If I cared, I would be writing doing some serious blogging about it. But I don’t. So, Go read what’s happening.
I do find Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s coverage Hilarious. He keeps calling it a "Sausage Fest"! Now that’s funny!
If I cared, I would be writing doing some serious blogging about it. But I don’t. So, Go read what’s happening.
I do find Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s coverage Hilarious. He keeps calling it a "Sausage Fest"! Now that’s funny!
Is found right here….:
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) believes that on September 11 "we were basically at peace."
Asked to clarify his remarks, specifically asking about the attacks on the U.S.S. Cole during Barack Obama campaign conference call, Kerry said, "well, we hadn’t declared war," The Hill’s Sam Youngman reports.
Asked if al Qaeda was a threat at the time, the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee said, "well yes, obviously they were a threat. But, fundamentally we were not at war at that point in time."
Kerry also called John McCain "out of step with history and facts." – (via The Hill’s Blog Briefing Room)
Lawhawk over at A Blog for all, rightly calls Kerry on this rather stupid comment…:
Senator Kerry, would that be before 8:43AM ET? Or after the first plane slammed into the WTC?
Maybe an hour earlier when those planes were being boarded by the 19 hijackers?
The sad fact is that al Qaeda declared war on the US well before the USS Cole or 9/11, and were already killing Americans around the world and attacking US interests. Fatwas issued by al Qaeda spelled out their goals, and sought to defeat the US and its interests around the world.
For example, the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, which killed more than 200 people. There was the 1996 Khobar Tower bombings, which killed several dozen Americans.
On 9/11, the war launched by al Qaeda was driven home in the most gruesome and violent manner – attacking the US and its financial and military centers – the Pentagon and WTC.
That the US failed to respond to this war well before 9/11 is the fault of those in power to that point. That includes President Clinton who was Commander in Chief as the Cole was bombed, the embassies bombed, and even the first WTC bombing, which was carried out by the forerunners and kindred spirits to al Qaeda’s Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden, as well as President Bush, who came into office just months before the attacks and was still in the process of figuring out the extent of the threat and what to do about it.
The Clinton Administration clearly didn’t understand the nature of the threat, and its ongoing response to terrorist activities was anything but a vigorous defense of US interests.
Now, we have Sen. Kerry issuing statements that only continue to show just how out of touch Congressional Democrats are to the threats facing the country – past, present and future, as Kerry is a major supporter of the Obama campaign and would be seen as a player in any such administration.
I do not think that I could have put it better myself. Unless Democrats get their collective "heads out of their asses" on the war on terror, this Nation will not be, as hard as it is for Liberals to believe, a safer place.
You mean that old fool hasn’t died yet?
Bob Dole, waking up from a Ensure and Viagra hangover… wrote to McClellan Saying:
"There are miserable creatures like you in every administration who don’t have the guts to speak up or quit if there are disagreements with the boss or colleagues," Dole wrote in a message sent yesterday morning. "No, your type soaks up the benefits of power, revels in the limelight for years, then quits, and spurred on by greed, cashes in with a scathing critique."
"In my nearly 36 years of public service I’ve known of a few like you," Dole writes, recounting his years representing Kansas in the House and Senate. "No doubt you will ‘clean up’ as the liberal anti-Bush press will promote your belated concerns with wild enthusiasm. When the money starts rolling in you should donate it to a worthy cause, something like, ‘Biting The Hand That Fed Me.’ Another thought is to weasel your way back into the White House if a Democrat is elected. That would provide a good set up for a second book deal in a few years"
Dole assures McClellan that he won’t read the book – "because if all these awful things were happening, and perhaps some may have been, you should have spoken up publicly like a man, or quit your cushy, high profile job"
"That would have taken integrity and courage but then you would have had credibility and your complaints could have been aired objectively," Dole concludes. "You’re a hot ticket now but don’t you, deep down, feel like a total ingrate?" -Via Politico.com
There are unconfirmed reports saying that Scott simply replied back saying, "F**** You, ya old goat…"
Of course, when I think of Bob Dole, I think of this:
Bitter old men, who failed, when they tried to run for President, are such a pitiful sight. especially this old man.
Others: Megan McArdle, Matthew Yglesias, Weekly Standard Blog, Hot Air, The Moderate Voice, Nukes & Spooks, Flopping Aces, Sister Toldjah, THE GUN TOTING LIBERAL™, Salon, American Power, Whiskey Fire, Gateway Pundit, TIME.com, JammieWearingFool, Doug Ross, QandO, Political Machine and Wonkette and more via Memeornadum
(Taken from Here)
A bomb exploded inside Washington, D.C., this week, and, no, it was not the work of a Middle Eastern terrorist. It was the work of former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan. He, perhaps more than anyone else, was the face of President Bush’s White House. He faithfully served President George W. Bush for close to a decade and served as Bush’s Press Secretary for some three years, resigning on April 19, 2006. He was also regarded as one of the most loyal and tight-lipped of the Bush insiders. However, his new book, "What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception" has exploded in the face of what history will probably regard as one of the most deceptive and manipulative Presidential administrations in American government. The Washington Post (and a host of other media) released a report regarding McClellan’s book this past Wednesday.
According to McClellan’s book, the Iraq war was sold to the American people with a sophisticated "political propaganda campaign" led by President George W. Bush himself. McClellan charges that Bush aimed at "manipulating sources of public opinion" and "downplaying the major reason for going to war." He also says he was deceived by some within the President’s inner circle about the leak of a CIA operative’s name.
He has especially harsh criticism for former White House advisor Karl Rove for misleading him about his role in the CIA case. He also accused Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice of being "deft . . . at protecting her reputation," and called Vice President Dick Cheney "the magic man" who steered policy behind the scenes.
In a chapter titled "Selling the War," McClellan says the administration repeatedly "shaded the truth." He also stated, "In the permanent campaign era, it was all about manipulating sources of public opinion to the president’s advantage." In what might be the most disturbing statement in the book (at least among those that were released by press reports), McClellan said, "What I do know is that war should only be waged when necessary, and the Iraq war was not necessary."
McClellan said his motive for writing the book was this: "Like many Americans, I am concerned about the poisonous atmosphere in Washington. I wanted to take readers inside the White House and provide them an open and honest look at how things went off course and what can be learned from it. Hopefully in some small way it will contribute to changing Washington for the better and move us beyond the hyper-partisan environment that has permeated Washington over the past 15 years."
I am confident the reaction that will spew forth from both sides of the political aisle will simply reinforce McClellan’s basic assertion. Republicans will attempt to impugn McClellan’s credibility, while Democrats will shout, "We told you so!"
In previous columns, I have written much regarding the poison of deception that emanates from Washington, D.C., which is mostly due to the preoccupation with political partisanship. It seems the only time the Republican and Democratic parties care about "ethics" and "honesty" is when it condemns the other party. Otherwise, life in Washington, D.C., is exactly as McClellan describes it: a culture of deception.
McClellan’s book will be a bitter pill to swallow. To think that the war in Iraq was "unnecessary" creates angst and even anger in the meekest of men. Yet, how many times have governments spent the lives and fortunes of their people for causes and reasons that historians would later judge to be "unnecessary"? It might even be safe to say that most of history’s wars have been "unnecessary."
The propensity of rulers to engage in war for personal, transient, or even adolescent purposes is exactly why America’s Founding Fathers created a constitutional republic in this country. In America, the Constitution–not the President, Congress, or even the Supreme Court–is the Supreme Law of the land. Each branch of government is to remain separate from the other, and no branch is supposed to be able to run roughshod over the other. It is fidelity to constitutional government that forms the vanguard of our liberty, not to mention our safety.
This is why our President and members of Congress take an oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. They are not sworn to uphold the will of party bosses or special interest groups, or even the whim of the people. They are required to uphold the Constitution.
Sadly, America’s civil magistrates (especially at the federal level) have been ignoring the Constitution for much of the 20th Century, and–for the most part–still ignore the Constitution today. And it has not mattered to a tinker’s dam which party has been in power. Both major parties are equal opportunity violators of the Constitution.
None of us (including this writer) wants to believe that McClellan’s bold assertion is true. None of us wants to believe that we are spending trillions of hard-earned tax dollars and sending thousands of brave soldiers and Marines (not to mention tens of thousands of Iraqis) to their deaths "unnecessarily." I sincerely pray that McClellan is wrong about that.
One thing I do believe to be true, however, is this: Unless the American people begin demanding that their civil magistrates uphold their oaths to the Constitution, and until the American people rid themselves of this blind loyalty to the two major political parties, we are going to be continually subjected to "Washington’s Culture of Deception."
