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Ear to the Ground

McClellan’s Publisher Does Damage Control

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Posted on Nov 21, 2007
McClellan and Bush

Scott McClellan (pictured above with President Bush) did not intend to suggest that the president knew he was misleading his former press secretary about the Valerie Plame case, according to McClellan’s publisher.

Since the news broke about former White House press secretary Scott McClellan’s new book, there has been a curious lack of commentary on the topic in certain mainstream U.S. news outlets and only a vague official reaction from the White House. 

Meanwhile, McClellan’s publisher is attempting to do some damage control with regard to what the author (who apparently hasn’t finished the book yet) actually says about President Bush in “What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and What’s Wrong With Washington.”

Also, the BBC reported Valerie Plame’s reaction to McClellan’s story on Wednesday.


Peter Osnos, the founder and editor-in-chief of Public Affairs Books, which is publishing McClellan’s book in April, tells NBC from his Connecticut home that McClellan, “Did not intend to suggest Bush lied to him.”

Osnos says when McClellan went before the White House press corps in 2003 to publicly exonerate Libby and Rove, the problem was that his statement was not true. Osnos said the president told McClellan what “he thought to be the case.” But, he says, McClellan believes, “the president didn’t know it was not true.”

Osnos says the quotes which appeared on the Public Affairs Books website were part of the roll out of the book catalogues for the spring printings. And he says McClellan had not finished the manuscript for the memoir yet and was working under deadline to have the book completed for the April publishing.

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mackTN's avatar

By mackTN, November 23, 2007 at 9:37 pm Link to this comment

Why did Colin Powell not blow the whistle on Bush until way after the deeds had been done. 

I have to put myself in their shoes.  Opposing the president and others in the moment and during a time in which one doesn’t have all the facts would be self destructive only.  The power is against you when you are in their midst.  Blowing the whistle while on staff will bring you down, destroy your career and future options.  I can’t say I would have the fortitude for it myself. 

I agree that McClellan was way over his head and though far away now he is still subject to the force of the wake.  These people are lethal.

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By Louise, November 23, 2007 at 4:24 pm Link to this comment

Like the myriad books that have and will come out from Bushes former water carriers, I probably wont read this one.

What’s the point?

Anybody paying attention knew from the minute Joe Wilson’s op-ed revealing the Yellow cake story to be a fraud was published, no stone would be left unturned by the evil people in the White House, in an effort to destroy him. That they decided to attack a women to accomplish this is a clear indication of true republican values. Next to “colored” folks, they hate women most of all. If in the process her work was destroyed [which could be a great threat to all of us] that was unimportant.

All that matters to these people is the lie. And the hate. Classic symptoms of the evil and the corrupt.

McClellan was in way over his head. Safe to presume he had knowledge of the Rove policy, [to paraphrase] “We say whatever we please, do whatever we want, because we are the new reality and the people can think they know and think they understand and while they are trying to figure that out, we will create another new reality.”

One would have to be a complete fool to not see that as madness. To not realize that’s the long way of saying, “We are liars, and our policy is to lie. And as long as we lie well, nothing will go wrong”

That being the case, is it safe to ask, does the Bush press secretary have to embrace the madness, or just be bone dumb?

Has McClellan got a guilty conscience? I doubt it. What he has is a need to make an income. And unlike Ari Fleischer and Tony Snow, he hasn’t been able to catch the imagination of MSM and garner speaking engagements and guest spots on think-tank panels to keep that money rolling in.

But then again, Fleischer and Snow are corrupt. Something that appears to be required in the majority of active politicos and “servants” supporting the mad administration of George W Bush.

Perhaps the biggest mistake McClellan made was not being smart enough to be as thoroughly corrupt as the rest of them. Maybe that will be the real message from his book. “I’m not near as dumb as you think I am! Although I did believe we still had freedom of speech ... oh well.”

Of course main stream media will ignore this story, just as they ignore any truth revealed that calls this administration by it’s real name. You see, they’ve already spent the money.

