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…”

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.

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.”

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.”

The criticism of Bush in the book is striking, given that it comes from a man who followed him to Washington from Texas.

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.

Of course, mini-clones still embrace the mistakes and say the war is “necessary and just” and should be continued.




  1. MikeN says:

    All you guys whining about Bush lied, should realize that Congress would have approved of a war with Iraq no matter the reason the President gave, and Kerry would have given a supportive speech and said it was irresponsible to vote otherwise.

    The only reason WMD was given as the reason was because Tony Blair wanted support from the UN.

  2. Mister Mustard says:

    >>Who are these swift boat liars

    Pajama pals of GW (Genital Warts) Bush, Lyin’ Mike!

    http://tinyurl.com/6a67r

    >>the prospect of another Republican
    >>administration.

    When Obama wins, will you promise to commit harakiri, Tommie?

  3. RBG says:

    You know, I want Obama to win because it would be so cool just to have a black guy running the country.

    Which, on some level, must be racist as I should really be more concerned about an inexperienced dude running the country into the ground after a flaky “trust me” campaign.

    RBG

  4. Thomas says:

    #95
    Unlike you Mr. Condiment, I’m not nearly as extremist with respect to Obama. He has some views with which I disagree and I think the Democratic party is a reprehensible grease fire, but I would not be opposed to having at least the illusion of fresh blood in the White House for a change. So, at this point, barring Obama sticking his foot in his mouth or McCain showing me something better than he has, I say there is a good chance I’ll vote for Obama.

  5. Thomas says:

    Adding to that, there is one thing Obama could do that would in fact compel me to vote for McCain. If Obama names Hillary as the VP. I could not bring myself to vote for any ticket that included Hilary.

  6. Rick Cain says:

    This is just a tactic of McClellan so when the federal indictments come down, he will not get caught up in the mass arrests of Bush white house officials.
    They indicted 33 members of Reagan’s cabinet and convicted 31 of them (ronnie pardoned kaspar), so I guess Bush is going for the Guinness book of indictments.

  7. Mr. Catshit says:

    #99, Rick,

    Don’t count on it. I fully expect to see Bush grant blanket pardons to all those he encouraged to break the law just before the Democrats start subpoenaing the criminals or before he leaves office.


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