Chairman Waxman Calls: George Tenet Book Tour Will Be Under Oath!

Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) has invited George Tenet to testify before his investigations panel in May. Since George Tenet is now beginning a big-money book tour, no doubt he will agree to testify — and the fireworks could be enormous.

A word about Henry Waxman. The chairman is the standout member of the new Congress and is doing first-rate work across the board.

He is handling mulitiple investigations with professionalism and fairness, but is a bulldog who aims for the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

A word about George Tenet, and implications about his book tour and probable upcoming testimony:

During his promotional interviews, here are some of the questions that interviewers should ask:

Did Tenet know about deception, dishonesty, falsification or misrepresentation of pre-war intelligence?

Does Tenet know whether any officials in the Bush administration testified falsely to the Congress, by representing to Congress any intelligence arguments for war that they knew to be untrue?

When British intelligence head "C" suggested that intelligence on Iraq was being "fixed," was he referring to any false statements that Tenet put out or testified to, or false statements that others testified to? Tenet should know exactly who did the fixing and should testify fully.

What exactly was the relationship between American intelligence and Iranian intelligence prior to the war? Was there cooperation with Iranian intelligence? What exactly was the role of Mr. Chalabi?

Were there acts of torture that George Tenet supervised or was aware of, that violated U.S. law, European law, the Geneva Convention, or national laws of other states, involving the rendition program or other programs?

What collaboration existed in potential torture violations with third-party nations such as Syria, Egypt, or former Soviet bloc nations that engage in represssion and torture?

George Tenet should know and be asked about the role of Alberto Gonzales as White House counsel or attorney general on torture issues.

Did Gonzales write any currently unknown legal opinions contrary to commonly accepted principles of law, or participate in executive orders that attempted to make legal what would otherwise be illegal?

Did Tenet ever discuss the CIA leak case with the president or vice president and inform them that Valerie Plame's identity was covert and must not be disclosed? If he did not, why not? If he did, what are the legal implications?

Remember the terror alerts that always created fear at politically opportune times, and then disappeared after elections or other key moments?

Is George Tenet aware of any dishonest, false or politically driven terror alerts that involved political manipulation, possibly in violation of law? Of the totality of terror alerts during the Bush administration, how many did Tenet believe were legitimate and how many did he oppose or object to?

Did Tenet send or receive e-mails, or was he aware of any e-mails from other sources, that were sent on non-government e-mail systems?

Journalists should ask Tenet whether he intends to donate his profit from the book to wounded troops' medical care, considering it would be disgraceful for Tenet to profit from his performance during the Iraq war.

Applause to Congressman Waxman for taking the initiative again. Folks, when you watch George Tenet hyping his book, remember, for practical purposes, whatever he says he may someday, soon, have to say under oath.

This whole episode is a disgrace, but I predict that this book tour will be an event that George Tenet may well regret, because while he takes the money with one hand, he will take the oath with the other.