'The action officer'
George Tenet's new book
gets a very odd review from ... Bob Woodward
, who acknowledges he urged Tenet to write a memoir and even spent a day with Tenet to 'suggest questions he should try to address.' Alas, George didn't follow Bob's advice, as we learn in the review. Alas, Bob also spends a lot of the review covering the 'slam dunk' remark that, surprise, he first unveiled in one of his books on the Bush administration. ... You don't get any more insiderish than this. ... Listen, I deeply admire Bob Woodward. But he really screwed up somewhere in his reporting on the Bush administration. Either 'Plan of Attack'
and 'Bush at War'
were fundamentally wrong in their largely favorable portrayals of the Bush admintration -- or 'State of Denial'
is fundamentally wrong in its largely critical portrayal of the Bush administration. 'Repudiation' and 'mulligan'
indeed. ... FYI: I happen to agree with Tenet that 'slam dunk' was used in a 'marketing' sense for justifying the war, not as the definitive argument for war. FYI II: I don't believe Bush made up his mind to go to war in Jan. 2003, as Woodward says in the review. Every non-Woodward book I've read makes clear that plans for war were clearly under way in 2001 -- and, sure enough, off to war we went. Frankly, I trust others' 'reporting' on this. ...Update
-- I tinkered with this post after I originally posted it. I initially got wrong when the 'slam dunk' remark was first published. So much for my 'reporting.' Everything else stands. ...Update II
-- If you haven't read Tom Ricks' 'Fiasco,'
do so. Forget about George and Bob's books and inside squabbles over 'slam dunk.' The entire run-up to the war was profoundly and tragically screwed up. ...