ABC: From ‘Bush Lied’ To Tenet Was Right – President Given no Credit for Truth

-By Warner Todd Huston

It always amazes when the MSM congeals an entire presidential administration into a form that posits that every member of that administration is the president. Like when they claim that “Bush Lied” about the faulty intelligence that led to the presentation to the UN to garner support for the action in Iraq given by then Secretary of State Colin Powell. Yet, when the MSM wants to exonerate a single member of any particular administration, suddenly the President is forgotten as a part of the discussion and the individual administration official the press is currently in love with is held as a man responsible for his own decisions and exonerated on that basis.

This week’s new media darling is former CIA chief George Tenet, one of the worst directors of the CIA we’ve seen in decades. The MSM have suddenly found him to be an honorable and serious man because of his newly published Bush bashing tell-all.

Remember the calls that “Bush lied” about WMDs and that he “embarrassed” Powell by forcing him to present “lies” to the UN? It was all Bush’s fault, of course and the entire administration knew ahead of time that there were no WMDs, according to this line of thinking. Granted, the buck does stop with the president and if any claims were incorrect he bears the ultimate responsibility for that error. But, shouldn’t he ALSO get the credit if it were proven that he was right by all known information at the time?

Not according to ABC, apparently. Only Tenet gets credit for not presenting lies in a recent interview with Charles Gibson. The President is mysteriously not part of the discussion.

Starting their report reiterating that the WMD claims were untrue, ABC gives Tenet the chance to say how he “regrets” the Powell incident.

Former CIA director George Tenet told Charles Gibson he feels “great regret” when he looks back at the photos of Colin Powell at the United Nations, which were taken as the former secretary of state made the case for an Iraq invasion in 2003 and claimed Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

…Powell’s Feb. 6, 2003, U.N. speech, which led to the Iraq invasion, was based on what turned out to be false information from a fraudulent source regarding the existence of WMDs in Saddam Hussein’s arsenal.

Of course, we all know that the WMD claim was NOT the sole reason given by the Bush administration as the reason to oust Saddam, but, hey, who needs truth when you’ve got what you think is a “good story”?

But, later they revisit the “Bush lied” scenario with Tenet.

…Tenet refutes accusations that he knew the data was false.

“That’s just repugnant to me, I would never let the secretary of state … someone who I was very close to, who represented the United States of America, in front of the eyes of the world, go out there and make a false statement. Never,” Tenet said.

…”It’s really serious for someone to say the director and the deputy director, essentially, cooked the books to go make the case for war and didn’t tell the secretary of state. There’s no way on this God’s green Earth that that would ever happen, none.”

Well, there you have it. The Bush administration did not “lie” about Saddam’s WMDs. They acted on intelligence that may have been faulty, yes, but they did not act on “lies”.

As Tenet says, “We wrote what we believed, we stayed true to it.”

But, as ABC gives Tenet the room to tell his story, the focus is on Tenet and not on the Administration like it was during the many “Bush lied” stories. And that is because they wish to present Tenet as the “honest” guy who was ignored by the President…. even though he wasn’t.

So, on one hand “Bush lied” about WMDs, yet on the other Tenet acted on the best known info available at the time.

Well, it seems to make perfect sense that if Tenet was acting on information that they were all sure was quite correct at the time, then Bush did not “lie” when using that very same information.


Tell it to ABC.

Warner Todd Huston’s thoughtful commentary, sometimes irreverent often historically based, is featured on many websites such as,, men’ and among many, many others. Additionally, he has been a guest on several radio programs to discuss his opinion editorials and current events. He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the new book “Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture” which can be purchased on He is also the owner and operator of Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions : EMAIL Warner Todd Huston

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