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McClellan on Cheney

POSTED: 08:05 AM ET, 05/29/2008 by Derek Kravitz

Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan's new book touched off a firestorm of criticism from Bush administration officials, The Post's Dan Eggen reports.

Among McClellan's targets in the 341-page book, entitled "What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception," was Vice President Dick Cheney, who he called "the magic man" who steered policy behind the scenes while leaving no fingerprints.

Cheney was the subject of a four-part Post series last year that delved into his powerful role within the White House, as the "unseen hand behind some of the president's major domestic initiatives" and the man "steering debate by weighing in at the lower-level meetings where proposals are born and die."

That image of Cheney, culled from interviews with former and current White House officials, is somewhat mirrored in McClellan's book, due to be released June 1. He describes Cheney as someone who "always seemed to get his way" and who sometimes "could not contain his deep-seated certitude, even arrogance, to the detriment of the president."

By Derek Kravitz |  May 29, 2008; 8:05 AM ET
Previous: Watchdogs: The Coast Guard's Accidents Investigations, or Lack Thereof | Next: District's Cardiac Response Times Lagging

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Duh. Bush fabricated arguments for the war. Bush messed up on Katrina. Bush follows his gut rather than his brain (K. Rove excepted, evidently). It's incredibly disturbing that Information Czar McClellan would take TWO YEARS to share these novel perceptions. But I guess he deserves some credit for acknowledging the rot in which he was steeped, whatever his timing.

Dissed by the left, now flushed by the right--the man had better hope the book sells briskly. I promise this, though: if I encounter him at the entrance to a Wal-mart, asking me how I'm doing, I'll be polite.

Posted by: dennis | May 29, 2008 5:21 PM

As a 56 year old female and long time independent voter, nothing McClellan said in his book changes what I think. I already knew Bush was using propaganda to get us into Iraq, we are there for oil etc...I'm just dismayed that McClellan took such a long time to figure it out. Too bad, he must be "slow". I'm no longer voting independent, by the way, I'm now a Democrat thanks to George W

Posted by: Margit | May 29, 2008 7:42 PM

To bad for us. McClellan, it turns out, was part of the problem in the White House by supporting the propoganda machine that he now attempts to expose. Gee thanks McClellan.

Posted by: Ned | May 29, 2008 7:54 PM

McClellan should apologize to all those who have suffered -- Americans and Iraqis -- for what Bush and Cheney have done, crimes that McClellan aided and abetted.

Posted by: Stuart Murray | May 30, 2008 8:52 AM

I'm sure McClellan figured out earlier what was going on. But he's still a Republican. What's the advantage of simply speaking the truth when you can write a best-selling book about it and make a lot of money?

Posted by: Hank Gillette | May 30, 2008 10:16 AM

A word of support for the former press secretary. Truth hurts. But be proud of your courage and your love of truth over a flawed president. Many Americans are thankful for the inside information you have provided in the book. I will be heading to the bookstore and get a copy. Good luck and God bless. You will do well in life because American people appreciate people like you.

Posted by: Jenny | May 30, 2008 10:27 AM

A word of support for the former press secretary. Truth hurts. But be proud of your courage and your love of truth over a flawed president. Many Americans are thankful for the inside information you have provided in the book. I will be heading to the bookstore and get a copy. Good luck and God bless. You will do well in life because American people appreciate people like you.

Posted by: Jenny | May 30, 2008 10:27 AM

I am not surprised that many of the Bush insiders are making personal attacks on McClellan, instead of commenting on the actual accusations he makes about the Bush political machine. They know nothing else to work with. Pay special attention to Condi Rice. She has yet to take even a small piece of responsibility for her many Security Council and State Dept. failures.

And are we to believe that the Bushies are surprised that millions of us here in the netherlands outside of the beltway already believed that Bush, Cheny Et al are members of a corrupt, political spin machine in permanent campaign mode, who gladly and routinely sacrifice any semblance of the truth or order of law in order to further their agenda.

Bush has visions of being Trumanesque in his presidency. He will be lucky to not be considered as the worst president ever when history makes its judgement.

