Tuesday, June 03, 2008

McClellan's walk from the dark side

It's kind of nice to see someone walk away from the dark side. Whether Scott McClellan is "disgruntled about his experience at the White House" as Dana Perino, spokesmodel for the White House says, or whether he finally saw that loyalty only works one way for George Bush and his cronies, we can't say. Scott McClellan still has to get up every morning and face himself in the mirror. Who he sees is who he has to live with for the rest of his life. If there is any karma, the devil is still staring back at him.

I'm not sure we will ever know why McClellan wrote the book, was it an attempt to wash the blood off his hands or a "desire to understand the truth" as he explains it? Regardless of what he writes in his book, his role at the White House and his participation in perpetuating the campaign to go to war and continue it will never allow his hands to be clean of the blood of casualties related to the Iraq war.

McClellan is no different than Colin Powell, George Tenet, Paul Bremer and any others who now proclaim that they were lied to, or whatever 20-20 hindsight explanation they have for not speaking out until that book advance was waved in front of them. Their complicity is sickening and their much delayed "truth" can never bring back any of the military or civilians who so grievously suffer with the silence. These men who purport themselves as truthtellers, delayed as it may be, are no less war profiteers than KBR, Halliburton, CACI and any others who are making a buck off the backs of the military. Why they did not stand up when they knew the truth is a question they alone can answer. Their special place in hell is waiting for them.

The shock and offense from Bush's inner circle might be amusing if the subject wasn't so serious.
Based on those severe & sanctimonious reactions from the White House and those in the Bush inner circle, I wonder how many books will be purchased by those who still support the President? Those 19% seem forever committed to this president and his spin. For those of us who have been against the war, isn't the book a bit of preaching to the choir?

Karl Rove accused Scott McClellan of sounding like a left wing blogger. I had to laugh, but what's wrong with that? Rove makes being a left wing blogger sound like it's a bad thing, but I think McClellan is finally in good company with the truth.

The unwritten code for White House press secretaries has been that they should keep their mouths shut regardless of what they know and when they knew it. "I guess that last vestige of decency is gone," said Ari Fleischer, who was Bush's first press secretary. Ahh, decency. Decency seems misplaced when applied to describe an administration that is clearly incapable of anything close to decency. Wouldn't it have been the decent thing to do to be forthright with the military and the country about the reasons to invade Iraq? Wouldn't it be the decent thing for the president to meet with ALL Gold Star families, regardless of their politics?

Fleischer said it would have been more "honorable" if McClellan had stepped down, for instance, after the incident involving the leaking of CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity to the news media. The words "decency" and "honorable" should never pass through the lips of Ari Fleischer. If he is demanding those traits of McClelland, why not also demand the same of members of this administration and himself?

McCllellan offers a story of Bush being affected at a meeting with the family of an injured troop.

...recounts Bush's unwillingness or inability to come up with a mistake he had made when asked by a reporter to do so.

"It became symbolic of a leader unable to acknowledge that he got it wrong, and unwilling to grow in office by learning from his mistake — too stubborn to change and grow," McClellan concluded.

A page later, he recounts what he perceived as a moment of doubt by a president who never expresses any. It occurred in a dimly lit room at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, a room where an injured Texas veteran was being watched over by his wife and 7-year-old son as Bush arrived.

The vet's head was bandaged and "he was clearly not aware of his surroundings, the brain injury was severe," McClellan recalled. Bush hugged the wife, told the boy his dad was brave and kissed the injured vet's head while whispering 'God bless you' into his ear.

"Then he turned and walked toward the door," McClellan wrote. "Looking straight ahead, he moved his right hand to wipe away a tear. In that moment, I could see the doubt in his eyes and the vivid realization of the irrevocable consequences of his decision."

But, he added, such moments are more than counterbalanced by deceased warriors' families who urge him to make sure the deaths were not in vain.

If Bush ever met with deceased warrior's families who do not support his war turned occupation, he would know that we would urge him to make sure no other deaths occur in our loved ones names. Additional deaths do not honor our loved ones. McClellan should know that now.

As much as Scott McClellan has opened his kimono and showed us much of what he experienced in the White House, I question his loyalties when he says he retains great admiration and respect for Bush. But, how? "Great Admiration & respect" for a man he admitted took this country into a war that was unnecessary. "Great Admiration & respect" for a man who has decimated the constitution and our personal freedoms? McClellan can't have it both ways, the terms "great admiration" and "respect" are wasted on people like George Bush.

McClellan offers no apology, merely an explanation of "what happened". What are the Gold Star Families, vets & their families, Joe Wilson, Valerie Plame, the residents of the Gulf States, and so many others who were betrayed by this administration supposed to do with the information included in this book? How are we supposed to process McClellan's confession of spin, stonewalling, hedging, evasion, denial, noncommunication and deceit by omission,'. We can't, plain and simple. McClellan's book was published too late for us, but if it prevents this kind of president or presidency ever again, that is one thing we can process.

1 comment:

TJ said...

As if this administration would know what a vestige of decency even looked like? And who says McClellan had one to begin with. I don't think that was a desirable trait that Rove and Cheney were looking for as part of the WH staff.
I don't know what McClellan's motivation was for the book (besides the $$$, which he knew would make a lot). Maybe, as you say, he wanted to wash the blood off of his hands. Perhaps it was part conscience. I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that he suspects that somewhere down the line, this administration is going to be held accountable for at least some of the really bad things they have done, and he wants to come clean before the going gets tough.