According to former White House Press Secretary Scott McLellan, the Bush administration has been somewhat less than forthcoming:
Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan writes in a surprisingly scathing memoir to be published next week that President Bush “veered terribly off course,” was not “open and forthright on Iraq,” and took a “permanent campaign approach” to governing at the expense of candor and competence.
Among the most explosive revelations in the 341-page book, titled “What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception” (Public Affairs, $27.95):
- McClellan charges that Bush relied on “propaganda” to sell the war.
- He says the White House press corps was too easy on the administration during the run-up to the war.
- He admits that some of his own assertions from the briefing room podium turned out to be “badly misguided.”
- The longtime Bush loyalist also suggests that two top aides held a secret West Wing meeting to get their story straight about the CIA leak case at a time when federal prosecutors were after them — and McClellan was continuing to defend them despite mounting evidence they had not given him all the facts.
- McClellan asserts that the aides — Karl Rove, the president’s senior adviser, and I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the vice president’s chief of staff — “had at best misled” him about their role in the disclosure of former CIA operative Valerie Plame’s identity.
Not exactly hard to believe, is it?
Of course, the inevitable White House smear campaign against McLellan has already begun. Reminiscent of David Kuo, Joseph Wilson, Valerie Plame, Paul O’Neill, John DiIulio, and Richard Clarke. They get so much practice at this, don’t they?