Archive for Thursday, May 29, 2008

White House: Former insider McClellan ‘disgruntled’

May 29, 2008


— The Bush White House, long accused by outside critics of misrepresenting the facts to make the case for war in Iraq and other matters, has launched a personal counterattack against harsh accusations of "deception" from a longtime insider who worked closely with the president.

White House aides past and present are strongly dismissing the words of Scott McClellan, who served as President George W. Bush's press secretary and has now written a book accusing Bush of misleading the public about the war and more.

With the discipline of a White House team that is nothing if not decidedly on-message during crisis, Bush aides have stepped forward to say, this isn't the Scott McClellan whom they recall. In their full-bore, personal attack on the author, whom Bush once embraced as valued friend, they are confronting potentially damaging new pages in another chapter of the soon-retiring president's legacy.

As Bush's party fights to retain control of the White House, the Bush administration also faces the challenge of refuting embarrassing new, inside accounts about an administration that was intent on waging a war that the presumptive Republican nominee, Sen. John McCain, supports and will have to defend in the November election.

"It is sad," said current White House press secretary Dana Perino, dismissing McClellan on Wednesday as "disgruntled about his experience at the White House. ... This is not the Scott we knew."

The president was "surprised" by the book's claims, Perino said.

"He is puzzled," Perino said of Bush, "and he doesn't recognize this as the Scott McClellan that he hired and confided in and worked with for so many years."

"For him to do this now strikes me as self-serving, disingenuous and unprofessional," Fran Townsend, former head of the White House-based counterterrorism office, told CNN.

Dan Bartlett, former counselor to the president, said in an interview on CNN: "There is an enormous amount of disappointment among those who are closest to Scott. This is not the Scott we knew."

McClellan followed Bush from Texas, having worked in the governor's office from 1999, and served as traveling spokesman in two presidential campaigns and as White House press secretary from 2003 to 2006.

McClellan and others were quietly eased out during a second term house-cleaning that ultimately removed all of the highest profile Texans from the Bush administration - from Karl Rove, Harriet Miers and Dan Bartlett at the White House to Atty. Gen. Alberto Gonzales.

But McClellan maintains that he wrote the book - "What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception" - "not to settle scores or enhance my own role." Rather, McClellan wrote, events at the White House, principally the leaking of a CIA operative's identity and misleading information that the administration promoted as the rationale for the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, prompted him to write the tell-all tale.

"I was caught up in the deception that followed," he wrote of the White House's denials about having any hand in the leaking of CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity after her husband, Ambassador Joseph Wilson, criticized the administration for allegedly manipulating pre-war intelligence.


Corey Williams 10 years ago

""He is puzzled," Perino said of Bush:"

Sounds about normal.

"In the meantime, far-left zealots had better not reveal themselves in my presence."

Or what? Is that a threat? Anyone want to start making t shirts for sale that say "far-left zealot" on it?

And McClellan is being called a traitor, but, no, no one has gone so far as to say he is lying. So is he a traitor to America? Did he sell secrets to China or Israel like some have been caught doing recently? Or is it just because he said some things, true or not, about the people he used to work for?

And for all you republicans out there doing damage control (I'm looking at you, newsflash), don't spin so much that you get dizzy.

Oops:too late.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 10 years ago

""There is an enormous amount of disappointment among those who are closest to Scott. This is not the Scott we knew.""Probably not-- he seems to have developed a sense of honesty and integrity since leaving the White House, which is quite foreign within BushCo.

Flap Doodle 10 years ago

AA, you seem very uncomfortable about people knowing that George Soros owns the company that published this book. Do you think it's better for people to not know the truth?Sit here on the couch and tell me all about your deep seated need to conceal things.Start at the beginning....

camper 10 years ago

....This is not the Scott we knew." This was stated in in the above article 3-times by two different people. I also heard Rove say the same thing on Fox. This strikes me as phony, and it has been repeated so many times, it seems liked some knucklehead PR person coached em to all say it. I guess it is easy to read between the lines on this one. Anyone else detect this?

beatrice 10 years ago

It is called conscience. I wish more in power had it.

Flap Doodle 10 years ago

Look for the connection to George Soros.

RedwoodCoast 10 years ago

McClellan must have been ejected from the exclusive circle of toe-stepper-onners and thrown into the other category of toes-stepped-onners. In any case, it sounds like he has a bad taste in his mouth.

BrianR 10 years ago

The Soros obsession is hilarious. If someone can blame Clinton, that would just about top all.

