first_imgThe memoir from the second-longest-serving CIA chief covers many topics – from his attempts to help negotiate peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians during the Clinton administration, to the days surrounding Sept. 11, 2001, to the invasion of Iraq and its aftermath. Looking ahead, he says, al-Qaida wants to change history and meet its one top goal of obtaining a nuclear device. In an often-defensive interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes” aired Sunday, Tenet says the intelligence gained from suspected terrorists in the CIA’s covert detention program and its “enhanced interrogation techniques” was more valuable than all the other terrorism-related intelligence gathered by the FBI, the National Security Agency and his own agency. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! She also said the question about the imminence of the threat was not “if somebody is going to strike tomorrow.” “It’s whether you believe you’re in a stronger position today to deal with the threat, or whether you’re going to be in a stronger position tomorrow,” she said. “And it was the president’s assessment that the situation in Iraq was getting worse.” A Tenet associate, who spoke on condition of anonymity before the book’s release today, said Tenet was not talking about improving the sanctions, but rather the debate about the wisdom of going to war. The associate said those debates did not happen in the presence of Tenet or other senior CIA officials, despite their participation in numerous discussions in the White House’s situation room. In an unusual reaction to Tenet’s book, the State Department sent reporters on Sunday a three-page document underscoring comments the former CIA chief had made to the Sept. 11 commission. It quoted him as saying of the emerging terrorist threat, in the spring and summer of 2001, “reporting was maddeningly short on actionable details. The most ominous reporting hinting at `something big’ was also the most vague.” NEW YORK – The backlash has built up even before the official release of former CIA Director George Tenet’s memoir, with criticism about his version of the run-up to the Iraq war, interrogation techniques and other events. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Sunday disputed Tenet’s claim that the Bush administration, before the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003, never had a serious debate about whether Iraq posed an imminent threat or whether to tighten existing sanctions. “The president started a discussion practically on the day that he took power about how to enhance sanctions against Iraq,” she said. “You may remember that in his first press conference, he said the sanctions had become Swiss cheese.” Rice, who was Bush’s national security adviser during his first term, said the administration reviewed the sanctions, went to the United Nations to strengthen them and tried to tighten the no-fly zone in northern Iraq to better police Saddam Hussein’s forces. last_img