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The McClellan Mess: Assessing the Fallout

It's easy amid the maelstrom of coverage surrounding former Bush White House press secretary Scott McClellan's tell-all (or at least tell-most) memoir to assume that this could be a heavy blow to the Republican brand and the party's hopes of keeping the White House.

Scott McClellan Book
Courtesy Public Affairs Books

After all, McClellan alleges in his new book -- "What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception" -- that the Bush White House is in a "permanent campaign" state, focused on "manipulating sources of public opinion to the president's advantage." He also takes on his former boss over the war in Iraq, the CIA leak case and the way in which the press covered the White House.

While the McClellan story is dominating the airwaves, including McClellan's interview this morning on NBC's "Today" show, interviews with a number of GOP strategists suggested that the long-term impact of the story is far less than first meets the eye.

"There are very few people who are undecided about the President today," said Republican consultant Dan Hazelwood. "The McClellan stories will merely serve to crystallize and solidify people's existing perceptions."

Neil Newhouse, a Republican pollster, echoed that sentiment. "None of this is breaking new ground," he said. "Voter attitudes regarding the president are pretty well set, and while this will make waves inside the Beltway, it will hardly cause a ripple with voters on the national level," said Newhouse.

As evidence, Newhouse cited a focus group he and Alex Bellone -- both of Public Opinion Strategies -- conducted on Wednesday in Columbus, Ohio. At the last minute, the duo decided to ask the group, a mixture of Democrats and Republicans, about McClellan.

Two strains of thought predominated, Newhouse said.

The first was "initial anger at McClellan for writing a tell-all book...he's the President's confidant - you just don't do that to people," said Newhouse.

The second was that there was little impact of the President or his administration as a result of the McClellan book. "No one seemed surprised at the revelations," according to Newhouse.

(Newhouse wouldn't disclose the sponsor of the focus group but said it was a non-political client.)

Sure, it's in these GOP consultants' interests to downplay the potential impact of McClellan's book, but polling does tend to bear out the heavily bifurcated nature of the electorate when it comes to President Bush.

A look at data over the last year shows Bush's job approval rating consistently mired in the high 20s/low 30s. Take the last handful of national polls publicly released: In the ABC/Washington Post survey 28 percent approved of the job Bush was doing; in the Quinnipiac poll the job approval number was at 31 percent; an NPR survey put it at 33 percent. That window -- between 28 percent and 33 percent -- is where nearly every poll has pegged Bush's approval at over the past several years.

Given the consistency of those numbers, it's hard to imagine any single event -- even one as explosive as the release of McClellan's book -- changing it.

If you came into the controversy over McClellan's memoir still supporting the president and his administration, you will likely see the book as an attempt by the former press secretary to make a buck off his time in the spotlight. (That angle is the one, not coincidentally, being pushed by the White House and its various surrogates.)

If, on the other hand, you believe the Bush administration has led the country in a disastrous direction over the last seven years, you are likely to see McClellan's book as a validation of your views and a sign that even some of Bush's most loyal advisers are seeing the light.

That doesn't mean, however, that Democrats won't use the McClellan book, and the allegations therein, to make the case against Bush and the Republican Party in the fall. They will.

The important thing to remember when seeking to assess the McClellan fallout is that the story is still in its very early stages. The Bush White House's reaction -- some would say overreaction -- to it could well keep it churning for days (and maybe even weeks) to come.

Seen from 10,000 feet, McClellan's broadside is yet another blow to a Republican Party that is already contending with dismal approval ratings, losses in three straight special elections, a cash deficit at the congressional level and a general level of malaise infecting the party from the activist level all the way to the candidate level.

John Weaver, a former senior aide to McCain, addressed the cumulative effect of the series of negative stories on the party brand: "Taken by itself, there will be very little, if any, fallout for the general election. A single nick won't matter; but a thousand nicks will be fatal. And we're much closer to a thousand nicks than we are to one."

For John McCain, the episode offers no immediate danger to his presidential campaign, although a prolonged look at the problems with the Republican Party by the media does the presumptive nominee no favors.

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By Chris Cillizza  |  May 29, 2008; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008 , Republican Party  
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Next: McCain and the Danger of Being Didactic

Comments

This administration has destroyed everything I ever learned about our great country in school. It has neglected to uphold our standards of a peace-loving nation and turned us into an aggressor, trying to force our views on others. It has neglected to assist our very own people in their times of need. It has created a larger racial divide than currently existed by denying immediate assistance to Katrina survivors. It has separated the nation into a people of "haves and have nots," with refusing to acknowledge the underprivileged throughout the country. It has jeopardized our national security by leaving our borders open, opting for an international highway connecting us with Mexico and Canada, proposing a new money entity the Amero, destroying the sovereignty of the USA by creating a North American Union, and trying to instill into the American people fear of terrorism to justify our invasion of Iraq. It has created an economic environment that is bringing our country to its knees by sending jobs overseas, destroying manufacturing in the USA, allowing the cost of health care to sky rocket, allowing costs of fuel to go to unforeseen levels, and if anyone truly thinks no child is being left behind perhaps you have never visited children in rural America. It has lied, deceived, and continues to do so to the American people. Anyone of sound mind knows that for an individual such as Scott McClelland to be performing a job in the midst of this kind of power and visualizing the capabilities of that power could only create an overwhelming sense of stress, insecurity, and fear for one's own livelihood. It is a shame that the rest of Bush's supporters cannot see through the smoke-filled haze, but instead, they continue to deceive the American people. A vote for McCain will merely reinforce this abuse of power which has existed for the past eight years. It is long overdue for the people of this country to take a stand against this abuse of power and unite for the good of all people, otherwise we will continue to bear witness to the destruction of this great land we all had come to love.

Posted by: CJ | June 1, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

The political impact will be temporary and passing--may or may not affect November. Truth is none of us can really know that. To me the important thing here is the historical impact. Is McClellan on target? And if so, will we learn anything from this? Should the leadership of this great democracy (not to read sarcastically) always be trusted because this is America, and we are patriotic, and the President is always a great man. I think democracy's origins are in the distrust of leaders. We have to stop forgetting this. Be very wary of being talked into doing something because it is the patriotic thing to do. The patriotic thing to do is think, and disagree if thats where you end up. The real long term lesson of the book may be that we should never take the honesty of our leaders for granted. We probably should already know that.

Posted by: steve collins | June 1, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

In the 1930s, too many Germans were loyal, and millions died then. Today, conservatives are demanding loyalty to the regime. It is this conservative ideology (Republican Party) which must be defeated, for the sake of humanity and our earth.

Posted by: Warren | May 31, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse

neither democrate nor republican opinions matter to the real issue(s). the crimes of this administration and All of the politions who sat back and did nothing, much less the yellow press that spoon feed these cream puff stories to the public between the latest movie review and britney or paris escapade are to blame and should be corrected/punished. this administration and media manipulation is merely the prep and realignment for bush sr.'s NEW WORLD O RDER. do not pay attention to the man behind the screen

Posted by: Anonymous | May 31, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

After all comments about 'What happened' especially Dan Balzan's bright article and the many comments, I can only conclude that the 'genuine' ambition of George Bush to export American Democracy has ruined the name of America worldwide and for a long time to come.

One of the nasty side-effects - name it collateral damage - is the impossible price of oil almost everywhere in the world. European Governments try to save their fishing activities with difficult plans to help their working people. President Bush needed common sense and a view beyond today and tomorrow. He failed and - together with the team whose members he chose - a horrible mess is made. The product he tried to export: 'American Democracy' needs a lot of reparations. I hope that the next president will be a quiet, intelligent and empathic human being.

Posted by: Jan Arends | May 31, 2008 2:53 AM | Report abuse

THE END GAME


Obama may have more delegates, and if the superdelegates give him the nomination, the nomination will have been STOLEN.


Make no mistake about it.

This nomination is tainted - tainted with hypocrisy and dirty tricks - tained with false charges of "offensive remarks" - tainted with lies about who Obama is.

Such a nomination has been diminished by Obama himself.

Slowly the American people will realize what has happened, slowly it will sink it - this realization is of such a nature that once a person realizes the truth, that person will be lost for Obama forever. When a person realizes what a FRAUD Obama is, the trust is broken and that person will never come back.

.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 31, 2008 2:29 AM | Report abuse

Chris, you left out Corporate media's duplicity in keeping George Bush's ratings up! McClellan was just a pawn for the "Big Boys!! And oh, yes, I suggest you women read: "Healing the wounds of Democrats' sexism" by Geraldine Ferraro.

I am and my daughters are the ones who have been deeply angered by the way the Democratic Party leaders have so willingly discarded the accomplishments of a dedicated woman for the political rhetoric of an unknown, untried, untested weak candidate!

It's humiliating!

Thank you Ms. Ferraro for saying so!!!


Posted by: T. Barr | May 30, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A RULES COMMITTEE MEETING LIKE THIS IN THE HISTORY OF THE REPUBLIC

Marriott guards ready.


Obama poised to complete his STEAL of the nomination based on taking votes away from WHITES.


HILLARY NEVER SAW IT COMING.


Hillary, a former support of affirmative action, has now come out against ALL AFFIRMATIVE ACTION PROGRAMS after realizing that she too could lose her job to a black man.


Let Florida Count


White Voters in Florida and Michigan do not count half - that's worse than three fifths !!!!!

.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 30, 2008 2:30 AM | Report abuse

Cilizza misses the point. It's not how the book damages the "GOP brand", it's how it rips any remaining shreds of credibility away from the Iraq war itself.

Voters may be bifurcated on Bush, but there are plenty who are even now ambivalent about the war.

This just makes it harder for McCain to paint his sordid, criminal oil war in Red, White and Blue.

Posted by: kevrobb | May 30, 2008 2:19 AM | Report abuse

Yawn. Blah, blah, Blah. The Fix is dead in the water.

Here is a link to an article in Editor and Publisher that looks at the emerging problem.

http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003809535

Posted by: jfp | May 29, 2008 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Only McCain can save us.

Only McCain knows how to use the militaty to keep peace in America.

Only McCain can insure we will have enough babies for our future military needs by appointing pro-life Judges to the Supreme Court.

Only McCain understands torture and what it can and cannot do. You can count on him to make sure it works.

Only McCain can keep our boys and girls in Iraq until peace is restored and the oil is ours.

Only McCain can cut the fat in the Federal budget and he will start by cutting fat in the budget for the Veterans Administration.

Only McCain will insure housing costs decline as he sees to it that more and more foreclosures hit the open market.

Only McCain will insure that the legacy of Bush/Chaney will be preserved.

Only McCain will insure that the Bush tax cuts will remain permanent and will continue to save his wife millions.

Only McCain has a workable energy saving policy where he voluntarily will turn off the lights in the White House daily when he takes his 2 hour afternoon naps and retires for twelve hours at 8:00pm.

Only McCain will work to insure America looks like it did 75 years ago regardless of today's population.

Only McCain is our hope for the past.

Posted by: McCain's Our Man | May 29, 2008 10:33 PM | Report abuse

To the tune of, "The Battle Hymn of the Republic"

Mine eyes have seen the glory of Scott McClellan's book.
It's got all the Republicans, taking a second look !
Illuminating George Bush and cronies, and all that they have took!

The Truth keeps marching on !

Glory, glory to all nations!
Exposing all evil contemplations!
Bush and Rove will face incarcerations!

The Truth keeps marching on !

McClellan's revelations have spread throughout the land !
From coast to coast all are calling for Bush and cronies to disband.
Their deceptions are legion and their exposure is at hand!

The Truth keeps marching on !

Glory, glory to all nations!
Exposing all evil contemplations!
Bush and Rove will face incarcerations!

The Truth keeps marching on !

Posted by: The whitehuis | May 29, 2008 9:39 PM | Report abuse

I think most of the commentators are right, this book makes very little difference to anything. Somewhere between 60% to 70% of the people already "knew" it was true and think bush is a moron, and the balance say its true so what he's the greatest leader we ever had. Other then the bush team reaming him for being a turncoat, this is a zero sum game

Posted by: Chet | May 29, 2008 7:33 PM | Report abuse

if you want to say Obama is inexperienced or make an honest evaluation

**************************************

keep it up. those of you who say things about Obama are racist. once we are in the white house there will be changes.

Posted by: Lakisha | May 29, 2008 6:59 PM


Posted by: Anonymous | May 29, 2008 7:21 PM | Report abuse

keep it up. those of you who say things about Obama are racist. once we are in the white house there will be changes.

Posted by: Lakisha | May 29, 2008 6:59 PM | Report abuse

GOP House and Senate members enabled the President's deceptions by blocking Democrat attempts to pass legislation that would reverse some of Bush's courses - funding of the wars, particularly Iraq, unconstitutional provisions in the various Patriot Acts and their kin, anti-torture measures, etc.

Republicans can claim they didn't know the facts but they had no inclination to challenge WH assertions or to delve into any of it; they just circled the wagons and voted to protect Bush and his ill-advised initiatives.

They were the condemning chorus that smeared patriotic attempts by Democrats to pierce the secrecy veil to get at the truth.

Smart campaigning will tie House member so-and-so and Senator so-and-so voting records to blind faith in this propagandistic regime called the
Administration. "Give us more Democratic Senators and Representatives so needed legislation cannot be blocked by parliamentary maneuvers and other obstructions by the corrupt GOP.'

Posted by: David | May 29, 2008 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Chris:


Is it possible that it is really Obama's family which is so hostile on this board ???

***********************************


However, on many occassions I have heard Obama on the television, in a clip - and found his tone and manner offensive - attempting to tell people what they should do, what they should think - his version of right and wrong


I find it offensive.


I really don't know where you are coming up with your point.


.

Posted by: 37th&OStreet |
*********************************

37&O stinky homeless dude, no one cares what you think about Senator Obama. Quit p*ssing on my cousin, pig!

Posted by: M Street in Georgetown | May 29, 2008 2:33 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | May 29, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

It's stunning to me that the Washington Post, after devoting stories and stories to the Reverend Wright fiasco, has completely ignored today's bombshell: a videotape has surfaced, of one of Obama's spiritual advisors, Father Pfleger, of Trinity Church, claiming that Hillary Clinton wants to be President because she feels a sense of "white entitlement." What does this say about Obama's lack of judgment, and his core beliefs? Obama and Pfleger both issued apologetic statements today, in a desperate attempt to sweep the matter under the rug. The mainstream press is refusing the cover the story. As Bill Clinton said, a cover-up is indeed afoot.

Posted by: Cali_snowboarder | May 29, 2008 6:53 PM | Report abuse

SO LET ME GET THIS STRAIGHT:


NOW the story is this: both the media AND McClellan knew the TRUTH all along, but they were not telling us


The ENTIRE problem was Bush was lying the whole time.


1) McClellan never "went along" with it for his own self-interest -


2) The New York Times never "went along" with the story by printing some stupid story about aluminum tubes


3) The press knew the truth all along, but somehow the administration was such a good liar that the press was helpless


4) The democrats "went along" with the war when it was in their own self-interest in the 2002 and 2004 elections


5) The democrats "went along" with the war by FUNDING it for years and years because a few people in the Bush administration were such good liars.


Is that their story now???


My comment is this: all these people let down the American public - they are all no good and rotten.


For the democrats now to say - oh it was all because Bush was a liar - that is a deception and a lie.


THE REASON BUSH WAS ABLE TO GET AWAY WITH IT IS BECAUSE ALL THOSE PEOPLE KNEW BETTER - SHOULD HAVE DONE BETTER - AND WENT ALONG WITH IT FOR THEIR OWN SELF-INTEREST - THEY ARE THE ONES WHO SOLD OUT AMERICA.


YES THEY ARE THE ONES WHO SOLD OUT THIS COUNTRY.


IN LIFE, THE SELL-OUTS ARE THE ONES WHO TIP THE BALANCE.


IF ONE ELIMINATES THE SELL-OUTS, THE BALANCE IS NOT TIPPED

Posted by: Anonymous | May 29, 2008 6:45 PM | Report abuse

That a book ravaging the Bush / Cheney / Rove / GOP White House only elicits yawns is in itself a telling marker of how despised this axis of evil is.

7 months 24 days to go
until Bush is no mo'.

Burmashave.

Posted by: egc52556 | May 29, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Ooooh, shocking! Long-time well-paid stooge for Bush fights back against white house profiteering in exchange for huge profit! I never saw that one coming.

What? The white house tells lies for political gain? Bush went to a bunch of wild parties and doesn't remember all the drugs he did? The Irag War was sold like a campaign bumper sticker? Shocking. Next you'll expect me to believe they're incompetent as well...

