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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 June, 2004, 10:15 GMT 11:15 UK
CIA director's resignation: Your reaction
George Tenet
A second top CIA official is to retire from his post, less than a day after CIA chief, George Tenet, resigned his post as director of the US intelligence agency.

The departure of James Pavitt, deputy director for operations, who was in charge of the agency's spies, is said to be unconnected with Mr Tenet's departure.

The CIA has been criticised over faulty intelligence in the run-up to the Iraqi war and over whether 9/11 could have been prevented.

Mr Tenet will stay in the post until mid-July. After that, the deputy director John McLaughlin will serve as acting director until a replacement is found.

Send us your reaction to George Tenet's resignation and James Pavitt's retirement.

This debate is now closed. Read your comments below.

The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:

The CIA has been severely undermanned, understaffed, and under-equipped (as has the military) since the Clinton administration. I had hoped that George W. Bush would follow suit of his father and strengthen and enhance our military and intelligence departments. I believe Mr. Tenet has done a remarkable job considering his resources and allocation of funds, and the fact that there was too much interference from Donald Rumsfeld, trying to direct him what his priorities should be. This administration has exerted far too much political control over the "agenda" of CIA.
Jason, Austin, USA

History will judge that mistakes were made but on balance our leaders got it right
William L. Donlon, Rochester New York, USA
George Tenet left the CIA in much better shape than he found it. I thought he was a good choice by President Clinton and I was glad that President Bush kept him on. History will judge that mistakes were made but on balance our leaders got it right.
William L. Donlon, Rochester New York, USA

I don't see Tenet as the fall guy at all and I cringe when I hear him called such because his resignation should be the first of many especially Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Feith, Rice and Cheney. What they are guilty of is either massive deceit or equally massive incompetence. Either way it will be years before their mess is cleaned up.
Rey, Spartanburg, SC, USA

The CIA's director's resignation was long overdue. The agency must be made more effective and cooperative among the agencies. Our freedom depends on it. The President needs to encourage a new view.
Yvonne Pizzo, Pasadena, California, USA

He is the highest official in the CIA. How could a director with ultimate authority and responsibility possibly be a "scapegoat"? You can't get more responsible than that. If faulty intelligence of this magnitude does not make you quit or lose your job, then I can't imagine what would.
Steve Anthony, Raleigh NC, USA

The director is of little consequence to the CIA's abilities
Colin Keesee, Moorpark, CA, USA
The director of the CIA is not to be blamed for the organisation's failures but rather those who dismantled it during the 1970's and have since let it stay weak. Liberal democrats, including John Kerry, have the European belief that the US should not be strong so they have worked to undermine the CIA, the director is of little consequence to the CIA's abilities.
Colin Keesee, Moorpark, CA, USA

Horrible leadership aside, the resignation of Mr. Tenet is a sad day for us Americans. It marks yet another moment in our recent political history where a sacrificial lamb dutifully bowed its head and allowed the crimes of those who are most guilty to fade from the collective memory.
Darren Wieland, Minneapolis, USA

Looking for a scapegoat in the CIA itself for all of the disappointments over its recent performance would fatally miss the boat. The real culprits are President Clinton and the Republican controlled Congress of the 1990s which cut funding, erected barriers, and was blind and naive to think that weakness wouldn't invite an attack on the US and other disasters.
Mark, USA

Could it not just be that Tenet knows something that we don't? After all he was the chief of the CIA. The house of cards (Bush administration) may be about to fall. He would want off the ship before the bubbles start rising.
Bob, Taos, USA

The "close ties" between Mr. Tenet and President Bush is just one more indicator that the problem isn't one person or the CIA but the current "regime" in Washington.
Henry, San Jose, USA

His resignation is a clear sign that the current administration is lacking leadership at the highest level
Awilda Santiago, Guaynabo, Puerto Rico
Just like everything else, Mr. Bush will rather have people at low level and some high level officials take the fall for his failure as President of the U.S. especially in the area of Foreign affairs. Mr. Tenet did a great job, and his resignation is a clear sign that the current administration is lacking leadership at the highest level. Look at Mr. Powell, they have shoved him down to the background because he is against many of the U.S. policies. As private citizen I hope he goes on to write a book on all that goes behind close doors at the Bush administration.
Awilda Santiago, Guaynabo, Puerto Rico

Bush needed a scapegoat to take the blame for the deception that he used to start an elective war, for the disaster of the post war occupation, for the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners, and for the failure to prevent 9/11. Sorry Mr. Tenent - you're it.
Gary, Los Angeles, USA

If military intelligence is so wrong as to lead a country to war for reasons which do not add up to sensible scrutiny, then those responsible need to resign. Tenet has done the honourable thing. However, the the UK under this Government, such people get promoted.
Terry, London

Everyone seems to be overlooking the fact that Tenet was a Clinton appointee and as such his days were always numbered under the Bush Administration and he was always set up to be thrown to the wolves, as has now happened.
Roy Brookes, Hamburg, Germany

