Scott McClellan was a loyal follower of his employer, President George Bush, and never indicated that he doubted the brilliance of America’s leader. But, his new book, “What Happened: Inside The bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception” is a 341 page dissection of the Bush administration that already has aroused the fury of right wing supporters of the administration. ‘History appears to confirm,” he writes, “that the decision to invade Iraq was a serious strategic blunder. No one, including me, can know with absolute certainty how the war will be viewed decades from now…What I do know is that the war should only be waged when necessary, and the Iraq war was not necessary.” The former press secretary now claims he was misled by a host of Bush people ranging from Vice President Cheney to Karl Rove to Schooter Libby.
His book most probably emanates from soul searching by an individual who witnessed horrible mistakes and wonders about his own role in the fiasco. Damage control has already begun by those implicated in the disaster of Iraq and Republican control of government. Karl Rove now insists the book merely reflects “how out of the loop he was. This doesn’t sound like Scott, it sounds like a left-wing blogger. I don’t remember him speaking up (about the concerns laid out in the book)at the time.” Of course, a press secretary would have no opportunity to speak out about anything. He reported, he didn’t make policy.
McClellan makes note of the ingrained stubborness of George Bush and his inability to listen to a wide variety of viewpoints. According to the former press secretary, Bush sees the world as he wishes it to be, not as it really is. McClellan recalls once overhearing the president complain about stories that he had used cocaine and saying, “the truth is I honestly don’t remember whether I tried it or not. We had some pretty wild parties back then and I just don’t remember.” This from a man who ran for president attacking Bill Clinton for immoral behavior!
McClellan believes the over riding reason for war in Iraq was not oil, but the neoconservative dream of creating a democratic Iraq and they were willing to use any excuse in order to achieve that goal. McClellan dscribes Vice President Dick Cheney as the “magic man” who always got his way on issues he considered important whether it was war in Iraq or harsh treatment of detainees. He is only sharply critical of Secretary of State Rice who somehow dodged taking responsibility for anything and seemed to get out of situations looking as though they had nothing to do with her.
Scott McClellan still claims to like George Bush. With friends like this, the president doesn’t need enemies.