Scott McClellan claims Bush misled US

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Seems Mr. McClellan is making himself out to be a victim in his new tell all (it's not his fault, he was misled too!), but let's not forget that McClellan was spearheading that propaganda campaign as the White House's mouthpiece.

Scott McClellan wrote:

Ich war gerade folgende Aufträge

A coworker and I were speculating that there will be an announcement that he has terminal cancer or something. That seems to be the only way that folks of his ilk manage to grow a conscience (eg: Lee Atwater)

His revelations aren't that earth shattering. Bush misled the public?!? Cheney led the charge for war?!? Shocking!

Too bad it took the lure of money to get this walking turd to tell the truth. A hearing before Congress could have been much cheaper.

Dezlen wrote:

His revelations aren't that earth shattering. Bush misled the public?!? Cheney led the charge for war?!? Shocking!

Too bad it took the lure of money to get this walking turd to tell the truth. A hearing before Congress could have been much cheaper.

I think the jury's still out on whether or not Bush misled the public intentionally. I like the theory that he was misled himself. Maybe he lacked the curiosity to ask questions that would reveal the deception, maybe he was eager to hear and repeat what he was being told, but I honestly don't think he's a malicious person. Just a self-righteous idiot.

LobsterMobster wrote:
Dezlen wrote:

His revelations aren't that earth shattering. Bush misled the public?!? Cheney led the charge for war?!? Shocking!

Too bad it took the lure of money to get this walking turd to tell the truth. A hearing before Congress could have been much cheaper.

I think the jury's still out on whether or not Bush misled the public intentionally. I like the theory that he was misled himself. Maybe he lacked the curiosity to ask questions that would reveal the deception, maybe he was eager to hear and repeat what he was being told, but I honestly don't think he's a malicious person. Just a self-righteous idiot.

I'm not sure the alternatives are particularly attractive either. He was either 1) gutless, 2) incompetent, or 3) mercenary.

Any way you slice it, he is clearly one of the worst presidents in American history.

Paleocon wrote:

I'm not sure the alternatives are particularly attractive either. He was either 1) gutless, 2) incompetent, or 3) mercenary.

Any way you slice it, he is clearly one of the worst presidents in American history.

Not going to argue with any of that but I still don't think he intentionally lied to the American people.

Paleocon wrote:

Mein Hund hat keine Nase

LobsterMobster wrote:
Paleocon wrote:

I'm not sure the alternatives are particularly attractive either. He was either 1) gutless, 2) incompetent, or 3) mercenary.

Any way you slice it, he is clearly one of the worst presidents in American history.

Not going to argue with any of that but I still don't think he intentionally lied to the American people.

Ironically, McClellan seems to leave open all three possibilities. He claims he still respects Bush's intellect, stating that he is "plenty smart enough to do the job". However, in the very next breath, he states that he was poorly advised.

First step to training a dog: be smarter than the dog.

I'm thinking about buying this book if it's about the social engineering that went on in the White House. If everybody in the White House thought what they were doing was wrong but thought that everybody else believed in it, so nobody spoke up, that would be a fascinating read and would explain the clusterfcuk.

If it's about a walking turd who likes to make up excuses and act like a puppet, then no thank you.

Elliottx wrote:

I'm thinking about buying this book if it's about the social engineering that went on in the White House. If everybody in the White House thought what they were doing was wrong but thought that everybody else believed in it, so nobody spoke up, that would be a fascinating read and would explain the clusterfcuk.

If it's about a walking turd who likes to make up excuses and act like a puppet, then no thank you.

I'm pretty sure you'd find it very enlightening that Scott McClellan was the only person in the White House with any integrity and how he once broke up a chorus of maniacal laughter by smashing an altar to Satan with an American Flag.

LobsterMobster wrote:

I'm pretty sure you'd find it very enlightening that Scott McClellan was the only person in the White House with any integrity and how he once broke up a chorus of maniacal laughter by smashing an altar to Satan with an American Flag.

