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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Scott McClellan - Unwitting Dupe?

Scott McClellan, former White House Press Secretary has released his new book, WHAT HAPPENED: Inside the Bush White House and What’s Wrong With Washington in a few Washington bookstores this week. It is scheduled for universal release on June 2, 2008.

McClellan came with Bush from Texas and first served in the White House as Deputy Communications Director under Ari Fleischer, White House Press Secretary.

White House Biography:

Scott McClellan -- White House
Assistant to the President and White House Press Secretary
Most recently, Scott McClellan served as Deputy Assistant to the President and Principal Deputy Press Secretary.

Before joining the White House staff, he was the traveling press secretary for the Bush-Cheney 2000 presidential campaign. Scott began working for Governor Bush in early 1999 as deputy communications director. Prior to joining the Governor's office, he served as chief of staff to a Texas state senator, worked on grassroots outreach for lawsuit reform in Texas and managed three successful statewide campaigns.

Scott is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin.

From the

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.

McClellan stops short of saying that Bush purposely lied about his reasons for invading Iraq, writing that he and his subordinates were not "employing out-and-out deception" to make their case for war in 2002.

But in a chapter titled "Selling the War," he alleges that the administration repeatedly shaded the truth and that Bush "managed the crisis in a way that almost guaranteed that the use of force would become the only feasible option."

"Over that summer of 2002," he writes, "top Bush aides had outlined a strategy for carefully orchestrating the coming campaign to aggressively sell the war. . . . In the permanent campaign era, it was all about manipulating sources of public opinion to the president's advantage."

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 resigned from the White House on April 19, 2006, after nearly three years as Bush's press secretary. The departure was part of a shake-up engineered by new Chief of Staff Joshua B. Bolten that also resulted in Rove surrendering his policy-management duties.

Time and time again, Scott McClellan stepped to the podium to spout the White House line. Did he have misgivings at some point but just kept giving us what the White House wanted to give out: did he know at some point that what he was spouting was a pack of lies; did he blindly spout the White House line and become an unwitting dupe?

Whatever the case, the ranks have been broken big time and we will have to see what the impact of this book will have on us, the people.


  1. Nice balanced post... Until the end. So with that, I will take the opposing view.

    Scott took the podium with full knowledge of what he was saying, and what he wasn't saying.

    Was he lying to us then or is he lying to us now?

    Or, as you ask, is he just an unwitting dupe? I would definitely agree that he is an unwitting dupe, but not from his time with the White House press corp. He is an unwitting dupe of his editor and now the left-wing element of our political machine.

    As for what impact it will have, the answer will most assuredly be minimal, if not zero. Our sitting President, while still out there trying to do his duty, is 100% lame duck. There is almost no reason for there to be change, and even the press is not too interested in what he says or does these days.

    McClellan's book will drop from the best seller lists in a matter of a couple weeks, and we will not hear from him again. ALTHOUGH - He timed it perfectly for the election cycle. But I still say that it is directed at a White House that is on its way out, so who cares?

    Write more posts! There is a lot going on out there.

  2. Hi Bruce!

    Thanks for writing. We loved hearing your point of view. We still aren’t sure of Scott’s motivation or if he was duped, who exactly duped him. Great question – was he lying to us then or is he lying to us now? You are almost certainly right that the impact will be minimal and we also agree with you on the timing.

    We intend to keep writing – hope you will keep giving us your thoughtful comments!

    Jan & Stu


Thanks for your comments! Jan and Stu