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.
When CIA Director George Tenet delivered this news to the president, the vice president and other high ranking officials, they were excited — but not for long.
“[The source] told us that there were no active weapons of mass destruction programs,” says Drumheller. “The [White House] group that was dealing with preparation for the Iraq war came back and said they were no longer interested. And we said ‘Well, what about the intel?’ And they said ‘Well, this isn’t about intel anymore. This is about regime change.’ ”
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.