Conscience Raising: Could It Be The President Led His Spokesperson To Lie To The American People?

Could it be former Whitehouse spokesmodel Scotty McMessage McClellan is growing a conscience? Have a gander:

In an excerpt from his forthcoming book, McClellan recounts the 2003 news conference in which he told reporters that aides Karl Rove and I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby were “not involved” in the leak involving operative Valerie Plame.

“There was one problem. It was not true,” McClellan writes, according to a brief excerpt released Tuesday. “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 himself.”

17 Responses to “Conscience Raising: Could It Be The President Led His Spokesperson To Lie To The American People?”

  1. Jersey McJones Says:

    McClellan shuold be called to the Hill immediately. Write your congresspeople!

    JMJ

  2. manapp99 Says:

    This brings the question of whether or not Fitzgerald was told this by McClellen and if so why there weren’t further charges. Perhaps the nature of the alleged false information was not directly related to the alleged outing however neither was Scooters and he was convicted. If McClellen lied to Fitz, is he not putting himself in jeopardy with this admission? The statement without the context that I am sure will accompany this quote in the book is unclear as to who, if anybody other than himself, lied. McClellen is saying that he unknowingly passed information so that would seem to leave him in the clear. He then says that the five officials were involved but does not say how so. The statement about it not being true is in relation to the question of Rove and Libby not being involved but does not say what exactly they were involved with or how they were involved. This leaves more questions than it answers however you have to weigh the lenthy investigation which indicted no one for the outing of a spy and did not indict Rove for lying but did Libby. It could also be an attempt by McClellen to ensure number 1 best seller status when this book comes out in the spring.

  3. Windspike Says:

    Man,

    You continue to forge excuses out of the fabric of fiction for the lunks you love as leaders of our beautiful country. Why is that? It’s apparent from your commentary that you are an absence of evidence is evidence of absence, aren’t you?
    Really, can’t you take what Scotty was saying at face value and make some kind of judgment about that.

    That he’s trying to sell books is obvious, and in that regard, you are a master of the obvious. That his bosses lied to him to cause plausible deniability is no surprise.

    As to if anything happens because of it remains to be seen. Given that there are many people still willing to give the W, Rove and Co (WMD in Iraq) the benefit of the doubt - which is wholly beyond me - I doubt much will come of it.

    I for one, won’t be buying books - The public library is good for free information - and part of the fabric of social services the conservatives pretend to abhor.

    As to your whole comment, Man. Could you get into a bigger what if game with yourself, or what? My goodness, I have a challenging enough time digging through the subterfuge provided by the W, Rove and Co. You have so many straw men stacked up, no wolf could blow it over.

  4. Lisa Says:

    Now he will be the media’s best friend as long as they can use it against Bush.
    Be prepared to see him making his rounds on Olberman,Matthews and the rest of the media. Matthews was all over this already.

  5. Windspike Says:

    Lisa,

    So what?

  6. Christopher Radulich Says:

    They are hyping a book. So while it looks bad ( and I certainly hope they can hang somebody), I believe we will have to wait and see what develops.

  7. manapp99 Says:

    Already McClellen and his publisher are bashing the hopes of the Bush Haters here:

    http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/11/21/ex-aides-book-may-clear-bush-in-cia-leak/?hp

    Take a gander:

    “November 21, 2007, 2:53 pm
    Publisher Deflates Tantalizing Snippet on C.I.A. Leak
    By Mike Nizza