But this one makes me smile…
Pearl Harbor is well known as the site of Imperial Japan’s attack on December 7, 1941. Its historical significance, however, both preceded the Japanese attack and spanned World War II, during which it served as the central base for our Pacific naval forces. While the USS Arizona Memorial serves as the final resting place for many of that battleship’s brave crew members who lost their lives on December 7, 1941, other objects of historic and scientific interest in the area of Pearl Harbor and other sites in the Pacific remain outside this Memorial.
I have been advised that there are objects of historic and scientific interest at Pearl Harbor, including on Ford Island, and at other sites across the Pacific that may be appropriate for recognition and possibly protection through the designation of a National Monument under the Antiquities Act of 1906 (16 U.S.C. 431). These objects of historical and scientific interest may tell the broader story of the war, the sacrifices made by America and its allies, and the heroism and determination that laid the groundwork for victory in the Pacific and triumph in World War II.
Accordingly, please provide to me your assessment, with relevant supporting information, of the advisability of providing additional recognition or protection to historic landmarks, historic sites, or other objects of historic or scientific interest at Pearl Harbor and other sites associated with the war in the Pacific and America’s ultimate victory in the Pacific theater during World War II, through designation and management as part of a National Monument. Because much of the Pearl Harbor area lies within an active military base, and other World War II historic resources lie within areas of the Pacific that are of strategic importance to the United States, please consider in your assessment that any proposed actions should not limit the Department of Defense from carrying out the mission of the various branches of the military stationed or operating anywhere within the Pacific.
GEORGE W. BUSH
I am glad to see that he understands.
It’s Friday and yes, it’s time for me to beg for money….
I hate doing this…
But I must….
Just letting you all know, that read my Blog, that I do this full time. I do not have a full time "Day Job". I have not had one since 2005. (really!) It’s partly my fault, partly the economy here in Michigan.
So….. If you’d like to donate, the PayPal is over on the right. I am verified, so I can accept any amount of money that you wish to toss into the tip jar. Toss generously please… At this point, I’ll take what I can get… but the more, the better.
Also the ads at the top here are for some great products, might want to check them out. I support them and I do recommend you check them out.
I also have 4 different kind of Project Wonderful ad spaces on my Blog. If you would like to run your Ad’s here. You’re more than welcome. Ads start at $1.00. That’s very cheap compared to other Blogs out there.
Anyhow, there it is, my weekly tin cup rattle.
Another voice in the vast expanse of the Political Blogosphere is leaving this rather noisy arena for greener pastures.
My name is Andrew Exum, and for the past year and a half, I have had the great pleasure of editing this blog under the ridiculous pseudonym “Abu Muqawama.”
I started this blog as a joke – hence the tongue-in-cheek name – and have been shocked to discover that a year and a half on, we have a dedicated readership whose numbers have been growing exponentially. I’ll never forget the day Dave Kilcullen sent me three separate emails complaining about some smart-assed post I had written. “When did people start taking us seriously?” I angrily demanded of Charlie in an email that day. – Thank You, and Goodbye – (Via abu muqawama)
I will, possibly vainly, attempt from getting too overly philosophical about this.
I personally believe that one of the worst mistakes that one can make, when Blogging and commenting on politics is taking one’s self too damn seriously.
On one hand, I am happy to see that the man is finding his wings and moving on to what he really wants to do. On the other, I am quite saddened, that another voice, within the arena of independent, non-corporate controlled political discourse, is now being removed.
Hopefully he does not stay gone too damned long, as I am not too keen on having to take up the slack. That means I would have to become a serious writer. Egad, perish the thought of actually having to live up to a respectable reputation. I owe you bastards nothing, nothing at all.
According to my counters, there’s a great deal of you that stop by here and read. How many of them are real and how many are web crawlers, is anyone’s guess. But I am happy to see the people do read here. I just wish they’d click links and buy stuff… and possibly donate! I would be much better off, than I am now.
Anyhow, I wish Andrew all the best, don’t stay gone too long, and come back when you get time.
Seen over at Ann Althouse Blog.
People can say what they wish, but I believe that Bill O’ has gay fantasies of Keith Olbermann.
Someone on the right, is finally starting to face reality. Finally!
A new poll by widely respected Public Opinion Strategies pollster Glen Bolger has some very interesting data on an important question: What do voters think of the Republic message when it isn’t attached to the GOP label? His data is a perfect way to test whether voters…
A. Like what we have to say but simply don’t trust us after Bush, Iraq, Katrina, overspending, the bridge to nowhere, endless scandals (need I go on?).
B. Don’t like us because they don’t agree with what we say we want to do for the country. – Poll: Is Our Message More Effective Without GOP Label? – (Via The Next Right)
Fester at Newshoggers, weighs in:
OUCH!!! Branding and consistency of messaging is important but only when the ideas are palatable or can be made palatable to a decent fraction of the population. Instead what we are seeing right here is the elements of a realigning movement as the Republican Party is rejecting the Republican Party. Residual loyalty and long-standing brand imaging is currently supporting Republican Party fortunes and not causing disproportionate harm. Staying away from policy and running as a generic sunshine candidate may be the best that most Republicans could do this fall.
John McCain has been trying to run a campaign as an anti-Bush change agent who, on most issues, is presenting standard issue Republican policy tropes and when he is not, he is either ill-informed, unengaged, or seeking minimalist defensive measures instead of proactive solutions such as on greenhouse gases auctions. Right now he is about even in the daily tracking polls although his electoral map is a losing map as of this morning. So this polling information is reassuring that although the McCain Brand is stronger than the Republican brand, his solution set has very little salience with the public.
What he said, and yes, Ouch.
Only thing original that I can bring to this discussion is something that I have said on this Blog many times. Until the Republican Party can shake this Neo-Conservative doctrine of warmongering and the attitude of "We must rule the world" for democracy’s sake. The G.O.P. will be in the state it is now, and that is, in the minority of the political landscape in America.
One the most troubling things that is wrong with America right now is, that America has become so sharply divided, Republicans and Democrats are sworn enemies. President George W. Bush, in his wrong-headed and quite feeble vision to bring democracy to the Middle East, managed to do something else entirely. He managed to put this Nation into a war, that possibly spend us into a recession, that might take us into another depression and also divided the political landscape, to the point where there is a "grand canyon" difference between the political discourses of the Right and Left. Senator Barack Obama seems to believe that he can bridge that Canyon and bring America back together. The problem with Senator Obama is that he lacks the Experience needed to tackle some of the very tough issues facing America at this point. Not to mention that the fact that Obama has some very "interesting" people in his background as well. Speaking as a fellow American Citizen, I can tell you that Americans, Black, White, Hispanic and every other race, will not vote for someone that they know little or nothing about. There is an American and very much a human thing, (for a lack of a better word…) called trust. It can take decades to build and be destroyed within seconds, if it is abused. American’s trust in our Government, was quite frankly, destroyed by President Bush, and I just do not know, if America will be willing to trust a man, that they know little about, to straighten out the mess that Bush and Co. have created.
As hard as it is to believe, not every American sits by their computers or TV and gobbles up every little morsel of politics news that the Main Stream Media and Blogging world heaves out to the General populous to ingest. As a matter of fact, most people simply tune politics out, until Election Day comes. This could, very well present a problem for Obama come the general election in November.
Further Discussion @ Memeorandum
That freaking story is 4 days old now, can we move along please?!?!?
I must be wired wrong or something….
But I find this video of Rev. Michael L. Pfleger mocking Hillary to be absolutely hilarious.
It must be a inner city thing, a Detroit thing or something. Because I laughed, hard, when I watched this video.
Might also be because what he said, was absolutely true. (The stuff about Hillary…. the rest of that stuff about White people is just silly… but the stuff about Hillary, I think, is right on point…)
Just my opinion, of course…
Others on it: Fox News, Commentary, Sister Toldjah, The Trail, The New Editor, Spin Cycle, Taylor Marsh, Ed Driscoll.com, Gateway Pundit, Boston Globe, Power Line, The Jawa Report, TIME.com, Ben Smith’s Blogs, Hot Air, The Campaign Spot, TalkLeft and michellemalkin.com and more via Memeorandum
Seeing that the Scott McClellan story is still on the charts, I thought I would present the interviews here, without commentary.
Reaction by John Dean, Summary: "He is going to lose friends"
Transcript: (H/T to Keith’s Site)
KEITH OLBERMANN, HOST: The book by former White House press secretary, Scott McClellan, perhaps the most extraordinary collection of revelations about a sitting president since John Dean was sworn in before the Irving committee in 1973, continues today to make the metaphorical ground beneath the Bush White House shudder. It’s author is here for his primetime—his first cable interview.
