JOE CIARDIELLO FOR USN&WRWe're just a month away from what could be the biggest storm yet over who knew what before 9/11 and about those weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, as former CIA Director George Tenet finally tells of those troubled days. We hear vaguely that in At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the CIA, out April 30, Tenet takes responsibility for intelligence shortcomings but also isn't shy about naming officials in the Bush and Clinton administrations who share in the blame. It's not all bad: The "DCI" tells of some amazing intel successes, too.
Allies say the 511-page book-300,000 in the first printing-isn't a rant: Tenet spent a year and a half researching it, reviewed tens of thousands of documents, and conducted dozens of interviews with key players to fill in the gaps of his story, the first by a true Bush insider involved in making war policy. Then he had to win CIA approval. To speed that, he submitted chunks of the 25-chapter book, getting the green light in mid-March.
How big will the Tenet storm be? Several foreign publishers are negotiating the rights for it. And his P.R. rollout includes a rare two-segment 60 Minutes appearance, a magazine deal, the Today Show, and Meet the Press. "Many books, many articles, and many talk shows have discussed George," says his lawyer Robert Barnett. "Now George will have the opportunity to tell his side."