CASE STUDY #2 - GEORGE TENET AND THE LAST GREAT DAYS OF THE CIA DONNA HANKINS - PAS 301
NORTHERN ARIZONA UNIVERSITY
CASE STUDY #2 – GEORGE TENET AND THE LAST GREAT DAYS OF THE CIA
The study of George Tenet’s actions leading up to the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan leaves little doubt about the dysfunction within our government from the appointment of officials to the decision making process itself. Tenet was appointed by President Clinton as Director of the Intelligence (DCI) in 1997, just 19 months after becoming deputy to DCI. It was noted that Tenet had never managed a large organization, worked as an intelligence officer or serviced in the military, all of which would have provided the experience and expertise needed to effectively run this huge organization. (White Jr. 2008) In addition, Tenet was not the first choice for Clinton but was selected because he “was well liked and could easily be confirmed by Congress.” (White Jr. 2008. p. 485) When he arrived he quickly assessed the CIA had suffered years of decay in technology, agent recruitment and retention, poor morale and budgetary inconsistencies. (White Jr. 2008) Tenet quickly focused on gaining additional funding to improve technology within the CIA, improve morale, recruit and retrain and improve data collection and analysis. (White Jr. 2008) Despite his lack of experience in key areas he proved to be quite effective as positive progress became evident despite missteps along the way. One of his successes is that in 1998, his agency identified a credible threat from Osama bin Laden and the al-Qaeda network he was building, which would later become true in a horrific way. September 11, 2001, just 8 months after George W. Bush assumed the Presidency, al-Qaeda attacked the U.S. killing over 3,000 people. Tenet was a major part of Bush’s administration, personally briefing him each morning and weighing in on policy, something not done during the Clinton years. After September...
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