Skip To Content

Tenet Praised for Role in Talks

Few Washington insiders seemed prepared last week to accept the claim that George Tenet was resigning from his post as CIA director for “personal reasons.”

Tenet and his agency have been under fire in recent months from critics who say the CIA supplied false intelligence used by the Bush administration to justify last year’s invasion of Iraq. According to critics, the CIA incorrectly suggested that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. The agency has also come under scrutiny from lawmakers who say it failed to do enough to stop the attacks of September 11, 2001.

But since last week’s announcement, Jewish communal leaders and Israeli officials, as well as former U.S. diplomats, have been praising Tenet’s tenure at the CIA and the unprecedented role the agency played in the pursuit of Israeli-Palestinian peace.

“There was no way I could be credible on issues of security,” said Edward Walker, who served as the U.S. ambassador to Israel at the time. “We needed a guy like George to bring the parties around to the point that they could even talk to each other.”

Tenet also has been credited with improving ties between American and Israeli intelligence services.

“We see him as a good and true friend of Israel,” said Daniel Ayalon, Israel’s ambassador to the United States.

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.