My son, Jon Michael, is the best son a dad can have. He will always be my pride and joy.- George Tenet: Former Director of Central Intelligence, 'At the Center of the Storm' (Page 520)
I had difficulty making the purchase of George Tenet's new book. With a multi-million dollar advance already, I didn't want to contribute to someone who has already profited so obscenely from other people's dead children. This self-congratulatory, buck-passing book was even more difficult to read. But when I came to the last paragraph and read the above quote about Tenet's precious son, Jon Michael, I began to cry in my uncomfortable airplane seat.
I believe that Casey was the best son a mom and dad could have. He was our first: our immense pride and joy. Casey served his church in one capacity or other from the time he was eight years old to the day he died at the Palm Sunday Mass he attended the morning of his murder in an ambush. He was an Eagle Scout, an honor student, a trusted friend, a loving big brother and the best son a mom could have. The above paragraph reads like an obituary because Casey is dead, in part, because of Tenet's support of a president whom he has great "affection" for.
"Condi we have a problem." Tenet thusly begins the chapter on the "Sixteen Words." The sentence that justified an illegal war of aggression was: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." The CIA was successful in making the White House take these words out of a Bush speech in October, 2002---but when the words, that EVERYONE knew were lies were included in the 2003 State of the Union speech shortly before shock and awe, Tenet did not publicly stand up, do the right thing, and refute the claim. As a matter of fact, knowing that all the facts were false and/or skewed, he sat behind Colin Powell when the then Secretary of State lied to the United Nations, thereby giving the false statements more credibility.
George Tenet also praises George Bush for taking so much time with his son, Jon Michael, to help him through the rough times that can come being the son of a DCI---George B. should know since he was the son of another dishonest DCI. George T. knew with his brain and heart that the invasion of Iraq was wrongly justified, but he allowed this country to rush headlong to the inevitable disaster. By his silence (and "Slam Dunk" cheerleading) he is complicit in the deaths of almost 3400 "best" sons and daughters of other moms and dads. How can Tenet look into the eyes of Jon Michael and not see the extinguished heart-lights of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi humans? How can he and the killer neo-cons live with their own selves and sleep at night without being haunted by the souls of those their crimes have needlessly killed? Why is Jon Michael not in boot camp?
In Tenet's confession of incompetence and connivance he also calls George Bush's chief of staff, Andrew Card, the most "honorable" man he has ever known. This is the same Andy Card who formed and led the White House Iraq Group which was an "internal working group" whose task was to "sell" the invasion of Iraq to a gullible American public and included other "honorable" people such as: Scooter Libby, Karen Hughes, Condi, Stephen Hadley, and Bush's Brain, Karl Rove. This group "leaked" false intelligence "news" to such friendly reporters as Judith Miller, formerly of the NY Times, and came up with such deliberately misleading terms as "smoking gun" and "mushroom cloud."
In a much publicized letter, my friend, Ray McGovern, and other retired CIA intelligence analysts called for Tenet to return his Presidential Medal of Freedom, which he unequivocally refuses to do in any interview I have seen him give recently. I agree with George T., he "earned" his medal by his silence and his co-recipients that year, Jerry Bremer and General Tommy Franks, Ret., also earned their medals for their callous incompetence. The three did the jobs their president set out for them to do. The Presidential Medal of Freedom has about as much validity as our corrupt elections, the corrupt 9-11 commission, the corrupt Congress, the corrupt corporate media and our own Constitution that has been thoroughly corrupted, disobeyed, ignored and trampled on by everyone in the Bush regime and most Congress-folks who complacently go along with this abduction of our American Republic. Let George Tenet keep his little medal. He knows why he received it: it was payment for rolling over like an abused dog that submissively offers his belly and licks the hand of the master who beats him.
For all of these "honorable" people, their lies, their avarice, their cruelty, and yes, their treasonous pre-meditated war, my son, and hundreds of thousands of others are dead or mentally or physically wounded. A country is being destroyed on a daily basis and BushCo is still roaming free to commit their high crimes against humanity.
Sitting Presidents or Vice Presidents cannot legally be sued for what they do in office, but, as far as I know, there is no such prohibition about suing a disgraced DCI.
Is there a lawyer out there in cyber-land who wants to represent families in a wrongful death/injury class-action suit against George Tenet? Contact me, please: CampCaseyMom@yahoo.com.
Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Spc. Casey Austin Sheehan who was KIA in Iraq on 04/04/04. She is a co-founder and President of Gold Star Families for Peace and the author of two books: Not One More Mother's Child and Dear President Bush.