What!?! McClellan desecrated an American Flag? That bastard!

Hard to believe ol' Scotty was one of the liberal elitists all along! Dude wrote a book and *everything*! But the evidence is overwhelming...

Robear wrote:

Hard to believe ol' Scotty was one of the liberal elitists all along! Dude wrote a book and *everything*! But the evidence is overwhelming...

I really, really, really have loved the immediate backlash here. Hearing that the White House Press Secretary was apparently a covert Moveon.org/Code Pink/American Communist Party Left-Wing Pinko Wuss, or, alternatively, turned into one in roughly a calendar year... I mean, exactly how many HuffPo commenters have apparently infiltrated the White House?

It's easy to tell the ones that Hate America. They write books.

Paleo,
I'm going to disagree with you, if you get two sets of people giving you conflicting information, people usually go with the set of data that fits their notion of the way things are supposed to be. If you are a suspicious jealous type and one friend says that he thought he saw your girlfriend out with some guy while you were out of town, and your girlfriend says she stayed in, you'll believe your friend, if you aren't you're more likely to believe her. Bush jumped at the opporunity to get rid of a thorn in the side of the US on some intel that he hoped was the correct information.

LobsterMobster wrote:

I think the jury's still out on whether or not Bush misled the public intentionally. I like the theory that he was misled himself. Maybe he lacked the curiosity to ask questions that would reveal the deception, maybe he was eager to hear and repeat what he was being told, but I honestly don't think he's a malicious person. Just a self-righteous idiot.

Yeah, I'd say Cheney misled the public intentionally. Bush just obeyed his secret master.

Nosferatu wrote:

Paleo,
I'm going to disagree with you, if you get two sets of people giving you conflicting information, people usually go with the set of data that fits their notion of the way things are supposed to be. If you are a suspicious jealous type and one friend says that he thought he saw your girlfriend out with some guy while you were out of town, and your girlfriend says she stayed in, you'll believe your friend, if you aren't you're more likely to believe her. Bush jumped at the opporunity to get rid of a thorn in the side of the US on some intel that he hoped was the correct information.

The more apt metaphor would a be a jealous guy who tells one his friend that he thinks his girlfriend is cheating on him, goes out of town, and comes back to hear from yet another friend that his girlfriend is cheating on him. He thinks it's confirmation of infidelity so he gets drunk, goes over to her apartment, beats her up, and trashes the place. It's only after this happens that he finds out that his two friends talked while he was out of town and had shared the rumor the jealous guy started in the first place.

That's what happened. We were using the fact that other country's intelligence agencies were "confirming" a threat even though they were just parroting back the intelligence we gave them in the first place. And then the White House cherry picked that for the sexy "mushroon cloud" stuff.

I must be forgetting things in my advancing years, but just how the heck was Saddam a "thorn in the side of the US"? He was contained. We were embargoing him. We pretty much controlled his airspace. And we had UN weapons inspectors going through his palaces. If anything, WE were a thorn in his side.

OG_slinger wrote:

I must be forgetting things in my advancing years, but just how the heck was Saddam a "thorn in the side of the US"? He was contained. We were embargoing him. We pretty much controlled his airspace. And we had UN weapons inspectors going through his palaces. If anything, WE were a thorn in his side.

He didn't exactly open the doors for the blue hats whenever they showed up. He thumbed his nose at the UN and the US whenever he could get away with it.
He wasn't a threat to us directly, he was more a symbol of our percieved lack of military power over in that region. He never crossed the line that would allow us to go after him being jusified to the American people. The costs and dedication of troops were just too much of an obstacle. The attack on the World Trade Center changed the level of force dedication that would be deemed acceptable.
As soon as it was announced where we thought the attacks had come from, the follow up into Iraq was almost certain (at least to my mind at the time).
Saddam was in a cage to be suyre, but that didn't stop him from taunting his captors.

So, you're saying we invaded because Saddam taunted us?

OG_slinger wrote:

So, you're saying we invaded because Saddam taunted us?