ReadingSports 10 years ago

mancityfooty,I think the traitor label is in reference to being a traitor to the Bush administration. He became part of the administration, didn't say anything when part of the administration. Then wrote a book dishing on his former boss for MONEY. Unless, of course, you're going to tell me his proceeds are going to starving children in Africa. Joseph Wilson, on the other hand, is a traitor to the United States for lying about Iraq's efforts to buy uranium from Niger.

acoupstick 10 years ago

It is illuminating that, while McClellan is being subjected to much criticism from this administration and its cohorts, most critics stop short of saying that he is lying.

standuporget 10 years ago

Beatrice, I was going to point how wrong you were but you wrote this - AND would everybody! please stop with calling people "tards" or "nuts" or "American hating:". We can disagree, but lets admit that we all are Americans and we all want what is best for the nation - we just don't agree on the best way to get there. So I'll let it go. Rational thought, I thought it was against the rules of this forum.

Godot 10 years ago

There is zero degree of separation between an author and his publisher.

acoupstick 10 years ago

"McClellan, O'Neill, Clarke, Wilson, and Wilkerson"I can only imagine what is going through Bush's head when he looks at this list. Something like:"There's an old sayin in Tennessee, well I know it's in Texas, prolly in Tennessee. You fooled me once........shame...on........................shame on! ............. You fooled me, you can't get fooled again!"

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 10 years ago

Where are all the BushCo sycophants? This is the guy that was lying to you all those years, and he's now admitting that he was lying. And no irrelevant references to George Soros will change that.

chet_larock 10 years ago

Opening segment of the Daily Show last night - one of the best I've seen. Plus, Richard Clarke's intriguing explanation of why the current administration is so incompetent. Good stuff.

cato_the_elder 10 years ago

In Dante's "Divine Comedy," the author reserved the Ninth Circle of Hell - the last and worst - for traitors. Some people will do or say anything for money and an additional 15 minutes of fame.

50YearResident 10 years ago

The truth is finally coming out. When will the trials start?

EXks 10 years ago

I blame Babs Streisand! Damn those liberals!!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 10 years ago

Wow, a Freeper ad hominem attack. What a substantial rebuttal (not!)Face it, sycos, you've been lied to. I know you have little inside you but the mythology you've been swallowing whole your whole lives, but living in your fantasy world does no one any good, especially not you.

beatrice 10 years ago

"He has made the Democratic Party the party of the rich ..."Yet the McCains are worth approximately $100 million!If the Dems are the party of the rich, then good for them for wanting to end the tax breaks given to the rich by George Bush. That would be an excellent example of walking the walk, of saying that we can't give tax cuts and wage a costly war and it all turn out okay. You have to pay for the things you want, which is a lesson that the current administration ignored. AND would everybody! please stop with calling people "tards" or "nuts" or "American hating...". We can disagree, but lets admit that we all are Americans and we all want what is best for the nation -- we just don't agree on the best way to get there.

ReadingSports 10 years ago

Gee, I don't know, how about this:,2933,359741,00.htmlO'Reilly also says that McClellan's book was published by Soros. I wonder if the first payment was 30 pieces of silver.

Moonbat 10 years ago

That's funny...when I first heard about this book, I thought to myself "I bet there will be some kind of connection between the publisher and a liberal" and sure enough, the conservatives dug it up. This reminds me of the game "six degrees of Kevin Bacon." Instead, this game is called "six degrees of (insert liberal name here)." Rather than trying to find six degrees of separation between Kevin Bacon and some other celeb, we try to find six degrees of separation between a liberal and any book written by a former Republican that is negative towards Bush.

Flap Doodle 10 years ago

Soros isn't an American & is primarily interested in what is good for himself.

staff04 10 years ago

max1, while I normally don't much appreciate your lengthy postings of links, I loved your last post! So funny...let's see how they squirm now!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 10 years ago

Good point, anxiousatheist-- almost any publisher would have published this book. Likely even Rupert Murdoch, whose tabloid publications and broadcasts show that he'll whore himself for almost anything if the money is good enough.

RedwoodCoast 10 years ago

Newsflash man, I seriously doubt that McClellan said what he said because he likes the Bush administration and is happy to have been given the opportunity to work for them. He was an insider and would have burned a heck of a lot of bridges doing this. We all saw how they threw one of their own into the fire with Scooter Libby; I seriously doubt McClellan would want to put himself at odds with that group of people without feeling there was a just reason to do so. I say he more likely feels he got jerked around somehow and wants to drag some names through the mud while making a buck at it.

jonas 10 years ago

I, errrr. . . ., don't think you read my posts at all, Bondman. Or, you simply lack the capacity to truly understand it. That's alright. I know that nuance isn't really your thing.

beatrice 10 years ago

standup, you really do look at this forum late at night, don't you. I keep seeing your posts coming in at around 1:30 in the am. Glad to see you are tired of the petty name-calling too. Time to agree to disagree, but lets be civil about it. Peace, bea

bondmen 10 years ago

Yes Jonas you've made my point better than I did! Democrat policy is all about class and how to make us all fit into one of them. Autocrats and kleptocrats and liberal democrats manage to make nearly everyone miserable as the large middle group slips inexorably down the economic ladder as they're handcuffed with rules and regulations. The big question is has Obamanation learned from Mao's and Marx's great historical failures in practice?

