The latest bit of sleight of hand the Bush Administration is trying to pull regarding its failures in Iraq comes from Scott McClellan’s November 2nd press conference. In an attempt to justify the judgment that Saddam was a threat worthy of military confrontation he brings up, of all people, Bill Clinton to buttress his case. This is from the AP story linked by Huffington Post:
“If Democrats want to talk about the threat that Saddam Hussein posed and the intelligence, they might want to start with looking at the previous administration and their own statements that they’ve made,” White House press secretary Scott McClellan said.
He said the Clinton administration and fellow Democrats “used the intelligence to come to the same conclusion that Saddam Hussein and his regime were a threat.”
Look, Scott, just about everyone and his brother (and sister) thought Saddam was a threat. But your administration was the only one who judged him sufficiently dangerous to go to war with him. CBS reports that one smart (unfortunately unnamed) reporter at the press conference pointed this out to McClellan.
He faced a contentious gaggle of journalists at the press conference (quel surprise!). It appears they don’t enjoy being lied to–as they were when McClellan swore on a stack of Bibles that no one in the White House had anything to do with outing Valerie Wilson. So either McClellan was lied to by Libby and Rove or else he deliberately lied to the press. Whichever one is the case it was doesn’t really matter. Once you’ve lost your credibility as a press secretary you’re pretty much toast. And McClellan will never again be able to make any similar type of statement and expect anyone in the room to trust its veracity. He may’ve been the one duped by the aforesaid Libby and Rove. But he still told a lie.
If Bush ever gets around to that spring cleaning even fellow Republicans are urging on him, Scott should be one of the first few out the door. You can’t expect to regain your credibility if you use shills who don’t speak the truth (whether intentionally or unintentionally).