Thursday, May 29, 2008

McClellan Purges WH Kool-Aid

For three years, until April of 2006, a power-trusting White House press secretary, Scott McClellan, drank the Karl Rove-brewed Kool-aid.

McClellan bellied up to the bar as front man to the White House press corps for the selling of the Bush administration's outrages..... the Iraq war, the evasion of responsibility for outing covert CIA agent Valerie Plame, and even the inept administration response to the hurricane Katrina disaster.

It was the perfect political storm.... the leveraging of McClellan's idealism to further the White House's deceptive political agenda.... "Trot out Scottie, he'll say it.... he even believes it. Ha, ha, ha."

Now, given the distance to decompress and reflect on those years, McClellan has purged himself all over the administration's master puppeteers.... Rove, Dick Cheney, Scooter Libby, and even his formerly idealized president Bush in his forthcoming book, "What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception."

In McClellan's memoir.... part confession, part apology....he describes a White House driven by unrelenting campaign-mode political propaganda, led by an incurious, self-deceiving, and finally off-the-track Bush.

Of course, because of the immediate, and predictable campaign to discredit the book by minions of the Bush administration, an under-siege "McClellan Defends Memoir." (WaPo)

Rove compared McClellan to (gasp) a "left-wing blogger," and Dan Bartlett, former counsel to the president said on the Today show... "He talks about wanting to change the tone in Washington, and yet uses inflammatory terms like 'propaganda machine,' and 'shading the truth.' "

In his defense, McClellan said it took him some time after leaving the White House to come to terms with his experience there. When the Iraq war started, "my beliefs were different" he said in a Today show interview. "I trusted the president's foreign policy team, and I believed the president when he talked about the great and gathering danger from Iraq. I believe the president believed it too. He had convinced himself.... I struggled to come to grips with how things went so badly off course."

As a Bush loyalist, McClellan wanted to believe.... but when he started stonewalling reporters because even he was confused as to the facts of the Plame case, and then lied to by Rove and Libby about their involvement.... he found himself unceremoniously dumped on the front lawn with vague promises from The Decider about sitting in rockin' chairs on his porch in Texas in the years to come while reflecting on the good ol' days.

But, a funny thing happened on the way to the rockin' chair.... McClellan found his moral compass.

And wrote a book about his miraged-wanderings in the ethical-desert of the Bush White House.

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