    Tags: intelligence, notes on the news, politics, washington

    A 151-word excerpt from the memoir of Scott McClellan, chief spokesman to President Bush in 2006, was not meant to be as tantalizing as it sounded, according to the publisher of the book.
    After a day of wide coverage and swift reactions on the Web, the publisher, Peter Osnos of PublicAffairs, told MSNBC that Mr. McClellan “did not intend to suggest Bush lied to him” about two senior aides’ roles in leaking the identity of Valeria Plame Wilson, a C.I.A. operative, to the conservative columnist Robert Novak and others in 2003.
    How does that square with the book excerpt, where Mr. McClellan wrote that “the President himself” was “involved” in his offering false information to the press about the leak? Mr. Osnos offered an explanation to Bloomberg News:
    “He told him something that wasn’t true, but the president didn’t know it wasn’t true,’’ Osnos said in a telephone interview. “The president told him what he thought to be the case.’’
    When we wrote about this yesterday, that was clearly one of the possible outcomes, although one that will disappoint opponents of the president who were hoping for him to be directly tied to one of the biggest scandals of his administration.
    “Sorry, suckers,” Greg Sargent wrote at The Horse’s Mouth, “It looks like McClellan will actually exonerate Bush for his role in Plamegate”

    No straw men or games here Windspike. Just you and your fellow haters showing that the truth doesn’t matter if you have hatred in your heart. I know the revelation that Bush did NOT lie about the Plame dame will upset you but you will never admit you are wrong not matter how the facts evolve.

  8. Christopher Radulich Says:

    Actually if that is what it says it will prove nothing. First it is very hard to prove that bush did know and even harder to prove that he didn’t know. Since this administration has zero credibility with me and many others, we make a simple assumption. If their lips are moving they are lying.

  9. Craig R. Harmon Says:

    Now Manapp99, Windspike did not, in fact, say that Bush DID lie. His title says, “Could It Be…?” Well, in fact, even with what the publisher is saying, as Christopher says, it COULD be. All this proves is that neither McClellen nor his publisher intended to suggest that Bush was lying. It does not prove that Bush did lie. At the heart of the difference between a lie and an honest passing on of erroneous information that one thinks is true is prior knowledge that what one is passing on as though true, is not. Now for my self, I prefer, in the absence of one scintilla of evidence that Bush knew what he said was false, to assume that he did not but I would assume the same about anyone, political ally or not. I prefer to extend “innocent until proven guilty” to all people at all times and demand a fair showing of proof of guilt before assuming it. I just think it’s the right thing to do and what I would hope others would extend and demand were it my word being questioned.

    I think it unfair to charge Windspike with not caring about the truth.

    We don’t know the truth.

  10. Craig R. Harmon Says:

    I for one, won’t be buying books - The public library is good for free information - and part of the fabric of social services the conservative s pretend to abhor.

    What conservative abhors, pretended or otherwise, public libraries. I personally do not. I don’t know any who even pretend to abhor them. Got links? We Conservatives do not abhor public services, per se.

    Again, for myself, I have always thought much of public libraries and made use of them.

  11. manapp99 Says:

    Granted Craig, however the publisher’s clearing up the misconception born of the interpretation of the former press secretaries remark included this sentence:

    “He told him something that wasn’t true, but the president didn’t know it wasn’t true,’’ Osnos said in a telephone interview. “The president told him what he thought to be the case.’’

    His first sentence says the president didn’t know it wasn’t true and the second says the president told him what he THOUGHT to be the case. I do not know how Mr.Osnos knows that the president did not know and only passed what he thought to be true but taking it at face value this would exonerate the president from any lying or instructions to pass on lies. If Mr Osnos is correct then he is clearly stating that the president did NOT lie or instruct anyone else to lie. If Mr. Osnos knows what he is talking about, and I cannot say one way or the other if he does, then the matter of the possiblitiy of Bush lying is put to bed. We would have to weigh the credibility of Mr. Osnos against those that say Bush is lying and did indeed pass on false information concerning the involvement of Rove and Libby in the alleged outing which itself was never proven.