It’s title, “What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washhington’d Culture of Deception.” In its pages, Mr. Mcclellan alleging, among other things, that the Bush administration used a political propaganda campaign to sell the war in Iraq, managing the lead up to the conflict in such a way that the use of force would be inevitable; that Mr.Bush after vowing to alter the political equation, viewed and ran the administration as if it were a permanent campaign and instead of trying to do it differently, just tried to do it more effectively and more insidiously and more secretly.
Mr. McClellan writes that in defending the administration, although he was being sincere about the things he said in the White House briefing room at the time he said them, he has, “since come to realize that some of them were badly misguided.”
Scott McClellan joins us now.
Thank you for your time tonight.
SCOTT MCCLELLAN, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Good to be here, Keith. Thanks for having me on.
OLBERMANN: Who is more surprised that you’re here, you or me?
MCCLELLAN: Probably the White House.
OLBERMANN: That’s a good way to start.
That phrase, “you have since come to realize that some of those statements were badly misguided.” Not to put words in your mouth or insult you, but did you lie as White House press secretary at any point?
MCCLELLAN: Well, I did when it came to the issue of the Valerie Plame leak episode when I—unknowingly did so. I passed along false information. I had been given assurances by Karl Rove and Scooter Libby that they were not involved in the leak. And it turned out later that they were, but they both unequivocally told me, when I asked them, were you involved in this is any way? They said, no.
OLBERMANN: I’m going to get back to Libby.
MCCLELLAN: And—obviously other times, yes, I got caught up in the Washington game in terms of the spinning and obfuscation and secrecy and stone walling and things like that.
OLBERMANN: I want to get, as I was saying, back to the entire Plamegate or Plame/Libby story, or Plame/Libby/Cheney story. But as I suggested in the opening here, this—to me, in reading, so far, about half of this book, it seems it is the Rosetta Stone for understanding the last seven years of American history.
I would like to drop you in and out of key moments in that time.
And—tell me what really happened and what you saw.
And I want to start more or less chronologically on 9/11, not 9/11 per se but 9/12, the day afterwards, the days afterwards. Did the president see this as much as a disaster? Did he see it as an opportunity do you think?
MCCLELLAN: The September 11 attacks?
MCCLELLAN: Well certainly he saw it as an opportunity to look at the war on terror in broad way and to try to implement this idealistic vision that he had of spreading democracy throughout the Middle East. I think that’s what you’re getting to.
OLBERMANN: Yes. In the sense that it was to some degree used—
OLBERMANN: What happened after 9/11 was used in this country?
MCCLELLAN: Well certainly it was to advance the Iraq policy.
OLBERMANN: The Iraq policy—to advance Mr. Bush’s policies.
MCCLELLAN: Yes. Well, I don’t know what the right word is that I would use, but it was certainly—after 9/11 there was a whole change in attitude by the administration and everything started centering around 9/11 — what we were going to do to respond to that. And several people in his administration from the vice president to Secretary Rumsfeld to the president himself and some others took this very broad view that they were going to do some things that they wanted to do probably even before 9/11.
OLBERMANN: To that point, you write on page 127 about Iraq: “Bush pulled Rumsfeld aside in a private one one one discussion in late November 2001, as author Bob Woodward confirmed with the president, and instructed him to update the Pentagon’s war plans for Iraq. Bush made sure this initiative was closely held, known only by a few people who could be trusted not to leak it. But it meant that, in effect, Bush had already made the decision to go to war, even if he convinced himself it might still be avoided. IN the back of his mind, he would be convinced on Iraq, as on other issues that, until he gave the final order to commence war, the decision was never final.”
So, the war began when in the president’s mind?
MCCLELLAN: Well, not too long after September 11 — in those few months after September 11, when he made the decision we’re going to take a broad view of the war on terror and that Iraq is going to be part of that. I think that the decision had essentially been made, we’re going to confront Iraq, and unless Saddam Hussein does something that—really I don’t think anybody would expect he would do, like completely come clean, then we were headed on a path to war.
So I think the president, in a lot of ways, boxed himself in and left himself no out, partly because he was determined to go forward with the policy.
OLBERMANN: How did the vice president fit into this? How did—is the vice president responsible for the utiliazation of weapons of mass destruction in this kind of innuendo, I didn’t really say that Iraq had anything to do with 9/11, but I left you with that impression?
MCCLELLAN: Well, I think there were a couple of times that he walked very close to that. He went further out than anybody else in the administration. I think the president was very careful not to make that in a direct way. But it’s not the only issue where the vice president went further then others in the administration.
He also went further on the nuclear intelligence when he started asserting with certainty that Iraq had reconstituted its nuclear weapons program. So what happened was, that the intelligence was packaged together in a way to make it sound more ominous and more grave and more urgent than it really was. I don’t think that this was some deliberate, conscious effort to go and mislead American people, but it was part of this permanently campaign mentality that exists in
Washington too often today and it was taken from other policies, and brought into the issue of war and peace where it becomes especially problematic and especially troubling.
And that’s why I think what I get to in this book is so important for people to understand, so we that can learn from this and not make these kind of mistakes again where we’re rushing into a war that now is very clearly one that was unnecessary.
OLBERMANN: To that point, there is, I think, actual poetry in here, and I don’t mean to veinly flatter you here. But let me read something
else: “Although I didn’t realize it at the time, we launched our campaign to sell the war, what drove Bush toward military confrontation more than anything else was an ambitious and idealistic post -9/11 vision of transforming the Middle East through the spread of freedom.
This view was grounded in a philosophy of coercive democracy, a belief that Iraq was ripe for conversion from a dictatorship into a beacon of liberty through the use of force and a conviction that this could be achieved at nominal cost.”
A philosophy of coercive democracy—it’s a marvelous phrase, but is it an oxymoron? Can you have coercive democracy and sort of extrapolating from that?
MCCLELLAN: That’s a very good question.
OLBERMANN: But is that why we had—your choice of words here—“enhanced interrogation or torture at Abu Ghraib, at Gitmo,” and maybe at other places?
MCCLELLAN: In terms of—I don’t know on that. I didn’t go — don’t know the full policy details behind some of those issues, but certainly those have tarnished the reputation of the United States in a very negative way. And I think that has been harmful over the long term.
But in terms of the coercive democracy, that was—and you bring up a very good point about the oxymoron there—but that was always the strategy for going into Iraq in first place. And I think that is what really drove the president’s motivation to push ahead and rush into this.
When I think that there were probably other options—there were definitely other options available to him. He didn’t have to box himself in. But when he went to the United Nations he said, either he disarms and the U.N.—if he doesn’t, then the U.N. goes in, or the security council authorizes it, or we will do it ourselves.
OLBERMANN: All right. Let me jump ahead to where we started, I with Plame. There’s so much detail in the book and your role in it—the kind of make or break moment that it represented for you. If—you point out that day that the president confirmed that he was involved in declassifying parts of the NIE. In classifying parts of the National Intelligence Estimate, about Iraq and to use against Joe Wilson, is he, do you think, did he in essence or legally OK the leaking of Valerie Plame’s CIA identity?
MCCLELLAN: Well, that’s a question that I raise in the book. I don’t know the truth behind it. But it did set in motion the chain events that led to the leak and to Valerie Plame’s identity. I do not believe that the president was any way in—directly involved in the leaking of her identity.
But that was a very disillusioned moment when I found out—when it initially hit the press and we were I believe it was North Carolina, if I remember correctly. And the reporter shouted out to the president, is it true that you authorized the secret leaking of this previously classified information that the president does have the legal authority to walk on Air Force One?
And the president asked, what was the reporter asking. And I said, he asserted you were the one that authorized Scooter Libby leaking this information. And he said, yes, I did. And it really took me back. I could tell he didn’t want to sit there and talk about it. And I walked back to the senior staff area on Air Force One, where I usually sit, and it took a while for that to sink in.
But that was just before I left. And at that point, I had made a decision that I could no longer continue in this administration. Now, there were changes coming in soon. I talked about this and Josh Bolton was looking to make some changes too. So my time frame was moved up a little bit from what I preferred. But that was the second defining moment that really caused me a lot of dismay and disillusionment.
OLBERMANN: Did you go into this kind of detail and the kind of detail that was in the book about the outing of Plame and what you knew or what you suspected with special prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald?
MCCLELLAN: This is all consistent with I told the FBI investigators, the prosecutors — and I don’t believe Patrick Fitzgerald was at my grand jury testimony. I testified—I think it was early February of would have been 2004 and—what I knew—and all of this information is very consistent with what I told them.
But I did tell White House reporters when the revelations came out that Rove and Libby were both involved when they said they weren’t, that my hands were tied by the White House Council’s office. They said, we can’t comment on this. So it put me in a very tough situation. I had been undermined by these two fellow colleagues and senior staffers, and I told the White House reporters at that time that some day I look forward to talking about this when this is behind us.
