Scott McClellan, George W Bush’s forrmer press secretary, has just released a book which is quite damning of Bush and the White House. This is not some minor official, but the public face of the Administration for many years.
McClellan says Bush’s main reason for war always was “an ambitious and idealistic post-9/11 vision of transforming the Middle East through the spread of freedom.” But Bush and his advisers made “a marketing choice” to downplay this rationale in favor of one focused on increasingly trumped-up portrayals of the threat posed by the weapons of mass destruction.
During the “political propaganda campaign to sell the war to the American people,” Bush and his team tried to make the “WMD threat and the Iraqi connection to terrorism appear just a little more certain, a little less questionable than they were.” Something else was downplayed as well, McClellan says: any discussion of “the possible unpleasant consequences of war – casualties, economic effects, geopolitical risks, diplomatic repercussions.”
This is an honest and useful analysis of where Bush went wrong. It isn’t the moronic “Bush lied” meme,
but shows that they over-hyped the WMDs as a political strategy.
It will be an interesting book to read.