May 29, 2008

But Didn't He Play an Integral and Witting Role in the Alleged "Culture of Corruption"

Monique Chartier

Former White House Press Secretary (2003 - 2006) Scott McClellan has published his memoir, "What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception".

Why, all of a sudden, if he had all these grave concerns, did he not raise these sooner? ... This is 1 1/2 years after he left the administration. ... He is bringing this up in the heat of a presidential campaign. He has written a book, and he certainly wants to go out there and promote that book.

Scott McClellan in 2004 reacting to criticisms of President Bush's policies in the new book by his former counterterrorism adviser Richard Clarke.

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

Alleged ???????

Alleged "Culture of Corruption" ?

Posted by: Sara at May 29, 2008 6:20 PM

Well maybe if you did your research before asking your question you would have learned that Scott McClellan stated his conclusions became more solidified as he wrote the book. So it is an evolving viewpoint he expresses, after having escaped the groupthink of Bushland and the partisan sickness it entails.

Let us hope the rest of America can evolve as well so we can escape the demonstrated failed policies of the right and save America for the destructive path this far right administration has embarked upon.

Posted by: rasputinkhlyst at May 30, 2008 12:29 AM

Judging from the comments of current members of the Bush administration and the good folks from Fox, I thought Mohammed Atta had just published a book from the hereafter.

Posted by: rhody at May 30, 2008 1:59 AM

The chicken hawks have come home to roost for this administration. Somebody turn off the light.

Posted by: Phil at May 30, 2008 5:46 AM

Monique The Ingenuous,
You speak of the Bush administration as an "alleged culture of corruption" and daily rain Katz and dogs on local Democrats.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at May 30, 2008 8:16 AM

"Alleged "Culture of Corruption" ?"

I was being too succinct perhaps. The point here is not whether it is true that there exists a "culture of corruption" in Washington; probably a good case can be made for it. The point is that McClellan contends that it does exist but that he did not contribute to it.

As to the other comments. I have serious issues with some of President Bush's policies. But McClellan actions here strike me as weasley and wanting to have it all ways. He was in the White House for over three years. He sees stuff going on that he strongly disagrees with. But he says nothing, presumably to keep his paycheck and the prestige of the position.

He leaves. Only then does he speak up about the terrible things that went on?? Sorry, if they were that bad, he had an obligation to speak up while he was there - or quit so he wasn't perpetuating the activity with which he so disagreed.

Posted by: Monique at May 30, 2008 8:28 AM

I'm tired of people using the word "corrup" to describe any time someone disagrees with them.

There is very little evidence that the Bush Administration is "corrupt"--unlike the Clinton years when 5 Cabinet secretaries came under criminal investigation.

What we have here is a disagreement over policy. It seems the big question is whether or not the Bush Administration was too aggressive in pushing for war. This is a policy question, not a question of "corruption".

In a presidential administration with thousands of people, you'll always have a few bad apples. But I've only seen two administrations that I would classify as "corrupt": Nixon and Clinton.

Talk about the issues. Talk about whether decisions were sound. But forget the hyperbole.

Posted by: Anthony at May 30, 2008 2:24 PM

I would have more respect for McClellan if he had just come out with this information when he first left the administration. Instead he choose to keep quiet and write a book?

Posted by: BobC at May 30, 2008 2:27 PM

As for McClellan's book, it's hard to believe he made his comments for any other reason than to make some cash.

I can understand why McClellan did not get actively involved in policy discussions while press secretary or why he did not come out publicly with his own personal views. His job as a professional press secretary was to serve as the "mouth piece" for the administration, not to formulate policy or to communicate his own beliefs publicly. That is being a professional.

What I find incredible is that he did not express his reservations internally. Or that he did not resign if he felt that administration policy was so far apart from his own personal beliefs.

Everyone knows McClellan had been forced about because it was felt that the White House was not communicating effectively. But it seems not a single person in the administration knew that McClellan held the beliefs he now writes about.

Unfortunately for McClellan, he comes across as an opportunist showing no loyalty whatsoever. When being Bush's press secretary gave him the biggest paycheck, he did that. When writing a book trashing Bush gave him the biggest paycheck, he did that.

Ironically, Bush probably thought McClellan would be among his most loyal supporters given that McClellan followed him from Texas.

But this does send a message to elected leaders. If you don't surround yourself with others who share the same goals and vision, you are bound to have disloyal underlings.

Posted by: Anthony at May 30, 2008 2:57 PM

Another issue I'm surprised hasn't come up yet:
IIRC, McLellan's mother, a longtime GOP activist in Texas, was running for governor at one point as an independent (perhaps over a falling out with incumbent Rick "Goodhair" Perry). I just wonder if the Bush administration decided it could no longer trust him because his mother didn't toe the party line.

Posted by: rhody at May 31, 2008 5:28 PM

You lost all claim to objectivity on the topic when your "book review" examined the author and ignored the content of the book. A fine feat of journalistic prestidigitation. Really, it is irrelevant to argue when McClellan felt scruples, and why he didn't feel them sooner rather than later. Let's leave that to McClellan and his conscience. We need to discuss the messages, not the messenger. The messages include accusations that some of the administration's most senior officials 1).regularly lied to the public, 2).conducted a "permanent campaign" to advance Republican political interests 3).managed the debate leading up to the invasion of Iraq in a way that "almost guaranteed that the use of force would become the only feasible option."

You ignore the awful implications of these questions and inform us that Scott McClellan wants to sell a few more books. Maybe so, but could you at least spend as much time discussing what is actually inside the book.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at May 31, 2008 10:33 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Important note: The text "http:" cannot appear anywhere in your comment.