Investigation. Education. Accountability. Reform.

New Book by Scott McClellan Leads to Congressional Call for Probe

UPDATE: Scott McClellan in Upcoming Book Ties Bush to CIA Leak Case — Dodd
Calls for Probe

By E&P Staff
Published: November 20, 2007 12:40 AM ET updated Wednesday

NEW YORK To no one’s surprise in a world where top White House aides with any
president eventually write a book about it, former Press Secretary Scott McClellan
will be coming out with his volume in April. It’s called “What Happened”
and its publisher, Public Affairs, at its Web site now carries this brief excerpt
— which set off a media firestorm on Tuesday.

It also led to a call for a full probe by a top U.S. senator and condemnation
from former CIA agent Valerie Plame.

E&P was first mainstream news outlet to report on Monday night that the
McClellan excerpt reads:

“The most powerful leader in the world had called upon me to speak on
his behalf and help restore credibility he lost amid the failure to find weapons
of mass destruction in Iraq. So I stood at the White house briefing room podium
in front of the glare of the klieg lights for the better part of two weeks and
publicly exonerated two of the senior-most aides in the White House: Karl Rove
and Scooter Libby.
“There was one problem. It was not true.
“I had unknowingly passed along false information. And five of the highest
ranking officials in the administration “were involved in my doing so:
Rove, Libby, the vice President, the President’s chief of staff, and the president

AP reported this afternoon: “White House press secretary Dana Perino said
it wasn’t clear what McClellan meant in the excerpt and she had no immediate
comment. McClellan turned down interview requests Tuesday.”

Later Tuesday, Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Ct.) , who is running for president, stated,
“Today’s revelations by Mr. McClellan are very disturbing and raise several
important questions that need to be answered. If in fact the President of the
United of States knowingly instructed his chief spokesman to mislead the American
people, there can be no more fundamental betrayal of the public trust.

“During his confirmation process, Attorney General Mukasey said he would
act independently. Accordingly, today, I call on the Attorney General to live
up to his word and launch an immediate investigation to determine the facts
of this case, the extent of any cover up and determine what the President knew
and when he knew it.”

Even later Friday, Valerie Plame released the following statement from her
new home in Santa Fe, N.M.: “I am outraged to learn that former White House
Press Secretary Scott McClellan confirms that he was sent out to lie to the
press corps and the American public about two senior White House officials,
Karl Rove and I. Lewis ‘Scooter’ Libby who deliberately and recklessly revealed
my identity as a covert CIA operations officer. Even more shocking, McClellan
confirms that not only Karl Rove and Scooter Libby told him to lie but Vice
President Cheney, Presidential Chief of Staff Andrew Card, and President Bush
also ordered McClellan to issue his misleading statement. Unfortunately, President
Bush’s commutation of Scooter Libby’s felony sentence has short-circuited justice.

“Vice President Cheney in particular knew that Scooter Libby was involved
because he had ordered and directed his actions. McClellan’s revelations provide
important support for our civil suit against those who violated our national
security and maliciously destroyed my career.”

At The Lede blog at The New York Times, Mike Nizza responded earlier: “How
exactly was the president involved? Did he take part in a cover-up? Will the
next few sentences in the book explain the role of each official? Well, until
more of the 400-page book is released, we are left with only a tantalizing bit
of fodder for close watchers of the C.I.A.-leak story line to chew on. If Mr.
McClellan is the first senior administration official to implicate President
Bush in the scandal, we’ll definitely know by April 2008, when the memoir is due to hit store shelves. But something tells The Lede that this won’t be the last little taste of the book that the publisher will, um, leak to the press.”

In its promotional material posted at Amazon.com and elsewhere, the publisher describes the book like this: “In this refreshingly clear-eyed book, written with no agenda other than to record his experiences and insights for the benefit of history, McClellan provides unique perspective on what happened and why it happened the way it did, including the Iraq war, Hurricane Katrina, Washington’s bitter partisanship, and two hotly-contested presidential campaigns. He gives readers a candid look into who George W. Bush is and what he believes, and into the personalities, strengths, and liabilities of his top aides.

“Finally, McClellan looks to the future, exploring the lessons this presidency offers the American people as we prepare to elect a new leader.”
For a look at what’s happened in the two years since Rep. John Murtha’s call for disengagement in Iraq (for starters, 1,800 more American deaths):

John Murtha
E&P Staff (gmitchell@editorandpublisher.com)

Source URL: http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003675070

Book Details:
ISBN 978-1-58648-556-6
Pub date: 04/21/08
Price: $27.95/33.50 Canada
61/8 x 9¼
400 pages