Seriously, who didn't already know this stuff? That would read a book, I mean. Yes, there are the morons out there boycotting Dunkin Donuts because of Rachael Ray wearing a scarf, but I highly doubt they read.

Posted by: GrueSchenka | May 29, 2008 6:07 PM | Report abuse

white folks need to realize that they have ruined our govenment. it will take a strong black man to fix our country. just like the inventor of the peanut said, george washington carver, the negro can never be free until he is living in the white house.

Posted by: Lakisha | May 29, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Strikes me that John Weaver has the most accurate assessment: The Republican brand is nearly at the one-thousand cuts mark.

That the McClelland revelations now are not really new and damning information is certainly true. However, they do come at a time when the Democratic primaries are winding down.

And more importantly they spotlight the duplicity of the Bush Republican administration just in time to remind the voters what the coming election is really all about.

Frankly, I think the Repbulican brand has suffered far more than one thousand cuts. And, I'm happy to see the spotlight back on the need for a major change in the conduct of politics and government at the national and international level.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 29, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Mr. McClellan, thank you for speaking up. While long overdue, your book is much appreciated.

As far as journalism goes, we need many more people like Bill Moyers and those he featured in his outstanding investigative documentary, "Buying the War", such as John Walcott, Jonathan Landay and Warren Strobel of the, then, Knight Ridder newspapers. They burrowed deep into the intelligence agencies to try and determine whether there was any evidence for the Bush Administration's case for war. "Many of the things that were said about Iraq didn't make sense," says Walcott. "And that really prompts you to ask, 'Wait a minute. Is this true? Does everyone agree that this is true? Does anyone think this is not true?'"

As for the White House administration, well, I've written about this years ago with little response.

The White House Neo-Con-men should be put on trial before the public for the atrocities they have caused. And Speaker Nancy Pelosi should be investigated for aiding them, saying the issue of the Iraq War is "off the table", and as she states in a letter to me last week, "I believe impeachment proceedings against Vice President Dick Cheney will distract us from our mission...". Well, to Ms. Pelosi and all those who are relentlessly enabling this epic tragedy of senseless death, shattered lives, broken families, mind-numbing abuses of our hard-earned tax dollars, savage corporate exploitation; I say, there is no justice without impeachment. JUSTICE IS NO DISTRACTION!

And regarding Mr. Conyers, if he prays, I hope he asks for the strength to stand up and finish what he had so thoroughly and courageously begun on impeachment proceedings. The time has come to stand with his allies in the Congressional Black Caucus who made passionate presentations on the eve of the U.S. led invasion on Iraq. I shall forever remember that night in 2003--those powerful words of Rep. Maxine Waters:

"...What we see and we are witnessing is the mismanagement of America. Someone today criticized Senator Daschle because he talked about the diplomatic disaster. Mr. President, it is a diplomatic disaster. We are watching before our very eyes the mismanagement of our beloved country. Our schools are falling apart. You said you wished to leave no child behind, but, Mr. President, you have not funded assistance to education that will have our children in the best possible situations where they can learn. Our health care system has fallen apart. In my city, in my county we are closing healthcare clinics. We are closing hospitals....

Mr. President, you are not able to tell us what this war is going to cost and what the cleanup, what the revitalization, the reconstruction of Iraq is going to cost. The American people need to know where our dollars are going. The American people need to understand the cost of this war and why....

Mr. President, we must raise these questions. We must raise these questions because we are patriots. We are folks who love this country. We are folks who have stood by this country no matter what, and we will continue to stand by this country. We will continue to stand by our soldiers. But, Mr. President, you are going to have to account for the leadership that you are giving, and I say to you and all those who are advising you, be it Wolfowitz, be it Secretary of State Colin Powell, be it Condoleezza Rice, be it Karl Rove, or any of those in the inner circle, you are going to be held responsible for what takes place in this world, what takes place with this preemptive strike, what takes place with our soldiers and our families....

It is not too late, Mr. President. We will all stand up and applaud you if you do the courageous thing of saying, yes, we deployed; yes, we spent billions of dollars to do it; but we do not have the allies, we cannot afford the costs, and we cannot afford the loss of lives. I am going to bring our soldiers home."

Indeed, JUSTICE IS NO DISTRACTION! Impeachment now!

Posted by: Ellison | May 29, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

For heaven's sake, it's not like Bush was cheating on his wife! This is all stuff that was personal, and shouldn't warrant scrutiny by the press. Can't you people put things in perspective?

Posted by: daweeni | May 29, 2008 5:37 PM | Report abuse

"I don't know how George W. Bush manages to sleep with all the suffering and death that he has caused ..."

-Mark W

George Bush, the self-styled "compassionate conservative," sent one hundred fifty-two out of one hundred fifty-three Texas death row inmates who sought clemency from the then governor to the execution chamber. [He recounted the fact with great satisfaction during one of the debates with Al Gore in 2000.] Going by the experience of the State of Illinois, and assuming that Texas justice is as careful and thorough as Illinois justice, George W Bush has on his hands the blood of 79 innocent Texans whom he chose to send to the executioner.

And he sleeps like a baby, we are told. I believe it. After all, it's George Bush we are talking about.

Posted by: R M Gopal | May 29, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Half of America knew Bush and cronies were liars all along. By now another 20% have figured it out. The rest refuse to see the obvious, perhaps for financial reasons. They won't be around much longer, then history will judge this adminstration as the biggest bunch of losers ever.

Posted by: michael4 | May 29, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Its HILARIOUS that NEO-CONS are angry that McClellan told THE TRUTH!

ATTENTION NEO-CONS:

PATRIOTISM means telling the truth.
ESPECIALLY when its about whitehouse CRIMES and FAILURES!

Only an un-american lackey would keep the facts of these crimes a secret!

Oh that's who you hire? Hmm. Interesting.

Posted by: JBE | May 29, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Aren't Press Secretaries kept out-of-the-loop intentionally? So that they do not spill sensitive info inadvertently?

I think of Pierre Salinger during the Cuban Missile Crisis: he knew squat. And that was the correct way to play it.

So, that McClellan was duped, should come as no surprise.

What I am still not certain of is this: are Bush and Cheney and their gaggle of neo-cons really this stupid (and ignorant of world history and cultures) or are they extreme Machiavellians who do not care how many tens of thousands die and how much utter destruction they've done to the American Economy (and thus, our National Security)?

Which is it for Bush/Cheney: incompetence, ignorance and stupidity of an order we've not seen in American History or an abject greed blended with a bloodlust into a satanic cocktail?

Posted by: AdrickHenry | May 29, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Chris, how does this not affect John McCain? You say it "offers no immediate danger to his presidential campaign, although a prolonged look at the problems with the Republican Party by the media does the presumptive nominee no favors." Let's put it this way; the media should be asking McCain why he is so supportive in light of all the stories from Bush ex-staffers. Haven't we already been through a prolonged look at the GOP problems? How is his campaign's alliance with such critically-motivated and maligned policies that border on intentionally misleading the public, NOT part of the questions McCain needs to answer in this new light? Just because we (the people who questioned the need for war all along) are accepting that this is not new; how is this acceptable to the press corps at large who were duped? This is exactly what frustrates so many people: why can't you guys put these tell-all books in context and ask tougher questions... do some investigative journalism for Godsakes!

Posted by: Adironadacker | May 29, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Finally a true American emerges. Very possibly the only honest American in the Bush administration.

Posted by: Meyers | May 29, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse


PERSONAL TO SCOTT MCCLELLAN:

Some telltale warning signs to be on the lookout for in coming days and weeks:

1) When you and/or family members are out driving, are you being tailgated/followed by lone drivers in dark-colored SUVs/sport pickup trucks with little antennas?

2) Are strangers coming up to you to make odd, cryptic statements such as, "Can I help you? You look confused..."

3) Are you suddenly encountering lots of annoying interference on your phone calls, cell and landline, even your TV reception, whether cable or over the air? Is your internet connection running extremely slow? Is your computer increasingly unresponsive or responding in strange ways, as if you were connected to "remote computing" software? Could you swear that files stored on your computer look or read differently than you remember? Are files appearing on your computer that you swear you didn't put in there?

4) Does your mail suddenly seem to look different, like the printing was done on a color Xerox rather than traditional offset?
Do billing/bank statements suddenly look as though they were printed on inkjet printers, with uneven edges? Do listed items and balances sometimes appear to be irregular or inaccurate? When you call to inquire, does the voice on the other end sometimes seem to be unfamiliar with standard customer service routines?

5) Are the terms of your credit agreements suddenly changing against your favor, such as higher interest rates and fees? Are you being informed that account numbers, your mortgage holder, etc., are being changed?

6) When you go to the doctor or hospital, do some medical technicians and assistants make seemingly inappropriate remarks and smirk a lot?

7) Are you starting to experience aches and pains that you never had, such as sudden, sharp head pains as if you walked into the path of a "directed energy" microwave laser beam or one of those newly developed "Active Denial Systems"?

8) Does your water and some of your food suddenly start to taste funny? When you complain, or have the suspect ingestibles tested, are you told that everything's fine and "it's all in your head"?

9) Are household appliances suddenly starting to break down with unusual frequency? Do the servicemen who respond to your calls seem overly solicitous, making odd comments like, "You know, machines wear out, just like people wear out..." If you try to fix things yourself, are you repeatedly told that the parts are "out of stock"?

10) Do old, trusted friends, people who you have known to be fair and open-minded, suddenly start to shun you and won't tell you why?

If one or more of the above is starting to happen with disturbing frequency, you now know what it's like to be unjustly, illegally, and immorally targeted by rogue elements who act with extreme prejudice.

If the above starts to happen, know that you are not alone.

For a culture reference, go rent the 1998 Will Smith movie, "Enemy of the State". Sometimes Hollywood scriptwriters know more about what's really going on than former White House press secretaries.

Posted by: Remember Segretti | May 29, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Bush the inadequate male; doesn't want to know. He is the man who thought he "wasn't good enough" and proved it to us. He needs to make amends to us all and serve time for murdering so many people without cause.

Posted by: royals1 | May 29, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

What fallout from the McClellan's book? this is a non-story. Scotty is not telling the majority of the American public anything new.

Scotty is just another rat leaving a sinking ship, and hoping to cash in big in the process.

McClellan was a willing and enthusiastic participant in the WH's sordid and criminal deceptions. Now that his former idol has been knocked off his pedestal, Scotty would have us believe that he was deceived by the WH?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 29, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

None of McClellan's confessions are revelations.

The only news here is the reaction of the reactionaries.

They are not upset that the President misled the public into war. No, they are upset that a former insider might be so disloyal as to admit it!

Which is why, in short, we've had such a dismal 7 years - the government has been in the control of a disloyal group who place party before country.

They'd make fine members of a politburo.

Posted by: Astounded | May 29, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately the writer is correct. The 28-30% who still think GWB is doing a good job will never change their minds. I work with two of them. They are defiant and in denial as ever. Even if it were Carl Rove who wrote the book, they would say BS.
GWB would have to be caught having sex with an underage boy for them to change their minds. Even then I'm not sure.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 29, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately the writer is correct. The 28-30% who still think GWB is doing a good job will never change their minds. I work with two of them. They are defiant and in denial as ever. Even if it were Carl Rove who wrote the book, they would say BS.
GWB would have to be caught having sex with an underage boy for them to change their minds. Even then I'm not sure.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 29, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately the writer is correct. The 28-30% who still think GWB is doing a good job will never change their minds. I work with two of them. They are defiant and in denial as ever. Even if it were Carl Rove who wrote the book, they would say BS.
GWB would have to be caught having sex with an underage boy for them to change their minds. Even then I'm not sure.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 29, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately the writer is correct. The 28-30% who still think GWB is doing a good job will never change their minds. I work with two of them. They are defiant and in denial as ever. Even if it were Carl Rove who wrote the book, they would say BS.
GWB would have to be caught having sex with an underage boy for them to change their minds. Even then I'm not sure.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 29, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

The WH says that there's nothing to see here, move along. In the next breath the WH and its stooges say that McClellan was a "louse" for saying the truth about that miserable PoS, GWB.

McClellan's book, and the many that will follow, proves the old saying, "A fish rots from the head." Darth Cheney and McShame look pretty fish-head-like nowadays.

Posted by: Roofelstoon | May 29, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I hope Scott McClellan's career is over. If he was so clueless and/or intoxicated by his position to not care or know whether he was telling lies or the truth is professional malpractice. A client asks you to lie. You quit. Resign. Write your book 2 years ago as your resignation letter. Anything but this. He makes George Stephanopolous look loyal. Blame the President... blame the media... I blame Scott McClellan- disgusting even by Beltway standards.

Posted by: J.OBrien | May 29, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Chris states that this won't have any impact on Bush's numbers because they have settled in at 28 to 33 % approval. He's wrong. Scott's book will put a ceiling on Bush's approval numbers for several months. No matter what stories the white house comes up and how much money is spent selling these fables the best Bush's approval will go to is about 33%. And I am sure Valerie's husband is gratified to know that Karl Rove actually was involved in the outing of a secret service agent and no doubt will sue Karl for his bad behavior.

Posted by: Jack | May 29, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

I notice the Post doesn't bother to report that McClellan overheard Bush's saying (by all reports lying) that he couldn't remember if he had tried cocaine. Doesn't this bring up the question of the free ride given to Bush by the press--especially concerning his failure to show up for drug testing when in the National Guard? Compared with the treatment given Kerry, it paints the press in a very bad light.

Posted by: scientist1 | May 29, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

How, I often wonder, did the moderate mainstream Republican party ever come to be dominated by Conservatives...the likes of Podhoretz and Kristols,the neocons who
have brought us to this dangerous state...

a phony war,detestation the world, paying for Israel's genocide, and everything else they want...

The old republican party was worthy of this country. And perhaps, if the "BRAND" THAT IS NOW called republican is thoroughly flattened this year, we can work to bring it back.

There are a couple of generaitons who think republican and conservative are the same thing.

Posted by: ever | May 29, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

C'mon Chris, I'm surprised at you! Usually, you do a much better job of balancing coverage. Did you not speak with any DEMOCRATIC stategists or are you only speaking with Republicans these days?

I thought better of you than being a shill for the usual "Defend the White House At All Costs" brigade!

I once read a huge three-book novel in which one of the climactic moments were spoken by one character, "...the rumors are true, my lord." It is one thing to believe something to be true, it is quite another to KNOW it.

Not one mention is being given to the impact this might have on the Democratic base, already livid with how Republicans have mismanaged government.

Besides the attacks on the credibility and howling of betrayal by the neocon Right, I have yet to see a shred of journalistic integrity in the mainstream media as to the accuracy of McClellan's accusations. Step to it!

Posted by: Ethan Q | May 29, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Scott McClellan is a louse. He obviously has no morals, decency or honor. Like 99% of Washington DC, he spews innuendo, half-truths and hearsay for the all mighty dollar and his 15-minutes of fame. As Americans, there appears to be no patriots or sense of pride in our country; just left-wing liberals who would sell democracy down the river for 30 pieces of silver. What happen to our values? Frankly, I find most of these "rants" repugnant.

Posted by: Phoebe | May 29, 2008 2:37 PM

----------------------------------------

Cry me a river..

A a U.S. Marine, I find 4000 needless US deaths repugnant

Posted by: Vance | May 29, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

C'mon Chris, I'm surprised at you! Usually, you do a much better job of balancing coverage. Did you not speak with any DEMOCRATIC stategists or are you only speaking with Republicans these days?

I thought better of you than being a shill for the usual "Defend the White House At All Costs" brigade!

I once read a huge three-book novel in which one of the climactic moments were spoken by one character, "...the rumors are true, my lord." It is one thing to believe something to be true, it is quite another to KNOW it.

Not one mention is being given to the impact this might have on the Democratic base, already livid with how Republicans have mismanaged government.

Besides the attacks on the credibility and howling of betrayal by the neocon Right, I have yet to see a shred of journalistic integrity in the mainstream media as to the accuracy of McClellan's accusations. Step to it!

Posted by: Ethan Q | May 29, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

"Scott McClellan is a louse. He obviously has no morals, decency or honor."

Posted by: Phoebe | May 29, 2008 2:37 PM

Phoebe, given your 30 pieces of silver comment, I have a morality question for you. Who is more moral:

1) The person who says that the Emperor has no clothes? or

2) The Emperor who costs his troops over 4,100 lives, and his country Trillions of dollars on a contrived war that does not meet the standards developed by Christian theologins and accepted in Western countries as being necessary for a Just War?

Posted by: Nor'Easter | May 29, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

The troops died in vain no but's aboutit.Bring them home and sent cheny and rove,bush also the horse they rode in.The news is playing it down, so what he said is true.Sick war for sick people,McCain is the only one left who thinks the war is just.But he's knowen to be unstable,so him and bush get along.