And I think they really knew that I was expressing my sincere desire to do so. And in this book I go into great detail, every detail, about what I know.
OLBERMANN: Was that a sort of warning that this book was coming?
Did you know even that that was what you meant by that?
MCCLELLAN: I’m sorry?
OLBERMANN: When you were going to—that you look forward some day to talking about it. Did you mean the book?
MCCLELLAN: The book, no. I wasn’t thinking about it at this point.
I was still at the White House. But as I left the White House—I think you need some time to kind of step back from being in that bubble to really be able to reflect on events and try to understand and make sense of them. Because, when I went to work for the president, I had all of this great hope like a lot of people that he was going to come to Washington and change Washington, as he had governed in Texas, as bipartisan governor who had 70 percent approval.
It didn’t happen and I wanted to go back and look, why didn’t that happen? Why did things go so terribly off course from what he promised?
He assured people he was going to be a bipartisan leader, a person of honor and integrity, restore honor and integrity to the White House.
Where did things go wrong? That’s really the overall narrative in the book, but certainly the Plame episode was a defining moment for me that is a central part of the book.
OLBERMANN: That is what I found so useful at the beginning of the book was this context of why it was, not that just you all believed in this man, but why you believed in him. What it was—you just explained it—that background, from seeing him in that sort of idealized, bipartisan role in Texas which he had not recreated—or certainly—there’s a little time left in administration, but I’m not expecting some sort of great conversion, where he is going to be bipartisan president in the last few months.
p>But did you hold onto that belief to the very end? IN that famous good bye scene, were you still thinking maybe he is suddenly going to turn into what he was in Texas, maybe my faith in him will be restored?
Is that—was that the kind of rationalization that was at work there?
MCCLELLAN: Well I don’t think I held on to it until the end. When we came in, we got some bipartisan achievements accomplished on tax cuts and on education reform, education reforms that I really believed in as part of his agenda. But by the time the Iraq war started to—well, I think it’s critical that in a time of war, that you not only build bipartisan support going into it, but that you also maintain that support.
And to do that, you really have to embrace a high level of openness and forthrightness from the beginning. Because when expectations turned out to be unmet or improperly set, it came back to haunt us. And the president is not someone to willingly go and change course in terms of his thinking when it comes to, oh, we made a mistake on this front.
And so, I think that at the time I was there, I started realizing or started thinking that, well, maybe Washington can’t be changed. Maybe this is just the way it is and both parties share all the responsibility.
But no one shares more responsibility than the president of the United States to set the right tone and to change things, and no one has more of a bully pulpit to be able to do that. But it requires embracing candor and honesty to a high degree, particularly in this transparent society that we live in.
And this White House was too secretive or has been too secretive, too compartmentalized, and you know, too willing to embrace the unsavory political tactics that are at the heart of the excesses of the permanent campaign.
OLBERMANN: We’ll continue with Scott McClellan on that issue, in part the great disillusion and the great question, why wasn’t what was in this book written or spoken or shouted from the rooftops in, say, 2004?
OLBERMANN: We continue with Scott McClellan’s first primetime interview about his revelatory book, “What Happened.” First, as preface more reaction today. The former e-campaign director for President Bush’s 2004 reelection campaign, Mike Turk, e-mailed TheHuffingtonPost.com to say Scott McClellan is, quote, “getting savaged for saying what everyone knows to be true.” Adding, “People had high hopes for President Bush to bring America together after his election and after the attacks on 9/11. They felt disillusioned by the administration’s adoption of the ‘win at all costs’ partisan mentality in this town. I think the bigger point of Scott’s book comes from the lessons he learned while playing a part in the permanent campaign. It’s an exploration of how that mind-set can lead to some really bad choices.”
Unsurprisingly, Mr. Turk appears to be the only former Bush appointee sticking up for Mr. McClellan. Secretary of State Rice, while technically refusing to talk about the book itself, went on to take on its major premise, telling reporters in Sweden today, quote, “You can’t now transplant yourself into the present and say we should have known things that we in fact did not know in 2001, 2002, 2003. The record on weapons of mass destruction was one that appeared to be very clear.”
Speaking of clear, the reaction from Mr. McClellan’s former colleagues in the White House could not be more so. His former boss, Ari Fleischer, initially slightly sympathetic, saying today, quote, “Poor Scott. Scott is about to borrow some friends for 24 hours on the political left, who will throw him out as soon as they are done with them, and he’s burnt an awful lot of bridges to people who really always thought fondly and highly of him.”
As promised, Scott McClellan is back with me here in New York.
Those reactions. Have there been worse? Are you at risk? Has it been worse than just nasty words?
MCCLELLAN: Well, I think it’s to be expected. It certainly is a little surprising how personal some of the words have been, but the White House would prefer that I’m not out there talking openly and honestly about these very issues.
I felt it was very important to go back and reflect on this and openly address these issues, my time and experience at the White House and what I learned from it. So that we hopefully can move beyond these partisan excesses that have existed over the last 15 years because of the permanent campaign mentality that exists in Washington, D.C.
OLBERMANN: Have you been surprised that most of the criticism has been personal, as opposed to say, refuting facts that perhaps you got right and nobody wants to talk about that?
MCCLELLAN: I have noticed that. There are two things I would say with that. One, some of the people that are making those comments are almost trying to judge the content of the book, judge me and my motivations for writing the book, and they haven’t even read the book.
And the second, which you bring up, is that I haven’t seen people refuting specific parts within the book. Dan Bartlett earlier today, when he was doing an interview right after me or in between segments with me, said, well, we need to set the leak episode to the side. And the other day, he said, well, I’m not going to talk about the Katrina part, because that’s internal deliberations. So I did find that very interesting.
OLBERMANN: Crossing off 9/11 and Iraq, and that’s pretty much the entire presidency, is it not?
MCCLELLAN: There you go.
OLBERMANN: Everybody else has reacted to this book. Here’s your chance. You had rapped Richard Clarke when he came out just before the 2004 election for criticizing the president, and the question to him was, “why wait so long?”
Why didn’t this epiphany, this kind of public version of the epiphany, as a book, as an admission, as testimony somewhere, why did it wait until now? Why didn’t it happen in some way in, you know, 2004, 2005?
MCCLELLAN: Sure. Well, some of the—you mentioned earlier, in one of those—one of those e-mail responses, the ones at the HuffingtonPost. But I went into this very much believing that the president was somewhat committed to being a bipartisan leader and that he was going to reach across the aisle and that he was going to change the way things worked in Washington, D.C. And I had hopes that he would be able to do that.
I was deputy press secretary during the buildup to the war. Like a lot of Americans, I wasn’t certain about the rush to war, that it was the right thing to do. From a moral standpoint, I believe we should not be going to war unless it is absolutely necessary. And we now know that it was not absolutely necessary with regards to Iraq. It was not the grave and gathering danger that we portrayed it as.
But I also, like a lot of Americans, was in that post-9/11 mind-set and gave the president and his foreign policy team the benefit of the doubt. They had been widely applauded for what we had accomplished in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, in terms of going into Afghanistan and removing the Taliban, and some of the other steps that were taken.
So, you know, at that point in time, I was very much putting my trust in the president and his team, and what was being said.
As I left the White House, my last 10 months became a period of disillusionment, beginning with the Rove revelations that
he had been involved in the leak episode, and ending with the revelation that the president authorized the secret leaking of the National Intelligence Estimate, or at least parts of it. And so, I was becoming more disillusioned.
And then when I left the White House, I think I needed time to step back and take off that partisan hat and really reflect on this. I wanted to think through, why did things get so badly off track?
And I did that. I spent a good bit of time thinking about this, writing the book. The book was actually supposed to be out a little bit sooner, but I wanted to make sure I got this right and that it reflected my views very clearly, and that they were accurately reflected throughout the book.
This book does. These are very much the views that I hold today after looking back and reflecting on things and learning from it.
OLBERMANN: All right. But Karl Rove says and Dana Perino says and quotes the president as saying, oh, we never heard you express any of that stuff while you were here. Dan Abrams made a pretty good point here on his show last night: Whistle-blowers or people who are not happy in an environment and see something wrong with it, may make an internal attempt to correct things, or maybe they won’t. But they don’t usually stand there for 10 months batting their heads against the wall, saying I can make this better if I complain enough.
What would have happened to you if you had gone to somebody above you and said, “we are misleading the American public about,” you know, just fill in the blank—Iraq, Valerie Plame, even 9/11? We’re misleading—what would have happened to you and to the government?
MCCLELLAN: Well, you know, it would have been interesting. I don’t know, since that didn’t happen. But there was not a lot—well, let me step back, I guess, a little bit, because—go back through some of that period again.
