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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Video: Former Bush Aide: CIA Leak Turning Point

From the Today Show:

The former Bush administration pitchman making explosive election-year charges about how the White House handled the Valerie Plame case and built the case for invading Iraq said Thursday that he went to Washington to change it and became "disillusioned" when he realized he was just a pawn in the never-ending political game.

“The larger message has been sort of lost in the mix... The White House would prefer I not speak out openly and honestly about my experiences, but I believe there is a larger purpose," Scott McClellan, the chief spokesman for the White House from 2003-2006, told TODAY co-host Meredith Vieira exclusively during his first interview since snippets from his new memoir hit the Internet on Tuesday.

"I had all this great hope that we were going to come to Washington and change it... Then we got to Washington, and I think we got caught up in playing the Washington game the way it is being played today," said McClellan, who made only passing references to Bush himself.

McClellan’s candid comments about how administration officials made the case to invade Iraq in March 2003 reverberated throughout the Beltway and immediately became fodder for the two remaining Democratic presidential hopefuls after snippets from his memoir began appearing on the Internet on Tuesday night. McClellan said, however, that it wasn't until he realized that he may have been led to deliver false information to the media about two senior administration officials’ roles in outing Valerie Plame as a CIA operative that he would someday have to tell his story.

“My hope is that by writing this book and sharing openly and honestly what I learned is that in some small way it might help us move beyond the partisan warfare of the past 15 years. There’s a larger purpose to this book. It’s about looking at the permanent campaign culture in Washington D.C. and how we can move beyond it,” he said.

I'm certainly not one to defend Bush, but this seems a bit naive on McClellan's part. Everyone wants to go to Washington and change it. They all end up doing the same thing as everyone else before them. We saw this with Obama's campaign. He started out "above it all" but was soon right down there in the mud with Hillary doing politics as usual. I think he's caught himself, but I don't think it will last long, especially not against McCain and Rove.

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