Scott McClellan:Bush manipulated us to war

In a new memoir Scott McClellan, the former press secretary to President Bush, writes that Bush sold the war in Iraq with political propaganda and misdirection. From the Washington Post:

Former White House press secretary Scott McClellan writes in a new memoir that the Iraq war was sold to the American people with a sophisticated “political propaganda campaign” led by President Bush and aimed at “manipulating sources of public opinion” and “downplaying the major reason for going to war.”

McClellan defended the war policies of the Bush Administration from the press podium, but has reached a different conclusion now.

McClellan, once a staunch defender of the war from the podium, comes to a stark conclusion, writing, “What I do know is that war should only be waged when necessary, and the Iraq war was not necessary.”

McClellan ranges over a wide swarth of topics, including Karl Rove, Condi Rice, and “the decider” himself.

The book, coming from a man who was a tight-lipped defender of administration aides and policy, is certain to give fuel to critics of the administration, and McClellan has harsh words for many of his past colleagues. He accuses former White House adviser Karl Rove of misleading him about his role in the CIA case. He describes Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as being deft at deflecting blame, and he calls Vice President Cheney “the magic man” who steered policy behind the scenes while leaving no fingerprints.

And President Bush:

Bush is depicted as an out-of-touch leader, operating in a political bubble, who has stubbornly refused to admit mistakes. McClellan defends the president’s intellect — “Bush is plenty smart enough to be president,” he writes — but casts him as unwilling or unable to be reflective about his job.

McClellan deals with many of the subjects that are always fascinating, such as the Bush response to Katrina.

McClellan charges that the campaign-style focus affected Bush’s entire presidency. The ill-fated Air Force One flyover of New Orleans, after Hurricane Katrina struck the city, was conceived of by Rove, who was “thinking about the political perceptions” but ended up making Bush look “out of touch,” he writes.

He says the White House’s reaction to Katrina was more than just a public relations disaster, calling it “a failure of imagination and initiative” and the result of an administration that “let events control us.” He adds: “It was a costly blunder.”

McClellan took some real heat from the press over the Valerie Plame affair, and now believes that he was deceived by Rove and Libby.

McClellan admits to letting himself be deceived about the unmasking of CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson, which resulted in his relentless pounding by the White House press corps over the activities of Rove and of Cheney aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby in the matter.

Likely to be an interesting read, and a book that the Bush White House cannot be happy about. Read the Washington Post story here.

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10 Responses to Scott McClellan:Bush manipulated us to war

  1. Jim says:

    Simply amazing that after all his denials, this guy is now attempting to make a buck telling the world what the world already knew to begin with…well all the world except for that dwindling 22%…

    I hope it bombs…


  2. Jules Gordon says:

    Hey Jim,

    I thought it was 23%. Are you telling me that the Bush supporting morons like me, lost 1% in a single day?

    Thanks for being fair in seeing the hypocrosy of this. It bogles the mind that people who take a responsible position do not have the courage to leave when moral issues require it. They seem to feel they can write a book to expose all for big bucks. He had release the book before Bush leaves office to be relevant.



  3. Jules Gordon says:

    Your Honor,

    Cheap Shot.



  4. Bill Manzi says:

    And low as well!


  5. Jim says:


    Though I believe the term I had used was ‘fools’ as opposed to ‘morons’ (moron is reserved solely for GW), I had hoped the drop in support was due to you having FINALLY decided to get out.

    I am deeply sorry that I was proven wrong by you yet again…


  6. Jim says:

    White House press secretary Dana Perino released this statement on Scott McClellan’s critical book on the Bush White House:
    “Scott, we now know, is disgruntled about his experience dealing with neocon liars at the White House. For those of us who also lied and fully supported him, before, during and after he was press secretary, we are puzzled. It is sad — this is not the lying Scott we knew.”

    More from Perino: “The book, as reported by the press, has been described to the president. Because it is not a picture book that he is able to comprehend easier, I do not expect a comment from him on it — he has more pressing matters than to spend time commenting on books he can’t read by former staffers who finally tell the truth, albeit after the truth was already known by all.

    However, he has asked me to blow a raspberry at Scott, and to give him one noogie for every lie he told as press secretary.”


  7. Karen says:

    Oh, never mind this book. Did you hear Pat Buchanan on Imus this morning with HIS new book?? Now, THAT’S a controversial tome. And much more worthy of discussion than this drivel.


  8. Jules Gordon says:

    I made a commitment to support GW in the response to the terrorist assault. I see a long term strategy in his plans.

    As for the rest, he has abandoned concervative principles; a surprise to me. Illegal alien amnesty, Global warming fraud were enough to lose my support in these matters.

    I don’t see anything better coming down the pike.

    I assume you disapproved of his reaction to the assault.

    Jim, we have many problems ahead of us. Beating up on GW is a waste of your time.




  9. Matty K says:

    How much do you think I can get for the Manzi tell-all that I’m working on? Now that’s interesting reading! Publishers, please inquire 🙂


  10. Jules Gordon says:


    The book may be better than the sleeping pills I was taking.



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