On Friday's NBC Nightly News, former anchor Tom Brokaw ridiculously implied that conservatives who have cited former CIA director George Tenet's "slam dunk" comment about WMD in Iraq had in fact claimed that the comment was a prediction that the war itself against Iraq would be a "slam dunk." The former NBC anchor filed a report detailing Tenet's criticisms of the Bush administration from Tenet's newly released book At the Center of the Storm.
After the pre-recorded report had covered some of Tenet's criticisms of Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice and Richard Perle, Brokaw turned to Tenet's claim that his "slam dunk" comment was taken out of context by Bush defenders. After a a clip of Cheney claiming that Tenet said "the case against Saddam on weapons of mass destruction" was a "slam dunk," Brokaw appeared live to conclude his report, and delivered his own distortion of how conservatives have used the quote. Brokaw: "Former director Tenet ... insists that he was talking about assembling a stronger case to take to the public so it would have a better understanding of what the CIA believed to be true. He was not, he says, saying that a war against Iraq was a slam dunk." (Transcript follows)
Below is a transcript of relevant portions from the Friday April 27 NBC Nightly News:
Tom Brokaw: "Tenet is especially angry about the quote that he'll live with for the rest of his life: 'slam dunk.' Rice and Cheney in effect blaming him for the decision to go to war."
Dick Cheney: "George Tenet sat in the Oval Office, and the President of the United States asked him directly, he said, 'George, how good is the case against Saddam on weapons of mass destruction?' And the director of the CIA said, 'It's a slam dunk, Mr. President, it's a slam dunk.'"
Brokaw: "Former director Tenet, who will give us his first live interview Monday morning on Today, insists that he was talking about assembling a stronger case to take to the public so it would have a better understanding of what the CIA believed to be true. He was not, he says, saying that a war against Iraq was a slam dunk."