Author of Benghazi memos sent to Clinton dies after cancer battle

The Hill – by Julian Hattem

A former CIA officer who contested the spy agency’s intelligence about Iraq and authored controversial emails about the 2012 attack on Benghazi, Libya, has passed away.

Tyler Drumheller died on Aug. 2 from complications from pancreatic cancer, The Washington Post reported on Thursday evening. He was 63 years old.

After a 26-year career with the CIA that included time as the head of covert actions in Europe, Drumheller became a prominent critic of some of the agency’s intelligence in the run-up to the Iraq War.  

Specifically, he vocally criticized the agency’s trust in an Iraqi defector code-named Curveball, who gave faulty intelligence that Saddam Hussein had developed laboratories for biological weapons. The assertions played a major role in the George W. Bush administration’s public case for invading Iraq in 2003.

Drumheller also criticized the Bush administration’s claims that Iraq was buying yellowcake uranium from Niger, which it used as evidence to support the claim that Hussein was developing weapons of mass destruction.

Earlier this summer, Drumheller’s name was mentioned on Capitol Hill due to his role in authoring memos that were passed along to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2012.

At the time, Drumheller was an intelligence consultant. His emails about the events in Benghazi— during which four Americans were killed — were given to Clinton by longtime confidante Sidney Blumenthal.

Those emails had become the target of scrutiny among Republicans on the House Select Committee on Benghazi, who discovered the ties to Drumheller during a nine-hour, closed-door deposition with Blumenthal earlier this year.

Republicans, who accuse Clinton of falling down on the job during the 2012 raid, have raised questions about what she knew about the on-the-ground situation in Libya and whether she believed the violence was an act of terrorism or the work of a mob that formed in response to a YouTube video about the Prophet Mohammad.

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), the chairman of the Benghazi committee, had previously indicated that he might force Drumheller to testify in his panel.

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