Speaking of which, have you heard that Scott McClellan, the former White House Press Secretary (post-Ari Fleischer and pre-Dana Perino), has written a memoir detailing his time spent with Bush and his spin doctors? It's titled: What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception.
The SF Chronicle has an article on it. Some of the highlights:
The Bush White House made "a decision to turn away from candor and honesty when those qualities were most needed" — a time when the nation was on the brink of war, McClellan writes in the book entitled "What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception."We knew that Iraq wasn't behind the attacks on September 11th. We know that the man who was is hiding in the luxurious Afghanistan-Pakistan mountain borne caves. Yet with enough spinning, the American people in their anger, pain, and frustration, found the lies hurled from the collective foul recesses of the neocon mouth bearing enough credence to choose to go to war against Iraq because of supposed WMDs and a (then) questionable link to the Taliban.
The way Bush managed the Iraq issue "almost guaranteed that the use of force would become the only feasible option."
"In the permanent campaign era, it was all about manipulating sources of public opinion to the president's advantage," McClellan writes.
The former press secretary — the second of four so far in Bush's presidency — explained his dramatic shift from loyal defender to fierce critic as a difficult act of personal contrition, a way, he wrote, to learn from his mistakes, be true to his Christian faith and become a better person.
"I fell far short of living up to the kind of public servant I wanted to be," McClellan writes. He also blames the media whose questions he fielded, calling them "complicit enablers" in the White House campaign to manipulate public opinion toward the need for war.
McClellan said Bush loyalists will no doubt continue to think the administration's decisions have been correct and its unpopularity undeserved. "I've become genuinely convinced otherwise," he said.
We knew Saddam was bad. No question about it. So we went in under the pretense of liberation, and have put ourselves in a position that will make it extremely difficult to extricate ourselves. What benefits have we seen from these actions?
Ever heard of the Wolfovitz Doctrine (aka 'Rebuilding American Defenses')? We let it become policy right:
'...while the unresolved conflict in Iraq provides the immediate justification [for U.S. military presence], the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.'We can't blame everything on the war that's lasted over 5 years and has claimed the lives of over 4,000 American soldiers thrown in harm's way not to protect American interests, but to further the goals of a dying leprous breed of politicians. However, given the war's impact on the the stability (or at least perceived stability) of petroleum availability, coupled with the crumbling mortgage industry, the housing market slump, and fuel and food costs increasing, it stands to reason that prolonging current troop deployments and actions to fight the ephemeral 'war on terror' is a bad thing for Americans and their progeny.
This is not a partisan issue. This is an ethical issue. We've been manipulated enough with BushCo spin doctors, but we also need to take accountability for our actions of allowing our country to go in the wrong direction. We've shown the government that we're intimidated by them, when really it should be the other way around. They are elected officials. While we're going to see lots of propaganda from both sides (a certain questionable email that's been circulating comes to mind) we should keep in mind that we control who goes into office.
After so many Orange Alerts, looming shadows of Homeland Security restrictions on traveling, cases of illegal wire taps, we seemed to have been cowed into conformity. A fearful populace is an easily governed populace. When we seem to be perpetually at war, our government has enlisted tools that instill fear in our hearts, so we allow them to send more troops and spend more tax dollars overseas, while we constantly cut out education programs and raise tuition at public universities and put our next generation of engineers, teachers, police officers, soldiers, mothers, and fathers further into debt.
While Scott McClellan's tell-all comes a little late, it no doubt provides more context into the lame duck presidency that will go down in history as the administration that ran 2 terms as a fascist third-world regime while losing ground to other countries, instead of the innovative and progressive force it could've been.
That being said, the end of BushCo is nigh. Even while he campaigns for McCain, John knows that linking himself to the man who put the crack in cracka is a death sentence for the November elections.