So CIA Director George Tenet has called it quits. Anyone who knows anything about the the flack he’s taken over 9/11 and the accusations of major intelligence failures could have seen this coming.
For his critics, he cited personal reasons for his leave, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family.
“This is the most difficult decision I have ever had to make,” said Tenet, who was lauded by President George W. Bush as a “superb” director. “And while Washington and the media will put many different faces on the decision, it was a personal decision and had only one basis in fact: the well-being of my wonderful family, nothing more and nothing less.”
But I don’t know what’s worse: using that excuse or people believing it.
Not surprisingly, most politicians cite their leave as being a personal deicision–reasons that have less to do with their work than a desire to return to family life. It’s good for a sound byte, but no one’s really buying it.
That didn’t stop him from laying it on thick.
“Anyway, the point is, John Michael is going to be a senior next year. I’m going to be a senior with him in high school,” he said after regaining his composure.
“You’ve just been a great son, and I’m now going to be a great dad.”
And while nothing should be taken away from his desire to spend more time with his family, the weight of the range of issues he’s had to deal with in the wake of 9/11 is enough to make anyone wish to hang it all up.
But Tenet probably wouldn’t have been part of the new administration should Bush win this Nov. And why he feels the need to exit a few months early is a bit curious.
All things considered, it’s hard to blame him. He’s made up his mind. To expect him to stay after making a decision like that is rather silly.