USA TODAY: In the book, McClellan, who served as press secretary from July 2003 to April 2006, touches on a number of White House topics and personalities, including former Bush political strategist Karl Rove. He writes that the Iraq war was sold to the American people with a sophisticated “political propaganda campaign” led by Bush and aimed at “manipulating sources of public opinion” and “downplaying the major reason for going to war. ” Regarding Bush, he writes that the president “convinces himself to believe what suits his needs at the moment,” and has engaged in “self-deception” to justify his political ends. MORE
DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The extent to which Scott McClellan was willing to air dirty laundry took the White House by surprise. It’s very, very rare for a presidential aide to dump on his former boss before the administration is over. No word directly from President Bush, but this from current press secretary…
Dana “What Cuban Missile Crisis?” Perino: “Scott, we now know, is disgruntled about his experience at the White House. For those of us who fully supported him, before, during and after he was press secretary, we are puzzled. It is sad — this is not the Scott we knew. The book, as reported by the press, has been described to the president. I do not expect a comment from him on it – he has more pressing matters than to spend time commenting on books by former staffers.”
Ari Fleischer, who preceded McClellan as Bush’s White House press secretary, told NPR News’ Day to Day that he’s “heartbroken” and “stumped” at the allegations in the book. The interview airs this afternoon but NPR quotes Fleischer saying that if McClellan held such opinions of the president and his advisors, he should never have accepted the press secretary post.
Karl Rove went on Fox New and trashed McClellan as someone who wasn’t even in the room when major decisions were made (wasn’t that one of the problems at the time?), adding that the book, from what he could tell, sounds like it could have been written by a left-wing blogger.
Fran Townsend, the president’s former Homeland Security adviser, went on CNN and bashed McClellan for holding his tongue rather than voice any concerns about the Iraq war and other decisions he now criticizes. “Scott never did that on any of these issues as best I can remember or as best as I know from any of my White House colleagues,” Townsend said on CNN. “For him to do this now strikes me as self-serving, disingenuous and unprofessional.”
The ritual shunning is well underway. MORE
RELATED: May 27 (Reuters) – The Army on Tuesday released new data showing a sharp rise in the number of U.S. troops who have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, after tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. The data, which reflect diagnoses made at U.S. military facilities from Jan. 1, 2003, to Dec. 31, 2007, put the total number of PTSD cases for the five-year period at nearly 40,000 for all four branches of the U.S. armed services.
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AMERICAN NEWS PROJECT: In the spring of 2008, a conference was held on the outskirts of Washington, DC. Entitled Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan, it harkened back to the Winter Soldier testimonies held three decades ago during the Vietnam War. Of the testimonies we filmed, this one, by Iraq War vet Jon Michael Turner, was the most compelling and intense. MORE