91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.3 Port Huron 89.7 Lansing 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Tenet Answers Criticism from Retired CIA Officers


A group of retired CIA officers have accused former CIA Director George Tenet of hypocrisy and failed leadership. They wrote an open letter that read, in part, "By your silence you helped build the case for war."

Tenet's book, At the Center of the Storm, prompted the complaints. The former intelligence officials have called on him to dedicate part of his book royalties to U.S. soldiers in Iraq and their families.

But Tenet said that none of the letter-writers worked for him — and that they are not speaking from firsthand knowledge of events. Tenet called them "people who were not within 100 miles of me."

Criticism also has come from Michael Scheuer, the first head of the CIA's Osama bin Laden unit. Scheuer said his old boss should take a lot more responsibility than he has for what's gone wrong in Iraq.

Tenet argued that the CIA was mostly correct in predicting how things might play out after the invasion. And Tenet denied that his analysts bowed to political pressure.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mary Louise Kelly is a co-host of All Things Considered, NPR's award-winning afternoon newsmagazine.