Again, I continued to believe in this president as we were going into war and the immediate aftermath, and when I took over as White House press secretary. But if you go back and read one of chapters in the book, I talk about becoming White House press secretary, and I had some qualms. I delayed the announcement, because I was concerned about whether or not I could do the job the way I wanted to do it.
I was coming in, in the middle of—or as we were gearing up for an election year—and I knew that no one wanted to change the way things were being done, that they wanted to continue—that position to continue basically operating the way it had been operating, and not getting too out front of the president and not making a lot of news and so forth.
So you know, I did have those qualms, but I made the decision that this was a unique opportunity and made the decision to go forward with it.
MCCLELLAN: One, you know, I don’t know that there’s much more benefit to me going before Congress. I haven’t really thought about it. I’m glad to share my views, and I share them fully in this book.
I’m not sure exactly what he’s calling for me to talk about, but everything I know about the leak episode is in this book. So I really haven’t spent time thinking about it.
OLBERMANN: Scott McClellan also writes of, quote, “propaganda,” how he was used, how as a result you were used. When our interview continues next on COUNTDOWN.
OLBERMANN: We rejoin you with former White House press secretary, Scott McClellan. His first primetime interview after the publication of his book “What Happened.”
All right—propaganda, you write of its use in the book and you write of the supposed liberal media not really doing its job for—not being dubious enough, particularly about Iraq but let me read this.
“Trying to make the WMD and the Iraqi connection to terrorism appeared just a little more certain, a little less questionable, than they were, quietly ignoring or disregarding some of the crucial caveats in the intelligence and minimizing evident that pointed in the opposite direction, using innuendo and implication to encourage Americans to believe as fact some things that were unclear and possibly false (such as the idea that Saddam had an active nuclear weapons program) and other things that were over played or completely wrong such as implying Saddam might have had an operational relationship with al Qaeda.”
I think many in the media—liberal or otherwise, would rant and rave and say no this is not possibly true and then tell you off the record yes, we did lay back, possibly for patriotic reasons, possibly for fear. A lot of things involved. But I’m interested because there’s no real mention of this in the book, what about the supposed conservative media and obviously the symbol of that is Fox News.
What was Fox News to you and to the White House? Was it a friendly cousin, house organ, was it the choice for funneling propaganda? What was it?
MCCLELLAN: Well—there certainly are allies there that work at Fox News and there’s one story that I’ve told before, I didn’t include it in the book, but during the vice president’s hunting accident, which was another disillusioning moment for me because I was out there advocating get this news out and get it out now and of course the vice president said, no no, no, and then decided to send it to the Web site where the Corpus Christy Collar Times (ph) Web site, as opposed to getting it out widely to the national media.
OLBERMANN: I remember.
MCCLELLAN: And caused me a lot of fun at the podium for three days before the vice president decided that he was going to go out and talk about this after a little nudging from the president. And we were standing outside the Oval getting ready for a meeting and he looked at me, and he said, you already know why I picked Fox News to do this, because I want everybody else to have to cite Fox News when they do their report.
It’s just kind of the attitude of the vice president about things. We’ve seen his attitude, that kind of attitude, in other comments he’s made when doing interviews as well. Such as with Martha Radis (ph) when she asked and he responded with the, “So.”
OLBERMANN: That people don’t agree with this policy and it was, “So.”
MCCLELLAN: Right. That was his answer.
OLBERMANN: What did you know, or did you know anything, about the story that “The New York Times” reported last month, that the Pentagon had essentially these quid pro quo deals with retired generals who, while presenting themselves on many of the networks as disinterested observers, in fact were still involved in companies that still had dealings with the Pentagon. It was a very dicey situation journalistically.
Did you know about it? Did you know you had a staff of generals working for you in some respect?
MCCLELLAN: That I didn’t know about. That was pretty much left for the Pentagon to run their way.
OLBERMANN: The—this next question I know is going to come across and I can’t resist it—it’s going to come across to some degree as self aggrandizing, but relative to the media, and I’m asking this for every person who ever came up to me on the street and said, I feel like I’m going out of my mind living through this, this cannot be the America that I grew up in.
Were the critics in the media and outside the media of the president largely right?
MCCLELLAN: In terms of the Iraq war?
OLBERMANN: Specifically that, and you can go out in any direction you want. But specifically in terms of Iraq.
MCCLELLAN: Well—I think certainly in terms of Iraq there was a lot that they were right about. As I went back and reflected on this, it’s not that I’m necessarily aligned with them on some other views and things, but certainly on the buildup to the Iraqi war, we should have been listening some more to what they were saying, the American people should have been listening a little bit closer to some of what was being said.
But I, like a lot of Americans, was caught up in the moment of post 9/11 and wanting to put my faith and trust in the White House and president I was serving.
OLBERMANN: Does it cost you—and I ask this question sympathetically—does it cost you sleep when you hear about another casualty in Iraq that you would have had that much to do with that war?
MCCLELLAN: I used to walk, and I talk about this in the book, I used to walk alongside the president when he would visit the fallen. And it has a very profound effect on you. Our troops are doing an amazing job. They have succeeded; they’ve their job. And they’ve done more than they—should have been called on to do in first place. And they continue to do an amazing job.
But I have been there in the room with the president when he walked in to comfort families of the fallen or walked into—I remember vividly, and I talk about this in the book as well, when the president walked into a room at Walter Reed and you had a young mother with the boy, I think was in the 7-year-old range and his father is sitting there in a wheelchair with bandages wrapped all around his head. None of us, you couldn’t tell if he was knew what was going on around him.
It was just a powerful moment, very moving moment. The president was moved by it very much so. I could see in his eyes how moved he was by it. And I talk about that in the book. You don’t forget those moments.
OLBERMANN: But about Iraq, you had write in the book, “In the permanent campaign era it was all about manipulating sources of public opinion to the president’s advantage.”
Was this true about homeland security to your knowledge, to any degree? Because that has been a suspicion, obviously, of a lot of the president’s critics. Did the White House manipulate at any point, to any degree, the threats of terror for the president’s advantage?
MCCLELLAN: I can’t speak to that. That was more in some policy maker realm that again—in part of the compartmentalized White House. That’s not something I explore in the book because I don’t have direct knowledge of some of that.
OLBERMANN: But there is a press conference—it pertains to the White House and the threat to the nation, and they did not clue you in on it?
MCCLELLAN: Well there were certainly times when I was involved in some of the threats. I remember it was over the holiday period, maybe 2004, when there were threats—
OLBERMANN: Christmas time flights threats?
MCCLELLAN: Yes, the Christmas time flights. And I did sit in on some national security or counterterrorism meetings then and there was a real concern then. But I can’t speak to some of the other meetings that might have occurred.
OLBERMANN: One more break then we look ahead with Scott McClellan, the 64,000 person question, the White House did all this for a war in Iraq. Are they now doing all this all over again for a war in Iran?
OLBERMANN: And now we’ll conclude Scott McClellan’s first primetime interview by looking ahead. All that is in the book, as I have already described it, kind of a Rosetta Stone for the Bush administration, about Iraq, you wrote, “But today as I look back on the campaign we waged to sell the Iraq war to the American people, a campaign I participated in, though I didn’t play a major role in shaping it, I see more clearly the downside of applying modern campaign tactics to matters of grave historical import.
Reflecting on that period has helped crystallize my understanding of the permanent campaign, with its destructive excesses and how Washington, in its current state of partisan warfare, functions on mutual deception. The picture isn’t pretty.
Scott, are they doing that now about Iran?
MCCLELLAN: I certainly hope that that is not the case.
But we don’t know; I don’t know. I should say it that way. But they are still in this permanent campaign mode. They haven’t backed away from that. I can’t speak specifically to what the intent is in some of the people’s heads there. I think that our options are certainly limited with all of our commitments right now, but I hope that when people look and read this book, that they will learn some of the lessons from Iraq and that we won’t make some of the same mistakes that we’ve made elsewhere.
OLBERMANN: So knowing what you know, if Dana Perino gets up there and starts making noises that sound very similar to what you heard from the administration, from Ari Fleischer in 2002, from other actual members of the administration and the cabinet, you would be suspicious?
MCCLELLAN: I would be. I would be.
I think that you would need to take those comments very seriously and be skeptical.
OLBERMANN: Some thing in here about the campaign ahead that actually touches on the campaign in past years—from page 68 — “No campaign was more single-mindedly centered on bringing down an opponent than that of George Herbert Walker Bush. The campaign was by most objective accounts, full of distortions, misrepresentations and zero-sum politics accusing Dukakis of everything from embracing furloughs for dangerous criminals to disliking the Pledge of Allegiance,, the innuendo being that he was unpatriotic.
