April 21, 2004

Lady Mondegreen of Foggy Bottom

The Confidence Man has been following the dribs and drabs of detail cascading from Bob Woodward's latest cri de boudoir with, as they say, bated breath.

The one element that has gotten the most play, however -- the executive-exculpatory moment of CIA Director Tenet supposedly giving Chimpy McFlightsuit the official go-ahead to claim that Iraq had WMDs -- seems to the Confidence Man to be awfully congruent with the wave of blame-Tenetism sweeping the Beltway.

Now, the whole question of how Tenet has triangulated his way into the longest tenure as Head Spook in the annals of Foggy Bottom is an entirely separate and provocative tale.

No, what we're concerned with here is Tenet's alleged phrasing: according to Woodward, he told Bush that the case for Saddam having WMDs was "a slam dunk case."

We suspect that Tenet said something else entirely, and either Bush or another earwitness misheard him.

Yes, we believe that Tenet jumped up, waved his arms dismissively, and told Bush that allegations of Saddam's cache of WMDs were "Islam bunk, Ace."

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