DETROIT — Four years late and half a trillion dollars short. Why didn’t George Tenet tell us this stuff when it mattered — before we invaded Iraq?

Tenet could have been a hero. He could have changed history. Imagine the scenario: It’s Jan. 18, 2003. Congress has signed off on military action. Tens of thousands of troops are in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, waiting for marching orders. War fever is at a pitch, yet millions of Americans remain unconvinced. At an antiwar rally on the Washington Mall, the Rev. Jesse Jackson steps to the podium to address 200,000 marchers. “It does not stand to reason,” he says as the crowd cheers, “to have an unfinished confrontation with al-Qaida, ignore the Middle East and fast-forward to Iraq.” Then he introduces the next speaker, who is visibly angry and upset. “Now let’s hear from someone who speaks from firsthand knowledge. Ladies and gentleman, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency.”

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.