Thursday, May 29, 2008

Scott McClellan – Hypocrite, Coward

Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan is the perfect picture of a hypocrite. Hired by then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush in 1999, he helped Bush in Bush’s quest for the White House. Then, as President Bush’s Press Secretary, he was the biggest Bush cheerleader and defended many of the Bush administrations flops, such as the dismal response to Hurricane Katrina, and the failures in the war in Iraq. He also claims he was misled by Karl Rove and adviser Lewis "Scooter" Libby regarding the leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame.

Now, McClellan has done a complete 180 with his new book, "What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception.” It is a scathing attack against the Bush administration, so much so that it even is drawing criticism from people who don’t care for the Bush administration. Needless to say, it also is drawing a firestorm of complaints from people who worked with McClellan, raising questions of McClellan’s credibility, accusing him of disloyalty and questioning his credibility.

The allegations levied by McClellan are that the Bush administration orchestrated a "political propaganda campaign" in favor of an "unnecessary" Iraq war. It also accuses the administration of failing to respond properly the response to the disaster of Hurricane Katrina. It also paints a picture of the president as one who is stubborn, close-minded, and isolated.

One can ask McClellan, what happened that prompted this complete turnaround? Would it not have been better for the country had McClellan spoken up while he was Press Secretary and voiced his opinions? If he felt this way about the administration that he so clearly supported and participated in propagandizing, why did he not resign when it was obvious to him that he did not agree with the way things were going? This only makes me more concerned that our public officials are not looking out for the best interests of the country, but for the best interests of themselves. I have always had serious questions about the Bush administration. While McClellan’s comments seem to validate those concerns, it is alarming that someone in such a high position in the administration was willing to let things slide while he was in the job, and now that he’s out, he’s willing to sell his soul to make a buck. But, it was probably the easy way out for McClellan to stand up for his beliefs now that he can make some money off the controversy.

Not only is McClellan a hypocrite, but also he took the coward’s way out. He was part of the White House inner circle, and while he was in it he let it protect him. Now he portrays that same inner circle as a bad thing. He defended the administration tirelessly, now he turns the tables on them. The bottom line is, when he stood up at the podium as White House Press Secretary, he way lying to the American people. Scott McClellan is just as bad as the people to whom he points his finger. I fully understand that probably every press secretary has always either hidden some truths or released only certain facts in order to make any president or administration look better. But if that person feels that what the administration is doing is wrong, then they should stand up for it at the time, not years later when they’re out of the job. He is just as guilty of manipulation as are the people he accuses.

My opinion is that all proceeds from McClellan’s book should be directed to the American people in some manner. He should not be allowed to profit from lying to the American people while he was holding a publicly paid position. While I’m glad that his version of the truth is coming out, I don’t agree with the way that he did it. I would have preferred that these issues come out while he was Press Secretary and he could have helped stopped the mistakes. Clearly McClellan was in over his head in that job.

“Profiles in Courage” this book isn’t. If anything, this is a profile of a hypocrite, a coward, and a liar. I am sure it will still be a best seller.

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