Tenet was not pressured to resign

The resignation of CIA director George Tenet left the public speculating as to why he resigned.

Some believe he is taking the fall for President Bush. Some felt he was pressured to leave following intelligence failures that contributed to the Sept. 11 tragedies.

Then again, maybe this is just a case of a man who left for his own reasons — none of them being political.

The Houston Chronicle reports that Tenet left the CIA “for personal reasons,” President Bush said.

The timing of Tenet’s resignation is suspicious, however. In the past few months, the 9/11 Commission questioned top government officials about possible intelligence failures that allowed terrorists to hijack airplanes and fly them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Even if the 9/11 Commission was not a factor in his decision, it is an election year and perhaps President Bush is making decisions in an effort to keep the public’s approval.

It wouldn’t make sense for Bush to pin the blame on Tenet. Although Tenet was a holdover from the Clinton administration, he always had the gratitude of the Bush family, not to mention he and the president had forged a friendship, according to USA Today writer Susan Page.

Not everyone is convinced.

Former CIA director Stansfeld Turner, in a CNN interview, was quoted as saying, “I think he’s being pushed out. The president feels he has to have someone to blame.”

Tenet himself summed it up best: “While Washington and the media will put many different faces on the decision, it was a personal decision and had only one basis in fact; the well-being of my family.”

We don’t buy into the claims of Tenet’s critics. Since his position is vital to the security of the United States, his resignation is put under the microscope and carefully examined by the public. However, Ari Fleischer was never under this kind of scrutiny when he left the White House.

Fleischer is the former presidential press secretary, who left last July to pursue a writing career and to spend more time with his new wife, the New York Times reported in May 2003.

Fleischer had his share of stress, but when he left, people didn’t scratch their heads and question the reasons behind his

resignation. Granted, this is due to the fact that the duties of the White House press secretary vastly differ from the director of the CIA.

The claim that Tenet was pressured to leave has substance.

However, the pressure came from nobody but himself.