Posted by: sunnydayI | May 29, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

The white house spin machine, has continuosly said they must not have known the real McClellen. They are disapointed in him.

Who cares about these empty words, used to distract from the real issue.

G.W. Bush has no morals or principles. I remember his words, "to stay the course" out of reasons of principle.
Another word he does not understand.

The American public seem in denial or hopelessly desensitized. How can George and Dick sleep at night.

Posted by: wizlinbiz | May 29, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

So now we know all those troops died in vain. McCain still wants to keep the troops their.It was a sick war from the start and those who still want war are sick as well.Don't tell it don't sound like him. The truth will set you free.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 29, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

So approximately 30% of those polled continue to believe that Bush is doing a good job. How do those results compare with a poll of adults who still believe in the Easter Bunny?

I guess it's time to wake up and realize that if the poll results are valid, approximately 30% of the US electorate is composed of people in need of mental health treatment.

Posted by: Sasquatch | May 29, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I think it's really pretty simple and that this "controversy" is manufactured by the rabid right. Naturally, their mouths froth when a book like this aggravates their disease. Of course, the right-wing MSM sops it up as usual and does their job on cue, throwing gas on the fire, the only thing they know how to do.

McClellan always seemed like a decent, if not too bright, guy. But at least he cares more about truth, justice, the American people and decency than he does about the Filth Administration who once had him snookered. Maybe he won't have to rot in Hell with the rest of 'em. I wish him well.

Posted by: David Ellis | May 29, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

This information doesn't surprise me at all. I knew Bush was a pathological liar given his performance in the campaign for the Presidency in 2000. Time after time, Bush was caught in lies about everything from cocaine abuse to physical altercations with his father on a public street in Washington, D.C. However, I can proudly state that I didn't vote for Bush in 2000 nor in 2004. My only regret is that I didn't push harder with what should have been an overwhelming majority of the American People to have Bush impeached as soon as it became obvious that he was leading our country down a path of self-destruction. This time around, I am working hard to see that McSame is not elected. Obama has already opened up a 10 point lead over McSame in the latest Zogby poll. Thus, it appears that the American People are not willing to be lied to by this Bush clone. In fact, all the evidence points to a landslide victory for Democrats in November, which provides us with the only hope of saving this country. I urge every American voter, who truly cares about this country, to vote for a young man and give him super majorities in Congress (it happened before in 1934) so that he can make the changes necessary to save our country. Personally, I consider a vote for senile, old McSame to be an act of treason since he has already made it known that he intends to follow the destructive policies of the Bush Administration.

Posted by: Caliguy55 | May 29, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Signed, sealed and delivered. The consummate insider spills it all, buttressing and validating what the critics had long known but were unable to prove beyond all doubt. McClellan provides corroboration, which is crucial to establishing the technical culpability of this brazenly outlaw regime.

Posted by: R M Gopal | May 29, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

"Ask anyone with a pulse who they think has more credibility today, the White House or McLellan? "

an informal poll was shown on CNN that shows people believe McLellan 91% to the White House's 8%

I'm sure a Fox News poll would show the opposite.

I'm sure Hannity and Limbaugh have been issued their damage control talking points by Slick Dick Cheney himself, for the next few days.

I wonder if Dana Perrino is now asking Bush if she is being sent out to lie?


Posted by: Gary P | May 29, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Scott McClellan is a louse. He obviously has no morals, decency or honor. Like 99% of Washington DC, he spews innuendo, half-truths and hearsay for the all mighty dollar and his 15-minutes of fame. As Americans, there appears to be no patriots or sense of pride in our country; just left-wing liberals who would sell democracy down the river for 30 pieces of silver. What happen to our values? Frankly, I find most of these "rants" repugnant.

Posted by: Phoebe | May 29, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

I disagree that there is no damage to McCain on this. He is completely tied to Bush, and there are reports of Democrats thinking of voting for him over Obama. Hopefully this illuminates the folly of that notion.

Posted by: lenw | May 29, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

The fallout will not be known in its entirety for perhaps a generation. But mean while, the biggest victim is Iraq. It may never been known just how many Iraqis lost their lives because of this farce of a president and his deceptive, myopic blunder.

Posted by: str8talk | May 29, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

The tenor of this piece makes me concerned that the electorate, the press, and the legislative branch have become inured to such news. We learn that the country was carried to war by disinformation and propaganda at best and outright lies at worst, and we respond by saying "tell me something I don't already know", or "the author is simply mercenary". We discover that military experts with financial interests in war were recruited and paid by the government to promulgate half truths and lies to influence the initiation and continuation of the war, and we respond with, "haven't they always done that?" The Justice Department abrogates US law and international treaties by writing self-serving internal memos, and we maintain "they were alarmed and trying to protect us." A political operative within the White House attempts to politicize the judicial branch of government and subvert its independence by selective placement of US attorneys, and we write it off with "that's politics for you". A close political adviser to the President, known to be at least complicit in the malicious and illegal outing of an undercover CIA agent, becomes a political expert and prominent media pundit, and we publicly extol his "genius and insight". Perhaps the thousand cuts analogy by the aid to Mr. McCain will prove true, but for now the thousand cuts seem to have severed the sensory input to our collective conscience. Another analogy is that the continual heaping of feces upon us has desensitized us to the stink.

Posted by: ColoJ | May 29, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Chris: Of course, there is NO doubt in my mind Scott is telling the truth.

While I don't know about any of you commenting on this site or reading from home or work, I can tell you that I CANNOT WAIT TO GET MY HANDS ON THAT BOOK to find out "what happened" to the idealist George Bush I voted for in 2000 (notice there is NO mention of 2004).

Posted by: KYJurisDoctor | May 29, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

"Insanity is often the logic of an accurate mind overtaxed."
Oliver Wendell Holmes

Posted by: -JAH | May 29, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

I am disappointed that McClellan doesn't go far enough and is still shielding Bush ("his advisers did him a disservice") when several other sources (Paul O'Neill, Downing Street memo and perhaps others) have corroborated that the intelligence was being adjusted to fit the policy and that Bush had intentions of going into Iraq since 9/11 happened, if not before.

I also agree with McClellan that the press was complicit and, at best, lazy, in not asking the right questions. Here's a candid admission by Paul Wolfowitz in an interview with Sam Tannenhaus of Vanity Fair magazine, conducted on May 9, 2003 (less than two months after the U.S. went into Iraq). Tannenhaus inquires as to the real reason for going into Iraq, to which Wolfowitz replies:

"The truth is that for reasons that have a lot to do with the U.S. government bureaucracy we settled on the one issue that everyone could agree on which was weapons of mass destruction as the core reason,"

(the entire interview can be found at http://www.defenselink.mil/transcripts/transcript.aspx?transcriptid=2594)

It is not hard to surmise from the above, and it doesn't particularly require a high IQ to conclude, that WMD was NOT the reason we went into Iraq. May 9 of 2003 was still a climate of euphoria. "Mission Accomplished" had just been declared and most people thought we would only be in Iraq for a few months, but the signals were there from the beginning that all of this was based on a big lie.

Posted by: Ramon Khalona | May 29, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

And the results from this poll say everything. You won't believe these results!

http://www.votenic.com

Posted by: George | May 29, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

So George Bush committed statutory treason. No surprise there. It is time for all of America to wake up, prosecute these people and pull back together as a great Nation. This small cadre of criminals and their enablers (the Press) need to hear from all of us that we will no longer tolerate them ruining our way of life. this is not a Republican or Democrat issue anymore. This is about saving America.

Posted by: Scy | May 29, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Correction to my previous post.

"quite the same" should read "not quite the same

Posted by: downeast_gggo@bellsouth.net | May 29, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Correction to my previous post.

"quite the same" should read "not quite the same

Posted by: downeast_gggo@bellsouth.net | May 29, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

On MSNBC today you stated that exit polls suggested that Obama's position was more in tune than McCains on the war in Iraq.You seem to ignore the fact that Hillary Clinton has as much popular support as Obama,maybe more.Everyone on MSNBC ignores the fact that Obama cannot close out the nomination without superdelegates. I look for a proper convention with a fight for the nomination. What is wrong with that. That is how it is supposed to be.

Posted by: Andy | May 29, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Why didn't McClellan tell anyone while he was concerned about the truth ?
Just compare it to another organization quite the same, but doesn't tolerate criticism.
If a Soldato decided to go public, The Capodregime would take care of him; sraighten him OUT.
If he didn't, the Capo Bastone would straighten them both OUT, If that wasn't done, The Capo Crimine (Don) was responsible.
It never would be necessary to bother the Capo di Capi Re or the Capo di Tutti Capi.

Posted by: downeast_ggo@bellsouth.net | May 29, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

"Obama, if he wasn't so arrogant and uppity,"

OK, I see where you're coming from now.

Posted by: q | May 29, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

CC wrote:
"McClellan alleges in his new book -- "What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception" -- that the Bush White House is in a "permanent campaign" state, focused on "manipulating sources of public opinion to the president's advantage." He also takes on his former boss over the war in Iraq, the CIA leak case and the way in which the press covered the White House."

Two points:

First, the White House has only two possible explanations of their choices and deeds surrounding the war in Iraq. 1) As McClellan says, they lied. 2) They're incredibly stupid themselves.

Second, heads up to you in the MSM. When you don't do YOUR job as an independent information source (the one and only justification for your extraordinary Constitutional protections), then the people and the republic (and hence, the world) suffers.

I don't know how George W. Bush manages to sleep with all the suffering and death that he has caused but I don't imagine that any American journalist with a conscience who played the administration's game can sleep well, either.

Listen and learn, Chris & Friends. America just can't afford any more episodes of MASSIVE journalistic cowardice like McClellan describes in the future.

Posted by: Carmen Cameron | May 29, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

And speaking of Democrats, Congressional Oversight could make Scotty a star too. I don't think he would ignore a supeona in order to save the King.

Posted by: Mark W. | May 29, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

It is not Scott's mess! It is Bush's mess! Even though many Republicans thing that this is breaking no new ground, they err. The fact that Scott is reporting this makes it "new." I pray that Scott can hold up under the attacks. It seems that he has a handle on it for now.

I never cease to be amazed at John Dean and how well he can analyze things following Nixon fiasco. Scott could be following in Dean's footsteps.

It is amazing that as hard as the Republicans have tried to settle the Watergate/Nixon score, they have only succeeded in having another failed presidency. When will they learn?

Posted by: Earl C | May 29, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

I agree with many of the posters here that we already knew much of what is reported in this book. What is new is that our beliefs are now confirmed by a high ranking member of the Bush Administration. The revelations in this book should and probably will weigh heavily on historical views of this repugnant administration.
I don't think this book will adversely affect the John McCain campaign. We already know that he, along with many Senators and Representatives of both parties, fell for the lies and misrepresentations of the Bush Administration. We already know that McCain supported this war from the beginning while Barack Obama opposed it. We already know that, at a time of national crisis, Obama's wisdom was far superior to that of McCain or Clinton.
In the White House-led rebuttal of this book, I find it interesting that Bush and his cronies have chosen to attack McClellan's motives and character but haven't bothered to deny the facts or the charges he makes in his book. I believe that bears some watching. This Administration has perfected the art of misrepresentation and vague innuendos. Pay attention to actual denials of fact. I don't believe you will hear much of that. Just more attacks on his character, motivation and competence.
I also find it interesting that no present or past member of the Bush Administration has brought up the fact that McClellan was flat out lied to by Karl Rove and Scooter Libbey. I don't blame him if he is bitter about it. His credibility was destroyed with the American Public and the press after the truth came out about their roles in the "Valerie Plame" affair. I don't see any apologies from this administration for destroying his career or the career of Valerie Plame. This tells me volumes about the character of George W. Bush and his staff. As they say, those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

Posted by: Veteran1 | May 29, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Oh by the way, Powell, now Rice ? If she don't learn to keep her mouth shut, she will probably lose an election for Obama. Why is that ???

Posted by: Mark W. | May 29, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Chris, this is just further validation of events having been transpired just a short while ago in history. Five years is just about the amount of time it takes for the lid to blow off a pressure cooker this big.

Most of us ole timers on the WAPO message boards know all about WHIG, its former members like Karen Hughes along with the rest of the usual suspects. The inner workings of advertising a war through propaganda were published through several magazine articles to date.

The King's former Oil Minister, Condi Rice was not too bright to speak out defending the King as a Loyalist on this deal. Although I think she may have been doing stupid stuff since about March of 2001. Am sure the networks being willing Patriots of patsy to propaganda will deny too. History is such that eventually the truth will be revealed. Those "sticking to the story" are the first to get busted.

In the 21st century, information is shared at lightspeed. Crying wolf to divert attention elsewhere is getting old too. And then there is just natural processes that breakdown denials overtime. Alternative realities are unacceptable when the Country if not the world demands accountability.

People can pretend that there is nothing wrong with this picture but that risks insanity, nervous breakdown and certain dissassociative states over time. For some the Ronald Reagan excuses of "I can't hear you" or "I don't remember" get old too. Alternative realities cannot erase another old common law practice and/or concept of Mens Rea. The smarter rats have already swam away from the ship, there is a strong undercurrent when she goes down for good.

There are worse things they have probably done trying to avoid liabilities I guess but the bottom-line is that if you done the crime prepare to do the time, as now they are much beyond immunity. First clue was that Visionaries do not commit to conventional wars period.

Posted by: Mark W. | May 29, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

CC:

I wonder what the book's impact will be on the Republican Party's fundraising efforts and on those of the Republican House members who have steadfastly supported their champion and War Lord?

I'm betting that while the "tell-all" doesn't sway many voters -- it will punch another hole in the reservoir of republicans willing to continue to fund the policies of John (Bushlite) McSame.

Posted by: GandalftheGrey | May 29, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

cafm70 wrote:

"Why now? What is the point of this book? McClellan wrote the book for the money. This book will change nothing. The only thing this book will do is give McClellan a big fat pay check."


DISINFORMATION and WRONG. Scottie will/would make a bigger pile of money for years to come by keeping his mouth shut and staying on the team of enablers. Who do you think is making more money - Dan Bartlett or Scott McClellan?

Want a parallel, look at the "military analysts." I can document that the generals who play the game are pulling down seven figure commissions and bonuses for themselves or their family members.

Posted by: boscobobb | May 29, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

When is the next tea pary scheduled? It's revolution time.
Hey...what's that funny noise in my phone? Why is that black SUV with men in suits following me?

Posted by: RonPaul | May 29, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Is this really new news? Certainly the country has come to realize long ago that this deception has and is going on in the White House...and we are reaping the results of it.

Posted by: jhok | May 29, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

###########

Yeah, ol' Dancing Dave (Gregory) looked like an
idiot protesting that he was firm and hard against
the Bushies.

The press didn't and is not doing its job about
the war. Iraq is a mess and all you get from the
press is that it's an 'improving and less violent'
situation. That's a bunch of bull.

Half the population has been forced to leave
Bagdad_in the meantime, there are blast walls
between warring factions, no electricity, sewage or
schools.

But the press continues to push the McCain 'we're
winning the war' theme.

Dancing Dave is a fool.

###########

Posted by: Dancing_David | May 29, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

With SO MANY former 'loyalists' now debunking the Bush White House including BOTH Ari Fliesher and Mc Clellan, why is it that we velieve ANYTHING the White House staff has to say anymore? It has become VERY vident that Bush is too stupid to control his administration and has relinquished everything to Cheney to do at his own will. Karl Rove has claimed that he is above the law. NO ONE in this country SHOULD be 'above the law'. NO ONE in the Administration should claim to be IMMUNE from the Constition that they have SWORN to uphold. To not do so is TREASON punishable by DEATH. Perhaps a fitting end for the traitors in the White House that have manupilated the country for almost 8 years.

Posted by: Dale Sadler | May 29, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

northernlite (wrote): "What is amazing about these revelations is that they are considered news in the United States. In the British, Canadian and Australian press the attitude is: "We knew all of this"!

________________________________


The news is not the "revelations"; the news is the confirmation of the "revelations" by a White House insider.

The only advantage that the British, Canadian and Australian press have is that (unlike the Washington Post and the New York Times) most of them did not willingly throw their support behind the BushCo call for an unnecessary and unwarranted war.

Posted by: pali2500 | May 29, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I am not overstating when I say that the McClellan revelations are a blow in the face of most crooky Americans that supported their elected crook and liar president. Even the most persistent Yankee liar cant deny that 80 % of the American people is a sort of bloodthirsty nasty, selfish, beligerent and grabby people, that kill as they please, torture as they please have no respect at all for other human beings, although these Yankees pretend otherwise. To my opinion, there is no cure but to nuke them all. After the many holocausts caused in the past 300 years I think that is the right thing to do, it got about time, there is no other way.