The Pledge of Allegiance—that sounds a little familiar. Why 20 years later is that still being used against a candidate for the president of the United States?
MCCLELLAN: I don’t know. I think that that it is how our politics has gone over that—since that was very much a turning point election. I think that George Bush, George Bush 41, George Herbert Walker Bush, is a decent individual and a man that really believes in stability. But he and his advisers around him knew that the only way that they could win was bring down his opponent and go fully negative and paint Michael Dukakis completely to the left. A guy that had painted himself—that had a record of trying to work to the center in a lot of ways. And that legacy continues to this day.
And Senator McCain says that he’s going to speak out against that and not let that happen. I think that would be good for the country if that is the case. But, there’s certainly plenty of groups on the Republican side that are going to go forward with that kind of strategy.
OLBERMANN: A truce would be nice.
I guess this is the final question, I’m going to go back to the idea of loss of bipartisan opportunity. I have always thought that the moment at which Mr. Bush missed that opportunity, the last moment where he could have seized it and said, no, this is bigger than just Republican versus D
emocrat—the day the buzz started about how he was going to fill this new position of the homeland security director. And it was—he’s thinking outside the box. And I sat there and I had this little flutter in my heart, and I thought, he’s actually going to do what Roosevelt did in the Second World War, to some degree what Lincoln did during the Civil War, he’s going to put a Democrat in the cabinet. Maybe not in charge, maybe it’s a token. Maybe it’s a couple of them.
Maybe it’s Al Gore.
Would something like that have made that bipartisan dream a reality? And was that really the point of no return for him?
MCCLELLAN: I think it would have helped certainly to have a cabinet that was more diverse in terms of party affiliation. There was only one, that was the transportation secretary, Norman Netts (ph), a good person. But I think it’s a lesson for whoever is going to be the incoming president.
That they really ought to reach out, if they want to change the way things work in Washington, and bring a number of people from the—maybe three or four key people into their administration and the cabinet would be a good place to do that to show that they are going to govern to the center and govern in a bipartisan way.
OLBERMANN: I have 30 seconds left as it turns out.
Have you decided who you’re voting for, supporting in the presidential election this year?
MCCLELLAN: I have not made a decision. I am thinking very carefully about that, but I’ve been so focused on the book that—I want to take my time and hear what the candidates have to say. I’m intrigued by what Senator Obama has been running on about changing the way Washington works.
I’ve had respect for Senator McCain, as well for the way he has worked across the aisle with Democrats.
But I’m going to take my time and think it through.
OLBERMANN: Scott McClellan, I don’t want to get too fulsome on you, I don’t think you’re going to be dining out on the book for the rest of your life, but I think this is a primary document of American history. I’m very impressed with it and I thnk at some point, people will be teaching history classes based on it.
MCCLELLAN: Well thank you very much. I appreciate it.
Thanks for having me on.
OLBERMANN: And thanks for all your time.
Scott McClellan : But the other defining moment was in early April 2006, when I learned that the President had secretly declassified the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq for the Vice President and Scooter Libby to anonymously disclose to reporters. And we had been out there talking about how seriously the President took the selective leaking of classified information. And here we were, learning that the President had authorized the very same thing we had criticized.
Viera: Did you talk to the President and say why are you doing this?
Scott McClellan: Actually, I did. I talked about the conversation we had. I walked onto Air Force One, it was right after an event we had, it was down in the south, I believe it was North Carolina. And I walk onto Air Force One and a reporter had yelled a question to the President trying to ask him a question about this revelation that had come out during the legal proceedings. The revelation was that it was the President who had authorized, or, enable Scooter Libby to go out there and talk about this information. And I told the President that that’s what the reporter was asking. He was saying that you, yourself, was the one that authorized the leaking of this information. And he said "yeah, I did." And I was kinda taken aback.- Via Emptywheel
This is a serious accusation and I do believe that the Democrats and possibly some Republicans might just turn on Bush because of this. It just depends though, most of the Republicans up on Capital Hill are Bush Loyalists and Nancy Pelosi is so scared of Bush, I highly doubt that anything will even happen.
However, it is an interesting revelation.
Other Opinions via Memeorandum
I am a Christian and this angers me, greatly….
FALLUJAH, Iraq — At the western entrance to the Iraqi city of Fallujah Tuesday, Muamar Anad handed his residence badge to the U.S. Marines guarding the city. They checked to be sure that he was a city resident, and when they were done, Anad said, a Marine slipped a coin out of his pocket and put it in his hand.
Out of fear, he accepted it, Anad said. When he was inside the city, the college student said, he looked at one side of the coin. "Where will you spend eternity?" it asked.
He flipped it over, and on the other side it read, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16."
"They are trying to convert us to Christianity," said Anad, a Sunni Muslim like most residents of this city in Anbar province. At home, he told his story, and his relatives echoed their disapproval: They’d been given the coins, too, he said. – Iraqis claim Marines are pushing Christianity in Fallujah (Via McClatchy Washington Bureau)
The reason this angers me, is because when we went to war, one of the main things that George W. Bush said, was that we would not attempt to change the Iraqi people’s culture, religion or lifestyle, and what do we have happening here? Marines trying to proselyte Muslims. As a Libertarian, a believe that using the Government’s military to push a particular Religious belief system is totally wrong, and quite frankly unconstitutional!
The Article continues:
A spokesman said the U.S. military is investigating.
"Multi-National Force-Iraq is investigating a report that U.S. military personnel in Fallujah handed-out material that is religious and evangelical in nature," the spokesman, Rear Adm. Patrick Driscoll, said in a statement e-mailed to McClatchy. "Local commanders are investigating since the military prohibits proselytizing any religion, faith or practices."
Yeah, I bet they will investigate it. I almost see it now….:
Investigator: Did you do this?
Marine: Yep! I wanted to spread the love of Jesus Christ to these ragheads.
Investigator: Good job solider.
(writes in report) "No evidence of wrongdoing"
Do you all see why this Nation is headed down the wrong path?
Do I support the troops? Yes. Do I support Conservative Religious Far Right’s mission to turn America into a Theocracy? No.
You know, I see crap like this here, and I just get inspired to remind these Neo-Conservative idiots of the truth.
and so, having said that, I present a video, that I put back on youtube, after it was removed, an answer video to the Republican B.S.:
I realize that one of the accusations in this video, is quite wrong, that the war was about oil. It was not directly. However, if one is being honest, the United would profit from this war, not only from a Oil stand point, but in contracts. At first glace, it does seem that it is wrong, but it has been admitted, that Bush wanted to promote democracy in the middle east and get a oil for food program in Iraq. But wouldn’t some of that oil end up here in the United States? I would say so.
One thing I believe that all people, conservatives and liberals alike, that this war was a mistake, not only because of the lives lost, but because of the social and political ramifications that it has caused. Not to mention that it will affect the United States economy for many years to come. Anyone who says otherwise is a Neo-Con apologist and still drinking the poisoned Kool-Aid of the George W. Bush Administration.
Now this here, does piss me the hell off, and I’ve never even served in the armed forces! Grrrrr!
Senator Barack Obama said today that he is considering visiting American troops and commanders in Iraq this summer. He declined an invitation from Senator John McCain to take a joint trip to Iraq, saying, “I just don’t want to be involved in a political stunt.”
In a brief interview here, Mr. Obama said his campaign was considering taking a foreign trip after he secures the Democratic presidential nomination. No details have been set, he said, but added: “Iraq would obviously be at the top of the list of stops.”
Mr. Obama visited Iraq in January 2006 as part of a Congressional delegation to the Middle East, but he has not returned since he became a presidential candidate. Mr. McCain and the Republican National Committee have sought to use that singular trip to highlight a lack of foreign policy experience.
For weeks, aides to Mr. Obama have been quietly discussing a foreign trip, but the long Democratic nominating fight has delayed making any concrete plans. Now, with only five months remaining until the general election, it remains unclear whether there will be time to take such a trip.
Mr. Obama suggested today that any foreign itinerary would include a stop in Iraq.
“I think that if I’m going to Iraq, then I’m there to talk to troops and talk to commanders, I’m not there to try to score political points or perform,” Mr. Obama said. “The work they’re doing there is too important.” – Obama Says He Is Considering Iraq Trip – (Via The Caucus)
You know, I do not even like Barack Obama, nor do I agree with 90% of his Politics, but I do have a bit more respect for him. Unlike John "I served in the Armed Forces and I am going to use it to score political points!" McCain, Obama has shown himself to have a bit more integrity then McCain will ever have.
