Wednesday, May 28, 2008


By Ivan G. Goldman

Prince George's former press secretary Scott McClellan, who now proclaims himself a truth-teller in his soon-to-be-released, tell-all book, ought to have his head placed in one of those eighteenth-century stocks so passers-by could throw apples at it.
"Bush is plenty smart enough to be president.” McClellan wrote in What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception, according to the Washington Post. McClellan, in his capacity as White House press secretary, was supposed to be a word wizard. The fact that he defends a man’s intelligence with an ungrammatical splotch of junk English that closely resembles the way his boss murders syntax, language, and reason tells us just how reliable his judgment is in such matters.

But McClellan also writes that the Iraq war didn’t need to be fought and that the administration used propaganda rather than facts to justify it, and of course that's what the general news media are jumping on, thereby giving McClellan a jump in sales. In his media marketing blitz, McClellan, unused to dabbling in the truth, often contradicts himself within a single sentence, telling us Prince George is an honorable and intelligent leader served by honorable and intelligent people and that all of them routinely lied and deceived to get what they wanted.

Now here’s the problem: wasn’t he obliged to share this hugely important inside information about the war with his employer the American public before the tanks went in? Now, more than five years later, after several hundred thousand people are dead, millions are terribly wounded, homeless, and in exile, McClellan cashes in with a multi-million-dollar book deal to reveal what he knows.

Somebody pass me an apple, a really rotten one.

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