Tuesday's Guest: Former CIA Agent Tyler Drumheller
On today's radio show, I'll be joined by Tyler Drumheller, author of "On the Brink: An Insider's Account of How the White House Compromised American Intelligence." Drumheller is the the highest-ranking CIA officer to write a book about the inner workings of the CIA and its relationship with the Bush administration. Drumheller worked for the CIA for 26 years under four different administrations. He retired in 2004 after serving as head of the CIA's Europe division.
In his book, Drumheller tells his story, or as much as he is allowed, about life in the CIA in the days leading to the disastrous invasion of Iraq. His conclusions are striking because it is rare in our nation's history for intelligence officers, even in retirement, to openly criticize an administration they served.
Drumheller was interviewed on 60 Minutes back in April. Unfortunately, his story failed to make a dent in the 'liberal media.' His first hand accounts prove (as if you need any more evidence) that the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. In other words, the Bush administration flat out lied about why they went to war.
When no weapons of mass destruction surfaced in Iraq, President Bush insisted that all those WMD claims before the war were the result of faulty intelligence. But a former top CIA official, Tyler Drumheller -- a 26-year veteran of the agency -- has decided to do something CIA officials at his level almost never do: Speak out.
He tells correspondent Ed Bradley the real failure was not in the intelligence community but in the White House. He says he saw how the Bush administration, time and again, welcomed intelligence that fit the president's determination to go to war and turned a blind eye to intelligence that did not.
"It just sticks in my craw every time I hear them say it’s an intelligence failure. It’s an intelligence failure. This was a policy failure," Drumheller tells Bradley.
Drumheller was the CIA's top man in Europe, the head of covert operations there, until he retired a year ago. He says he saw firsthand how the White House promoted intelligence it liked and ignored intelligence it didn’t:
"The idea of going after Iraq was U.S. policy. It was going to happen one way or the other," says Drumheller.