You know what? It isn't. Fair, I mean.
Sometimes I think about George Tenet and say, "If you (or Colin Powell) had stood up at the U.N. that day and said, 'This is wrong. This guy is a prick and a problem, but the "evidence" that he has WMD is weak at best and non-existent at worst and if we go in there we'll spill blood and treasure in what could prove the worst clusterfuck the U.S. has known since Vietnam' you'd be a hero today."
But the truth is that neither Tenet (or Powell) probably would be a hero today. BushCo probably would have come out -- guns blazing -- and smeared the shit out of them. Tenet would have had to quit anyway. He'd have been Dixie-Chicked, for sure. He would have been called a "coward," "anti-American," and an "appeaser." They would have said, "He's Clinton's guy. What do you expect?" and there would have been a(nother) nation-wide round of "Clinton got a blow job." Fun facts about his private life would have been leaked. It would have been ugly.
But you know what? Tenet would probably be where he is now (a professor at Georgetown). He'd still have his family. His health. A livelihood. For some people, he'd be on the list of names we cite when we say, "They knew there were no WMD. They told you. But you didn't listen." Those people (Hans Blix, Scott Ritter, others I'm now forgetting (See? I can't even remember their names.) aren't considered "heros" now. The situation is just too sad and outrageous. It would be unseemly to gloat and say, "I knew I knew."
But at least Tenet would have the knowledge that he'd stood up, spoken out, taken the heat, and did the right thing. The guy was the director of the CIA, for God's sake. If anyone could have endured it, he could have.
Instead, he's pimping a book (for Rupert Murdoch, no less) about what a bad guy Dick Cheney is.
You lie down with dogs ...
P.S. About that infamous "Slam dunk!" thing, Tenet says:
“I told the president that strengthening the public presentation was a ‘slam dunk,’ a phrase that was later taken completely out of context”...In other words, it would be a "slam dunk" to lie to the public.