling to integrate their arguments into his worldview. He seems to have adopted neither Powell's caution nor his care, neither Rumsfeld's constant questioning of assumptions nor his ongoing analysis of alternatives, neither Rice's depth of expertise nor her clarity.

Last Friday, Bob Woodward was on Charlie Rose for the hour. If you didn't catch it at the time, it is very worthwhile. You can listen in streaming RealAudio at

Bob says something to the effect that Bush is not really thinking about or planning to run "against" John Kerry this fall. Rather, Bush is running against himself, or, more specifically, against his performance in Iraq and the global war on terror. Extrapolating from this viewpoint, it's possible that Bush will either decline to debate Kerry at all, or will go for the absolute minimum level of engagement -- perhaps a single hour-long debate in late September, for example. Bush will focus on foreign policy and national security; Kerry, about domestic issues -- health care and the economy. Mostly, they will just talk past each other.

MSNBC - About last night

An Abu Ghraib Investigation
Topic: Current Events 12:27 pm EDT, May 22, 2004

Despite the efforts of some of the senators, each new panel of witnesses simply adds to the fog of misunderstanding.

Among the big questions that need to be answered is ...

Given the quality of the testimony so far, it is not likely that the Senate hearings will produce the answers the public deserves.

An Abu Ghraib Investigation

Sarin? What Sarin?
Topic: Current Events 9:11 am EDT, May 19, 2004

You probably missed the news because it didn't get much play, but a small, crude weapon of mass destruction may have been used by Saddam's terrorists in Iraq this week.

"It doesn't strike me as a big deal," said David Kay.

"Likely a Leftover From the 80's", said USA Today.

Sarin? What Sarin?

The Taguba Report
Topic: Current Events 2:01 am EDT, May 11, 2004

Cryptome offers up the much-talked-about Taguba Report for your review.

The official name of the report is: Article 15-6 Investigation of the 800th Military Police Brigade.

The Taguba Report

The Case for Leaving Iraq Pronto
Topic: Current Events 10:21 am EDT, Apr 25, 2004

Picture Lindsay Lohan saying to Lacey Chabert: "Get OUT !?!"

Or, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, as Elaine Benes, to Jerry Seinfeld, with a light touch of physical violence for added effect.

Your choice.

In an article in the spring issue of The National Interest, the former president of the liberal Carnegie Endowment for International Peace weighs the costs and benefits of both staying and leaving. Of course success with a policy is always better than failing. But he concludes that a US pullout wouldn't be crippling, partly because it's so uncertain that staying would achieve any of the goals the Bush Administration has laid out.

3,431 words about foreign policy, and four of them are "Saudi Arabia." Here's to progress!

The Case for Leaving Iraq Pronto

Bored Boy Behind President Gets Nationwide Attention
Topic: Current Events 7:27 pm EDT, Apr  4, 2004

] Bored Boy Behind President Gets Nationwide Attention


Bored Boy Behind President Gets Nationwide Attention

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