Tuesday, December 14, 2004

"Pivotal Roles in Great Events"

Today, Pres. Bush presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom to retired Gen. Tommy Franks, who oversaw combat in Afghanistan and the initial invasion of Iraq, former Iraq administrator L. Paul Bremer, and former CIA Director George Tenet.

For those without memory of over six months, you might not recall that the 9/11 Commission faulted former CIA Director George Tenet for not having a management strategy to battle terrorism before the 9/11 attacks. You might also recall (as referenced in the Post quote below) that Tenet was widely criticized for his role in providing questionable data concerning the existence of weapons of mass destruction (remember, that was the reason we went to Iraq in the first place) in Iraq, which may have been a cause of his resignation in June 2004. Tenet denied that he received any political pressure to provide that data.

As noted in the Washington Post:

Tenet left the CIA in July after seven years as director. He has been criticized for intelligence failures before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and the never-proven prewar allegations that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

Bush credited him as "one of the first to recognize and address the threat to America from radical networks." He said that after Sept. 11, Tenet was "ready with a plan to strike back at al Qaeda and to topple the Taliban."

Bush further stated that "This honor goes to three men who have played pivotal roles in great events and whose efforts have made our country more secure and advanced the cause of human liberty."

For those actually keeping score of the "great events":
  • a suicide car bomber killed seven people at a Green Zone (that used to mean "safe zone") checkpoint early today, which was the second attack in two days near the same gate into the district that houses Iraq’s interim government and the U.S. Embassy (13 died there yesterday)
  • 1,294 American soldiers have been killed, with November 2004 tying the highest count to date
  • for the ever-rising monetary cost, go here