Posted by: jwh | May 29, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse


PERONSAL TO SCOTT MCCLELLAN:

Some telltale warning signs to be on the lookout for in coming days and weeks:

1) When you and/or family members are out driving, are you being tailgated/followed by lone drivers in dark-colored SUVs/sport pickup trucks with little antennas?

2) Are strangers coming up to you to make odd, cryptic statements such as, "Can I help you? You look confused..."

3) Are you suddenly encountering lots of annoying interference on your phone calls, cell and landline, even your TV reception, whether cable or over the air? Is your internet connection running extremely slow? Is your computer increasingly unresponsive or responding in strange ways, as if you were connected to "remote computing" software? Could you swear that files stored on your computer look or read differently than you remember? Are files appearing on your computer that you swear you didn't put in there?

4) Does your mail suddenly seem to look different, like the printing was done on a color Xerox rather than traditional offset? Do billing statements suddenly look as though they were printed on inkjet printers, with uneven edges?

5) Are the terms of your credit agreements suddenly changing against your favor, such as higher interest rates and fees? Are you being informed that account numbers, your mortgage holder, etc., are being changed?

6) When you go to the doctor or hospital, do medical technicians and assistants make seemingly inappropriate remarks and smirk a lot?

7) Are you starting to experience aches and pains that you never had, such as sudden, sharp head pains as if you walked into the path of a "directed energy" microwave laser beam or one of those newly developed "Active Denial Systems"?

8) Does your water and some of your food suddenly start to taste funny? When you complain, or have the suspect ingestibles tested, are you told that everything's fine and "it's all in your head"?

9) Are household appliances suddenly starting to break down with unusual frequency? Do the servicemen who respond to your calls seem overly solicitous, making odd comments like, "You know, machines wear out, just like people wear out..." If you try to fix things yourself, are you repeatedly told that the parts are "out of stock"?

10) Do old, trusted friends, people who you have known to be fair and open-minded, suddenly start to shun you and won't tell you why?

If one or more of the above is starting to happen with disturbing frequency, you now know what it's like to be unjustly, illegally, and immorally targeted by rogue elements who act with extreme prejudice.

If the above starts to happen, know that you are not alone.

For a culture reference, go rent the 1998 Will Smith movie, "Enemy of the State". Sometimes Hollywood scriptwriters know more about what's really going on than former White House press secretaries.

Posted by: Remember Segretti | May 29, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

What is amazing about these revelations is that they are considered news in the United States. In the British, Canadian and Australian press the attitude is: "We knew all of this"!

Posted by: northernlite | May 29, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Aren't Press Secretaries kept out-of-the-loop intentionally? So that they do not spill sensitive info inadvertently?

I think of Pierre Salinger during the Cuban Missile Crisis: he knew squat. And that was the correct way to play it.

So, that McClellan was duped, should come as no surprise.

What I am still not certain of is this: are Bush and Cheney and their gaggle of neo-cons really this stupid (and ignorant of world history and cultures) or are they extreme Machiavellians who do not care how many tens of thousands die and how much utter destruction they've done to the American Economy (and thus, our National Security)?

Which is it for Bush/Cheney: incompetence, ignorance and stupidity of an order we've not seen in American History or an abject greed blended with a bloodlust into a satanic cocktail?

Posted by: Castlereagh | May 29, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Aren't Press Secretaries kept out-of-the-loop intentionally? So that they do not spill sensitive info inadvertently?

I think of Pierre Salinger during the Cuban Missile Crisis: he knew squat. And that was the correct way to play it.

So, that McClellan was duped, should come as no surprise.

What I am still not certain of is this: are Bush and Cheney and their gaggle of neo-cons really this stupid (and ignorant of world history and cultures) or are they extreme Machiavellians who do not care how many tens of thousands die and how much utter destruction they've done to the American Economy (and thus, our National Security)?

Which is it for Bush/Cheney: incompetence, ignorance and stupidity of an order we've not seen in American History or an abject greed blended with a bloodlust into a satanic cocktail?

Posted by: American Lover | May 29, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Aren't Press Secretaries kept out-of-the-loop intentionally? So that they do not spill sensitive info inadvertently?

I think of Pierre Salinger during the Cuban Missile Crisis: he knew squat. And that was the correct way to play it.

So, that McClellan was duped, should come as no surprise.

What I am still not certain of is this: are Bush and Cheney and their gaggle of neo-cons really this stupid (and ignorant of world history and cultures) or are they extreme Machiavellians who do not care how many tens of thousands die and how much utter destruction they've done to the American Economy (and thus, our National Security)?

Which is it for Bush/Cheney: incompetence, ignorance and stupidity of an order we've not seen in American History or an abject greed blended with a bloodlust into a satanic cocktail?

Posted by: American Lover | May 29, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Aren't Press Secretaries kept out-of-the-loop intentionally? So that they do not spill sensitive info inadvertently?

I think of Pierre Salinger during the Cuban Missile Crisis: he knew squat. And that was the correct way to play it.

So, that McClellan was duped, should come as no surprise.

What I am still not certain of is this: are Bush and Cheney and their gaggle of neo-cons really this stupid (and ignorant of world history and cultures) or are they extreme Machiavellians who do not care how many tens of thousands die and how much utter destruction they've done to the American Economy (and thus, our National Security)?

Which is it for Bush/Cheney: incompetence, ignorance and stupidity of an order we've not seen in American History or an abject greed blended with a bloodlust into a satanic cocktail?

Posted by: AdrickHenry | May 29, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Dana Perrino was probably still in High School when 9/11 occured

Posted by: Anonymous | May 29, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

I find it hilarious that all these people criticizing McClellan say the same BS - "sad," "not the Scott we knew, and " "disgruntled."

Good to see that the GOP still relies on it's "talking points" no matter how nonsensical those points may be. They said the same BS about Richard Clarke, Plame and Wilson, and anyone else who challenges the "official narrative."

The American people, by and large - 83%, aren't buying the BS you Republicans are selling anymore. Funny, how McCain is one of their biggest salesmen - Funny how he is going to get crushed in November.

Posted by: Jeff M. | May 29, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

To those who worry that too much of a spanking of the elephant will destroy the 2 party system in America I say worry not, the Dems and the Greens will do just fine,thankyouverymuch.

Posted by: Doc_wylie | May 29, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Our elected officials are USELESS because they are all owned by special intrests-

Throw them ALL OUT!!

Posted by: jan | May 29, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Dana Perino just opened her fortune cookie today--

It read:

"DENIAL"--It's more than just a River in Egypt.

Posted by: Larry | May 29, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Country before party.

Demand honesty from all elected officials, or throw them out of office.

Posted by: wfii | May 29, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

What seems to be telling about the McCain supporters is the major qualms they have with Obama's willingness to talk to Iran. It is telling that they have no compelling argument in favor of their own candidate and have decided to pick a very debatable issue to oppose the opponent. McClellan is just the latest in a series of tell-all books by former Bush staffers that simply confirms what the press corps and Bush supporters are only now starting to reflect on. I can't say I blame them for being upset, but to those who knew this was a bad war from the start, as well as an incompetent Adminstration in terms of governing, I can't say i'm surprised.

Posted by: Adirondacker | May 29, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

We are fighting a CIVIL WAR in Iraq--

Once we leave, whether nxt week or in 10 years, the place goes to SHYTTT.

Every historian and expert testified to Bush that this would be the outcome, but he wouldn't listen to anything that did not support his false ideas.

As Scott says, this has been his entire MO for the last 7 years.

It is time for a CHANGE!! Our country is in ruin.

Posted by: Mlli | May 29, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

To those of us who have closely watched this Administration over the last 7.5 years, none of this is new. We've been piecing this together over time. What is new, is that what we've pieced together is supported by a Bush Administration insider.

Let me try an analogy, a fairly wild one, but I think everyone will get the point. Many people who follow reports and evidence of UFOs have come to the belief that UFOs are alien spacecraft. They believe completely. What if a former member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff makes a statement that UFOs are indeed alien spacecraft? What do you think the impact would be on the believers? Would it be, "oh um" we knew that already? I don't think so. The impact would be overwhelming. It would be like walking through a door through which there is no return. Belief changes to knowledge.

When statements of fact come from an inside source, the psychological effect is one of confirmation. Belief shifts to knowledge, to factual information. I think that that will be the effect McClelland's revelations have on the US, perhaps on the world. The secret is out and there's no going back. For example, for me I had always suspected that the actual reason for the Iraq War was "coercive democratization" but now I know. That means a lot to me.

Posted by: insouthchicago | May 29, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse


We hear from Ari Fleisher? As dirty a player as ever entered the WH.

Why he was allowed to escape as the Plame thing was boiling shows just how "close" and protected player he was. We never heard a followup about his comments above AFI during that time.

Hopefully time will drag his AIPAC butt right back into the
questions and their fallout.

Posted by: The BOYS | May 29, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

I agree with those who believe McClellan's book and its troubling conclusions will play into the fall election. The Republicans would very much like the Iraq War debate confined only to the present, i.e., McCain's "we must never surrender and we must win" canard. However, this debate must include two other necessary components: 1) Was the war ginned up on false pretenses and if so how and by whom?; and 2) Why did we go into Iraq in the first place? The first item goes to the constitutional issue of Abuse of Power and carries potential legal consequences for policy makers. The second is a crucial matter of current public policy that plays into the fall election, i.e., Why are we in Iraq and what is our real purpose? The answer to that question will inform voters whether we should withdraw quickly or plan to stay for several years.

Posted by: maxfli | May 29, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

No one has been impeached because, as McLellan himself says in his book and in post-publication interviews, Bush did not deliberately lie regarding Iraq.

He and his cadre were idiots and morons which, unfortunately for the left-wing knife-throwers, is actually not a crime.

Hence no impeachment, either in the past, the present and probably the future.

Bob

Posted by: Bob | May 29, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

A Vote for McCain "I don't know much about our Economy" is a vote for the continuation of the DISASTEROUS BUSH LEGACY!!!

He will just hand the reins over to the same Neo-Con morons that got us into the biggest financial and political messes we have ever known!!

Posted by: Abnb | May 29, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

When you govern people by fear you will not receive the truth so don't blame Mr. McClellan did not tell his feeling when he was the press secretary. He learned to trust no one. Appointed officials need to remeber that you have a country to serve not your boss. Please don't treat the President as a King or Queen because you have a country to serve and protect.

Posted by: nga | May 29, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse


cafm at ll:39 below

I hope he gets a big fat paycheck for that book.

He was played for the fool by the WH goons, they decided he could be used like a poor goat and loaded him with their sludge.

And the truly stupid and compliant press goons shoveled it along.

He was loyal to a really foul little man, Bush, who was guided by a truly foul man, Cheney, who is sick. There you go.

Posted by: rat on | May 29, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

anne C.,

No, you're not Anne Coulter, but your post is ripped directly from her latest blatherings. What a C... you both are.

Posted by: Allan | May 29, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Never had a clue

Never will

Posted by: Xavier K | May 29, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Scott Maclellan isn't saying ANYTHING that the majority of thinking Americans havent already figured out!!

The president of the US should be an intelligent, respected leader of the free world, and there just aren't words anymore to describe the outright DISGUST that most of us feel about the complete LACK of leadership and integrity we have had in that office for the last 7 years.

The Bush administration will go down in history as doing more damage to our country than anyone ever thought possible.

I am not sure if we will ever really recover!

Posted by: Mike | May 29, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

the interesting thing to me is that "white house spokespersons" have been at pains to say what a rat-b*st*rd traitor mcclellan is--but nobody has denied explicitly the truth of his assertions.

Posted by: kathleen | May 29, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

So Chris, why don't you address the CONTENT of McClellan's statements, not merely the "he said, he said" aspect? Why is it that Dan Bartlett, Ari Fleischer and Karl Rove can trot out on public airwaves and be quoted without THE HOST LAUGHING IN THEIR FACE? These guys aren't telling the truth, isn't it obvious by now?

Is it not true that the DC press rolled over for Bush? Is it not true that the DC press was/is afraid to say anything critical of the Bush administration and Cheney in particular for fear of losing access? Is it not true that there aren't enough hairshirts available for the DC press to wear to atone for their complicity? (and I write as a former journalist)

Posted by: boscobobb | May 29, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse


So many who were close think this president

never really was in charge, that he was handled in a bubble by his
by his neocons, particularly his Jewish neocons and AIPAC..then sent out to the rose garden to swagger and spout off how tough he was. (you name them ,you know the names of
worst dozen or so... Wolfowitz, perle, feith, libby, abrams, wurmser, et. al.

There was the war, the deregulation of Wall Street, and lately Hitler talk. And the daily attempt to marry the US to Israel, even as the world wretched as we support their genocide in Palestine.

Lately, those same insiders find, Bush has caught on...but bush like, only pours it on...thus the speech to the knesset.

Wouldn't it be nice to see America run by Americans for America? What an idea.

He never had a clue

Posted by: know | May 29, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

The problem will be the fact that McCain still stands by Bush. It is antithetical to the McCain brand to get snockered like this so he has to support a President with poll ratings in the dumps. Ffurther, it ruins his "maverick" brand and defies any "straight talk" designation. all his support for Bush now means he has capitulated his honesty and truthfulness and joined Bush in his habit of dissembling. Sad to say about someone who has worked so hard to hew out his niche as a maverick. He will pay dearly for this chameleon change into a Bush Bot.

Posted by: Mari | May 29, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Jim M, on May 29, 2008 11:07 AM, wrote:

"Does Obama not get that he's running against a guy who spent the directly analogous years of his life in a fetid jungle prison being hung upside down and beaten with sticks until his bones broke?" But the difference between the two candidates are even more profound. It's true the Obama said "Yes," but it's still more striking that John McCain said "No"- "No" to special treatment at the hands of his captors, "No" to early release, "No" to leaving his brothers-in-arms behind at the Hanoi Hilton."

Response from Charles Munn:
I flew with the 19th Air Commando's in Vietnam. Intellegence warned us that everyone eventually cracks under pressure. McCain cracked and spilled his guts and admitted to being a war criminal after 4 days. Hell, I probably wouldn't have lasted 1 day. But many lasted months, others years, and a few died rather than give in.
So sure, McCain probably did a bit better than ordinary guys like me, but he's no hero and he knows it. Further, I strongly suspect he refused to come home because he feared being court marshalled for deriliction of duty.
At any rate, as an old retired AF guy who knows the best of us would cringe at the thought of spending their lives hiding behind some kind of mythic herioc shield... Well, it's enough to gag a maggot.
Further, LBJ lied us into Vietnam where we systematically killed hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women and children. Those of us who at least try to be honest will admit that we are war criminals and the only true heros are those who refused to participate....
Hmmm, wait a minute... I seemed to remember that old McCain was once vidioed in a momemt of truth... and even he admitted to being a war criminal who bombed women and children.... Yet here he is, wanting to do the McSame to Iran....

Posted by: Charles Munn | May 29, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Chris, like most of the MSM, you just don't get it. People hate George Bush and the war he lied us into and fought with unbelievable incompetence. It is a lead weight around John McCain's neck.

Posted by: Greg in LA | May 29, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

McClellan only further confirmed the picture that is coming into perspective about the operations within this White House. Frankly I am "shocked that his peers are shocked" that he would come out with these comments after he left the White House. Speaking up would have had a very high price in an organization that valued loyalty even "blind loyalty" over honest feedback. Those who so highmindely criticize Scott for not speaking up while in the White House and attempt to discredit him are more worried about their own legacy---for being compicit in the tragic acts of this administration. How predictable that the White House would call him a disgruntled employee--attempting to belittle him---Would they have reacted any other way!

Posted by: Mary J. Roberts | May 29, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

"The press corps was under enormous pressure from (ABC)corporate executives frankly, to make sure that this was a war presented in way that was consistent with the patriotic fever in the nation and the president's high approval ratings,"

This quote from CNN's Jessica Yellin could also apply to what congress must have been thinking as well, when they voted to allow Bush to make war.

Bush and gang totally took advantage of the country's mood to pursue their own warped ideology that no one would have permitted otherwise.

Posted by: Gary P | May 29, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

McClellan only further confirmed the picture that is coming into perspective about the operations within this White House. Frankly I am "shocked that his peers are shocked" that he would come out with these comments after he left the White House. Speaking up would have had a very high price in an organization that valued loyalty---even "blind loyalty"--- over honest feedback. Those who so highmindedly criticize Scott for not speaking up while in the White House,and attempt to discredit him, are more worried about their own legacy---for being compicit in the tragic acts of this administration. How predictable that the White House would call him a disgruntled employee--attempting to belittle him---Would they have reacted any other way!