    And I stand by my assertion that Mr. Spike does not care about the truth. Having never met the legend known only as Windspike , I have read many of his works. Due to the fact that none of the aforementioned works were labeled as fiction I can only deduce that they reflect accurately his view of the current administration (and those who have departed such as Karl Rove) and those views have little regard for the truth. They appear only aimed at recruiting others to his viewpoint. Limited and hatefilled as it may be.
    So if I went out on a limb here and deduced that Wind was indeed saying, or at least inferring, that the President lied I will stand by that deduction as well. Do you think there is any possibility that Windspike does NOT think the president lied?

  12. Windspike Says:

    Plausible deniability is a wonderful political device invented by another republican hero - Ronald Reagan.

    Which is worse, that people underneath the president misled the public and the President didn’t know about it or that he did and conspired with them?

  13. Windspike Says:

    P.S. I didn’t know that I got elevated to “legendary” status Man. Thanks for the promotion.

    P.P.S. It may very well have not been Reagan who invented PD, but he certainly perfected it.

  14. Craig R. Harmon Says:

    Manapp99,

    I don’t see how it is possible for Mr. Osnos to know, of a certainty, that Bush did not know that what he was unaware that Rove and Scooter were involved in the leaks regarding Plame. If he had actually been present at some meeting where the President was definitely and unequivocally made aware of Rove’s and Scooter’s involvement, then he could say with certainty that Bush was lying when he told McClellen that they were not involved but the opposite, Osnos knowing that Bush was not aware, I don’t think any human being other that Bush himself could know that for certain. It’s a matter of proving a lack of knowledge. I simply don’t think it’s possible for one person to know for certain what another person does not know in such matters.

    And it isn’t, in my mind, a matter of Mr. Osnos’s credibility. first of all, I don’t know Osnos from Adam. Even if he were speaking about something that I felt confident that he was in a good position to know for certain, I have no independently verifiable reason for believing him over someone else. In this case, a matter that I can’t think of a single way in which Osnos COULD know what Bush didn’t know when he spoke to his press secty., well, I can only take his statement as meaning to convey what he, Mr. Osnos, believes to be the case. However, what Mr. Osnos believes bears no relation to what actually IS the case. It could very well be that he’s trying to avoid a law suit for libel here, covering his and his company’s legal ass. Since he cannot prove that Bush was lying, he cannot afford to be taken to mean that Bush WAS lying, therefore he must say that Bush was decieved in some way.

    In any case, Windspike simply did not say that Bush lied. I dare say that he probably does, in fact, lean heavily toward tending to believe that Bush did lie but he didn’t say that. He left the possibility open that Bush was not lying. And, as I say, if it is the case that Bush did not know that Rove and Libby were involved in the leak, then it is probably the case that the only one who can be said to KNOW the truth (as opposed to taking it on trust) is Bush himself. How could anyone who was not Bush, know for certain what Bush was unaware of? So, since none of us here, or Osnos for that matter, knows the truth, and since it is not proven that Bush did not know that Libby and Rove were involved in the Plame leak, being inclined to disbelieve Bush does not implicate Windspike in not caring about the truth. He’s merely making a judgment call based upon his own estimate of Bush’s credibility in general. In other words, you can only really say that Windspike doesn’t care about the truth IF THE TRUTH WERE KNOWN AND WINDSPIKE IGNORED THE TRUTH — and I’m sorry but Osnos’s bald statement does not establish its truth. In this case, the truth is not known. It MAY be true that Bush knew the truth and lied. Since Windspike did not say that Bush lied but, at most, implied that it is possible that he lied, I am not comfortable with allowing you to say that Windspike does not care about the truth without challenging that statement. Just as I choose to give Bush the benefit of the doubt in the absence of evidence of his guilt, I choose to give Windspike the benefit of the doubt, absent proof to the otherwise, regarding his care for the truth.

    In any case, those who, like Christopher, believe that the best way to tell if Bush is lying is to watch for movement of his lips, do not need Windspike’s musings to be recruited and that probably covers the majority of the bloggers here. I doubt that there are many people on the edge of being inclined to believe Bush or being inclined to disbelieve Bush absent definite proof.

