As if the White House needed this. Sunday on 60 Minutes, Tyler Drumheller, the head of the CIA's covert operations in Europe at the time, will give fresh evidence that Bush and pals knew there were no WMD before they invaded Iraq. This is a Reuters story I found in The Age
, an Aussie newspaper.
White House knew there were no WMD: CIA
April 22, 2006 - 7:34AM (Aussie time)
The CIA had evidence Iraq possessed no weapons of mass destruction six months before the 2003 US-led invasion but was ignored by a White House intent on ousting Saddam Hussein, a former senior CIA official said, according to CBS.
Tyler Drumheller, who headed CIA covert operations in Europe during the run-up to the Iraq war, said intelligence opposing administration claims of a WMD threat came from a top Iraqi official who provided the US spy agency with other credible information.
The source "told us that there were no active weapons of mass destruction programs," Drumheller said in a CBS interview to be aired on Sunday on the US network's 60 Minutes.
"The (White House) group that was dealing with preparation for the Iraq war came back and said they were no longer interested," he was quoted as saying in interview excerpts released by CBS on Friday.
"We said: 'Well, what about the intel?' And they said: 'Well, this isn't about intel anymore. This is about regime change'," added Drumheller, whose CIA operation was assigned the task of debriefing the Iraqi official.
So on to the CBS website, then!
...Drumheller talks to 60 Minutes correspondent Ed Bradley in his first television interview this Sunday, April 23 at 7 p.m. ET/PT.
Drumheller, who retired last year, says the White House ignored crucial information from a high and credible source. The source was Iraq's foreign minister, Naji Sabri, with whom U.S. spies had made a deal. [...]
They didn't want any additional data from Sabri because, says Drumheller: "The policy was set. The war in Iraq was coming and they were looking for intelligence to fit into the policy."
The White House declined to respond to this charge, but Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has stated that Sabri was just one source and therefore not reliable.
Drumheller says the administration routinely relied on single sources -- when those single sources confirmed what the White House wanted to hear. [...]
"It just sticks in my craw every time I hear them say it's an intelligence failure. ... This was a policy failure. ... I think, over time, people will look back on this and see this is going to be one of the great, I think, policy mistakes of all time," Drumheller tells Bradley.
It's the Downing Street Memo all over again, only this time front and center on America's beloved 60 Minutes!