Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Scott McClellan Admits White House Lied on Iraq, And That He Sucks.

Earlier this month, I wrote about Doug Feith's Iraq book, which I noted was the latest in a series of passing-the-buck memoirs from former administration officials. Who's next in this fun little game?

Why, it's Scott McClellan, not only the President's second Press Secretary, but also one of his old friends from the Texas days. What does Scottie have to say now that he's no longer being paid to lie on Bush's behalf? Well-
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.

Well that we knew. And care to elaborate on that Iraq comment, Scott?
"History appears poised to confirm what most Americans today have decided: that the decision to invade Iraq was a serious strategic blunder. No one, including me, can know with absolute certainty how the war will be viewed decades from now when we can more fully understand its impact. What I do know is that war should only be waged when necessary, and the Iraq war was not necessary.”

Absolutely true. And many Americans-- say, those of us who who had jobs other than bamboozling the public for the President who started that war-- have known that from the start (and we were called unpatriotic terror appeasers for saying so, as McClellan now will be by the Bush cultists on Fox and elsewhere). Now Scott, if the President is still taking your calls, can you make an inquiry about an 'exit strategy' on our behalf? Thanks.

Apparently, he goes on to chastise (correctly) the people he was lying to every day-
McClellan charges that Bush relied on "propaganda" to sell the war. Allen summarizes: "He says the White House press corps was too easy on the administration during the run-up to the war....McClellan repeatedly embraces the rhetoric of Bush's liberal critics."

In the book, McClellan charges: "If anything, the national press corps was probably too deferential to the White House and to the administration in regard to the most important decision facing the nation during my years in Washington, the choice over whether to go to war in Iraq. The collapse of the administration's rationales for war, which became apparent months after our invasion, should never have come as such a surprise. ... In this case, the 'liberal media' didn't live up to its reputation. If it had, the country would have been better served."

Darn that liberal media!

There's also lots of talk in the book about how the Plame matter was handled, and other topics (like how his poor friend George was poorly served by all the liars and criminals he mistakenly surrounded himself with). I will never pay for any of these books-- which will be coming out left and right over the next year-- but it's somewhat cathartic to see the fabric of the narratives Bush wove unraveled by his former aides, most of whom just want some distance when history delivers its unforgiving verdict.

[PS- Speaking of Iraq, McCain is working to expunge his position on it from his website. Maverick!]

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