    Let’s put it this way. I have a very dear friend that I’ve known since before high school, almost 40 years now. He’s a nice guy but he’s a liar. I learned long ago that, unless I knew, of my own knowledge, that what he said was true, I must take what he said with a grain of salt or three. His lies are never hurtful of others but more in the way of tending to self-aggrandizement. Anyway, I never simply assume that what he says is so. I usually simply file it away under the heading of “What ______ Says Is So” rather than under “What Is So”. It doesn’t prevent us from being friends but it prevents me from taking much of anything he says to the bank, if you know what I mean. Anyway, I can’t blame Christopher too much for taking the same attitude toward Bush & Co.

    Anyway, to quote Forrest Gump: “That’s all I have to say about that.”

    Take care, my friend. I hope you had a good Thanksgiving.

  15. Craig R. Harmon Says:

    Windspike,

    Which is worse, that people underneath the president misled the public and the President didn’t know about it or that he did and conspired with them?

    It’s not even a close call for me. It would be worse for Bush to know and to conspire with others to hide the knowledge than for Bush to have been deceived by those below him. As a moral matter, it is not even a little bit bad (on Bush’s part) to have been lied to. It is the liar who is bad, not the lied to.

    Or would you disagree?

  16. windspike Says:

    Craig, again, I find myself agreeing with you on more than one point. In terms of my question posed later on, I do believe that lying outright is more offensive than not knowing about those under you doing the fabrication.

    I do remain skeptical that W, didn’t know, however, but it is indeed plausible given the mischief that Dick Cheney and Karl Rove and Andy Card and Scooter Libby were/are capable of.

    I think W is perhaps smarter than he lets on, and knows when NOT to ask questions. He could have found out about it, which is why I didn’t expect much when he suggested early on in the Plame outing that he would do something about the leaks, which he never really was forthcoming with any kind of solution.

    It would be fun, just for once, if Man played the other side of the coin - what if Bush was behind this? That he knew and fabricated the truth…that’s one hypothetical that isn’t too much of a stretch for me, even if it remains to be proven. I can’t prosecute the man on my evidence, and I would expect him to get a fair trial before we pronounced him guilty of such acts…but even so, what if it were true, Man? What say you?

    I knew all along that the “leaking (Ironically)” of the quote out of Scotty’s book was a ploy to sell more books, but my bet is that no one buys it. And, it may even get less play than a book by Ann Coulter. Who knows. But time will tell, won’t it.

    My prediction, and I’ve typed this before, is that the W, Rove (and I leave him in there as I hold him accountable for the design of this administration fully) and Co. house of cards will come tumbling down only when some one close, very close to the President has a crisis of conscience and comes clean, publicly, in a book that tells all…and although it won’t be pretty, the truth will set us all free.

  17. Craig R. Harmon Says:

    Windspike,

    I don’t know about Scotty’s book. I’ll probably, too, wait for the Library to pick it up or inter-library-loan it — surely some library here in Indiana will get the book. I don’t suppose it’s such a hot number as tell-all books go. If this was the biggest revelation from the book, I believe I can wait a while to read it.

    Well, IF Bush was behind the Plame leak, that is, if he had instructed that lug-nut from the State Department (can’t recall his name but the guy who actually DID first tell a reporter about Plame being at the CIA) and Rove and Libby, this would be very bad, impeachment bad — and yes, even I would support impeachment if it were shown that Bush did that. But then, that would put Cheney in the White House putting Speaker Pelosi one (failed) heart-beat from the Oval Office. scary thought for both of us, I would guess.

    Mind you, I don’t believe that he did and it would have to be something pretty convincing (something like a memo or a recording or something) for me to be convinced that he did but I’m always willing to be convinced. Me? I’m still among those who views Bush as a flawed leader who, nevertheless, has done what he truly believed was best for the country and the world. But then, I try to believe the best of people only yielding that opinion to solid evidence.

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