Posted by: Mary J. Roberts | May 29, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

This may not seem important now but for posterity, it is important that the truth come out. Not that we appear to learn much from history but hope springs eternal...

Posted by: MJ | May 29, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

So, when is the movie coming out?

McLeland played by Jason Alexander;
Dubya played by Rowan Atkinson; and,
Dick Cheney played by Fmr. Senator Larry Craig.

Posted by: w00tness | May 29, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Taoufiq, Ashburn:

I never suggested that Iraq was or is a democracy or that the USA could "make" it become one.

Perhaps you have me confused with another, less rational :-) poster.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | May 29, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Is pretty-boy

Does anyone get the impression that the main person that the administration is sending out to refute this book is the former counsel to the President, Dan Bartlett? This guy is on every network almost simultaneously.

Obviously, they figure this is the closest they can come up with for a believable, altar-boyish face of this administration.

Ask anyone with a pulse who they think has more credibility today, the White House or McLellan?

Posted by: Johnathan | May 29, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

So the guy wrote the book for the money, that does not negate the fact that he has some truth to tell. So why not deal with the truth?

Posted by: Buddy | May 29, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

PERONSAL TO SCOTT MCCLELLON:

Some telltale warning signs to be on the lookout for in coming days and weeks:

1) When you and/or family members are out driving, are you being tailgated/followed by lone drivers in dark-colored SUVs/sport pickup trucks with little antennas?

2) Are strangers coming up to you to make odd, cryptic statements such as, "Can I help you? You look confused..."

3) Are you suddenly encountering lots of annoying interference on your phone calls, cell and landline, even your TV reception, whether cable or over the air? Is your internet connection running extremely slow? Is your computer increasingly unresponsive or responding in strange ways, as if you were connected to "remote computing" software? Could you swear that files stored on your computer look or read differently than you remember? Are files appearing on your computer that you swear you didn't put in there?

4) Does your mail suddenly seem to look different, like the printing was done on a color Xerox rather than traditional offset?
Do billing statements suddenly look as though they were printed on inkjet printers, with uneven edges?

5) Are the terms of your credit agreements suddenly changing against your favor, such as higher interest rates and fees? Are you being informed that account numbers, your mortgage holder, etc., are being changed?

6) When you go to the doctor or hospital, do medical technicians and assistants make seemingly inappropriate remarks and smirk a lot?

7) Are you starting to experience aches and pains that you never had, such as sudden, sharp head pains as if you walked into the path of a "directed energy" microwave laser beam or one of those newly developed "Active Denial Systems"?

8) Does your water and some of your food suddenly start to taste funny? When you complain, or have the suspect ingestibles tested, are you told that everything's fine and "it's all in your head"?

9) Are household appliances suddenly starting to break down with unusual frequency? Do the servicemen who respond to your calls seem overly solicitous, making odd comments like, "You know, machines wear out, just like people wear out..." If you try to fix things yourself, are you repeatedly told that the parts are "out of stock"?

10) Do old, trusted friends, people who you have known to be fair and open-minded, suddenly start to shun you and won't tell you why?

If one or more of the above is starting to happen with disturbing frequency, you now know what it's like to be unjustly, illegally, and immorally targeted by rogue elements who act with extreme prejudice.

If the above starts to happen, know that you are not alone.

For a culture reference, go rent the 1998 Will Smith movie, "Enemy of the State". Sometimes Hollywood scriptwriters know more about what's really going on than former White House press secretaries.

Posted by: Remember Segretti | May 29, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Colin - pls email me at

mark_in_austin@operamail.com

all will be explained

Posted by: MarkInAustin | May 29, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

John Weaver? The same McCain insider who talked to the New York Times about having to tell his a lobbyist that she was spending too much time with his boss?

Posted by: RossPhx | May 29, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I question Chris's conclusion that this news won't affect Senator McCain's campaign. Certainly, McCain is not GWB, but his foreign policy views more and more seem to mirror those of the current president. A comment, I might add, that I would not have made in the late 1990s, when McCain was more firmly in the Bush I foreign policy camp.

Isn't McCain's continuing support for our decision to go into Iraq, in 2008, extremely relevant to evaluating what kind of president he would be going forward? Isn't it extremely relevant to how he would approach Iran, or North Korea, or the next rogue country that presents a challenge? And if that's accurate, I don't think this unflattering review of the Bush doctrine Senator McCain seems to support is good news at all.

Posted by: Colin | May 29, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Why now? What is the point of this book? McClellan wrote the book for the money. This book will change nothing. The only thing this book will do is give McClellan a big fat pay check.

Posted by: cafm70 | May 29, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Tomcady 11:21am.... Very well said.

Scottie couldn't keep the Kool-aid down. It took a great deal of courage to write his memoir... he more than most knows how vicious will be the attack of the Bush power-vampires.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | May 29, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

McCain, like Hillary, is just another stamp of approval on Bush's Iraq. All of McCain's experience was invalidated the moment he voted to go to war in Iraq. So to for Hillary.

McCain let the alcoholic flyboy Bush pull him down.

Posted by: Maddogg | May 29, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

I firmly agree with bitterpill8 who, on May 29, 2008 11:11 AM
wrote: "It never ceases to amaze me at how standard the response is by both sides when discussing a scandal, issue, etc. You are relying on Republican talking points, a focus group which is funded but the source of funding is not identified and then you give this blather about it all being inside the beltway. Sorry, Chris, I don't live inside the beltway but a find each of these episodes merely confirms in me that the Washington media elite, of which you are a fully paid up member, can never take on the Republicans no matter how low they are in the polls. This is pitiful. Why not read the book in full and then comment."


Posted by: Charles Munn, Fox Island WA | May 29, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Scottie is right about the media. I always had the sense that the cable networks were more obsessed with capturing ratings and viewers with the most modern looking sets, 3d terrain maps, breakdown of our military weaponry, military analysts (paid by the pentagon, as it turns out), rather than really asking hard questions. The media seemed eager to get W's party started. Most definately agree that the media was complicit in the invasion.

How could an intelligence report released in early 2002 that stated that Iraq had no WMD's nor the capability to produce them at that time, be followed up by warnings of an imminent threat just a few short months later?

I'm just hustling to make a living in my office out here and I could see through the scam, what the hell happened to congress? Why couldn't they? Why wouldn't they?

Scottie just wants to come clean. I would too, despite burning some really bad bridges.

Still, my heart goes out to anyone that has lost a loved one in Iraq that has had to realize that we were lied into a war, and as the President said yesterday, "we are learning as we go" (probably the most honest assesment he's ever made on the issue)

Had the President been honest from the beginning and said "Let's try invading Iraq to spread democracy and we will just wing it and learn as we go"...countless lives will not have died in vain.

Is W's vanity worth the sacrifice of additional lives and treasure? We began a huge mistake and compounded it with even more mistakes, didn't you ever learn as children that two mistakes (hundreds in this case) don't make a right? That a square peg just won't fit in the round hole? No matter how hard we try?

Get out now.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 29, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

First, it's HL Mencken who wrote:
"No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people".

Second: Anyone who thinks that the traditional media is uninfluenced by corporate interests is not paying attentions. The lives of soldiers and civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan mean nothing compared to corporate profits.

To the "news celebrities" (Russert, Gregory, all of Fox news, etc.), their access to the administration, fealty to the corporations, and their paychecks meant more to them than journalism or truth.

The line "everybody thought they had WMD's" is a canard, because, had that been true, the vote on "Use of Force in Iraq" would have been unanimous (Senate vote 77-23, House vote 296-133). Also, their were many international groups who said there were no WMD's.

The people most hurt by this book will be the reporters and news divisions in the US because they are shown as easily manipulated and incompetent. So it is no surprise that people like Gregory, no friend of the President, will lambaste Scott because his book is an attack on all traditional media, which is Gregory's bread and butter.

The internet is the one hope for this country, because blogs are cheap to run and don't require big corporate sponsors.

As long as the "traditional media" depend on kowtowing to corporations, the truth will always be somewhere else.

Posted by: capemh | May 29, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.
-- Voltaire

In a world that contains Laffer Curve, an Axis of Evil, Iraqi Freedom, Mission Accomplished, Clear Skies, Clean Waters, Healthy Forests, Family Values, No Child Left Behind, and a Patriot Act it is a good reminder for our time.

Posted by: tomcady | May 29, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Bush the Uniter has united almost his entire staff aganist him.

Bottom line is the need to call Bush what he is: a psychopath.

Posted by: Maddogg | May 29, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

CNN REPORTER BACKS UP WORDS OF WISDOM


******* Obamaniacs shocked, say they still have MSNBC still in the tank *******

From the Politico today:

On Wednesday night, CNN's Jessica Yellin talked to Anderson Cooper about Scott McClellan's tell-all memoir and agreed with the former press secretary that White House reporters "dropped the ball" during the run-up to war.

But Yellin went much further, revealing that news executives--presumably at ABC News, where she'd worked from July 2003 to August 2007--actively pushed her not do hard-hitting pieces on the Bush administration.

"The press corps was under enormous pressure from corporate executives, frankly, to make sure that this was a war presented in way that was consistent with the patriotic fever in the nation and the president's high approval ratings," Yellin said.

"And my own experience at the White House was that the higher the president's approval ratings, the more pressure I had from news executives--and I was not at this network at the time--but the more pressure I had from news executives to put on positive stories about the president, I think over time...."

But then a shocked Cooper jumped in, asking, "You had pressure from news executives to put on positive stories about the president?"

"Not in that exact.... They wouldn't say it in that way, but they would edit my pieces," Yellin said. "They would push me in different directions. They would turn down stories that were more critical, and try to put on pieces that were more positive. Yes, that was my experience."

Posted by: Anonymous | May 29, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

It never ceases to amaze me at how standard the response is by both sides when discussing a scandal, issue, etc. You are relying on Republican talking points, a focus group which is funded but the source of funding is not identified and then you give this blather about it all being inside the beltway. Sorry, Chris, I don't live inside the beltway but a find each of these episodes merely confirms in me that the Washington media elite, of which you are a fully paid up member, can never take on the Republicans no matter how low they are in the polls. This is pitiful. Why not read the book in full and then comment.

Posted by: bitterpill8 | May 29, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

All I can see in this dispute is that McClellan INDICTS MORE THAN HALF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY AND THE ENTIRE PRESS WITH THE SAME COMPLICITY AS HE IS GUILTY OF.


This book does not do any favors for the democracy party.


If anything the book implicates Pelosi's Congress in its CONTINUED FUNDING OF THE WAR.

Posted by: 37th&OStreet | May 29, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

This passage from Obama's commencement address at Wesleyan especially stood out:


"But during my first two years of college, perhaps because the values my mother had taught me --hard work, honesty, empathy -- had resurfaced after a long hibernation. . . .

I wrote letters to every organization in the country I could think of. And one day, a small group of churches on the South Side of Chicago offered me a job to come work as a community organizer in neighborhoods that had been devastated by steel plant closings. My mother and grandparents wanted me to go to law school. My friends were applying to jobs on Wall Street. Meanwhile, this organization offered me $12,000 a year plus $2,000 for an old, beat-up car.

And I said yes."

(Wow. He said yes. I think I just swooned.)

Does Obama not get that he's running against a guy who spent the directly analogous years of his life in a fetid jungle prison being hung upside down and beaten with sticks until his bones broke?" But the difference between the two candidates are even more profound. It's true the Obama said "Yes," but it's still more striking that John McCain said "No"- "No" to special treatment at the hands of his captors, "No" to early release, "No" to leaving his brothers-in-arms behind at the Hanoi Hilton.

Posted by: Jim M | May 29, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Dems refuse to see the reality, instead opt for hope and change. but when actual hope and change confronts them, they go blind:

Recent studies showing a decline in global incidents of Islamic terror have been interpreted as solely a Middle-East intramural affair. Sometimes the good news is said to be a naturally occurring phenomenon. We are supposed to believe that American policies of counter-terrorism at home have been of little value, if not McCarthyesque. Beefed-up security, the fight against the terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the cultural creation of a repugnance -- and penalty -- for jihadism (as in contrast to the 1990s), have likewise supposedly played no role.

But surely the catalyst for the decline in terrorist incidents worldwide was the radically different response of the U.S. to terrorism and 9/11 that finally brought jihadism into an open-shooting war against the West (e.g., cf. the Left's "creating terrorists"), in which the terrorists are losing the battle-space, along with the hearts and minds of those in the Middle East -- as their own websites and cries of anguish attest.
The successful toppling of Saddam was followed in short order by the shutdown of Dr. Khan's atomic shop, the surrender of WMDs by the Libyans, and the supposed sidetracking of the Iranian nuclear bomb program (at least according to the National Intelligence Estimate) -- and yet no one thought the timing of all these events was odd (even when Ghaddafi himself reportedly connected his decision to abandon a weapons of mass destruction program to Saddam's fate).

By the same token, the rise of governments that are sympathetic to the U.S. in France, Germany, and elsewhere in Europe is never associated with a shared and growing worry over Islamic radicalism -- or a grudging, often private acknowledgment of the U.S. role abroad in beating back jihadism. How surreal to see a constitutional government in Iraq, with broad popular support, fighting and defeating terrorists and insurgents of both the Wahhabi and Iranian brand -- at a time when the consensus is that Iraq only made terrorism much worse. As we've seen from recent events, there are many governments abroad that deserve criticism, whether in China, the Sudan, or Burma, but Iraq is not one of them.

So these are upside-down times when facts and events on the ground simply do not support the general pessimism of the Western media, the serial publication of gloomy he-did-it,-not-me memoirs about the post-9/11 supposed failures, and the shrill rhetoric of the Democratic primaries.

In general, the hard efforts of the last six years against radical Islam -- that bore fruit by the radically changed atmosphere in Iraq, the decline in terrorism worldwide, the lack of a follow-up to 9/11, and polls that showed a marked fall in approval for al-Qaeda, Bin Laden, and the tactic of suicide bombing -- are explained away in various ways. The common theme, however, is that one never mentions the efforts of the bogeyman George Bush.

The orphaned presidency of Harry Truman during the 1952 election year was likewise damned for stirring up Soviet and Chinese communism -- tarred by the isolationist Right for getting us bogged down in hopeless quagmires, and by the Left for creating a climate of paranoia at home and abroad -- until decades later appreciated for establishing the general framework and mind-set of an eventually successful containment.

We have not won the war on terror, but we are starting to see how the combination of domestic security, international cooperation, military action, cultural ostracism of those who condone terrorism, and promotion of constitutional government in the Middle East can, and will, marginalize and eventually defeat the jihadists. We know this not just by the anguished complaints of the Islamists themselves, and real progress on the ground -- but also by the mantra of increasingly ossified critics who still insist that things are either worse, or were never that bad, or abruptly got better on their own.

Posted by: VDH | May 29, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Nice of you to defend the republicans Chris. Even a serial murder deserves an attorney. The real impact of this is not going to be another blow to the already mangled republican brand. It is going to impact McCain who's propaganda about Iran and Iraq is identical to that of Bush.

Posted by: Kevin Morgan | May 29, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

It all makes one even more cynical about DC--if that's possible. I'd not be surprised if Scotty's working for Romney or someone who's waiting and, uh, praying, that McCain will lose. So who's Hillary got writing a "sensational" anti-Obama book?

Posted by: Angerboy | May 29, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Every time I caught a press conference McClellan presided over, I could tell by the look in his eyes [nervous deer caught in headlights] that he knew he was parroting BS, and he knew that WE knew he was slinging it, albeit in a calm, chipper way.

But as we've learned during this whole presidency, BS still smells bad, and causes terrible damage and debt.

Leave Scotty alone. He only wrote what most of us already knew.

Posted by: Ann | May 29, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Cizilla's article is surely a parody of Post White House stenography at its worst.
He talks to only three people about the impact of McClennan's book. All three are GOP strategists. Their shocking conclusion: this will have no impact on my clients.

Posted by: NYT | May 29, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

While Ahmadinejad has not done anything as starkly evil as cut the capital gains tax, he does deny the Holocaust, call for the destruction of Israel, deny the existence of gays in Iran and refuses to abandon his nuclear program despite protests from the United Nations. That's the only world leader we're not allowed to compare to Hitler......


We always have the ability to "talk" to Ahmadinejad if we have something to say. Bush has a telephone. If Iranian crop dusters were headed toward one of our nuclear power plants, I am quite certain that Bush would be able to reach Ahmadinejad to tell him that Iran will be flattened unless the planes retreat. If his cell phone died, Bush could just post a quick warning on the Huffington Post.

......

