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The Texas Blue
Advancing Progressive Ideas

Scott McClellan In: Off The Reservation

I struggled with what to title this, but "Scott McClellan Loses His Mind" didn't seem to fit. Maybe what he's doing is entirely logical and isn't insane at all, even though it is highly irregular. McClellan has dropped a new book that reportedly describes the entire drive to war by the Bush administration wholly as a "political propaganda campaign."

Back in November a few bits and pieces snuck out and I wonder if there was a release delay, and if so, what caused it. Even the (slightly modified) title of the book is a flaming hammer: "What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception" sounds like something I would write, not a book that would rocket out of the hands and brain of someone who was a family call-up to the administration's major league team.

The book, coming from a man who was a tight-lipped defender of administration aides and policy, is certain to give fuel to critics of the administration, and McClellan has harsh words for many of his past colleagues. He accuses former White House adviser Karl Rove of misleading him about his role in the CIA case. He describes Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as being deft at deflecting blame, and he calls Vice President Cheney "the magic man" who steered policy behind the scenes while leaving no fingerprints.

The magic man? Abra-cadabra, holmes!

There's also a decent amount of "Not My Fault" going on. From Politico's exclusive:

• He admits that some of his own assertions from the briefing room podium turned out to be “badly misguided.”

• The longtime Bush loyalist also suggests that two top aides held a secret West Wing meeting to get their story straight about the CIA leak case at a time when federal prosecutors were after them — and McClellan was continuing to defend them despite mounting evidence they had not given him all the facts.

Books like this may be tomes around which the drive for legal action after the Bush administration leaves town will coalesce. I am surprised to see it (and from this source) but if McClellan is willing to put this out there, you can almost bet there will be more books like this in the future.

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