Besides, once you climb in bed with the devil, it’s awfully hard to get out. Just ask all those congressaurs who, in spite of their wish to distance themselves from this administration cant seem to be able to challenge this administration. 

Just ask George W Bush!

He watches as one after the other, “loyal” administration officials go home to be with the family. And he has no where to go!

The man knows how to do just one thing, campaign. [albeit completely dishonest] And any repub, running for anything, wants nothing to do with him. I even wonder if Cheney spends time with him. Beyond what’s required to fix the talking point of the day.

Here’s a question. Assuming George W Bush actually leaves the White House without starting world War III, and the congress actually prevents him from any further damage to our Constitution. What does a man who has two things on his resume, [successful Cheer Leader, worse U.S. President in history] do with his spare time?

Do you think the think tanks will compete for his appearances? Or will he just be sought after for late night TV shows, billed as the dumbest comedian around?

McClellan cant even count on that.

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By BuahWacked, November 23, 2007 at 4:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The fat-boy needs to sell books, so he is finally admitting to what we already know, how typical.

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By thomas Billis, November 23, 2007 at 3:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

They not only put Scott under the bus they drove back and forth to make sure and then when his credibility was below zero they brought in Snowjob.Ah loyalty a trait Bush readily admires until his ass is on the line.Scott will throw out some tidbits to sell his book.Not too much or the rich republicans will not give him that bullshit job at one of the consevative “think Tanks”.I wonder if GWB will open a think tank.Can you teach a chimp to think?I have the name Zippy’s Global Research Forum.

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By Bill Blackolive, November 23, 2007 at 10:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Whether McClellen can push on with any guts inside the noise I don’t know, but a factor is there are some in his family known to not accept the official version of John Kennedy’s death, which means there is thinking in McClellen’s environment, and, likely not acceptance of the official 9/11 explanation.  The Cheney administration is very shook up by now.  It just could be the kiss-ass media will start to see they are kissing losing assholes.

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By SamSnedegar, November 23, 2007 at 10:27 am Link to this comment

“...must also assume that Bush is incredibly stupid…”—-Pat Williams

not an assumption, a fact. every time the moron opens his mouth he proves it again. indeed, his whole life stands as proof of his dysfunctional brain and his utter incompetence.

but things could be a lot worse: the monkey-faced fool COULD be the actual president and not merely a puppet to lie and grow a long nose for the Bushitter gang of thugs. how bad do you think things would be then——if you put the stupid son of a bitch in charge and turned him loose?

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By PaulMagillSmith, November 23, 2007 at 9:38 am Link to this comment

What else does McClellen know about this highly illegal administration’s activities that could have saved numerous American & Iraqi lives? Why did he wait so long to come forward with the truth? Does this mean all the other statements he made to the American people, on various subjects, were lies & propaganda also?

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By GB, November 23, 2007 at 9:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

And again the Dems do nothing. Dodd suggested the justice department look into it (Bush look into Bush) but says nothing about the judiciary committees in congress.
This information is nothing new. We already know the pirates in the white house are guilty of treason and yet they continue their piliging of our treasury and human life.
Thank your Congress kids.

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By Vulture Man, November 23, 2007 at 6:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

NEVER forget that Plame’s Brewster-Jennings was the true target of the outing. The Wilson smear angle is all Rovian mis-direction and spin. It originated from the White house so is it to be believed? Hell no. Did it ever smear wilson, no. Wilson was sent by cheney to set up the whole deception and EXCUSE.

Bush/Cheney wanted ethical Plame out of there (mid-east) so she wouldn’t dispute their Iranian war lies when the time came (now that is).

NEVER loose site that the destruction of Brewster Jennings was TREASON. Valuable sources were lost, people and operatives were killed as a result etc.

Good intelligence is the Bush Administrations worst enemy and that’s why they wanted Plame’s covert company gone. Why would they risk treason to smear wilson? That whole smear angle is so lame if you research it and look at it. Sy Hersh has some good sources on it.

Maybe folks could expose the spin of the Smear BS and focus on the destruction of Brewster-Jennings a covert front company that took decades to set-up and millions of our tax dollars to support.

