Though much has been written about the machinations of the Bush Administration and the recent failures of the Central Intelligence Agency, there is still a great deal of information that remains unknown to the American public. In this eye-opening new book, former CIA division chief Tyler Drumheller explores the gradual erosion of the agency's independence over the past 30 years, witnessing its decline through the prism of his own experiences.
A dedicated intelligence professional, Drumheller worked for several administrations, from Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush, rising through the ranks to become head of the agency's European division. From that privileged position he watched with growing dismay as the CIA descended into bureaucratic inertia and later, with anger as ideological powerbrokers used the agency to achieve their own political goals.
At Langley, Drumheller had a front row seat alongside Dick Cheney, Condoleeza Rice, Colin Powell, and George Tenet. As only a few insiders can, he offers first-hand insight into the agency's relationship with the Bush Administration, sheds new light on how America propelled itself into war with Iraq, and explains how it has had a detrimental effect on our abilities to defend ourselves.
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Tyler Drumheller retired from the CIA in early 2005. His career spanned more than 25 years during which he served as the chief of the agency's largest field office and worked as a senior operations officer in other regions of the world. He is currently the president and founder of Tyler Drumheller LLC. An experienced foreign correspondent now based in Washington, DC.
Elaine Monaghan writes for The Times of London.From Publishers Weekly:
The highest ranking CIA official yet to write a book about the current war in Iraq, retired officer Drumheller looks back on his 25 years in intelligence to lay bare the Bush administration's push toward invasion and its long-term impact on U.S. intelligence gathering capabilities. Central to Drumheller's argument is the familiar story of the White House's reliance on the testimony of an Iraqi defector (who came to be known as "Curveball") in making its case for war; to that effect, there's much here that simply reiterates the critical chorus that "policy was shaping the intelligence and not the other way around," as do numerous recent Iraq war exposés. More interesting are the glimpses of well-known milestones in the run-up to the war, including a late-night call from CIA Director George Tenet the night before Colin Powell's infamous UN address, at which he presented Curveball's testimony on an Iraqi bioweapons program. With this story and others, Drumheller illustrates how the Bush administration left the CIA scrambling to clean up the ensuing mess when they should have been pursuing new threats: "The biggest difference between the current transition period and those in the past is that we are facing the added challenge of fighting off abuse and being made scapegoats by our political masters." Drumheller's book is a lucid account of the Bush administration's intelligence breakdown, hobbled only by its late arrival to the shelf.
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