Well, so much for this issue being any help with unseating The Shrub from the White House:
Tenet said the responsibility for vetting the allegations included in Bush’s State of the Union address about Iraqi efforts to get uranium from Africa rests with the CIA and ultimately with the director.
“Let me be clear about several things right up front,” he said. “First, CIA approved the president’s State of the Union address before it was delivered. Second, I am responsible for the approval process in my agency. And third, the president had every reason to believe that the text presented to him was sound.”
Tenet said CIA officials reviewed portions of the draft speech and raised some concerns with national security aides at the White House that prompted changes in language concerning allegations that Iraq sought to buy uranium from the African nation of Niger. But he said the CIA officials failed to stop the remark from being uttered despite the doubts about its validity.
“Officials who were reviewing the draft remarks on uranium raised several concerns about the fragmentary nature of the intelligence with National Security Council colleagues,” Tenet said. “Some of the language was changed. From what we know now, agency officials in the end concurred that the text in the speech was factually correct that the British government report said that Iraq sought uranium from Africa.”
“This should not have been the test for clearing a presidential address,” the statement continued. “This did not rise to the level of certainty which should be required for presidential speeches, and CIA should have ensured that it was removed.”
Oh well. It would’ve been nice to see a good shoot-out between the CIA and the Administration, but it looks like it’s not to be.