Thursday, November 11, 2004

A colleague of mine and I were talking about former CIA director George Tenet in late summer when Tenet resigned, and we were amazed at the willingness of the guy to fall on his sword and take the entire WMD fiasco upon his own shoulders. For him to do such a thing, we figured this guy has to be taken care of. After all, Tenet is a civil servant, not a right-wing ideologue or a corporate muckity-muck going back to a bizillion dollar position. He even spoke publicly of his interest in making more money in the private sector in order to finance his kid's college education.

So how was Tenet going to be paid off? That was the question -- for if he wasn't paid off, he'd be prime recruitment material for all the disaffected spooks and former spooks in the CIA who have been railroaded by Bush and his lackeys.

Well, the answer is revealed today.
George J. Tenet has kept a low public profile since he stepped down as the country's intelligence chief in July. But it turns out that he has had a lot to say.

In the past few months, Mr. Tenet has earned well over $500,000 in speaking fees from about 20 appearances, associates said. He is negotiating for a lucrative book contract. But when he speaks to large groups, he does so only under ground rules intended to keep his remarks off the record. . . .

He collects fees of about $35,000 an appearance. . . .

It is not unusual for government officials to earn large amounts of money for books and speeches after leaving office. Other former intelligence chiefs, including Robert M. Gates and R. James Woolsey, have gone on speaking tours, and Mr. Gates wrote a memoir, but for fees generally understood to be considerably less than those being paid to Mr. Tenet.
I guarantee you, $35,000 a speech is a lot better money than anything Mr. Tenet is going to be making at Georgetown next year.

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