2008-05-27 White House 'puzzled' by ex-spokesman's book bashing Bush

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Date: 2008-05-27
Link: http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/05/27/mcclellan.book/
Source: CNN (articlescat)
Topics: Bush-Cheney administration Scott McClellan US-Iraq War Dana Perino hypocrisy
Categories: Bush-Cheney administration Scott McClellan US-Iraq War Dana Perino hypocrisy


White House 'puzzled' by ex-spokesman's book bashing Bush

longer text

The White House Wednesday said it was "puzzled" by a former spokesman's memoir in which he accuses the Bush administration of being mired in propaganda and political spin and at times playing loose with the truth.

In excerpts from a 341-page book to be released Monday, Scott McClellan writes on the war in Iraq that Bush "and his advisers confused the propaganda campaign with the high level of candor and honesty so fundamentally needed to build and then sustain public support during a time of war."

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino called McClellan's description of his time at the White House "sad."

"Scott, we now know, is disgruntled about his experience at the White House," Perino said. "For those of us who fully supported him, before, during and after he was press secretary, we are puzzled. It is sad. This is not the Scott we knew."

...

Frances Townsend, former Homeland Security adviser to Bush, said advisers to the president should speak up when they have policy concerns.

"Scott never did that on any of these issues as best I can remember or as best as I know from any of my White House colleagues," said Townsend, now a CNN contributor. "For him to do this now strikes me as self-serving, disingenuous and unprofessional."

...

Another former Bush aide-turned-critic says the reaction to McClellan's book by his former colleagues has a familiar ring to it.

"They're saying some of the exact same things about McClellan they said about me," Richard Clarke, the former White House counterterrorism chief, told CNN.

Clarke left government in 2003. The following year, he accused President Bush of ignoring warnings about the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington and of using the attacks to push for war with Iraq.

Of course they're puzzled; they didn't realize that reality might apply to them. Also, the pseudo-pity attack against McClellan is a completely typical authoritarian defense, all ad hominem and no substance (much less acknowledgement).

The suggestion that Bush's advisors should "speak up" when they have concerns is the height of hypocrisy, given how such speech was treated during the entirety of Bush's presidency; see dissent is disloyalty, whistleblower.

shorter text

“The White House Wednesday said it was "puzzled" by a former spokesman's memoir in which he accuses the Bush administration of being mired in propaganda and political spin and at times playing loose with the truth.”

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Date
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27 May 2008 +