It seems to some people George Bush is the cause of all the world's problems. If he fired Mr Tenet after 9/11 we would have heard that Mr Tenet was being made a scapegoat. Now that Mr Tenet has resigned we hear the same story. Just what do people really want from George Bush?
Pacharo Kayira, Lilongwe, Malawi

The aura of lies and deceit surrounding this administration has gravely damaged the reputation of America around the globe. Out of a lifetime of highest personal respect for Americans, I hope this administration is soon changed.
Eibhlin, Ottawa Canada

He is not completely to blame for the failures since the Clinton administration
John, Derry, N.Ireland
It is about time Tenet stepped down. He has presided over some of the most glaring intelligence failures in the history of the CIA. Obviously, he is not personally responsible but he has to shoulder most of the blame. Let's not forget that he basically admitted that the country was not properly protected at the time of September 11th. As director of the CIA, this is one of the main aims of his job. He is not completely to blame for the failures since the Clinton administration (and to some extent the Bush administration) had hamstrung the CIA, blunting many of the tools they could use to carry out effective intelligence.
John, Derry, N.Ireland

He should have resigned on September 12, 2001.
Mary. Rogers, Mansfield, CT, USA

He should have resigned long ago
Warren, Bury St Edmunds
He and the rest of the Bush administration have made incredible misjudgements, for which the world has paid a terrible price in lives and lost stability. He should have resigned long ago.
Warren, Bury St Edmunds

Obviously the fall guy. Sad! Perhaps Bush & Blair ought to admit, that Iraq was a big screw up meant to further their own agenda. To be fair, Blair got sucked into it. However, two wrongs don't make a right. Right?
G. Mangat, Anderson, USA

Are the UK bookies offering odds yet on the date Rumsfeld resigns "for personal reasons"?
Jonathan Edwards, Lexington KY USA

He was a great leader that did not get enough credit.
Tim, Bethesda, MD, USA

Tenet is just a scapegoat for the administration's arrogance and cynicism
Rich, New York City
There have been lapses in American intelligence for sure... but considering the complexity of the job I think Tenet was actually quite capable. The fatal mistake George Tenet made was to not protest enough when the neo-cons who hijacked Bush's policy tried to sell data as a reason to go to war. Tenet is just a scapegoat for the administration's arrogance and cynicism.
Rich, New York City

Do we all really have to see him cry? Is the whole country really interested in what kind of father he is?
Mina, San Francisco

Finally, the question "What does George Tenet have to do to get himself fired" has been answered.. "Personal reasons"!
Dan Clark, Cleveland, USA

I am a supporter of this administration, and a supporter of the liberation of Iraq. Unfortunately, this sort of resignation usually precedes bad news in the form of improper activities performed by the agency from which the head is resigning. Happened even at the BBC, didn't it? Time will tell.
Douglas R, Lafayette, LA

I can't say I blame him for leaving. The Bush administration has made him the fall guy for all the made up intelligence they used to try to justify the war in Iraq. After being blamed for the administrations failings I don't see why he would want to stick around.
Scott Jefferson, New York, USA

I have never been more embarrassed to being an American. Not all of us are of the Bush/Cheney ilk, and we are trying to make the changes necessary to a world leader, instead of the world's liars.
Larry, Elk Grove USA

We'll never know the full extent of his successes, but are will be aware of his failures
Sam, Ferndale, Michigan
Mr. Tenet was first nominated by then President Bill Clinton in 1997. Once President Bush was elected Mr. Tenet should have been sacked and replaced by a new CIA director. Mr. Tenet undoubtedly served our country well. Because of the nature of his business much of his work is secret so we'll never know the full extent of his successes, but, are will be aware of his failures. It was well past his time to go.
Sam, Ferndale, Michigan

Since the end of the Cold War, our intelligence has not been as accurate. Perhaps this is because 'field' intelligence is not as prevalent and they rely on technology more and more. However, while I am willing to give leeway on 9/11, the faulty Iraqi intelligence is not acceptable. As far as I can see, we went to war under false pretences, and that is where the problem lies. As for Tenet resigning, I don't know how much difference it will make in the bigger picture.
Jenna, Texas, USA

I believe he was under pressure from the Bush administration to make a case for war in Iraq. He is taking the fall for the false information he had to give. However, it should be Bush and Rummy who should step down amid the turmoil of the war.
Kevin, CA USA

The next head to roll, prior to Bush's, must be Rumsfeld's
Mike Jones, Ottawa, Canada
Finally. Tenet should have been asked to resign long ago and likely would have been had the Bush administration not been so concerned with maintaining a united front and with appearing omnipotent. The next head to roll, prior to Bush's, must be Rumsfeld's.
Mike Jones, Ottawa, Canada

CIA chief George Tenet steps down
03 Jun 04  |  Americas
US was 'unprotected' on 9/11
14 Apr 04  |  Americas


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