Friday, May 30, 2008


In a continuing flow of insider revelations coming out on the Bush Presidency, Scott McClellan’s “What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception” suggests a man who, after many years of buttressing Bush from Texas to Washington, had an epiphany. What is to be learned from his sudden change of heart that falls far short of a mea culpa?

McClellan claims that none of the deception was “intentional or deliberate,” though suggests that Washington plays that way too often. McClellan’s most telling indulgence is his suggestion that being present within the White House bubble “obscures the larger truths of things.” This rationalization is as weak as the consciousness hiding behind it. It is also material evidence of weakness in the individuals that surround an insecure leader.

McClellan’s detractors accuse him of being a disgruntled ex-employee, now denigrating his former boss in an endeavor to sell books. Reponses such as Karl Rove’s suggestion that McClellan should have spoken up at the time, are disingenuous. Talking to, or at someone, who is not listening, achieves little shifting in consciousness. Other attempts at deflecting the accusations, such as Condoleezza Rice perpetuating the refrain about Saddam’s WMD’s, are as pathetic as McClellan’s excuses for not having said anything.

For the rest of us, the learning isn’t that the world was misled, or that misguided thinking, or worse, set the administration’s objectives. That has always been manifestly apparent. The insight here might be more to the course of action that one should take when confronted by pivotal decisions in life where right and wrong are self-evident. Such moments present themselves endlessly, politically, corporately, socially and personally.

Critical events are fulcra on which careers can swivel, and too often our human frailty errs to the side of self-preservation. Only later in life does such juncture come back with a newly invigorated energy and magnitude of its own. We are reminded of the turn that diverted our moral compass down too long a trench of act and thought we couldn’t spill from. In the recall is a fresh unfamiliar wisdom.

McClellan’s epiphany comes a few years too many after truth literally slapped him in the face. His legs should have long ago carried him out the nearest exit.


  1. It is easy to mock McClellan for not facing up to his conscience earlier, when your own job and career is not on the line. But the public are not necessarily as self-righteous or hypocritical as you are.

  2. "the world was misled" ... ? No. It was only Americans that were ever misled.

  3. Sycophants to power help create extremists and this results in extremist actions.

  4. I'm a low profile person who has told truth to power that wasn't listening. Luckily over 1 million people didn't die and I got the hell out before everything crashed.

    Most people are sheep and I hope McClellan's book has impact in that it makes transparent how the spin/propaganda pulls the wool over their eyes. When the movie comes out then most of us will get it - hopefully those that still think Saddam had WMDs.

    I only wish someone (an archangel, I guess would be my only hope) would come and charge Cheney, Bush, Rove, Rice, and Libby, et al. for war crimes. The abuse of power is so insidious, I will say a St. Jude every day that God makes the rest of their lives living hell.

    Prayer gave me the strength to document and safeguard evidence to bring down a corrupt government peacefully and the guilty are now fighting extradition to the United States for the money laundering, bank fraud, wire fraud and other crimes they committed here when they tried to hide their money. Besides prison their companies face US$30 million dollar fines. Of course the Bush Justice Dept did not want to investigate - I had to give the files to a Congressman to get a fire lit.

  5. This blog is great