Let me be absolutely clear here, This War and the service performed by the brave men who volunteered to give their lives to their Country are worth more, than to be used for a cheap political point. If John McCain uses this misguided war in Iraq, the one that was started using bad intelligence, the one that has taken the lives of 4000+ young people, all so George W. Bush could achieve his rather warped goal, as some sort of cheap political stunt or point, it will be the death knell of his Presidential Campaign. The American people, present company included, do not appreciate being exploited.
I can only imagine how the parents and families of those who have been killed in Iraq feel right now, the blood and lives of their loved ones, are now going to be used by the G.O.P for exploitation, so that a Man, who was, in all reality, a failure as a fighter pilot, can achieve his selfish dream of becoming President of the United States. It gives the world, a glimpse into the warped mind and intellect of the Republican Party. My heart grieves for them, My the Lord Jesus be with them through this hard time.
My friends, this is your poisoned Republican Party, poisoned by the Neo-Conservative mentality, that a war is political fodder, that the death and blood of our American soldiers are nothing more, than mere political points to be used, as ammo against the opposing party.
This what I have just described, is why I am voting for Chuck Baldwin, and is why I will never, ever, vote for a Republican, ever!
Others: Commentary, The Carpetbagger Report, TIME.com, FOX Embeds, Hot Air, Redstate, Gateway Pundit, GOP.com, Comments from Left Field, Atlas Shrugs, Spin Cycle, Top of the Ticket, Sister Toldjah, Needlenose, Fox News, Stop The ACLU and Wake up America
Unbelievable. I’m up early this morning and looking through the stories and what do I see. Some partisan hack story, disguised as objective journalism……..again.
Yep, that’s right, Another one. It is over Time Magazine.
It just so happens there Mr. Poniewozik, (Sounds like a polish name, great… I’m tearing into a damn pollack… wonderful… ) Keith Olbermann had a very valid point. I thought that Hillary’s comment was totally distasteful, it smacked of a desperate person trying to hold on for dear life.
Perhaps if you would open a damn history book, you would understand why this comment was totally out of line. You do not look like you are even remotely old enough to even remotely understand why Keith even "blew a gasket." Much less to even understand it’s impact.
What do you strike me as, is some smart aleck punk ass kid, who takes some sort of perverted pleasure in mocking others. That being said, Keith’s commentaries are over the top, at times, but you know what? The man gets paid. He has a iron clad, five million dollar contract with MSNBC, and how much do you make?
Stick to what you know, James. Because Politics and the historical significance of this election and the events surrounding it, you do not have a clue.
More commentary via Memeorandum
This could be bad for McCain….
A top consultant to Senator John McCain is married to a lobbyist who has worked in recent years for the Libyan regime of Muammar Khaddafi, UltimateJohnMcCain.com has learned.
She began working for the Khaddafi government at a time when it was officially designated by the U.S. State Department as a state sponsor of terrorism.
Under Khaddafi’s rule, the Libyan government supported terrorism in countries as far afield as Spain, the U.K., and the Philippines, and was responsible for the 1988 downing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in which 270 people died. The Lockerbie bombing was considered the largest terrorist attack on Americans prior to 9/11.
The McCain consultant, Mike Hudome, is one of the media advisors who took over for Mark McKinnon when McKinnon left the campaign rather than work against Obama. Mr. Hudome previously worked with McCain media advisor Michael Murphy in the 2000 primary campaign. (via McCain consultant’s wife worked for Libya’s terrorist regime (Via Ultimate John McCain))
This could be seriously bad. Especially if the Main Stream Media gets it. You know, I have always suspected that McCain was dishonest. This simply proves it.
What this will do to John McCain’s Presidential Campaign, is anyone’s guess. But it will be interesting to see if the Blogging World and the Main Stream Media bothers to cover it.
So much for the policy of kicking out the Lobbyists out of his Campaign.
You know, I will just say what the Republicans will not say, because of their loyalty to their candidate. This is the very large distinction between the Paleo-Conservatives and the Constitution Party and the New or Neo-Conservatives and Republicans. The Neo-Con’s know no integrity, if they smell money, they will go against the very fabric of the Principles of the United States of America to make a buck, even it means working for a Nation that was regarded as a Terrorist Nation.
It is a sad commentary of the present state of the Republican Party. One that makes me wretch in disgust.
Any Guitar player, of which I happily admit to being, that is worth his salt, has at one point or another, either played the infamous riff in this song or at least has tried to figure it out. I must confess, I’ve played the riff, the whole song, is another story.
Anyway, Here is one of my favorite songs by Deep Purple. Notice the funny looking people in the crowd at this show.. heh, those were the days!
By the way, if you have a good sound system with your computer, this would be good time to TURN IT UP!
I never thought in a million years that I would be defending the knuckle-headed woman. However, here I am, once again, defending someone, of whom my political beliefs are a bit similar. Michelle, being a staunch Republican and Conservative, and me a former “Left of Center” type and more of a Libertarian and very much a Constitutionalist.
In the interest of full disclosure, there are times, when I read what Michelle Malkin writes and I just roll my eyes and think to myself, “My God in Heaven, why do they let that women near a Computer?” However, there are other times, when I would like to whack her upside the head with an aluminum baseball bat, to knock some sense into her head, for some of the things that she has written. But then again, there has been quite a few times, that I would loved to kiss her soundly on the lips and give a nice squeeze on the butt, for some of the good stuff that she has written as well.
Deadly violence and sexual fantasies aside, when I see stuff like this piece in the Boston Globe, I find myself in a position of saying, “Hey, wait a minute here!”
What strikes me about this article is the glaring bias, could it be any clearer that this was written by some idiotic liberal who has a axe to grind with the Conservatives?
I mean, yes, when I read the article on Malkin’s Blog I just laughed and thought, “Well, maybe it is a slow news day, and she is looking for content.” It happens, I as a Blogger have the problem, some days, there just is not much write about in Politics. This is especially painfully true with the Democrats. I mean, can we just chose the candidate and move on please?
Nevertheless, what bothered me about this piece was this little quote here:
Some observers, including ultra-conservative Fox News commentator Michelle Malkin, were so incensed by the ad that there was even talk of a Dunkin’ Donuts boycott.
‘‘The keffiyeh, for the clueless, is the traditional scarf of Arab men that has come to symbolize murderous Palestinian jihad,’’ Malkin yowls in her syndicated column.
‘‘Popularized by Yasser Arafat and a regular adornment of Muslim terrorists appearing in beheading and hostage-taking videos, the apparel has been mainstreamed by both ignorant and not-so-ignorant fashion designers, celebrities, and left-wing icons.’’
The company at first pooh-poohed the complaints, claiming the black-and-white wrap was not a keffiyeh. But the right-wing drumbeat on the blogosphere continued and by yesterday, Dunkin’ Donuts decided it’d be easier just to yank the ad.
Said the suits in a statement: ‘‘In a recent online ad, Rachael Ray is wearing a black-and-white silk scarf with a paisley design. It was selected by her stylist for the advertising shoot. Absolutely no symbolism was intended. However, given the possibility of misperception, we are no longer using the commercial.’
Yowls? I mean, can you get any more biased than to reduce a woman of great writing skills and awesome Conservative values to a word like “yowls?” This is, by the way, an underhanded way of basically calling Michelle Malkin a crybaby.
I mean, I can understand the idea that some people find Michelle Malkin’s writing a bit screechy at times, but to basically slam her for her Conservative values in a article and disguise it as objective journalism is just pathetic. As far as I am concerned the editors at the Boston Globe owes Michelle Malkin and people like me, who share her values a big apology, and should terminate the employment of the writer who produced this story.
This is not good.
Iraq’s main Sunni Arab political bloc said on Wednesday it had suspended talks to rejoin the Shi’ite-led government after a disagreement with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki over a cabinet post.
Persuading the bloc to rejoin has been a main aim of U.S. policy in Iraq and is widely seen as a vital step in reconciling the country’s factions after years of conflict. Sunni Arabs have little voice in a cabinet dominated by Shi’ites and Kurds.
The breakdown in talks could undermine Washington’s efforts to prod Sunni Arab states to offer more support to Iraq’s government at a conference in Sweden this week as a way of countering Shi’ite Iran’s growing influence in Iraq.
"We have suspended negotiations with the government and pulled out our candidates," said Salim al-Jibouri, spokesman for the Accordance Front. He said the decision was taken after Maliki objected to a candidate for a cabinet position.
The Accordance Front pulled out of Maliki’s national unity government in August, demanding the release of mainly Sunni Arab detainees in Iraq’s jails and calling for a greater say in security matters.
