This Just In…

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?


  1. #1 Ski
    May 28, 2008

    McClellan’s testimony is just the latest evidence that Bush is the most disingenuous and dangerous to democracy president ever. And the blood of hordes has been shed because of that incompetent maniac. What a disgrace.

  2. #2 Don
    May 28, 2008

    I just hope it doesn’t come off as merely self-serving. That will make it too easy for the book to be dismissed by the people in the Bush staff and they won’t have to answer some justifiable tough questions.

  3. #3 Joshua Zelinsky
    May 28, 2008

    We shouldn’t take McClellan’s claims uncritically. He’s a source who clearly had a serious falling out with the administration and moreover was by most descriptions not in many of the relevant meetings.

  4. #4 decrepitoldfool
    May 28, 2008

    That will be one of the swift boats they’ll send against him. They’re already saying he’s “disgruntled” as if that discredits him somehow. Hey, if you are disappointed and disillusioned by something, you’re disgruntled. Not necessarily wrong, just disgruntled.

  5. #5 chris
    May 29, 2008

    “Just in” indeed. Where was McLellan’s conscience when Bush was actually lying, and McLellan found out? The reality community has been aware of these for years.

  6. #6 Timcol
    May 29, 2008

    The book I really want to read, and I hope it comes out before November, is the one by Colin Powell and his experiences in the White House…

  7. #7 natural cynic
    May 29, 2008

    Just a heads up – McClellan will be on Olbermann thursday evening.

  8. #8 MartinDH
    May 29, 2008

    My only reaction to McCellan’s revelations was “No shit, Sherlock. Tell me something I don’t know.”

    Now the well rehearsed chorus at the White Zoo is “puzzled” by his “disgruntled” book. Sheesh…more spin from those that only know how to spin. Why am I not suprised?


  9. #9 JimCH
    May 29, 2008

    The book I really want to read, and I hope it comes out before November, is the one by Colin Powell and his experiences in the White House…

    My guess is that you’re not going to get exactly what you’re looking for here. Take this McCellan book for instance, I haven’t read it but I’ve heard him interviewed a couple times & it sounds like the criticism is a lot tamer than people seem to think. McCellan does seem to indict some high-level officials/advisers but Shrub, he informs us, just used poor judgment & didn’t “knowingly” mislead the citizenry. Inside the beltway, you see, it is a very insular echo-chamber & it’s very difficult to not lose your way amongst the noise. I think that this is just going to be a version of the plausible denial defense on Shrub’s behalf that Reagan made so famous. Again, I haven’t read the book but I’m suspicious that this is an attempt to save Shrub by sacrificing those that clearly now can’t be saved.
    With Powell, I’d be very surprised if his book amounted to little more than that he thinks people went too far using poor judgment to sell a war with otherwise worthwhile goals (a McNamara style non-confessional, non-apology). I hope that I’m wrong but I think that if you look hard these people don’t give up too much ground.

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