Scott McClellan: Bush Misled U.S. on Iraq

Former Bush Administration press secretary Scott McClellan has written a memoir: “What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception,” that is a harsh critique on “the man he served for close to a decade.” Confirming what we all know at this point, McClellan writes in his 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 also “describes Bush as demonstrating a “lack of inquisitiveness,”” and says that “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.”

The WaPo reports that in his book, McClellan “accuses former White House adviser Karl Rove of misleading him about his role in the CIA case” and he “describes Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as being deft at deflecting blame.” Leaving no stone unturned in the Bush Administration McClellan calls “Vice President Cheney “the magic man” who steered policy behind the scenes while leaving no fingerprints.”

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

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

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

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

McClellan joins the growing list of former Bush staffers speaking out against Bush’s war based on lies. The NY Times reports, “the revelations in the book, to be published by PublicAffairs next Tuesday, were first reported Tuesday on by Mike Allen.”

The Bush Administration is busy smearing McClellan as “disgruntled” and the media and the blogosphere are abuzz with discussion on McClellan’s memoir:  Commentary, Wonk Room, CNN,, Matthew Yglesias, Salon, Wall Street Journal, TPMMuckraker, Redstate, Agence France Presse, Achenblog, American SpectatorPajamas Media, Crunchy Con, Weekly Standard Blog, marbury, The Trail, Real Clear Politics, Too Sense, Buck Naked Politics, Firedoglake, FishBowlDCMSNBCThe Raw StoryThe Moderate Voice and TBogg.

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About Pamela Leavey

Pamela Leavey is the Editor in Chief, Owner/Publisher of The Democratic Daily as well as a freelance writer and photographer. Pamela holds a certificate in Contemporary Communications from UMass Lowell, a Journalism Certificate from UMass Amherst and a B.A. in Creative Writing and Digital Age Communications from UMass Amherst UWW.
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7 Responses to Scott McClellan: Bush Misled U.S. on Iraq

  1. john stone says:

    This whole Bush Administration was corrupt from the time they stole their first election in 2000. They all participated in the lies and deceit that took us to Iraq. Scott McClellan was a willing participant until he had served his purpose and they threw him overboard. Bush, Cheney, Rove, Rumsfield and the rest of the gang knew what they were doing and that includes Scott McClellan.

  2. coldH2Owi says:

    Thanks for the post, Pamela. & it is the exact reason why McSame/McLiar cannot be allowed to continue these policies for another four years.
    I also need to let you know that I am posting from an undisclosed public library, that’s why the posts are ending up in your filter. Sorry. I’ll be back home this evening, so then you can monitor me. I hope these couple of posts haven’t offended anyone.

  3. Cold

    Undercover, eh?? LOL!


    I agree – no McSame in ’08.

  4. Frenchdoc says:

    You mean, the administration actually LIED to us?? *clutches pearls*

    Seriously, actually, it really annoys me when these hacks publish books, way after the facts, once the damage is done, for no other purpose than save their tainted reputation (see, Greenspan, Alan).

  5. coldH2Owi says:

    I don’t know, but you are again correct. The one thing that the ReThugs have institutionalized is that ideology will always trump personal integrity. Where was all this courage a couple of years ago, when the country truly needed it? Warm front on the way.

  6. The pattern is clear. Folks suck up to power, sell their souls to stay in the limelight, finally lose respect for themselves (and/or just decide that they’ve finally collected enough dirt to cash in on), bail, and write a “tell all” for big money.

    The response of those still in the lower levels of the loop is always to make every effort to have the messenger killed. And when their own turn comes they repeat the pattern.

    “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean that someone is not out to get you”, and just because everyone makes money off of saying the same ugly things about the current occupants doesn’t mean the current occupants are not exactly as everyone portrays them to be.

    Follow the money goes a long way to explain the phenomenon, but does exactly nothing to blunt the truth of what is being said by participant after participant.

  7. Darrell

    Such a cynic… 😉