The only explanation for liberals' hysterical zealotry in favor of Obama's proposed open-ended talks with Ahmadinejad is that they seriously imagine crazy foreign dictators will be as charmed by Obama as cable TV hosts whose legs tingle when they listen to Obama (a condition that used to be known as "sciatica").

Because, really, who better to face down a Holocaust denier with a messianic complex than the guy who is afraid of a debate moderated by Brit Hume?


Posted by: anne C. | May 29, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Chris, heard you on NPR yesterday discussing this matter. I thought you were on target and brought excellent context to the story, great job.

Posted by: JNoel002 | May 29, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Stonecreek, for your very penetrating analysis, thanks.

Posted by: jhbyer | May 29, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

I am surprised that, after interviewing the only people who really count, unnamed GOP operatives, Cillizza didn't tell us how this is really going to hurt the Democrats. He needs to consult with his colleague, Shaleigh Murray, for a quick review of how political reporting is done on the Post.

Posted by: roger | May 29, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

All I can see in this dispute is that McClellan INDICTS MORE THAN HALF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY AND THE ENTIRE PRESS WITH THE SAME COMPLICITY AS HE IS GUILTY OF.

This book does not do any favors for the democracy party.

If anything the book implicates Pelosi's Congress in its CONTINUED FUNDING OF THE WAR.


Posted by: 37th&OStreet | May 29, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

First reaction to McClellan: Who cares?

Second reaction: Not surprising, considering that McClellan's memoirs would probably only have been a viable project if he took the tack that he did. McClellan could hardly write a serious book about the Bush administration. Let's face it - no one would have read or cared about the reminiscences of a charmless and charisma-deprived former press secretary unless there was a hook.

So McClellan's hook had to be that he has seen the light since leaving the dark shadow of the president he served.

Unfortunately for McClellan, his bid for a "strange new respect" is off to a predictably stumbling start. Daily Kos even slammed him yesterday...

"MASSIVE JEERS to Scott McClellan. The latest former Bush lapdog to come out of the woodwork ..."

I don't have much regard for Scott McClellan and never have. But the just-concluded McClellan saga provides some valuable information regarding the Bush White House. For too long, the president retained lackeys who were poor at their jobs because he prized loyalty.

Quite frankly, after seeing McClellan maladroitly dispense of his press secretary responsibilities for a few years, it's hard to imagine what he could possibly have brought to the table other than the promise of loyalty.

Now that the tell-all books are beginning to flow, the White House's management strategy is looking ever more dubious.

Hopefully both of the president's potential successors are paying attention.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | May 29, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Greg, you make an excellent point I'd lost of sight of, that the press has cause to downplay McClellan's book (which I haven't yet read, alas) so I shouldn't let columns like this one disillusion me, necessarily. Sigh.

Posted by: jhbyer | May 29, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

As John Weaver says, politically it is one more of the One Thousand cuts that will cause the Republican party to bleed to death. Its most significant effect on McCain is not in terms of votes it sways which will be few -- and curiously, the few votes which will be swayed are most likely to be vehement Hillary supporters who might otherwise sit out the election or even vote for McCain out of spite but who are reminded by McClellan's book of the "greater evil". The other effect on McCain and Congressional Republicans is that it will make money even harder to raise. McCain will run on financial fumes until the convention, then be forced to take limited public funding.

Historically, the book will have more impact (but perhaps not as much as others to come). McClellan is a nice kid (he'll always be a kid due to his relative naivette), and not the sharpest tack in the box. Scott is slow, but also thinks of himself as principled. It took him a long time to figure out what was going on, and even longer to figure out that he was in an untenable position. But sometimes the smartest witness for the prosecution is not as effective as the dumber guy who appears more honest.

In Scott's naive way, he thinks he is defending Bush. Bush, in his eyes, is not stupid, but rather just doesn't like to go to the trouble to think, thus allowed himself to be coopted by the "forces of evil". Scott identifies with Bush. He equates his own difficulty in thinking with Bush's refusal to think, and believes that both deserve sympathy and respect. Unfortunately for Scott, Bush can think enough to understand that this kind of "defense" is not a flattering one which will serve his legacy.

Scott seems to have inherited his personality and sense of ethics from his grandpa, Page Keaton, the long-time Dean of the UT School of Law. Unfortunately, he inherited his intellect from his mama, Carole Keaton McClellan Rylander Strayhorn, who's brash personality has always substituted for mental acuity.

Posted by: Stonecreek | May 29, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

From: Head of State
http://headofstate.blogspot.com/2008/05/tactical-woundedness.html

Thursday, May 29, 2008
Tactical Woundedness

I was just mulling over the response of the White House and former associated figures over the past 24 hours, and realized that there is a phenomenon, used in the past by this and other Administrations, which can be culled out, newly defined, that I shall call "Tactical Woundedness":

Tactical Woundedness: The use of an apparent sense of betrayal, often portrayed through the use of euphemistic insinuation, such as the word "puzzled" and "this isn't the ----- we knew", that is meant to serve as a form of indirection--to draw viewers of an event away from a damaging factual disclosure and towards an implication of personal disloyalty. This relies on the known effect of people to be influenced in the direction of attending to interpersonal conflict over factual inaccuracy--even when the factual inaccuracy may have a considerable impact on their own lives.

See also: Mock outrage; Captain Renault in Casablanca: "shocked, shocked".

If these individuals are indeed wounded, it is more likely an understated wounded pride at their "misunderestimation"--that such a receptive servant of the message, no doubt hired for his unquestioning fealty, would now actually remove the curtain from the proceedings that they expected that he would obediently continue to conceal.

Cite:
Head of State
http://headofstate.blogspot.com/2008/05/tactical-woundedness.html

Posted by: Emily Stewart | May 29, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

For me, the sad thing about the publication of "Scotty-boy's" book is that it obscures the much more damaging news about McCain and Phil Gramm. (McC seems determined to defend his old pal until the bitter end, so maybe this story has legs, especially as more news emerges as to the extent of Gramm's lobbying.))

Posted by: Dell Martin | May 29, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Laughman: I have no problem with a debate concerning future policy in Iraq - stay, withdraw, whatever. There are arguments on both sides. What is most important is that the people responsible for the initial decision to invade Iraq are NOT allowed to make decisions about the future.

_________________________________

Then you had better not vote for McCain since many of the same people who planned, sold and promoted the war in Iraq are now members of McCain's campaign staff for foreign policy and domestic security:

• Randy Scheunemann (a director of the Project for the New American Century [PNAC], the architects, promoters and salesmen of the Bush disaster in Iraq).

• "Smilin' Billy" Kristol - the neo-con chickenhawk who co-founded PNAC (among other idiocies).

• Robert Kagan - neo-con nutcase; also a co-founder of PNAC. (His wife worked as a National Security Adviser for Dick Cheney, before getting a plum pay-off appointment from Bush).

• Gary Schmitt - another neo-con halfwit and member of PNAC.

• Robert Zoellick - Another neo-con member of PNAC (and Bush's hand-picked replacement for the disgraced Wolfowitz at the World Bank).

• Eliot Cohen - Neo-con lunatic. Also a founding member of PNAC. In late 2001 said, "After Afghanistan, what? Iraq is the big prize... " In the run-up to the 2003 Invasion of Iraq, he was also a member of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, another group of neo-cons and Zionists pressing for invasion.

McCain = Bush on Geritol.


Posted by: pali 2500 | May 29, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, but some voters apparently need reminding - voters like the alleged Clinton fans who insist on these threads, they'll vote for McCain, if they can't vote for her, which makes no sense if they like her platform and not just her skin color or her occasional dramatic attempts to pass as plain folks.

What's up with the voters whose first reaction was, "You don't do that to someone who's committed war crimes and lied us into war..."?

I know it's a Bushie thing to incline to doubt the press, but that doesn't sound like your average American. Rather it sounds exactly like WH spin dutifully reported on behalf of Bushies, who are not the bumbling idiots their disinterest in good governance has led many to think.

"Non-political client"??? That stinks of deception. Non-political isn't non-partisan, and it can't be true if the poll is on people's political views, eh?

Excuse, me. I have to go read Froomkin to get my blood pressure down and shore up my faith that someone at WaPo has a working BS detector.

Posted by: jhbyer | May 29, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Half the country knew that McClellan was lying through his teeth when he was press secretary, and here's proof for the other half too timid and afraid to admit that this Iraq war is a bill of goods.

Posted by: bondjedi | May 29, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Anybody see MSNBC's David Gregory go into full defensive overdrive at Scotty's criticism of the media for not challenging the rush to war? Funny to watch DG get all riled up--after all, wasn't he the one dancing with "MC Rove" at the WH Correspondent's Dinner? Hardly a cred builder, Dave.

Posted by: Soonerthought | May 29, 2008 10:02 AM

I noticed that too. Gregory always pride himself as a through reporter but lets face it, the media was afraid of being call unpatriotic and went along with the program. President Cheney did a great snow job. Its interesting that none of the Bushees have said the allegations are untrue. Only Chris Matthews is digging into this by drilling Ari Fletcher. As for people who say this book does not matter. It does because it is bringing this matter back to the front pages. Thousands of people died or was injured because of these lies and they must pay for this. The womb has been opened up.

Posted by: Greg | May 29, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Laughman


you do realize that includes half the democratic party and the entire press

Posted by: 37th&OStreet | May 29, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

I have no problem with a debate concerning future policy in Iraq - stay, withdraw, whatever. There are arguments on both sides. What is most important is that the people responsible for the initial decision to invade Iraq are NOT allowed to make decisions about the future.

Posted by: Laughman | May 29, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

to Mark in Austin,
What are you smoking, you call Iraq Democracy, you really don't have any understanding of what democracy is, Democracy is for poeple to choose their leader, not somebody comes from 7000 miles a way choose who can be on the ballet or not.
Wake up and smell some coffee, what happened in Iraq in no democracy, it is an occupation and the government in Iraq is not chosen by Iraqis, it's chosen by Washington, I don't call that democracy.

Posted by: Taoufiq, Ashburn | May 29, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Maybe as the Republican acolytes believe. But historians will have a different view, being firmed up as we speak: Worst President, Ever.

And if you think McCain's hugs and well-worn kneepads in sucking Bush's intellectual center of his intellect aren't going to come back to haunt him with independents, and 90% of Democracts, you're ignoring reality. By November, this message will be driven home, along with the 100 years war promised by McCain in Iraq: Worst recession since Carter, 5-7$ gas prices, 5,000 war dead, several million out of their homes, and Bush fatigue will take its toll, no matter how many trips McCain took along with the cowering that chickenhawk non-serving Lieberman and that poster child for anger management issues with his finger on the nuclear trigger, McCain, took in their flak jackets and sealed off for 20 blocks in Baghdad.

McCain=Bush. End of story.

Posted by: byeh | May 29, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Chris Matthews should have Helen Thomas on his show....to counteract the bullpoop coming out of David Gregory's mouth. Gregory was so defensive on Hardball yesterday, marginalizing whoever agreed with McClellan as "folks on the left."

He sat on his hands and did nothing to show the American people what anyone with critical thinking skills knew: the Iraq War was a sham. In fact, the he only started challenging Bush when the president's approval ratings were in the tank.

Absolutely shameless. History won't be kind.

I think I'll go read Helen Thomas' book on the subject, "Watchdogs of Democracy" to see what a real journalist writes about the silence of the press as thousands of our soldiers and Iraqi citizens died for George Bush's "greatness."

Posted by: Karen H | May 29, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Fallout from McClellan's saga on the 2008 campaign? Nadda, bupkus. Number 1 on Amazon today, remainder rack tomorrow. But it is fun to watch the instant revisionism from the left and right about McClellan. Cross-cross.

Posted by: tobe | May 29, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

MarkinAustin


You know from my previous post that we can not do anything about last summer .....

Posted by: 37th&OStreet | May 29, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

FREE PRESS?
MY ASS!!!
There is no free press in War Time. There is only manipulated information trying to pain a nice picture. We invaded Iraq to kill inocent people and to STEAL THEIR OIL.
And now Iraq is a mess and you KEEP KILLING because you don't know what to stop it. The state of denial goes on in Iraq.

Posted by: Bruno | May 29, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Mark in Austin

Your comment:
"finding the optimal solution from where we are now"


My response:

Right now, cutting and running is the worst possible course of action - we are there we should finish the job.


If we leave, we are doing exactly what bin Laden said we would do, leave in the midst of a fight

I disagree that the situation in Iraq is all that bad - I believe we are not that far from our Iraqi allies - the government - being able to take over the security of the nation.


Stability is an intriguing concept - if one leaves too soon, one creates instability which is what you don't want.

One has to do it juuuuuuuust right....


Posted by: 37th&OStreet | May 29, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Anybody see MSNBC's David Gregory go into full defensive overdrive at Scotty's criticism of the media for not challenging the rush to war? Funny to watch DG get all riled up--after all, wasn't he the one dancing with "MC Rove" at the WH Correspondent's Dinner? Hardly a cred builder, Dave.

Posted by: Soonerthought | May 29, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Last post for a coupla hours a response to Street Corner at 9:40A.

The pragmatists in the R Party and in the D Party as well would be well served to again read Baker-Hamilton. Or for that matter, Biden-Gelb.

The pragmatists are not for reinventing the past, but for finding the optimal solution from where we are now. Thus I am not asking McC to listen to Dennis Kucinich, but I am asking him to hear Admiral Lehman.

You know that Podhoretz wants to bomb Iran now - or last summer. There are a crew of Wolfie's adherents I do not want influencing our foreign policy in any way.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | May 29, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

CNN REPORTER BACKS UP WORDS OF WISDOM


******* Obamaniacs shocked, say they still have MSNBC still in the tank *******


From the Politico today:


On Wednesday night, CNN's Jessica Yellin talked to Anderson Cooper about Scott McClellan's tell-all memoir and agreed with the former press secretary that White House reporters "dropped the ball" during the run-up to war.

But Yellin went much further, revealing that news executives--presumably at ABC News, where she'd worked from July 2003 to August 2007--actively pushed her not do hard-hitting pieces on the Bush administration.

"The press corps was under enormous pressure from corporate executives, frankly, to make sure that this was a war presented in way that was consistent with the patriotic fever in the nation and the president's high approval ratings," Yellin said.

"And my own experience at the White House was that the higher the president's approval ratings, the more pressure I had from news executives--and I was not at this network at the time--but the more pressure I had from news executives to put on positive stories about the president, I think over time...."

But then a shocked Cooper jumped in, asking, "You had pressure from news executives to put on positive stories about the president?"

"Not in that exact.... They wouldn't say it in that way, but they would edit my pieces," Yellin said. "They would push me in different directions. They would turn down stories that were more critical, and try to put on pieces that were more positive. Yes, that was my experience."


Posted by: Words of Wisdom | May 29, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

The revelations of the McClellan book will have profound impact on the McCain campaign because it is an insider's view of the lying travesty that was the Bush administration.

The more that the voting public is pursuaded to consider the perfidy of the Bushes the less it will want to back McCain's bid for a third Bush term.

McClellan's book is written from the inside which is its major claim to newsworthiness. Of course, those millions of us who opposed this insane, unjustified war on Iraq from the beginning find nothing new here.

But the opportunity to have the truth spelled out in excrutiating detail will certainly wound McCain and all those who continue to back the hideous policies of the Bush/Cheney administration.

The GOP should be worried, very worried indeed. I hope that President Obama will instruct the Justice Department to systematically investigate the various crimes of the Bush administration from Iraq to Katrina.

Posted by: dee | May 29, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

The Bush balloon has had a slow leak for some time now. McClennan just opened the leak a little more so the picture is getting far more difficult to ignore.

The real issue is that the President doesnt give a crap about this or anything else. His new song is Boston's "Don't Look Back"

Posted by: nclwtk | May 29, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Mark in Austin


Your insight is correct, however those thoughts will not lead you to any answers.


The whole country is off on a discussion which makes no sense.


The ONLY thing that makes sense right now is this: look at the calendar it is 2008 we can no go back, change the year, and change the decisions.

The United States invaded Iraq, we changed the region, we can not go backwards - that is the central lesson of maturity - one can not have one's decisions back - we have a new set of decisions however they are never the same as before.

NOW the question is (and the liberals should go BALLISTIC on this one) NOT whether we should topple a dictator and cause social and economic upheaval in Iraq - THE QUESTION IS : Should we abandon the only democracy we have in the region and abandon the allies we have made within Iraq - and suffer the regional consequences of leaving ?????

well....


See, LEAVING is not the same question as INVADING ----

That is maturity - to recognize that we are not in the same position we were 5 and a half years ago.


The question now is completely different from the question then.


Obviously there are many who believe we can go back and change our answer.


.


