Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Media's Silence on Tenet and Arafat

George Tenet's new book, At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the CIA, has received lavish publicity - a segment on 60 Minutes, a front page story in the New York Times, and generally lavish coverage in the mainstream media. But here is one thing you haven't read: Tenet is devastatingly critical of Yasser Arafat.

As reported in the Jerusalem Post today, Tenet "places most of the blame for the breakdown of the security plan bearing his name and other efforts to stop the violence after the outbreak of the second intifada on Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat."

"Almost always, that last impenetrable barrier to peace had the same name: Arafat," he writes in his 576-page memoir, of which an entire chapter is devoted to the late PA chairman. . . . "Arafat always wanted one more thing, and one more thing was never enough because what he really wanted was for the peace process to be ever-active and eternally unresolved," according to Tenet.

An even more outrageous omission is the media's failure to report his endorsement of the Bush Administration's shunning of Arafat:
He says that the White House was right not to push for greater diplomacy with the Palestinians once Bush entered office, as it was apparent little could be done with Arafat in power.

"He got what he could from us [through the Oslo process], and from that point on gave little back," Tenet says. "Therefore - and it was a view I supported - there would be no more letting him in the front door."
I'm not faulting the media for focusing on Tenet's revelations on the Iraq war. But not one word on any of these insights? If Tenet had been favorable to Arafat, I'll bet it would have been splashed all over the front pages.

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