- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 18, 2002

The annual black-tie fund-raiser for the Nixon Center honored Mr. Tenet for decades of serving his country's intelligence-gathering effort.
Rep. Ray LaHood applauded Mr. Tenet's work on behalf of the CIA while bemoaning the shortsightedness of the agency's critics.
The very nature of intelligence gathering may be the reason the field draws such attacks, the Illinois Republican noted: "[The CIA] never gets credit for so many things that they prevent. There are a lot of successes they've had that no one will ever know about."
He said Mr. Tenet's biggest accomplishment to date may have been establishing better communication between the various intelligence operations.
"Tenet and [FBI Director Robert S.] Mueller have broken down the walls," he said. "That's the only way we'll be successful fighting terrorism."
Former CIA chief R. James Woolsey recalled that before last year's September 11 attacks, the FBI could not share information on the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center with other enforcement groups.
Mr. Woolsey, sporting a Southern colonel black tie, suggested the U.S. consider a separate agency for domestic intelligence collection, similar to the system used in the United Kingdom.
"There are civil-liberty concerns, but it cuts both ways," he said. "Some say it would endanger civil liberties, some say it's better not to tie it into law enforcement."
Others making no secret of their regard for Mr. Tenet were Sen. Pat Roberts; former Secretary of Defense James R. Schlesinger; and Fritz W. Ermarth, the Nixon Center's director of national security programs,.
Mr. Roberts, a Kansas Republican who will soon be chairing the Senate Intelligence Committee, drew a few chuckles by pointing out that Senate intelligence "is not an oxymoron" before paying serious tribute to the guest of honor's achievements.
"I can't think of a better choice or a better time to honor George Tenet," he said. "He has the ear and the confidence of the president of the United States."


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