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Tenet "May Have Been Off" On Perle Meeting

Last night's "60 Minutes" featured Scott Pelley's interview with former CIA director George Tenet. I've posted the full segment, in two parts, below.

In the interview, as well as in his book, Tenet talks about an encounter with Pentagon advisor Richard Perle outside the White House, which he said took place on Sept. 12, 2001. In a piece posted yesterday, the Weekly Standard's William Kristol wrote that this could not be the case, since Perle was stranded in France until Sept. 15.

In an interview this morning on "Today," Tenet said he "may have been off by a couple of days." But he insisted that the conversation took place. Said Tenet: "I may have gotten the days wrong, but I know I got the substance of that conversation correct."

The situation left "60 Minutes" and CBS News with a decision to make. Should the interview, available to all on the Internet, be recut to reflect these developments? Should the text version of the story be edited? Should nothing be changed?

Ultimately, "60 Minutes" Executive Editor Patti Hassler, after consulting with "60 Minutes" Executive Producer Jeff Fager and CBS News Senior Vice President Linda Mason, decided to leave the story unchanged – but with an editor's note added to summarize the new developments. Director of News and Operations Mike Sims discussed this course of action with "60 Minutes" as well.

"The reason that we decided to add the editor's note is because Richard Perle had disputed what George Tenet said in his book and also said to us, and we wanted to include both Richard Perle's version and George Tenet's response to that," Hassler told Public Eye. "The video is the story that we aired, so to change that would not be transparent."

After the jump you can read the editor's note, which was added at the beginning of the Web version of the story, as well as in the portion of the story in which Tenet discusses his alleged meeting with Perle.

"Editor's Note: In his book, 'At the Center of the Storm,' and on Sunday's broadcast of 60 Minutes, George Tenet said he encountered Pentagon advisor Richard Perle outside the White House on Sept. 12, 2001, the day after the 9/11 attacks. Perle disputes Tenet's account, saying the encounter never happened because he was stranded in France that day, and was not able to return to the country until September 15. George Tenet told Tom Brokaw Monday, April 30, 2007, 'I may have been off by a couple of days,' but says the conversation did happen."

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