Posted by: 37th&OStreet | May 29, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

What I understand is that Bush and McClellan were some sort of good friends were mutual trust existed. The were acquainted for decades. When you are close to each other for so long, one could say they trusted each other as friends.

We can learn something from this McClellan behavior.

There is this very old and wise proverb that says: "Tell me who your friends are and I tell you who you are".

Sad but true.

(It is a good thing, this book appeared. It clears the air and gives people like me, who were against this war from the start finally rest after 8 years of unbearable stress).

Posted by: jwh | May 29, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

To all: Next time someone uses "FUZZY MATH" as a defense for a question DON'T VOTE FOR HIM!!!!!

Now to the issue at hand: The truth is that many people already knew Bush and his administration were all liar's (and still are). Just look at the evidence presented at the U.N. during the run up to the war. Colin Powel used CARTOONS to show the world what WMD Iraq had. (Side note: In this day and age of so much technology, anytime someone has to DRAW their PROOF against someone else, it's FAKE, there were no actual PICTURES of the WMD at all).

Public Announcement: To all who believe Republicans can make things right, please understand that the Republicans have gotten EVERYTHING they wanted these last 8 years (Bush never vetoed anything from the Republican house or senate, not until the Democrats got power did Bush ever veto anything). And after getting EVERYTHING they wanted you have a RECESSION (with the RICH people getting even richer), you have WAR (that's called Pre-emptive even when there was NO THREAT to the U.S.), you have HIGH GAS PRICES from Dick Cheney's people who want to gouge you until we actually switch over to SOLAR POWER but has been blocked by BUSH and his boys in congress, you have GLOBAL WARMING becoming worse and worse everyday just because Bush won't listen to the SCIENTIST who say it exists, and Bush won't put caps on emissions... I mean the list goes on and on. On every point the Republicans fought for they got, and it's created this MESS. We went from the good times with SURPLUSSES so big in 2000 to DEFICIT's that are even larger.

Understand that during the 2000 election times were great. The only thing the news could talk about was who Bill was sleeping with (which is actually none of our business.) Now we're seeing that you don't elect a comedian into the white house just because the other guy seems like a nerd. Please make the right decision and vote for someone who can CHANGE this and bring us back to responsible GOVERNMENT. And who will govern in a way that the world will respect us again (what do I mean, well when Clinton was President and he traveled abroad people greeted him like a savior, but when Bush travels abroad all you see are PROTEST's of HATE against the U.S.) Therefore we need a President who will represent the U.S. with all it's greatness.

God Bless America!!!

Posted by: Reason | May 29, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

SO LET ME GET THIS STRAIGHT:


NOW the story is this: both the media AND McClellan knew the TRUTH all along, but they were not telling us


The ENTIRE problem was Bush was lying the whole time.


1) McClellan never "went along" with it for his own self-interest -


2) The New York Times never "went along" with the story by printing some stupid story about aluminum tubes


3) The press knew the truth all along, but somehow the administration was such a good liar that the press was helpless


4) The democrats "went along" with the war when it was in their own self-interest in the 2002 and 2004 elections


5) The democrats "went along" with the war by FUNDING it for years and years because a few people in the Bush administration were such good liars.


Is that their story now???


My comment is this: all these people let down the American public - they are all no good and rotten.


For the democrats now to say - oh it was all because Bush was a liar - that is a deception and a lie.


THE REASON BUSH WAS ABLE TO GET AWAY WITH IT IS BECAUSE ALL THOSE PEOPLE KNEW BETTER - SHOULD HAVE DONE BETTER - AND WENT ALONG WITH IT FOR THEIR OWN SELF-INTEREST - THEY ARE THE ONES WHO SOLD OUT AMERICA.


YES THEY ARE THE ONES WHO SOLD OUT THIS COUNTRY.


IN LIFE, THE SELL-OUTS ARE THE ONES WHO TIP THE BALANCE.


IF ONE ELIMINATES THE SELL-OUTS, THE BALANCE IS NOT TIPPED

.

Posted by: Words of Wisdom | May 29, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

I have not read the book so I will limit my comment to what Scott said this morning on NPR.

He said GWB believed that the USA had the capacity to transform the Middle East into peaceful democratic states and that the keystone was the replacement of Saddam in Iraq.

That was the gospel according to Wolfowitz, and although I [incorrectly in hindsight]
supported the invasion because of the argument Tony Blair made in his great speech to Commons that I watched thanks to PBS, I never bought Wolfowitz's vision.

Wolfie began to write this "theory" in the late 80s and Jim Baker and Brent Scowcroft and Admiral Lehman thought he was a "crazy."

So the question for us now may be: Who has convinced McC? The pragmatists [Lehman is his good friend] or the neocons [Kristol is his good friend]. I do not like the early returns on this one, myself.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | May 29, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Most of the information in the book has either been known or very much suspected. The book merely supports the expected. It does however, bring to front the issue of our news media. Where was the media when the need for insight to question the bush administration actions and provide real and tough investigations into their policys.

The media are the only source for the American people to show misbehavior in the government and this media has failed us. They can and have attempted to shape election campaigns. We seen that in the second term Presidental campaign and again in this primary campaign but they certainly didn't have the guts to take on bush, a president that was putting this country on the road to disaster.

Posted by: Ken | May 29, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Johannesrolf,

You are right, I was wrong in doing what this Administration loves to do, deal only in absolutes. I shouldn't apply all to most.

Posted by: PeterPamZ | May 29, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't pay attention to how this story plays in Columbus, rather how it plays in Austin or Houston. Don't forget Scott's mom is/was one of the most powerful politicians in Texas -- little wonder that Scott and Mark got such high positions in the Bush administration.

There would have to be some blowback in Texas if Scott gets torched too much and due to his connections, you'd think his book would carry some sway in Texas. Not good news for McCain.

Posted by: John in Cincy | May 29, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

speak for yourself. we are not ALL guilty.some of us protested the war from the start.

Posted by: johannesrolf | May 29, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

"And we should all believe ONE man just because he was behind the scenes...
If someone wrote a good book about the Bush admin. you would be calling him a liar!"

Interesting hypothesis. Where is this one good book ?

Posted by: arun chawla | May 29, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Of course the GOP flacks are going to say "nothing to see here move along," and that's the point of this story, albeit couched in the quotes of others.

McClellan attacks the media's collaboration with Bush on the war. If the NYT story on Pentagon manipulation of the ex-general talking heads didn't get much coverage, this claim by McClellan must also be buried.

On that note, this column needs a less ironic title.

Posted by: undisclosed angler | May 29, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Paul Nolan wrote:

"Forget the tell all books, we need what the Chinese did, a trial of the President and his chronies like the gang of four in China after the "cultural revolution" after they leave office. We have just been subjected to another false conservative revolution against thought here. Maybe the same capital punishment he advocates as a penalty for lies and mistruths will end the lying once and for all."

Well said, Paul. I might be a "lefty" and da#n proud of it, but I do support capital punishment very much, and Dick & Bush are prime candidates. At the very least a prison term. It amazes me that these men still sit in power TODAY! After all this. All the crimes against Man, against the Constitution, against God himself seemingly! It boggles the mind that 29% of the nation still thinks this is all fine and dandy, but it blows my mind totally that the other 71% are not demanding justice.

Posted by: Charles W Gray | May 29, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Paul Nolan wrote:

"Forget the tell all books, we need what the Chinese did, a trial of the President and his chronies like the gang of four in China after the "cultural revolution" after they leave office. We have just been subjected to another false conservative revolution against thought here. Maybe the same capital punishment he advocates as a penalty for lies and mistruths will end the lying once and for all."

Well said, Paul. I might be a "lefty" and da#n proud of it, but I do support capital punishment very much, and Dick & Bush are prime candidates. At the very least a prison term. It amazes me that these men still sit in power TODAY! After all this. All the crimes against Man, against the Constitution, against God himself seemingly! It boggles the mind that 29% of the nation still thinks this is all fine and dandy, but it blows my mind totally that the other 71% are not demanding justice.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 29, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Watch how CC frames this. First he goes to a couple of Republican consultants who say the kinds of things you would expect Republican consultants to say. Then he argues that Bush approval numbers have already hit their floor because they're already pretty low. And then he ends with a McCain aide saying the kind of things you would expect a McCain aide to say.

I feel so reassured that the journamalism McClellan criticizes still reigns supreme. For a brief second there, I thought reporters like CC might have to look objectively at uncomfortable facts and report honestly, even at the risk of angering the people who have been feeding them bs for the last seven years. Crisis averted!

Posted by: novamatt | May 29, 2008 8:51 AM | Report abuse

As I'm reading about all of the articles and posts re: McLellan's tell-all, I can't help but think that during the run up to the war in Iraq, frankly, all of us, every single one of us got lazy! The Administration got lazy (assuming that we'd be greeted as liberators and not bothering to plan for the unexpected or unanticipated) the press got lazy (not bothering to fact check or verify in any way what was coming out of the White House and Pentagon) and yes, we the people got lazy for not thinking at all about what we were truly hearing and seeing! Instead of questioning or confronting in any way the Administration that made these bogus claims about WMD, yellowcake, etc. etc. etc., we ALL blindly followed along until we all were exposed as enablers! So yes, Scotty probably should have spoken up more when he was still inside instead of waiting until now for this tell-all, but I think we ALL are guilty of the same thing, we all (well, most, there were a select few that did have the courage to speak out) waited until it was too late to question what was going on and the rationale behind it.

Posted by: PeterPamZ | May 29, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Someone without the courage of their convictions wrote at 8:25am:

"Yep and Bill Clinton was innocent in the Washington dealings, never did anything wrong while in washington- yeah right!!!"

So, anonymous 8:25am poster, your defense is that two wrongs DO make a right? (or, to equal your hyperbole, ???)

Posted by: The Virginian | May 29, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

The thing it points out most is they used scare tactics to sell the war. They are now trying to us scare tactics to sell John Mccain. These parallels will be used against Mccain.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 29, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

The White House response to this book proves what McClellan said: That Bush defenders defame anyone who dares to attack Bush, even if that means outing a CIA agent.

Bush's failures are so self-evident by now that McClellan's book offers nothing new to most of us. But it is so nice to have someone who was by W's side come to that realization and offer an honest account.

Posted by: Greg T | May 29, 2008 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Good that the McClellan detractors are not calling the book false data.

As I have always said Bush is a Ted Bundy personality and this book confirms that. Bush is a psychopath and the media played right into his hands.

The book also confirms that Bush deliberately took the heat off of bin-Laden to pursue personal dreams of invading Iraq. Thereby deliberately leaving the US vulnerable to attack. This is treason and is a impeachable offense.

Posted by: Maddogg | May 29, 2008 8:43 AM | Report abuse

So Bill Clinton, who according to Bob Woodward actually wrote copy in the Oval Office--when he wasn't otherwise occupied--for the AFL-CIO to run in "independent" ads, didn't operate in a permanent campaign mode?
-Wm Tate
http://www.atimelikethis.us/

Posted by: Wm Tate | May 29, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse

McClellan's angle is to sell the maximum number of books and ingratiate himself with the coming Democratic tsunami. All the Republicans KNEW what was and is going on within this administration. It's a magnificant game they've been playing for decades: game the American people with "low/no taxes", liberal elitist crap, phony wars to keep 'em in line, secrecy, Supreme Court/U.S. district judges voting down hard-won freedoms and protections, and politicization of the very government agencies meant to work for the American people. A bankrupt party, out to bankrupt a once great country.

Posted by: Marilyn Delson | May 29, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

It is interesting that all of the critics of McClelland's book are attacking his character. No one seems to dispute his veracity! At least, this scum is telling the truth about the Bush White House. That is better than the President.

Posted by: iwantmycountryback | May 29, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse

There's a credability gap here. If Mcllelan felt the way he did and never stated his opinion, he's a shmuck. Coming out now makes him appear as a disgruntled employee. One can also question the timing. there are several factors driving this play none the least is making a buck, a resentment of his former employer, and maybe he's a closet lefty. I heard a statement where his mommy had it in for Bush for what ever reason. He'll make a few bucks, but will never again have a position of trust since no one will hire a person that cannot be trusted furthermore his insight lacks credibility since he was asked to leave his position and replaced by Mr. Snow.

Posted by: ziggy 1 | May 29, 2008 8:27 AM | Report abuse

The most amazing thing about all this is that 28% of the public still think Bush is doing a good job.
"No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American voter"

Posted by: Jerry | May 29, 2008 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Yep and Bill Clinton was innocent in the Washington dealings, never did anything wrong while in washington- yeah right!!!well it's true he never did anything...with terrorist attacking our soldiers all over the globe ...made us look like pansies and see what we got in return... -

Posted by: Anonymous | May 29, 2008 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Wow, this is a really insightful piece. Someone with an enormous amount of inside information spills the beans but it won't hurt the Republicans. And how do we know this? By interviewing GOP strategists! And to think McLellan says the press is too easy on the Bush Administration. Brave investigative journalism like this shows just how wrong he is. Not.

Posted by: Daphne Millar | May 29, 2008 8:23 AM | Report abuse

And we should all believe ONE man just because he was behind the scenes...
If someone wrote a good book about the Bush admin. you would be calling him a liar!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 29, 2008 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Forget the tell all books, we need what the Chinese did, a trial of the President and his chronies like the gang of four in China after the "cultural revolution" after they leave office. We have just been subjected to another false conservative revolution against thought here. Maybe the same capital punishment he advocates as a penalty for lies and mistruths will end the lying once and for all.

Posted by: Paul Nolan | May 29, 2008 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Fallout?

Are you kidding?

You can not knock someone down when they are flat on their back.

Give it up.

Posted by: Gary E. Masters | May 29, 2008 8:20 AM | Report abuse

SO LET ME GET THIS STRAIGHT:


NOW the story is this: both the media AND McClellan knew the TRUTH all along, but they were not telling us


The ENTIRE problem was Bush was lying the whole time.


1) McClellan never "went along" with it for his own self-interest -


2) The New York Times never "went along" with the story by printing some stupid story about aluminum tubes


3) The press knew the truth all along, but somehow the administration was such a good liar that the press was helpless


4) The democrats "went along" with the war when it was in their own self-interest in the 2002 and 2004 elections


5) The democrats "went along" with the war by FUNDING it for years and years because a few people in the Bush administration were such good liars.

Is that their story now???


My comment is this: all these people let down the American public - they are all no good and rotten.


For the democrats now to say - oh it was all because Bush was a liar - that is a deception and a lie.


THE REASON BUSH WAS ABLE TO GET AWAY WITH IT IS BECAUSE ALL THOSE PEOPLE KNEW BETTER - SHOULD HAVE DONE BETTER - AND WENT ALONG WITH IT FOR THEIR OWN SELF-INTEREST - THEY ARE THE ONES WHO SOLD OUT AMERICA.


YES THEY ARE THE ONES WHO SOLD OUT THIS COUNTRY.


IN LIFE, THE SELL-OUTS ARE THE ONES WHO TIP THE BALANCE.


IF ONE ELIMINATES THE SELL-OUTS, THE BALANCE IS NOT TIPPED


.

Posted by: Words of Wisdom | May 29, 2008 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Colin Powell sold the American people the story of WMD's on t.v. and he is now an innocent party !!
Yep it's all Bush's fault- Global Warming ,
Terrorists attacks,
the incredibly crooked tax program,
the social security mess,
the incredibly crooked healthcare and insurance JUNK they feed us,etc.
Yep! All started when Bush was in office.
Sorry ,but our government has been going down the wrong path for decades -they have helped devide this country and they feed off of it!!!
Sexism, racism, gay issues. all personal issues magnified to real issues-

Posted by: Anonymous | May 29, 2008 8:16 AM | Report abuse

There is no surprise that McClellan's book has caused the Bushbackers to claim that there are no surprises. Under the Great Decider/Uniter, this country is more divided than it has been at any point since the Civil War: blue states vs. red states; conservatives vs liberals; republicans vs. democrats; religious patriots vs godless traitors... There is no segment of the national audience that has an open mind at this point. The vast majority cannot be surprised by what they might read here, as the gradual unfolding of the res civiles has been constantly paving the way. On the other hand, the president's base would stand by their man were he to be caught copulating with a goat on the high altar of St. Patrick's during Midnight Mass at Easter, so there CAN be no surprises that would take their breath away.

Posted by: John Soister | May 29, 2008 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Sounds like Scott is describing MOST potiticians - the arrogance did not start with the Bush admin. - They've showered us with their insults for decades.

Posted by: skyblue | May 29, 2008 8:07 AM | Report abuse

The book is called, "What Happened," which is the same thing John McCain will be wondering on election night.

