Friday 23 November 2007

Bush press man: we lied, and lied, and lied

Well, we all know they are lying bastards but now one of them is breaking ranks and admitting to being a lying bastard. I wonder how long it will be before he gets into a plane that accidentally falls out of the sky?

Former White House spokesman Scott McClellan (right) is ready to blow the lid off the Bush administration with an astonishing admission that not only did he lie for his masters, but was told to do so by President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Bush chief of staff Andrew Card, chief political adviser Karl Rove and Cheney's chief of staff Scooter Libby. That's a potential Royal Flush in terms of Washington scandal.

The allegation comes in an extract from a memoir McClellan is writing for the publisher PublicAffairs, and posted as a teaser on the publisher's website yesterday. "I had unknowingly passed along false information," McClellan writes. "And five of the highest-ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so."

At issue was the White House role in illegally exposing the identity of a clandestine CIA officer, Valerie Plame. Libby was sentenced to 30 months in jail after being found guilty of lying and obstruction of justice. The core of the scandal was about who in the White House gave Plame's identity to the right-wing columnist Robert Novak, a move which was part of the Bush campaign to convince Americans that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

For months, McClellan did his job by denying all. In one press briefing in 2003, he deflected allegations over the roles of Rove and Libby by telling reporters: "They're good individuals, they're important members of our White House team, and that's why I spoke with them, so that I could come to you and tell you that they were not involved."

Now he writes: "There was one problem. It was not true." Frustratingly the book, What Happened, is not due out until next April. No details have been released on what McClellan will reveal of who knew what when as the White House smear campaign against Plame unfolded. The response from the White House yesterday was predictable. McClellan's latest poker-faced replacement, Dana Perino told reporters: "The president has not and would not ask his spokespeople to pass on false information." No?

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