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All nets lead with Tenet's resignation. ABC: Martha Raddatz/ CBS: David Martin/ NBC: Andrea Mitchell
ABC's Martha Raddatz reports the resignation seemed abrupt. "Reaction on the hill today was far from charitable." SOTs from Hill. Tenet will serve until mid-July.
NBC's Andrea Mitchell reports that officials say Tenet wanted to leave first last fall. Bush says he did not know of Tenet's decision until last night. Perhaps his biggest intelligence failures were WMDs in Iraq. Powell mislead UN about those weapons. John McLaughlin will take over for now. Those who know Tenet say he is exhausted. Robert Gates SOT. "There is another CIA resignation", James Pavitt is retiring.
CBS' David Martin's piece was a sympathetic look at Tenet noting the fact that Tenet was not forced to resign "a long time ago" is a "testament to his popularity."
ABC's Dan Harris reports after 7 years in the CIA, Tenet may be remembered after his Oval office meeting in 2002, described in Bob Woodward's book. Richard Clark SOT. It was the CIA that told Powell that Iraq had the capacity to produce biological weapons. In a speech last February, Tenet defended his agency. Richard Clark says Tenet cannot be help responsible for 9/11. "The 9/11 commission has blamed Tenet for presiding over a dysfunctional agency which failed to tell the FBI that two of the 9/11 hijackers were in the country until right before the attacks." Some former intelligence officials support Tenet, saying that he did a good job of improving morale, recruitment, and intelligence.
NBC's Pete Williams reports that Tenet's supporters say that he spent so much time taking the heat that people forget how much he has done over the past years. His first tumble came when India tested nuclear weapons. Among his successes, was sending troops to Afghanistan after 9/11. Some say Tenet allowed the CIA to be too political. James Banford SOT. If reformers get their way to create one intelligence agency, Tenet may leave another legacy: the last powerful CIA.
Tenet and the Questions
Jennings/Stephanopoulos 2-way. Stephanopoulos: "All anyone wants to know is did he jump or was he pushed? It's a pretty safe bet that even if he was not fired, President Bush did not beg him to stay. This helps Bush turn the page in the election and helps the president say he is addressing the problem. Democrats are saying that the whole National Security situation is not being handled well."
CBS' Wyatt Andrews' looked at whether Tenet really left to be with his family or whether the White House gave him a push, Andrews interviewed former CIA Director Stansfield Turner who offered his opinion that Bush needed a scapegoat. Sen. Bob Graham said he thought Tenet had become "too politicized. He was telling his boss what he wanted to hear even though the intelligence did not support that." House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said, "I think the responsibility goes far beyond Tenet."
Bush in Italy