Pretty much.

The trillion dollar taunt.

Just think of the schools that could have been built or renovated with that money, or textbooks it would have bought.

Malor wrote:

The trillion dollar taunt.

Just think of the schools that could have been built or renovated with that money, or textbooks it would have bought.

Or the other ways it would have been wasted, like on sex ed for kindergartners, art funding featuring a recreation of David made from poop, or just given it to the Chinese...
Then again, doesn't almost all defense spending come straight back into the US economy (I'm fairly sure that all our stuff is bought from American companies if possible and obviously all of our soldiers are US citizens.)?

note: I'm not suggesting that this is a good reason to go to war, but it is soemthing that the Federal government actually is supposed to be doing (the military is explicitly defined as a right of the federal government by the constitution).

Nosferatu wrote:

He wasn't a threat to us directly, he was more a symbol of our percieved lack of military power over in that region. He never crossed the line that would allow us to go after him being jusified to the American people. The costs and dedication of troops were just too much of an obstacle. The attack on the World Trade Center changed the level of force dedication that would be deemed acceptable.

so... you went to war imposing military power on another part of the world, just to prove you could? I know it was executed in the name of improving security but it does seem to have some hubris associated with it.

Don't get me wrong, I think Saddam and his cronies are/were evil bastards and as a corrupt, torture friendly dictatorship it was the morally right thing to go in there and depose him. Presuming of course you know what you're going to do with the country once you've got it.

You're totally right that the attack on the world trade centre changed something. But it was wholly internal to the U.S. It resulted in justification of policies and actions that before wouldn't have happened. (I'm not saying if those policies were correct or not)

edit:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/washing... (not relevant but interesting)

A response to "war is good for the economy" argument
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable...

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, why, all of a sudden, if he had all these grave concerns, did he not raise these sooner? This is one-and-a-half years after he left the administration. And now, all of a sudden, he's raising these grave concerns that he claims he had. And I think you have to look at some of the facts. One, 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.

McClellan in 2004 on Richard Clarke

doesn't almost all defense spending come straight back into the US economy

Mostly, yes. But it doesn't matter very much. If we all traded money for cutting each others' hair, that'd make a measurable GDP, but we'd still all starve. Not all economic activity is useful or good. Building weapons is the among the worst possible things to do, from an economic standpoint. Not only do you spend the money on tanks instead of tractors, which just sit there and do nothing on their own, you also then have to maintain the tanks and then train and pay people to run them.

From an investment and economic perspective, this is a dismal, dismal idea. It doesn't mean you can get away with NO defense, because obviously then people can just come plunder your rich economy (as we've seen so often in the computer games).... but in general, spending the minimum possible on defense to ensure that nobody's interested in conquering you will result in the best possible economic growth.

We literally took a trillion dollars and poured it down a rathole. We've gotten nothing for it. That's an unbelievably gigantic sum of money, so big we can't even really understand it. We didn't use it for invesment or infrastructure. We might as well have made a pile of million dollar bills -- a really big pile -- and lit it on fire.

Imagine a million dollar bill in your hand. Now imagine having a million of them. It would probably fill the room you're in, floor to ceiling. Your entire room, stacked full of million dollar bills... and we just lit that room on fire and watched it burn.

Worse still, we deepened our debt to take it on -- so not only was it a colossal waste, it ALSO means that our children and grandchildren will have a lower standard of living to pay for absolutely nothing.

The Iraq invasion is among the stupidest decisions that America ever made. Mostly, over our history, we've been blessed with fairly good leaders that avoided making really major errors. But this time, not so much.

Starting from a position of immense financial weakness, and launching an unwinnable war on false pretenses, is impossibly stupid. I really wonder if the Republicans are explicitly trying to destroy the Republic.

Oh, also, I'd like to point out: you point to tiny little boondoggles that cost a few thousand dollars, and compare/contrast it with a trillion dollar war. I keep seeing this 'equivalance' argument all the damn time, too. "The Democrats once put their toe in the water, so it entirely justifies our full-body cannonball!"