Posted by: Larry | May 30, 2008 11:52 AM

I would like to personally thank Mr McClellan for telling the truth, no matter how late. It is an act of great courage for a man known primarily for his "loyalty" to do this. While it may not be news, it is clearly hard evidence. That's what counts in a court of law.

Posted by: Nat | May 30, 2008 12:15 PM

Always the heart, the gut, seldom the brain. What propaganda flourishes on. We have a rare opportunity to vote the difference. Obama and Clinton "have" the addition of real intelligence. Bush, McCain and Cheney were never blessed academically. Cheney has had 40 years, since 1968, to learn politics, slid in with Nixon and hung on. Wifey Lynn is his brain. I also know that surviving severe heart disease many years can be as mind altering as chronic drug or alcoholism. The put down is that McClellen isn't real bright. Well, he stilled the "all wise" media. Time and distance often reveal. This book is spot on and timely received.

Posted by: Anita | May 30, 2008 12:20 PM

I don't understand why people feel compelled to condemn Scott McClellan for not doing the right thing quickly enough. Should we not simply be thankful that a few former Bush administration insiders have gone on the record about this stuff?

And to those who keep saying "He's just doing it for the money..." How many people in this country do anything if there's not some money in it for them? Even the Greenpeace recruiters standing on the corner of my street are getting paid to ask me if I "want to save a rain forest today?"

To Scott McClellan, I say, simply: Thank you.

Posted by: ted in pdx | May 30, 2008 1:57 PM

I'm taking the attitude "better late than never". In a context where loyalty means everything I suppose it must take quite a bit to pull back and admit you were deceived. Too bad Colin Powell hasn't done so yet. Military men need to remember, just as much as civilians in government, that loyalty is ultimately not to your boss, but to the Constitution and to the truth.

Posted by: FraidyKat | May 30, 2008 4:52 PM

Since President Reagan, truth standards have been removed from public discourse in favor of pure media standards: tell a joke, grin, or posture and the moment passes, the media move on to something else. Mission accomplished...

The big difference between Reagan and Bush II is that the former was surrounded by mostly competent, mostly nonfanatic advisors; and Reagan's instincts were usually sound: he negotiated with Gorbachev instead of namecalling and threatening.

With the exception of the ignored and humiliated Colin Powell, Bush's advisors are the worst crew ever surrounding a president in modern times. And furthermor they're surrounding the most profoundly ignorant and dishonest president we've experienced: he "can't even remember" if he ever drank or did cocaine...

Posted by: Steve | May 31, 2008 8:48 PM

My next Court date is June 3rd 2008 at 3pm in Judge Justin Court on the second floor of the Jackson County Courthouse in Jackson Michigan.
I found in the "Programs File" on the "Dash Cam Video" that I got by Subpoena the following window which shows that the "background.gif file" was modified on 4/29/2008 at 3:18pm by using Adobe Fireworks which is a "Vector and Bit Batch Video Editing Software".
Chain of Custody Report given as Court Record shows that the Dash Cam Video was alledgedly exported to DVD on 4-23-2008.
The Jackson County Michigan Sheriffs department lied under oath and attempted to frame me and I produced the evidence in Court and the corrupt Judge Justin has refused to except the truth and has chosen to except the lies which makes Judge Justin also GUILTY of being envolved in the attempt to frame me.
Go to www.myspace.com/jacktownnews to see the why in "Why are they trying to frame me".
Email me and I will send you attachment as proof to show the program file.
They are denying editing the video but this proves it.
I need a computer "Expert" to say so in Court on June 3rd 2008 at 3pm.
Do you know any?
I mean if I can find this an "Expert" can.
Judge refuses to take my word for it and claimed his Lap Top Computer quit working when it came time to veiw it in Court. How conveinent.
Mr. Bengt Thulin aka Chip
Retired State of Michigan Court Officer
P.O. Box 6279
Jackson, Michigan 49204
thulinchip@yahoo.com

Posted by: Civil Servant | June 2, 2008 1:52 PM

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