Wednesday, May 28

Scott McClellan Dishes on Former Boss,the War, Katrina, and Rove

Former White House mouthpiece, Scott McClellan has written a memoir "What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception" that, surprise, implicates George Bush of being less than candid with the American people. McClellan, who briefed the press and defended President Bush's policies through Hurricane Katrina and the early years of the Iraq war now says, according to CNN "the Bush Most telling administration became mired in propaganda and political spin and at times played loose with the truth."

Additionally, McClellan asserts that 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.

"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."

McClellan writes on Iraq that Bush "and his advisers confused the propaganda campaign with the high level of candor and honesty so fundamentally needed to build and then sustain public support during a time of war."

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."

Regarding the handling of Hurricane Katrina, McClellan says "One of the worst disasters in our nation's history became one of the biggest disasters in Bush's presidency," he wrote. "Katrina and the botched federal response to it would largely come to define Bush's second term."

More at the Politico and CNN

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