The ex-CIA official identified as the source of information advisor Sidney Blumenthal gave to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about Libya and the Benghazi attack is the same official who made highly questionable claims regarding what he knew about a key source on Iraq weapons of mass destruction who turned out to be wrong.
A review by Secrets of the 2007 memoir from former CIA Director George Tenet found several pages that make clear Tyler Drumheller was not a reliable source on important matters like Iraq WMD and in describing his role in the affair to Congress.
In the latest stories about missing Clinton emails, Drumheller has been described as Blumenthal's source. But his role in the Iraq WMD affair, as described in the book, At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the CIA, raises concerns about his reliability.
Over several pages, Tenet blew the whistle on Drumheller, who told a 2006 commission studying why the CIA got the WMD story wrong that he warned top officials that a source code-named "Curve Ball" was not telling the truth.
He claimed that his news hit the CIA like a "bombshell." At the time, Drumheller was at the CIA and in charge of European operations. Curve Ball was German and his information came through the German's CIA, the BND.
In his book, Tenet said after a long search of agency documents, however, not one single memo or email from Drumheller or anything warning about Curve Ball was ever found and no bombshell ever went off.
In fact, just the opposite was uncovered: a memo from Drumheller urging Tenet to thank the Germans for Curve Ball's info on WMD in Iraq.
In another search of the director's schedule, Tenet found found that Drumheller was in his office 22 times but never mentioned his concerns about Curve Ball. From the book:
"He seems never to have thought that it might be worth telling the boss that he had reason to believe a central pillar in the case against Saddam might have been a mirage. In fact, it seemed that just the opposite was communicated.
"In May 27, 2003, the head of the German BND, August Hanning, paid me a visit in Washington. My office received an email from Drumheller's deputy, with a copy that went to Tyler, recommending that I be sure to thank Hanning for agreeing to allow us to use the Curve Ball material in our public discussions.
"In advance of Hanning's visit, I received a memo laying out our goals for the session, a matter of course before every meeting with a foreign intelligence official. The memo was signed by Tyler Drumheller. The first page included a list of five suggested talking points to advance our goals. Number three, all in bold, suggests that I: Thank Dr. Hanning for the Iraqi WMD information provided by the BND asset 'Curve Ball.'"
In the latest stories about missing Clinton Benghazi emails Friday, the Blumenthal-Clinton-Drumheller relationship was touched on. Said the New York Times:
"The chairman of the House committee, Trey Gowdy, Republican of South Carolina, said that many of the emails that Mrs. Clinton had not handed over showed that 'she was soliciting and regularly corresponding with Sidney Blumenthal, who was passing unvetted intelligence information about Libya from a source with a financial interest in the country.'
"'It just so happens these emails directly contradict her public statement that the messages from Blumenthal were unsolicited,' he said. Mr. Blumenthal identified the source of his information as Tyler Drumheller, a former high-ranking C.I.A. official, according to a person with knowledge of his testimony to the Benghazi panel. Mr. Drumheller was part of a group that sought to do business in Libya."Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.