It's not defensible. You just can't defend wasting money on a scale that large. Pointing to little boondoggles here and there is just a distraction. It's to avoid thinking about the uncomfortable truth that our leaders have told you what you wanted to hear while robbing you and your children blind.

I imagine you'll probably come up with another mental dodge to avoid confronting this; the neoconservatives are nothing if not creative in their thinking patterns. But it remains true that the people you support have made your life immensely worse than it was, and it's only just gotten started.

Nosferatu wrote:
Malor wrote:

The trillion dollar taunt.

Just think of the schools that could have been built or renovated with that money, or textbooks it would have bought.

Or the other ways it would have been wasted, like on sex ed for kindergartners, art funding featuring a recreation of David made from poop, or just given it to the Chinese...
Then again, doesn't almost all defense spending come straight back into the US economy (I'm fairly sure that all our stuff is bought from American companies if possible and obviously all of our soldiers are US citizens.)?

note: I'm not suggesting that this is a good reason to go to war, but it is soemthing that the Federal government actually is supposed to be doing (the military is explicitly defined as a right of the federal government by the constitution).

Not exactly. If your goal is to spur the economy through direct investment or transfer payments, spending a trillion dollars in a craphole like Iraq is a pretty piss poor way to do it -- especially if it is borrowed Chinese money backed with the full faith and credit of the USG and doled out to foreign Greystone(tm) contractors for work that, by nearly all estimations, is simply not being done.

We would have been better off building 200 Nimitz class aircraft carriers (at $4.5billion each). And we'd still have money left over for veteran's healthcare.

Robear wrote:

It's easy to tell the ones that Hate America. They write books.

And John McCain wrote quite a few!

Mayfield wrote:
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, why, all of a sudden, if he had all these grave concerns, did he not raise these sooner? This is one-and-a-half years after he left the administration. And now, all of a sudden, he's raising these grave concerns that he claims he had. And I think you have to look at some of the facts. One, 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.

McClellan in 2004 on Richard Clarke

A pot rises to the challenge of a kettle

We would have been better off building 200 Nimitz class aircraft carriers (at $4.5billion each).

One good way to measure the success of a war is by the economic damage done to the enemy.

By that standard, Al Qaeda's $20K investment in airplane tickets has to count as the largest victory in human history. The terrorists didn't just win, they hit the biggest jackpot of all time.

In discussion of the revelations in Scott McClellan’s new book that the media was too easy on the administration in the run of to the war, Congressional correspondent Jessica Yellin on Anderson Cooper 360 admitted that she was pressured by the network executives to frame her pieces in a way that made President Bush look positive, even editing her pieces to favor the administration.

Cooper: Jessica, McClellan took the press to task for upholding their reputation. He writes “the national press corps was probably too deferential to the White House and to the administration in regard to the most important decision facing the nation during my years in Washington. The choice of whether to go to war in Iraq…the ‘liberal’ media didn’t live up to its reputation. If it had, the country would have been better served.” Dan Bartlett, former Bush advisor, called the allegation “total crap.” What’s your take? Did the press corps drop the ball?

Yellin: I think the press corps dropped the ball in the beginning when the lead up to war began, uh the press corps was under enormous pressure from corporate executives, frankly, to make sure that this was a war that was presented in a way that was consistent with the patriotic fever in the nation and the President’s high approval ratings and my own experience at the White House was that the higher the President’s approval ratings, the more pressure I had from news executives, and I was not at this network at the time, but the more pressure I had from these executives to put on positive stories about the President. I think over time….

Cooper: You had pressure from news executives to put on positive stories about the President?

Yellin: Not in that exact…they wouldn’t say it in that way, but they would edit my pieces. They would push me in different directions. They would turn down stories that were more critical and try to put on pieces that were more positive. Yes. That was my experience.

In case you were curious, Yellin worked for MSNBC until July 2003 and then worked for ABC News until July 2007, when she moved to CNN.   

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