Regardless of the ‘reason’ for the outing the end result was the same TREASON. Destruction of a covert intelligence operation, not just one woman.

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By mark, November 22, 2007 at 3:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Scott McClellan did not intend to suggest that the president knew he was misleading his former press secretary about the Valerie Plame case, according to McClellan’s publisher.

Mr. Publisher, Scott did not suggest, he accused, and you put it in quotes.

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By mackTN, November 22, 2007 at 3:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You would think the media would be in an uproar following this grave charge that the president and his most senior advisers both lied and obstructed justice by covering up a criminal act. 

I don’t believe that neither McClellan nor his publisher is so stupid as to level such an accusation without being certain that it would stand scrutiny.  I also don’t believe that McClellan and publisher would toss out an empty tease and risk the backlash that would come from a bait and switch. 

Only MSNBC—principally Hardball anchor—has devoted hours to the topic and is suggesting Bush is an outright criminal, which he is.  Wherever it’s quiet on air might be evidence of how managed those news outlets are by corporate honchos connected to the White House.

If you are really upset, demand this story be covered by contacting editors.

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By Rob Moitoza, November 22, 2007 at 12:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The question I have is, when and how did McClellan find out he had passed this false information and why is he only just now coming out with it? Or did he know all along? Fitzgerald needs to reopen the case.

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By rodney, November 22, 2007 at 12:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Bush mafia got to him. They must have threatened not only Scott McCelland but his publisher. That’s how they operate.It’s funny how everyone that ever worked for Bush leaves as damaged goods. Most of the people who worked for Bush have to spend the rest of there lives trying to get their reputation and credibility back. So in order to work for Bush in the first place you have to have low morals and ethics in the first place. That way you don’t have to crawl to far to get out of the gutter you started in.

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By dale Headley, November 22, 2007 at 11:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is a wake up call to any more insiders who may wish to spill the beans: keep your mouth shut or we will shut it for you.

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By slg, November 22, 2007 at 11:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I saw the story the night it broke headlined on Yahoo news. The story was gone the next morning and no mention of it since. Clearly the msm has decided there’s been enough bad news about this administration and rather than depress the public even more has decided to do the patriotic thing and spare us any more grief. I feel so much better now.

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By Mike Brown, November 22, 2007 at 11:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Lightning strikes again.  Just when something occurs that strikes at the very heart of the Bush/Cheney perversion, a la Downing Steet Memo, the MSM doesn’t seem to care.

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farmertx's avatar

By farmertx, November 22, 2007 at 8:08 am Link to this comment

That Shrub is a born liar has to be common knowledge by now.
As one wag in Texas put it, ‘He says he is George Bush from Texas…but he has lied before.’
It was nice to see that Obama admitted to drug experimentation while in high school…and saw the light and left them behind.
Compare that to Shrubs’ refusal to ‘play that game.’
But to expect every politician to be honest in all respects, all the time, is to know that you will win the lottery the next time it is played. It just ain’t agonna happen.

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By Pacrat, November 22, 2007 at 7:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Will McClellan wimp out again?

Granted, he hasn’t finished the book yet, but why not let the Bush Whitewash House finish it. It will come out the way they planned it originally.

Sorry that I am such a cynic - but the timing of the news release during the Thanksgiving congressional recess is more than coincidental!

Of course the president, the vice president, and their brain and mouthpiece Rove and assorted flunkies were involved in breaking the law. Could any reasonable person deny that?

The lawyers will of course try to figure out what “is is” and this too will pass.

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By anonymous, November 22, 2007 at 6:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

a liar talking about liars that lied to him

sounds like a terrific book

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By Maezeppa, November 22, 2007 at 5:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“there has been a curious lack of commentary on the topic in certain mainstream U.S.”

Nothing curious here. JOURNALISM ETHICS 101.  This is a very incomplete story and I smell a rat, a dirty trick to catch the liberal blogosphere flat-footed.