Jibouri said the Accordance Front drew up a list of candidates for six cabinet posts to hand to the government but Maliki rejected the nomination for the Planning Ministry. (Via Reuters)
While the United States is making good gains militarily in Iraq, the political end of it is, quite frankly, going lousy. As it says above the new Iraq Government cannot agree on who to have in what office. Of course the Neo-Conservatives will gloss over this and say, "Oh, This does not really matter, what matter is, that we’re winning the war!" The problem with the whole idiotic mentality is, there are two fronts to this occupation of Iraq. Defeat the "Terrorists" and establish a new Government in Iraq. The first part is working well, so far, the second one, is not working well at all, as this article shows.
But as Grampy "Bedtime story" McSame says, "We will never surrender in Iraq!"
You can’t surrender a land that was never yours in the first place, Grandpa.
Shocking Yes. Surprising? Not hardly.
Among the most explosive revelations in the 341-page book, titled “What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception” (Public Affairs, $27.95):
• McClellan charges that Bush relied on “propaganda” to sell the war.
• He says the White House press corps was too easy on the administration during the run-up to the war.
• He admits that some of his own assertions from the briefing room podium turned out to be “badly misguided.”
• The longtime Bush loyalist also suggests that two top aides held a secret West Wing meeting to get their story straight about the CIA leak case at a time when federal prosecutors were after them — and McClellan was continuing to defend them despite mounting evidence they had not given him all the facts.
• McClellan asserts that the aides — Karl Rove, the president’s senior adviser, and I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the vice president’s chief of staff — “had at best misled” him about their role in the disclosure of former CIA operative Valerie Plame’s identity. - McClellan whacks Bush, White House (Via Politico.com)
Other Interesting tibits:
Among other notable passages:
• Steve Hadley, then the deputy national security adviser, said about the erroneous assertion about Saddam Hussein seeking uranium, included in the State of the Union address of 2003: “Signing off on these facts is my responsibility. … And in this case, I blew it. I think the only solution is for me to resign.” The offer “was rejected almost out of hand by others present,” McClellan writes.
• Bush was “clearly irritated, … steamed,” when McClellan informed him that chief economic adviser Larry Lindsey had told The Wall Street Journal that a possible war in Iraq could cost from $100 billion to $200 billion: “‘It’s unacceptable,’ Bush continued, his voice rising. ‘He shouldn’t be talking about that.’”
• “As press secretary, I spent countless hours defending the administration from the podium in the White House briefing room. Although the things I said then were sincere, I have since come to realize that some of them were badly misguided.”
• “History appears poised to confirm what most Americans today have decided: that the decision to invade Iraq was a serious strategic blunder. No one, including me, can know with absolute certainty how the war will be viewed decades from now when we can more fully understand its impact. What I do know is that war should only be waged when necessary, and the Iraq war was not necessary.”
• McClellan describes his preparation for briefing reporters during the Plame frenzy: “I could feel the adrenaline flowing as I gave the go-ahead for Josh Deckard, one of my hard-working, underpaid press office staff, … to give the two-minute warning so the networks could prepare to switch to live coverage the moment I stepped into the briefing room.”
• “‘Matrix’ was the code name the Secret Service used for the White House press secretary."
Unlike Jack Moss, who totally trashed Scott and his book, and even goes as far to say that Scott is lying about Bush in his book. I will say this, it is a good chance that Scott is actually telling the truth about Bush in his book. I think Jack Moss thinks that unless someone is praising Bush and saying he is 100 percent right and Iraq was a great idea, and Katrina was not his fault, they’re lying in their books. In other words, if they do not toe the party line, (of B.S.) they are just lying liberals out to discredit Bush. You see how screwed up the mind set is of the Bush apologists and Neo Conservatives?
The truth is, this book is most likely going to be one of the more stunning books, seeing that it is from an insider, someone who was in his inner circle. I personally would like to get a copy of it.
You can pre-order yours at:
Like I said in the title of this post, this is only the tip of the iceberg. I believe that torrent, a flood, if you will, of books will come out, after Bush leaves office, by former staffers, and friends of his, some glowing and some will be glaring. Bush might lose some friends over it too. You cannot stifle truth and it will prevail in the end. It shall be interesting, to say the least.
Update: The White House responds:
The White House is panning a new book by former presidential spokesman Scott McClellan.
"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," Dana Perino, one of his successors at the podium, says in a statement to reporters.
"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," she says.
More Opinions @ Memeorandum
This is about as close as I’ve seen the Neo-Conservatives saying, "We screwed up".
In the fall of 2003, a few months after Saddam Hussein’s overthrow, U.S. officials began to despair of finding stockpiles of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. The resulting embarrassment caused a radical shift in administration rhetoric about the war in Iraq.
President Bush no longer stressed Saddam’s record or the threats from the Baathist regime as reasons for going to war. Rather, from that point forward, he focused almost exclusively on the larger aim of promoting democracy. This new focus compounded the damage to the president’s credibility that had already been caused by the CIA’s errors on Iraqi WMD. The president was seen as distancing himself from the actual case he had made for removing the Iraqi regime from power. "How Bush Sold the War" (via WSJ.com)
The problem was, they never found the WMD’s. They actually admit that, in this piece.
Feith goes on:
But the most damaging effect of this communications strategy was that it changed the definition of success. Before the war, administration officials said that success would mean an Iraq that no longer threatened important U.S. interests – that did not support terrorism, aspire to WMD, threaten its neighbors, or conduct mass murder. But from the fall of 2003 on, the president defined success as stable democracy in Iraq.
This was a public affairs decision that has had enormous strategic consequences for American support for the war. The new formula fails to connect the Iraq war directly to U.S. interests. It causes many Americans to question why we should be investing so much blood and treasure for Iraqis. And many Americans doubt that the new aim is realistic – that stable democracy can be achieved in Iraq in the foreseeable future.
To fight a long war, the president has to ensure he can preserve public and congressional support for the effort. It is not an overstatement to say that the president’s shift in rhetoric nearly cost the U.S. the war. Victory or defeat can hinge on the president’s words as much as on the military plans of his generals or the actions of their troops on the ground.
The sad part about all this is, The Neo-Conservatives have so badly damaged the Conservative movement, that it will take years, if not decades to fix the damage done. All because of a single piece of flawed CIA intelligence. All because Bush, in his blind arrogance, did not follow the simple Russian proverb, "Trust, but verify." There is even talk, among some circles that Bush even went as far to attempt to smear or destroy those who dared to challenge him. Valerie Plame is a good example of this. Although, there are those who dispute her story with varying degrees of vibrato.
Others: via Memeorandum
Seems the Obamassiah can’t even tell a straight story.
How many Duh-bamas are we going to get out of Barack’s Memorial Day appearances? Here’s the latest:
Obama also spoke about his uncle, who was part of the American brigade that helped to liberate Auschwitz. He said the family legend is that, upon returning from war, his uncle spent six months in an attic.
No, that didn’t happen. Auschwitz is in Poland. It’s on the opposite side of Germany from the American Army. Obama’s uncle might have gone there at some point, but not in an official capacity and certainly not as a liberator.
Man, He is something, isn’t he? Just another idiot empty suit. Promises hope and change, all the while robbing them blind.
It is going to be an interesting election year.
This is very interesting….
via Alexander Brunk:
As of Saturday, Bob Barr is now the official Libertarian party nominee for President of the United States. Some conservatives, dissatisfied with John McCain as the GOP’s standard bearer, seem to think that here is a candidate ripe to receive the protest votes of thousands of movement conservatives dissatisfied with the direction that McCain is taking our party.
I wasn’t shocked that the libertarian party picked Barr – they are desperate for a candidate who more than a tiny fraction of the country has actually heard of. He’s a compelling speaker and will gain publicity for the party. But I’m surprised at how willing they are to ignore much of Barr’s history in doing so.
Certainly, it seems ironic that the man who was once congress’s greatest champion of the “War on Drugs” is now the leader of a fringe party devoted to opposing it. A man who rails against overspending in Washington himself voted for No Child Left Behind, which libertarians hate. A man who was one of the main movers and shakers in the impeachment trial of President Clinton, which most libertarians opposed. A man who voted for the Patriot Act, but has now spent the last five years speaking out against it.
The bottom line is that when he was in congress, Barr was a loyal Republican footsoldier, not a movement conservative or libertarian who just happened to have an R next to his name.
His criticism of big government Republicanism, and then his movement toward the libertarian party and his rejection of Republicans altogether only occurred after Republicans rejected him – tossing him out of his congressional district in a 2002 primary, and failing to support an attempted return to congress the following year.
When Bob Barr was in congress, when he had the opportunity to stand up for the principles he now claims to champion, he didn’t. He is not the principled leader he claims to be. And conservatives and libertarians alike looking to cast a protest vote should look past him.
You know I kind of had a feeling that this was true. I just was not sure. It is what I suspected. I noticed that during the voting process at the Libertarian convention, that were were a few who spoke out against Bob Barr. Now I see why.