Note to Scott McClellan and Colin Powell: It’s too damned late. You both missed the boat.

May 28, 2008 | By | 10 Replies More

Scott McClellan was the White House Press Secretary from 2003-2006. He has now published a new book, What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception, a book indicating that the Bush Administration was filled with corrupt and dishonest sons of bitches.

Nice try, Scott, but it’s all too late. I know that your friends and relatives have kept asking you why you did what you did, working so hard to put up a pretty facade on such an dishonorable operation. In fact, people you respect have been thinking that there was a certain stench about you and your efforts to promote a military action that killed thousands of Americans. You didn’t like this criticism at all, so you thought that you could cure this problem with a self-serving book published several years after the fact.

Sorry, pal. You could have helped your cause back when you had control of the podium in the White House Press Room. You could have proudly stood up there and said something like this:

Ladies and gentlemen: This will be my last day on the job. I can no longer work for such crooks, liars and thieves. George W. Bush has misled you on Iraq and hundred of other things. If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. Therefore, I hereby resign, and I will join the feckless mainstream media to try to somehow remedy some of the damage that I’ve been causing by serving as Spokesperson for the Bush Administration.

But no, you didn’t have the balls to do what needed to be done when it needed to be done. Scott, the horse is way out of the barn. It’s too late for you to be a hero. You are merely another one of the rats jumping off the sinking ship. That’s how history will remember you. Your official words had consequences, Scott. You weren’t merely serving as a spokesperson. You were up there perpetuating lies. And back then you didn’t give a damn that they were lies. That’s the bottom line.

And while I’m having fantasies about what prominent Bushies should have done, what about Colin Powell addressing the U.N. during the run-up to the Iraq invasion? Remember him telling the U.N. that the U.S. needed to invade Iraq? Remember the no-miss satellite evidence that turned out to be absolutely worthless? Powell’s been going around these days telling people that he was trying to stop the invasion. For example, see this 2007 statement by Powell:

And so, could I have stopped it by quitting? I assure you that would not have done it. And to quit while it was underway was not my way of doing business in serving in the administration.

[Read especially pp. 26-28 if you want to see Powell at his delusional best].

But just imaging what might have happened had Powell told the U.N. something like this:

George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney have asked me to tell you that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction. For me to say that, however, would be a lie. I can no longer be part of such a corrupt and destructive enterprise. Instead of standing up here and lying to you, I’m going to take this opportunity to resign from the Bush Administration. I’m going to start a new career advocating for more open and honest forms of government.

Colin, if you wanted to have stopped the invasion, giving a speech promoting the invasion wasn’t going to accomplish anything. Do you really not understand this?

Scott an Colin are both claiming that there was nothing that they could do to stop the carnage, stop the insanity. Isn’t it amazing that two highly educated men who were allowed to stand up to a microphone on the world’s stage are claiming that there is nothing they could have done. The sad truth is that they would rather keep their paychecks coming than speak a few words of truth into a microphone. They could have been heroes, but they both blew it. The books and the protest of innocence don’t cure their great crimes.

Scott, maybe you could call Colin and form a little club of guys who missed the boat but who want to pretend that they are nonetheless good guys.

Good luck with those book signings, Scott. I hope you make a lot of money. Maybe you could donate it to the families of some of those dead soldiers.


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About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Erich Vieth says:

    Here's more on McClellan's new book, from MSNBC:

    Now, two years after leaving the White House and eager to make money on his book, McClellan concludes Bush turned away from candor and honesty and misled the country about the reasons for going to war.

    It wasn't about Saddam Hussein's supposed weapons of mass destruction, McClellan writes. It was Bush's fervor to transform the Middle East through the spread of democracy. "The Iraq war was not necessary," writes McClellan, who never hinted at any doubts or questioned his talking points when he was press secretary.

    McClellan writes that Bush and his team sold the Iraq war by means of a "political propaganda campaign" in which contradictory evidence was ignored or discarded, caveats or qualifications to arguments were downplayed or dropped and "a dubious al-Qaida connection to Iraq was played up."

    "We were more focused on creating a sense of gravity and urgency about the threat from Saddam Hussein than governing on the basis of the truths of the situation," McClellan wrote.

    You'll find the full article here.

  2. Arif Ali says:

    Thanks for this response to Scott McClellan – will any of his interviewers bring up these points? What unspoken emotion will McClellan feel when he speaks publicly about his book: will he feel like a hero or a loser? Or neither? Maybe as you imply, it's just part of his financial plan.

  3. Sharon says:

    I soooo agree with what you have said. Matter of fact, I just finished saying so in a propeller blog. I have zero sympathy for McClellan. He should've spoken up a long tme ago. Same for Powell. They stay; they played; they got paid! It's too little, too late!

  4. Erich Vieth says:

    McClellan is making the rounds these days, saying a lot of interesting things, including the possibility that he might vote for Obama.

  5. Erich Vieth says:

    While he was Press Secretary, here's what Scott McClellan said about others who criticized the Iraq invasion or criticized President Bush.

  6. Erich Vieth says:

    Here's old Scott talking about new Scott:

    It's sad. It's just sad. In all my years of public service, I am one of the finest people I have ever had the privilege to know and work with. I cannot imagine why I have chosen this moment to turn against everything I have always stood for—lies, deception, secrets, double talk—unless it was for a six-figure book advance.

    And another thing: If I did not support the policies that I advocated—important policies, vital to my entire philosophy of government, such as making things up and challenging the patriotism of opponents—why didn't I say something at the time? As I used to tell me, my door was always open to myself. But as far as I know, I never uttered a peep of complaint or disagreement. And I ask you: Who would know if I didn't?

    The full post is called, "I hardly know me anymore."

  7. Erika Price says:

    Is it too little too late? Is it a change of heart? Is it better than nothing? Is it money-grubbing hypocrisy? I don't know, and I feel pretty excruciatingly ambivalent about the likes of McClellan and Powell. Does an after-the-fact tell-all absolve McClellan of guilt-by-association? I don't think so. But perhaps it is a step in the right direction…or a leap in the direction of a bandwagon.

  8. Erich Vieth says:

    Colin Powell has done a lot of soul-searching about the Republican Party. Today he endorsed Barack Obama.

  9. Scott McClellan, Robert McNamara. Hmmmm.

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