The WSJ has excerpts from his Scott McClellan’s book “What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception,”
* The most obvious evidence that the Bush White House embraced the permanent campaign is the expansive political operation that was put in place from day one. Chief political strategist Karl Rove was given an enormous center of influence within the white House from the outset.
* When Bush was making up his mind to pursue regime change in Iraq, it is clear that his national security team did little to slow him down, to help him fully understand the tinderbox he was opening and the potential risks in doing so. I know the president pretty well. I believe that, if he had been given a crystal ball in which he could have foreseen the costs of war – more than 4,000 American troops killed, 30,000 injured, and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi citizens dead – he would have never made the decision to invade, despite what he might say or feel he has to say publicly.
* Contradictory intelligence was largely ignored or simply disregarded. Evidence based on high confidence from the intelligence community was lumped together with intelligence of lesser confidence. A nuclear threat was added to the biological and chemical threats to create a greater sense of gravity and urgency. Support for terrorism was given greater weight by playing up a dubious al Qaeda connection to Iraq. When it was all packaged together, the case constituted a “grave and gathering danger” that needed to be dealt with urgently.
The Rude Pundit’s view, Scott McClellan Confesses for His Damned Soul (and Lots of Cash)
What’s been revealed so far from McClellan’s book will be greeted by anyone paying attention for the last few years with, “Yeah, what else ya got?” The administration launched a propaganda campaign to sell the war? The not-really-liberal-at-all media didn’t do its job in the run-up to the war or after? “The Iraq war was not necessary”? Rove and Libby lied about the outing of Valeria Plame? Bush was a complete dunderhead when it came to Hurricane Katrina? Really, Scotty? At this point, is there still wool that needs to be pulled from someone’s eyes? We’re all about ten steps ahead of McClellan by now. Jesus, at least give us something new, like, say, Cheney threatening to have Libby’s cats gutted if Scooter didn’t take the fall.
The Rude Pundit ain’t in a forgiving mood when it comes to lackeys and co-conspirators in the Bush administration. McClellan doesn’t get to say, as he does in the book, “The collapse of the administration’s rationales for war, which became apparent months after our invasion, should never have come as such a surprise.” Not when he said, in late January 2004, months after the invasion, regarding the chimeric weapons of mass destruction, “Yes, we believe he had them, and yes, we believe they will be found. We believe the truth will come out.” No, the little bulldog bitch who every day snarled at the press, even when caught in outright lies, does not get the bounty of fulsome forgiveness. ( as much as I borrowed there is more at the link)
This is something to be said for confessions like McClellan. What ever his motivations which probably do include money and saving his reputation, but on the other hand there has been another stone placed on the modern Conservative movement’s crypt. The Right’s reaction has been as predictable as the Bush Cult usually is. Though it takes a little more then a book that tells us a lot we already knew and insists that good old Dubya had the best intentions to become a liberal, The Republican Townhall blog writes, Scott McClellan’s Opportunistic Book, Posted by: Matt Lewis at 7:27 AM
Bush’s legacy has been badly damaged by his staffing decisions, which included too many “loyal” Texans, too many liberals, and too many light-weights.
In this case, McClellan fits all three categories.
Scott call your mom so she doesn’t hear it from someone else first, you’re now a liberal. I wonder if TH realized they were admitting that this administration was full of lightweights. One, maybe two years of lightweights would be excusable, but eight? Rightwing News thinks its 1778, Scott McClellan’s Loyalty In Doubt, May 28, 2008, Melissa Clouthier,10:09 AM
Scott McClellan joins Dick Morris as a disloyal, self-serving former staffer. Who ever likes a “snitch” as Drudge says? He better enjoy his moment in the sun. Wait, what am I saying? The MSM loves a turncoat. He’ll probably get his own TV show.
Is Melissa talking about the same media gave Karl Rove a cushy job about whom Scott McClellan said,
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.
Glenn expanded his update on the “liberal media” here. People confuse the fact that people like Charlie Gibson and Brian Williams are pleasant enough people with whether they performed their job functions properly. They both have multi-million dollar contracts with large media corporations. They have a well entrenched vested interest in going along to get along. Maybe they ask an occasional tough question, but for the vast majority of the time, well talk about lightweights.
The National Review, Wednesday, May 28, 2008, Re: Scott McClellan [Seth Leibsohn]
The idea that the press didn’t do its job and was too soft on the president — as McClellan writes — is, frankly, laughable. Raise your hand if you have any evidence that the press was too soft on the administration. ( If Mr. Leibsohn would take a break from the sound of his own echo and visit Greenwald’s story he’ll find some of that there truth and facts.)
[ ]…Finally, we’ll learn more as those written about in his book speak out. I note Fran Townsend is already on record saying she recalls no meeting where Scott McClellan ever objected to what was being said or made his dissenting views known. And I’ll just leave you with this — having not read the book and having no plans to do so: don’t you think that when someone has an objection to what is being done, they owe it to the public and as a mark of duty to do something about it or say something about it at the time, rather than wait two years and save it for a book? Does that in and of itself not cut down some of the credibility.
We all know what happens to people that object openly to Bush or Cheney’s policy decisions – just as Paul O’Neil, General Zinni, Richard Clarke or Admiral Fallon among many others.
Senator John McLiar thinks he’d be a bang up Decider Guy:
He thinks it would be a swell idea to have something like a “League of Nations”. John might want to up his dosage of ginkgo biloba. We had a League of Nations but it dissolved in 1946. If McUnorginall wants to steal ideas from Woodrow Wilson that fine, just don’t tell Jonah Goldberg who in his revisionist history portrayed Wilson as a liberal fascist.
What McCain failed to mention was that he was accompanied by “100 American soldiers, with three Blackhawk helicopters, and two Apache gunships overhead.” He also appeared to be wearing a bulletproof vest during his visit.
Since that trip, McCain has claimed that the situation in Iraq has improved even more. A few months ago, McCain claimed that “we’ve succeeded militarily” in Iraq. Things, of course, are going so well, that he wants to keep U.S. troops there for at least 100 years.
America needs another four years of a Commander Guy telling us every six months that victory is within reach, but we’ll keep troops there infinitely just in case.
Commander-in-chief McCain would really get tough and put a missile defense system in Czechoslovakia. That’s going to be a little difficult. Besides such a missile system creating problems with Russia, Czechoslovakia became the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993.
All good reasons to get John a nice spot in the shade on the front porch with a good rocker, not to be CIC.