Scott Drummond 10 years ago

It's been said before, but should be repeated regularly until squarely dealt with: Why is it, in all the rabid personal attacks that we have witnessed in the last few days, that almost none of the current President's apologist will actually come out and say McClellan is lying? Second, who the %$##@* cares if Soros did fund/publish/whatever this book. Does anyone really think that today's bought and paid for corporate media would really ever publish such a thing? There's a reason the repugs have been diligently working to further the consolidation of all media outlets for the last 20 years. Doesn't change McClellan's message: bush/cheney are liars, propagandists and traitors.Third, eagerly awaiting the day Conyers, or some Senate committee drags Mr. McClellen before Congress to tell his story under oath. That's gonna be fun!Oh, by the way, just to send you repugs in to meltdown mode, get ready for Hillary on the Supreme Court. You thought you didn't want her in the Oval office for 4 years. Ha!! Get ready for her being the swing vote on the Supreme Court for the next 10-20 years.

bondmen 10 years ago

Socialist Global Democrat and anti-American billionaire George Soros is behind the McClellan book. Did he really get paid a $5,000,000 USD advance? Big advances are always political contributions and the books generally never sell well.The Soros-McClellan Connection, smart voters have all figured out by now that Republicans are the stupid party and Democrats the evil party. When they get together and compromise on an important issue the result is both evil and stupid!

jonas 10 years ago

Sorry, those extra rrs were not optional, but that was almost a little more clever than I would have thought you capable of. At any rate, if you having nothing of real value or thought to add, I'm going to check this off and move on.

EXks 10 years ago

Scott thank you.....To Thine Own Self Be True.....It's Morning in America, a new day is dawning, we can see the light!And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32

BigAl 10 years ago

This is so typical of the right wing today. Blame anyone but the guilty. Blame the publisher. Blame the press. Blame some phantom ghost writer. Whatever you do, do NOT blame Bushco. Simply buy into the talking points from Rove, Hannity, Limbaugh and Fox News in general. If this were about Clinton, you right-wingers would be screaming for his head.

yourworstnightmare 10 years ago

"Disgruntled"Just what McClellan called Paul O'Neill, Richard Clarke, and General Shinseki when they called bulls**t on Bushco.

jonas 10 years ago

bondmen (Anonymous) says:"History shows Mao fought for and won social equality during the Cultural Revolution. His policy was a tremendous failure for the people who lived through it. Is this the Obama solution?"Your history seems as accurate as ever. Whatever the visible purpose was that Mao put forward, the Wenhua Dageming was "fought" for no other reason than for Mao to reclaim his place at the top of the Communist Party. The place that he lost due to the spectacular failure of his overly-ambitious and extremely naive policies during the Great Leap Forward, which led to the death by famine of over 22 million people. Mao fought the Sino-Japanese war and the civil war with which the CCP gained power for what he saw as the liberation of the people from the aristocratic landlord class that oppressed them totally, the foreign powers that had flooded his land with opium to address a trade balance, and then carved China up like a turkey, and the ruthless, autocratic dictator Chiang Kai-shek. He won, and would have done his country and perhaps the world a great service by dying quickly after, to leave the country in the hands of more pragmatic people who were less ideologically driven.

jonas 10 years ago

Oh, and at no point was Mao ever interested in "social equality." All he was interested in was flipping the caste structure, placing those who had power before at the bottom, and those who previously had none at the top. (He succeeded, by the way, if only for his lifetime) Mao was about as class-conscious as you can get, and one of his key lines was for the people of China to also retain class-consciousness, and continue to engage in class-struggle and class-conflict. He considered it necessary if the revolution was to continue.

bondmen 10 years ago

History shows Mao fought for and won social equality during the Cultural Revolution. His policy was a tremendous failure for the people who lived through it. Is this the Obama solution?

bondmen 10 years ago

I accept your err Jonas and will not hold it against you.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 10 years ago

Ghengis Kahn, Winston Churchill and Mahatma Gandhi are historical historical figures, too, bondmen-- should we speculate that Obama might be just like them, too?

jonas 10 years ago

It's interesting how it seems like virtually every ex-insider for this administration is "disgruntled" in more or less the same way.Two potential explanations, as I see it. One, that their opinions are justified. Two, that they are all lying. While some may see this second option as something of a vindication, perhaps the greater issue is that this administration is incapable of finding people with integrity to fill their high-level staff positions. Who was it that said in reference to Obama and Wright, not too long ago, that a man is judged by the company he keeps? Was that you, Cato, or was it Bondman? Can't remember for the life of me.

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