Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Scott McClellan's Slo-Mo Conscience

In his new book, Bush's former Press Secretary reveals his boss was not “open and forthright on Iraq,” took a “permanent campaign approach” to governing at the expense of candor and competence and that some of his own statements in the White House briefing room podium were “badly misguided.”

For someone whose job it was to control information, Scott McClellan is not very good at it. It's encouraging that he is blowing the whistle on the Bush Administration, but his lips have been pursed for more than six months when his publisher leaked an excerpt last November:

"The most powerful leader in the world had called upon me to speak on his behalf and help restore credibility he lost amid the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. So I stood at the White house briefing room podium in front of the glare of the klieg lights for the better part of two weeks and publicly exonerated two of the senior-most aides in the White House: Karl Rove and Scooter Libby.

"There was one problem. It was not true.

"I had unknowingly passed along false information. And five of the highest ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the Vice President, the President’s chief of staff, and the President himself."

The next day McClellan's publisher explained that his author "did not intend to suggest Bush lied to him" but told him what "he thought to be the case" and "didn't know it was not true."

This week, advance copies of the book were given to selected reporters with an embargo on news from it until next Sunday, but Politico is spilling the beans tonight from a copy bought in a bookstore.

Now, McClellan will make a lot of money from royalties and lectures, but the question arises: Why did he wait to tell the truth until it was profitable for him to do so instead of quitting his job and going public when it might have helped save lives in Iraq and disempower some of the liars he was working with?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Jeff Gannon?