Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 2, 2008 / 28 Iyar 5768

Now he's apologizing?

By Clarence Page


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Here's what President Bush's press secretary had to say about the latest former administration official to write a book that is sharply critical of the Bush White House:


"Ask yourself why, one and a half years later, after he left the administration, he's all of a sudden, coming forward with these grave concerns?" the press secretary said. "If he had such grave concerns, why didn't he come out with them sooner?"


No, that was not Bush's current press secretary, Dana Perino, talking about former press secretary Scott McClellan's new tell-all book, "What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception."


No, the press secretary quoted above is McClellan in a March 2004 news conference. He was responding to another book, "Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror," by Richard A. Clarke, the former White House counterterrorism adviser.


History repeats itself in ironic ways in Washington. Clarke's book charged that the Bush administration failed to take timely action against Al Qaeda before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. It criticizes the war in Iraq as a hindrance and distraction from the real war against terror. It sounds, in short, a lot like McClellan's book.


And McClellan's reaction to Clarke's book sounded a lot like Perino's recent reaction to McClellan's work.


"Scott, we now know, is disgruntled about his experience at the White House," said Perino, oozing sympathy as one would for an addled uncle locked in the attic.


"Disgruntled?" When, one might wonder did that happen? Keep wondering. The crafty press secretary avoids addressing specifics. The press secretaries, spin doctors, power trippers and snow jobbers in the Bush administration's communications wing essentially have two jobs: One is to make sure that the media do not receive straight answers to questions. The other is to discredit critics of the administration.


That's why Karl Rove, Bush's former chief political adviser, thought he was actually insulting McClellan when the political guru said the president's mouthpiece "sounds like a left-wing blogger." In Rove's mind, that's tantamount to a member of the church choir running off with a heathen.


"This doesn't sound like Scott. It really doesn't," said Rove.


No, I'm sure it doesn't. The old Scott had learned to stand up, keep the secrets and spread the bull jive as well as the rest of the gang. The old Scott was the administration's media face from mid-2003 to early 2006. He often appeared to be in over his head.


Yet, as the Iraq war turned more sour and the questions came raining in with new ferocity, he stood dutifully like a captain who would not budge from the deck of his sinking ship.


On C-SPAN, after watching a tape of himself attacking Clarke, the new McClellan described his old self as "caught up in the bubble" of "the permanent campaign" where "you lose perspective" and strategy becomes more important than uncomfortable facts or accountability to the public.


Those are the major themes in his book. It also describes how Bush and his senior aides abandoned "candor and honesty" to wage a "political propaganda campaign" that led the nation into an "unnecessary war." And he writes that Lewis "Scooter" Libby and Rove "had at best misled" him about their roles in the leak that disclosed the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson. McClellan also admits that he presented information to the White House press corps that was "badly misguided."


After these and other revelations in the book were reported, McClellan happened to run into Clarke at a New York hotel and, according to both parties, McClellan apologized for his earlier denunciations of Clarke's book. Clarke accepted his apology. That's good for starters. But McClellan has a lot more people to whom he should say "I'm sorry."


"Where's the apology?" asks David Corn, Washington bureau chief for Mother Jones magazine. Corn first broke the significance of Plame's outing, among other administration deceptions. Corn took a lot of criticism from the right, as every other journalist who questioned the Bush propaganda line.


Now Corn writes in his blog that if McClellan were "truly contrite about his involvement in a deceptive, propaganda-wielding administration," he would show it by pledging his book's profits to "charities that support the families of American soldiers killed or injured in Iraq." That's good advice-and it comes from a left-wing blogger.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on Clarence Page's column by clicking here.

Archives

© 2007, TMS

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles