Monday, April 24, 2006

BushCo not interested in intelligence. Yes, I know. It's hardly news.

Former high-level CIA official tells CBS's Ed Bradley about how they managed to turn the Iraqi foreign minister. Then he tells him why BushCo lost interest in their new source.

According to Drumheller, CIA Director George Tenet delivered the news about the Iraqi foreign minister at a high-level meeting at the White House, including the president, the vice president and Secretary of State Rice.

At that meeting, Drumheller says, "They were enthusiastic because they said, they were excited that we had a high-level penetration of Iraqis."

What did this high-level source tell him?

"He told us that they had no active weapons of mass destruction program," says Drumheller.

"So in the fall of 2002, before going to war, we had it on good authority from a source within Saddam's inner circle that he didn't have an active program for weapons of mass destruction?" Bradley asked.

"Yes," Drumheller replied. He says there was doubt in his mind at all.

"It directly contradicts, though, what the president and his staff were telling us," Bradley remarked.

"The policy was set," Drumheller says. "The war in Iraq was coming. And they were looking for intelligence to fit into the policy, to justify the policy."

Drumheller expected the White House to ask for more information from the Iraqi foreign minister.

But he says he was taken aback by what happened. "The group that was dealing with preparation for the Iraq war came back and said they're no longer interested," Drumheller recalls. "And we said, 'Well, what about the intel?' And they said, 'Well, this isn't about intel anymore. This is about regime change.'"

"And if I understand you correctly, when the White House learned that you had this source from the inner circle of Saddam Hussein, they were thrilled with that," Bradley asked.

"The first we heard, they were. Yes," Drumheller replied.

Once they learned what it was the source had to say — that Saddam Hussein did not have the capability to wage nuclear war or have an active WMD program, Drumheller says, "They stopped being interested in the intelligence."

3 comments:

Grant Miller said...

That's the first time in months I think 6 Minutes has taken a decent swipe at Bush Etc. They've been cowering ever since the Dan Rather fiasco.

Grant Miller said...

Or 60 minutes. Not 6 minutes.

vikkitikkitavi said...

Yeah, cowering is a good word. It is so easy to subdue the press, isn't it?

I wonder if the NYT would have backed Judith Miller if they weren't so freaked out about the whole liberal press thing.