Personally, I think the story behind this book can probably be traced from looking at each of the drafts.
I bet he secured a deal and then turned in his manuscript, only to have it returned with the comment “there’s nothing here, you need to spice it up if you want a best seller”
this led him down a path to more and more outrageous assertions until the publishers were happy with the product.
This would explain why his former colleagues are saying “this isn’t the Scott McClellan we knew”.
In any case, he never came off as a quick thinker even it was his job, so now he'll probably talk himself into legal trouble.
McClellan writes: History appears poised to confirm what most Americans today have decided that the decision to invade Iraq was a serious strategic blunder.
In fact, history is poised to do no such thing. Al-Qaida is on the run, and the U.S. is on the cusp of victory in Iraq (for another view of our success in the War on Terror, see Verbatim, page A11). Years from now we think Americans will see this as a turning point in history, a time when an American leader stood up to protect Western Civilization following the barbarous attacks of 9/11.
We dont have space here to refute everything. But one charge in McClellans 341-page tome stands out, so well focus on that: The Bush White House conducted a dishonest political propaganda campaign to sell the war to the American people.
Start with the obvious: Wasnt it McClellans job to resign in protest if he thought the American people were being misled? If so, this was his own failing, not Bushs.
Moreover, contrary to the common wisdom, Bushs rationale for taking out Saddam Hussein was about many things not just one.
Yes, he expressed concern Saddam would get a nuclear weapon with which to blackmail both his neighbors and the West.
But Bush also wanted to halt the spread of terror, deny a possible haven for al-Qaida, and promote democracy in the Mideast, among other things. As ex-Pentagon official Doug Feith recently noted, Bush delivered 24 major speeches on Iraq from Sept. 2002 to Sept. 2004. In them, he made a wide-ranging, nuanced case for getting rid of Saddam. It wasnt only about WMD.
Yet, McClellan claims Bush was shading the truth. Well, what truth did he shade? WMD? In fact, the CIA assessment of Iraq that Bush used was made during President Clintons final year in office. It said that Saddam had a WMD program and, quite possibly, a nuclear weapon. Every major intelligence agency Britains, Frances, Russias, Germanys, Israels, even the U.N.s agreed.
Yes, as it turns out, some of that intelligence was wrong. Even so, reasons for getting rid of Saddam were too numerous to ignore. In October of 2002, Congress cited no fewer than 23 reasons when it overwhelmingly gave Bush the right to remove Saddam.
Bush was clear from the start, and dead honest: This was about defending our nation from the insane jihadists who had declared war on us from their safe-havens in the Mideast. McClellan, blinded by his anger, cant see this. The American people someday will.