Tenet’s departure

Why did he leave? And what will he do next?

If George Tenet was fired, as Josh Marshall thinks, why did the firing seem to take the President by surprise?

I have absolutely no information on this I didn’t get from public sources, but it seems to me more plausible that Tenet decided he’d had enough — perhaps after having seen a draft of the Senate Intelligence Committee report — and headed for the door on his own, catching Team Bush flat-footed.

An even more optimistic possibility from the anti-Bush perspective: Tenet wanted to use the fact that the neocons in OSD and the VP’s shop and their buddy Chalabi had managed to blow a major cryptographic secret to persuade the President to carry out a purge of the people who have been giving him such bad advice, and quit when he lost that argument.

In any case, whether Tenet jumped, fell, or was pushed, he’s now (to switch metaphors) potentially a skunk outside the tent pissing in. If he’s sufficiently angry or concerned for the country, he could do the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign a world of damage.

Update: The Deputy Director for Operations (i.e. spies) is quitting, too.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

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