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By ed cordero, November 22, 2007 at 4:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

sounds like a lot of BS to me…still working on the manuscript? righhhhhhhhhhhhhhhttttttttttttttt

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By SamSnedegar, November 22, 2007 at 4:21 am Link to this comment

funny. these morons even lie about lying. their noses ought to be four hundred feet long.

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By deke33, November 22, 2007 at 4:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We are just beginning to get the sanitized spin on this matter.

But onto another matter. Pat Sajek, host of the Wheel of Fortune, had nothing but accolades for Don Rumsfeldt recently. Intimating that Rums dedication to duty was as strong as the guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier when those Guards were told they did not have to perform their duties the night the Hurricane hit DC. The Guards refused to not do their duty competently on that terrible night. Rumsfeldt, in two (there are more) examples of his dedication to duty, turns out to be incompetent and self serving.

Example 1. In the runup to the war we were told it would be a cheap, inexpensive walk in the park. Our troops were the best prepared and best outfitted and with an infallible plan would resolve Iraq’s problems in the blink of an eye. Yet, even though the IAEA had certified the types and amounts of sophisticated explosives located at Al Qaqaa, and even though our troops bivouaced overnight at the Al Qaqaa base they were unaware of that large 80 tons of sophisticated explosives and left the base for those explosives to be stolen and used in IED attacks. Great job Rummy.

Example 2. Rums selfserving statement why our troops had to scrounge through garbage dumps to find protective steel reinforcements to their vehicles, his answer will go down as the dumbest statement ever made during a war. His selfserving response was, “When you go to war, you go with the army you got, not the one you want.” I was and still am shocked why our press corp never asked these questions, “was this a preemptive war?” If it is a preemptive war “do not the preemptors choose when to attack, the amount of troops to attack with, the types of equipment to carry out the attack, where to attack, the targets that must be taken”? “If you did not have the army you wanted why not wait until you had gotten and trained the army you wanted instead of attacking with the army you have?” Praising this egotistical, self serving individual is akin to Bush saying, “I can’t think of anything we did wrong just now.” That should go down as the most laughable statement of any war.

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By Kurt, November 22, 2007 at 3:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The most revealing line of the article: “Then, after repeatedly declining to discuss the ongoing investigation, [Bush] said the case was closed and it was time to move on.”

So typical.  So which is it?  An ongoing investigation or a closed case? 

This has been the attitude of this regime since the very beginning.  After the most contested (and arguably corrupt) election in the history of the nation was decided by the right-leaning Supreme Court, the Republican mantra after a very short time became, “Get over it” and “Let’s move on”.  Bush and his cohorts have been very successful in delaying and then telling us to “get over it” rather than actually ever addressing anything.  That is, if the success of a president is to be measured by his prowess at spin and obfuscation.  But then, I think that many people have forgotten that the true test of the success of a president, and that which he swears to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.  Based on that true criteria, Bush can only be seen as an utter failure as he has done the exact opposite.

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By Pat Williams, November 22, 2007 at 3:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Another myth explodes. Though, you should have noticed a long time ago that these purportedly “liberal” newspapers are quite talented with coverup and obfuscation. The second Sunday after the 2004 election, the Washington Post ran an extensive article on how exit polling was not reliable when it, in fact, is the most accurate indicator of elections’ results and used around the world as a check on the elections. McClellan’s apparent assumption that Bush has been made an innocent shill in the outing of Valerie Wilson and an entire CIA operation must also assume that Bush is incredibly stupid. Perhaps McClellan is projecting his own feeble thought processes onto Mr. Innocent. My bet is that the Post and Times could not figure out how to report this without making Bush look like the abusive liar and coverup artist that he is and always has been. There are only so many stupid things these White House denizens can say and do before people of average intelligence conclude that they are all short a few marbles. Sometimes they must cease spinning and just shut up. Maybe they’ll think of something.

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By purplewolf, November 21, 2007 at 8:50 pm Link to this comment

When this book finally does come out, it will be so edited by the Bush Bunch that there will be nothing worthy of print, or else most of it will be printed in the redacted form as the Valerie Plame book, “Fair Game”.

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