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Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy


Thomas Mahon of English Cut

In his recently published book, the former director of the CIA describes Richard Perle stepping out of the White House on 9-12-01 and declaring (drumroll) that Iraq must pay for 9-11. The problem with George Tenet's intelligence is that Mr Perle was not at the White House or even in the United States on 9-12. American airspace having been shut down due to the attacks, Perle was stranded in Paris. He denies making the comment at any time.

Thomas calls this “chewing on a wasp.” Slightly indiscreet, Thomas is a bespoke tailor who describes the intricacies and joys of his craft in English Cut. I can only wonder why the CIA has no one with his level of skill in their trade.

Perhaps I’m stretching the metaphor. Allow me to add that for those of us trying to make sense of the reports of our intelligence operatives, a little readjustment may be necessary.

As Thomas informs us, “Bespoke clothing is like liquid. It's always in a slight state of change until it's been well worn and allowed to settle down. When a suit is finished and has gone to the customer, once it's ‘settled’ a bit, it might need some minor alterations. This is perfectly normal.”

Intelligence is also liquid, and in need of adjustments. The CIA under George Tenet failed to predict and prevent the Khobar Towers bombing, the USS Cole bombing, the bombings of US embassies at Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, and the 9-11 attacks. With his latest intelligence failure, the coat of incompetency should be readjusted on George Tenet’s shoulders.

Thanks to The Ten O’ Clock Scholar (responding to The Black Suit) for the link to English Cut.