Posted by: Optimyst | May 29, 2008 8:06 AM | Report abuse

Yawn.......

So, what has congress done for you lately? That's the real story.

Posted by: JH | May 29, 2008 8:03 AM | Report abuse

P.T. Barnum said this over a hundred years ago, and it still holds true today: "No one ever went broke by underestimating the intelligence of the people."

The Bush administration found that if it lied often enough and loud enough, it could make most people believe almost anything. Bush still has a hard core of true believers who believe everything he says. This must be what he meant by faith-based governing.

Posted by: JoeS | May 29, 2008 8:02 AM | Report abuse

From: Head of State
http://headofstate.blogspot.com/2008/05/ah-scotty.html

Thursday, May 29, 2008
Et Tu, Scotty...

From the 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 includes the charges in a 341-page book, "What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception," that delivers a harsh look at the White House and the man he served for close to a decade. He describes Bush as demonstrating a "lack of inquisitiveness," says the White House operated in "permanent campaign" mode, and admits to having been deceived by some in the president's inner circle about the leak of a CIA operative's name.

It would be utterly inconsistent to praise McClellan for his revelations, now that he needed to find something sensational from his anxiously subservient, painful-to-watch tenure as Press Secretary, which at best could only evoke sympathy for his agonized predicament. It might have helped in eliciting such praise if these revelations had emerge at some point between the end of his tenure and the beginnings of promotion for the book.

Ironically, in now falling to the likely demands of his current masters for something to add spice and sales power to an otherwise agonizing episode, one might posit that he is repeating the same pattern that occurred during his work in the Administration. Nevertheless, this is a man who has demonstrated beyond doubt his characteristic fear of censure. That he comes forward with these accusations, despite putative motive, is of considerable note.

The claims that McClellan makes have the benefit of being supported by numerous contemporary and highly confirming reports (Woodward, Suskind et al). Now, the fact that even McClellan, the truest of camp followers, endorses them, gives them an additional bottom line power--the fearful, sweaty, anxious party line stalwart, who was also among those closest to the action, now confirms what all but the most deluded now must know.

McClellan, like other Press Secretaries before him, could have downplayed, soft pedaled, or diffused these critiques--as they did, in their books, which also had sales imperatives. He does not. Instead, he emphasizes and confirms the critical through-line narrative--a war, driven and unvetted by a lack of necessary curiosity regarding likely effects on our nation, our citizens and the world; a sales campaign yoked to this poorly vetted effort in the most cynical ("one doesn't unveil new products in August") fashion, and, overall, a brutal narrowness of vision, combined with the excitedly combative anti-intellectualism, masked by a shallow pose of ideological self-certainty (i.e. half-blindness) that characterized this administration.

Now, we are seeing the counterattack, the essential message being that they are "puzzled" that this does not "seem to be the Scott" they knew.

Presumably, this "Et tu, Scotty?" translates as an attack on his unwillingness to continue to faithfully toe the party line, in the face of significant evidence to the contrary--to maintain the fantasied walls of the court dominion--a change to be welcomed.

His willingness to express, in print, Bush's tendency to convince himself of what he wanted to believe, and this Administration's embrace of secrecy is a genuinely noble and a brave act.

But, ah, Scotty. The wreckage.

Cite:
Head of State
http://headofstate.blogspot.com/2008/05/ah-scotty.html

Posted by: Emily Stewart | May 29, 2008 7:58 AM | Report abuse

It is very telling that even the Republican apologists acknowledge that McClellan's book provides no new information. Rather, it provides data that has been known for many years. Why then, has no one been impeached? Even the Republicans should be able to see a few "high crimes and misdemeanors" committed at all levels of the Bush administration.

Posted by: FLTNVA | May 29, 2008 7:49 AM | Report abuse

SO LET ME GET THIS STRAIGHT:

NOW the story is this: both the media AND McClellan knew the TRUTH all along, but they were not telling us

The ENTIRE problem was Bush was lying the whole time.

1) McClellan never "went along" with it for his own self-interest -


2) The New York Times never "went along" with the story by printing some stupid story about aluminum tubes


3) The press knew the truth all along, but somehow the administration was such a good liar that the press was helpless


4) The democrats "went along" with the war when it was in their own self-interest in the 2002 and 2004 elections


5) The democrats "went along" with the war by FUNDING it for years and years because a few people in the Bush administration were such good liars.

Is that their story now???

My comment is this: all these people let down the American public - they are all no good and rotten.


For the democrats now to say - oh it was all because Bush was a liar - that is a deception and a lie.

THE REASON BUSH WAS ABLE TO GET AWAY WITH IT IS BECAUSE ALL THOSE PEOPLE KNEW BETTER - SHOULD HAVE DONE BETTER - AND WENT ALONG WITH IT FOR THEIR OWN SELF-INTEREST - THEY ARE THE ONES WHO SOLD OUT AMERICA.

YES THEY ARE THE ONES WHO SOLD OUT THIS COUNTRY.

IN LIFE, THE SELL-OUTS ARE THE ONES WHO TIP THE BALANCE.

IF ONE ELIMINATES THE SELL-OUTS, THE BALANCE IS NOT TIPPED.

.

Posted by: Words of Wisdom | May 29, 2008 7:44 AM | Report abuse

I haven't read the book yet, but it sounds to me like a "limited hang out" a la Nixon. Tell the world something that sounds like a confession, get everyone in the current White House to bunch their undies very theatrically, and keep the hounds off of whatever real scandal still awaits discovery.

If there had been any actual revelations, that'd be different, but so far I haven't heard a thing that I couldn't have told you five years ago, or predicted seven years ago.

Nice try, Scottie. Who's the next sineer into the "confessional"?

Posted by: kurtyboy | May 29, 2008 7:38 AM | Report abuse

While not a bombshell it is more like another ten nicks in the thousand nicks needed to be fatal. The big problem with this book is it brings us back to the fundamental question of how did we get into Iraq and was it a mistake. The American people have rejected the decision to go to war by a 2 to 1 margin. The last time I checked McCain still supports the decision to go to war. That brings us back to the issue of judgment. In the final analysis the decision the voters will have to make will be who has better judgment. In 2002 Obama was against the war and McCain was one of its biggest supporters. The voters will break to Obama 2 to 1 on judgment. The McClellan book brings us back to this issue.

Posted by: Bradcpa | May 29, 2008 7:37 AM | Report abuse

Rick


I have to point out that the democrats voted with Bush for much of his first term.

The democrats continue to fund the war.

Somehow or another there is a myth here that the democratic party has been against the war all the time - they have been FOR the war - voting to FUND the war to this day.

The democrats are the hypocrites here - they want it both ways - when the polls say so, they want to be behind the war, when the polls show a slight advantage they say they want to run from the war, but they never do.

It's called: NO MORAL COMPASS.

.

Posted by: Words of Wisdom | May 29, 2008 7:36 AM | Report abuse

If nothing else, McClellan's book gives the lie to the myth of the "liberal" news media.

None of this comes as a surprise to those of us who opposed the invasion and occupation of Iraq and who warned of the consequences of such lunacy.

Posted by: Laughman | May 29, 2008 7:35 AM | Report abuse

Obama has NO RIGHT TO SAY that McCain is going to continue Bush's policies.


PERHAPS if Obama actually did his job instead of going on a book tour:


Obama would have seen McCain opposing Bush in the Senate on issue after issue.

The reason Obama hasn't seen this is because Obama hasn't EVEN BEEN COMING TO WORK SINCE BEING ELECTED - OBAMA HAS BEEN COLLECTING A PAYCHECK BUT GOING ON BOOK TOURS AND RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT.


Instead, Obama was MIA selling books instead of WATCHING MCCAIN WORK ACROSS THE AISLE.


Seriously - Obama wasn't doing his job so he wasn't even IN THE SENATE TO BE ABLE TO WATCH MCCAIN SHOW HIM HOW ITS DONE.


Obama, if he wasn't so arrogant and uppity, could have ACTUALLY LEARNED SOMETHING FROM MCCAIN.


NOW we have the curious sight of Obama the inexperience person who knows very little about Washington attempting to find something wrong with the MAVERICK.


The truth is Obama has nothing on McCain so Obama HAS TO MAKE UP SOME SET OF LIES.


Of course, then Obama has to focus-group his lies to see which ones work the best.


Obama sickens anyone who truly wants to see this country run correctly.


Obama take your race-baiting and your lies and your false charges of "offensive remarks" and go back to Chicago.

Charge made.


Charge sticks.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 29, 2008 7:32 AM | Report abuse

A Cocain-President that manipulates information to sell to these Stupid Amerian Whites Citizens, that's all that you deserve. We need change. No more lies, no more manipulation, no more Black-Arriviste like Condi Rice. We need a respectful person like Barak Obama to restore reputation and leadership in American. We became a target in the world. You do not dare to say you are an American in Turkey, Iran or Syria, you will get killed.

Posted by: Bruno | May 29, 2008 7:31 AM | Report abuse

Everything that the snitch says has been known to be true for five years to many of us. It is funny that the press is acting like surprised. Coward toads that were trumpeting the war from the start. Blood is in their hands with a very few exceptions. Look at the adoration for the Panamanian candidate.

Posted by: J.moreno | May 29, 2008 7:22 AM | Report abuse

Cilizza is surely broadly true. The 30% of the country who believe W is wonderful will continue to do so. After all if the events of the past seven years haven't disillusioned them McClellan's book isn't going to make much difference. For the other 70% it will just confirm their beliefs based on the mountains of evidence already available. A chorus from totally discredited people like Bartlett, Perino, Fleischer, Rove and Rice isn't going to make any difference either. As for it's impact on the wider campaign it's just another nail in the Republican coffin.

Posted by: John | May 29, 2008 7:21 AM | Report abuse

3 comments:

1) To reiterate, it is unfortunate so few in the press called this administration to task much earlier. So much for truly independent when most weren't willing to accept short-term pariah status to actually be right and critical.

2) It is unfortunate that the other branches of government provided little to no balance to this sort of manipulation. And that voters didn't revolt.

3) One didn't need to be a rocket scientist or an insider to conclude over 5 years ago that this was the general story in the White House- unqualified son of a former president is elected to the highest office, surrounds himself with the wrong advisors, overplays strength hand which masks serious intellectual weakness, focuses on marketing.

Fortunately, this will end in 2008. We'll spend decades cleaning it up, but this does remain a strength of our system. Not so everywhere else.

Anyone want to vote for the "guy they'd like most to have a beer with" again??

Posted by: Rick | May 29, 2008 7:14 AM | Report abuse

McCain has been fighting with Bush for years - this episode while it may draw attention will be long forgotten by the fall campaign


Posted by: Anonymous | May 29, 2008 7:06 AM | Report abuse

Stick-

Aside from the UN and the IAEA telling us Iraq didn't have WMD or a nuclear program, you're right! Oh, and our own State Department had debunked the yellowcake ruse as false. So, instead of following your O'Really talking points, it's better that you think for yourself and fact-check before you make assertions that are patently false. It wasn't the liberal left, you moron, it was the rest of the entire world that wasn't buying the BS our administration was selling. But Bush wanted war, so he got it. Because 'Merica never changes presidents in the middle of a WAR! So Bush got re-elected! The left got "lucky" because they were right? You should be ashamed of your ignorance, and even more ashamed of your dogmatism.

Posted by: bscottparker | May 29, 2008 7:04 AM | Report abuse

Scott is telling us that Bush and company are crooks. why doesn't someone call the police and have them all arrested.

Posted by: mike hudgins | May 29, 2008 6:57 AM | Report abuse

It's true. How much damage can this book do? Lower his standings in the polls? Start another investigation into White House behavior that will be thwarted by a complicit DOJ and false claims of Executive Privilege? No one's talking about impeachment in DC, so short of that, expect more contempt, criminal and emotional, from the Bush Administration.

Posted by: GeorgeSimian | May 29, 2008 6:55 AM | Report abuse

The burning question is, how can McCain keep bleating that he has not read the book?
And if he does admit to having read it, how long can he avoid giving any opinion on its contents?

Posted by: wisedup | May 29, 2008 6:51 AM | Report abuse

I'm not impressed that McClellan now says that he lied and feed all kinds of spin while he at the white house. He stayed long enough so that he could write his book to tell us that he felt bad about what he was doing. Sorry but I don't buy it. He who lies with dogs gets fleas.

Posted by: ibolyap | May 29, 2008 6:41 AM | Report abuse

Did McClellan say a single thing that hasn't been a proven fact for four or five years?

Posted by: aleks | May 29, 2008 6:33 AM | Report abuse

McClellan's book, and all the public talk it will set off, is going to prove one more mountain for McCain to climb.

So he continues to justify the decision to go to war in Iraq back in 2002-2003, when we now have McClellan's word (added to so much other accumulating evidence) that the war was "spun" out of fool's gold in the White House war room? And McCain drank the Kool Aid, and still thinks it all a "noble cause"? McCain and his Straight Talk Express have got an awful lot more explaining to do.

That's the real impact you should be talking about, CC!

Posted by: jm917 | May 29, 2008 6:27 AM | Report abuse

Actually I think he's just po'd at the POTUS because he was eased out and was not part of the inner circle. So he parrots the Liberal line in a last ditch attempt to remain belevant.

And dyinglikeflies, unless the Press had credible sources who would tell them differently from what the WH campaign was saying, not much they could do. Nobody disputed that Iraq had WMD, all the aggro was over yellowcake and a nuclear program. The Liberal Left was just anti-war and got lucky. Besides being wrong doesn't make it a lie.

Posted by: Stick | May 29, 2008 6:17 AM | Report abuse

I'd be interested in people's nominations for "best political memoir of all time".

I'll kick things off with George Stephanopoulos' Clinton era memoir "All too human"... GREAT book.

I think it was self-critical and self-aware enough to be a real classic.

Others?

Posted by: Boutan | May 29, 2008 6:14 AM | Report abuse

One thing this article doesn't address (oddly enough) is whether the book will further undermine the legitimacy of the War in Iraq, which McCain has strongly supported. I think support for the war and keeping troops in is a good degree higher than approval for George Bush. However, if this book and its revelations make the war seem like a sham and propaganda effort from the beginning, won't that tarnish McCain, who was either foolish enough to be "conned" by this propaganda, or knowingly supported it? I think CC really must do more thinking than simply talking to a Republican poller.

Posted by: freeDom | May 29, 2008 6:13 AM | Report abuse

". . . interviews with a number of GOP strategists suggested that the long-term impact of the story is far less than first meets the eye."

Gee, really? That's the last thing I would expect the GOP to think, or at least say they think, about the story.

Because that would look like, you know, coordinated damage control, or laying out a trail of breadcrumbs for a reporter to follow, leading to the interpretation most palatable to the GOP. Or something.

Posted by: Susan | May 29, 2008 6:05 AM | Report abuse

By the way- The McClellan book may not tarnish "the Republican brand" as it affects this coming election, because the Bush/Cheney/Rove/DeLay government was crooked even by Republican standards, and these people and McCain never had any great love affair going.

Posted by: dyinglikeflies | May 29, 2008 6:02 AM | Report abuse

Simple Scotty's memoir only deepens my disgust for the Bush Crime Family. And that's pretty deep, so much so that it's taken me through the centre of the Earth and made me pop out on the other side!

So the polls consistently show there are 28-33% of the population who would keep saying Bush'it is doing a good job if he bit the head off a foetus on live TV at halftime in the Super Bowl. ("It musta bin a terrist foetus!") Scotty's revelation -- which is EXACTLY WHAT THE LEFT WING HAS BEEN SAYING ALL ALONG! -- is going to further tarnish the Repiglican "brand" in the 67-72% of the population which is sane. And they're going to extinctify the Repukes in the coming years.

Posted by: Bukko in Australia | May 29, 2008 5:45 AM | Report abuse

So the book confirms that Bush is uninterested and easy to manipulate, Cheney is really the president, and spin would became truth. We knew this all before the 2000 election even took place, the minute Bush won the nomination.

The real story, the forever untold story, is: WHAT HAPPENED TO THE FREE PRESS during this time? None of the lies we were told were particularly hard to see through and expose had the press bothered to do so. The press was a supine and willing enabler of the dishonesty of the Bush years. The Washington Post, with its far flung BUSINESS INTERESTS, was a willing participant.

Why did the press become a corporate arm of the government whose agencies indirectly regulated the media and the licensing of its outlets? Why did the K Street project, which enabled crooked legislation to make its way through a Republican congress, remain so successful for so long?

Americans have no right to whine incessantly about the loss of good government. We vote for these crooks. And we tolerate the loss of a truly free press, without which honest government cannot exist.

Posted by: dyinglikeflies | May 29, 2008 5:43 AM | Report abuse

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