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28 May 2008


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remarkable to me is the surprised tone of the wapo story this a.m. apparently, short-term memory loss is rampant among the villagers, because they failed to recall this statement that confirmed what many of us dirty, effing hippies knew from the getgo -- the invasion of iraq was nothing about national security and everything about w's insecurity:

White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card once famously said of the administration’s 2002 campaign to get support for the invasion of Iraq, ''From a marketing point of view, you don't introduce new products in August.''

Duncan Kinder

Another aspect of this is how his book is treated abroad.

< a href="http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/news/2008/05/selling_the_iraq_war_former_bu.html">Here is the British Guardian's response.

Domestically, in a healthy society, the Iraq War would have caused a major shakeup in the leadership not only of the government but of the media and of other sectors as well.

Needless to say, that has not happened.


"Perhaps if McClellan had had the welfare of his country closer to his heart than the idea of service to his emperor then fate might have been kinder to him."

Ah, but that is the rub, is it not. Rhetorical question...I know you know the answer as well, or, more likely, better, than I do.

If thoughts like that were in his area code, never mind his mind and his heart, he would not have gotten within hailing distance of the real power in this nation.


My only complaint with this rant was that I do not think "the American people" have any short-term control at all over what is presented to them as "news".

It took a while to burn through the propaganda, but it seems to me that in spite of the obfuscations of the Fourth Estate the people got to the truth about our war in Iraq: dumb at the outset, and too costly in every single way.


It will not be accepted by those who still believe that Saddam hid his nuclear program in a lake somewhere, or in Syria or maybe in Ruritania. In the end his book will have little impact.

I've always suspected Santa Claus, personally. What does he carry on those return trips to the Pole?

As for your questions, no, I don't think people are any smarter, really. We were fooled like this forty years ago, when LBJ manipulated the truth about Vietnam. If we weren't prepared to be deceived by our government after that, we certainly can't claim to be smarter.

The press in this country have been turned into a joke. The best traditional news companies rarely dare to scratch the surface. The remainder seem like little more than propaganda outlets for their corporate sponsors and their owners.

If anything, things are worse, I think.

Leila Abu-Saba

The cynical answer would be that those who pay the piper (big business: financiers, Wall Street, the last four industrialists who remain American) are now ready to call a halt to this warmongering. Finally they realize it might not be so good for business to spill American blood and treasure in a distant desert.

But I don't want to be so cynical. Maybe our prayers are being answered???

Patrick Lang


Rant? Rant? "Guards, kill this man!" pl


Is this the way that falling empires fade into the dust? Where the people who are supposedly sovereign are so easily deceived?

Its not just in Texas that the easily deceived are legion. Pretty much every sentient American knows that there was a major information operation to propagandize the American people to invade and occupy Iraq. That fear was the tactic used to destroy the fundamental principles of our constitution from habeas corpus, torture and spying on citizens. Liberty was stripped with nary a squeak. The corporate media was an active collaborator in the effort. The Pentagon pundit management is an excellent example. Elected "leaders" of both parties were either active participants or complicit in the deception.

Yet there is no constituency demanding accountability.

Like Iran-Contra all will be "forgotten" to enable the perpetrators to once again rise to play their fantasy.

Our 200 year experiment with constitutional democracy is effectively over the oligarchs have won and the sovereign gave up without a fight.


Looks like McClellan is auditioning for the speaking circuit, op-eds and punditry. Maybe McCain needs a little help soon? If McClellan can rehab his reputation and put some distance between himself and Bush, he might just be able to avoid the undertow and the edifice goes under.

McClellan's position is similar to Powell's: If he didn't know any better, it shows poor judgement. If he did know better, then he was lying and has sold his soul, which also renders him unfit to serve.

It's as if we've interiorized the willing suspension of disbelief needed to become engrossed in a novel. All we ask now is to be told a good story, without too many ill-fitting parts or visible supporting apparatus creaking too closely to the center of our vision. An amusing, full throated and preposterous lie will do just fine. Just make sure it's a good story.

And yes, the press fell down on the job. They haven't gotten up, either. But that hardly excuses the Administration from lying, stonewalling and prevaricating with every breath.

Perhaps Mr. McClellan could be persuaded to dilate a bit on his statements, while under oath?

The excerpts of the book do suggest that McClellan has identified the Administration's disdain for actual governance. Rather, they treated the government as a candy store to be ransacked at their pleasure, doled out to favored friends, and manipulated to make them look good, heedless oof what they leave in their wake. 'Apres moi, le deluge!'

Also notable, was the decision making process involved in Bush's denial that he ever did cocaine. It revolved around his being so high on everything else that he really couldn't remember.

An assiduous press might have asked for clarifications: what color pills, snorting or shooting, fungal, cacti or pharmaceutical, baggies or bushels? Conveniently it seems that the final year of his National Guard 'service' also fell into a similar black hole.

The portrait of the Administration that emerges is unworthy of Rothko's subtle tonalities. It is simply craven, incompetent and arrogant, but of unimaginable, suffocating vastness.

John Howley

What the Bush camp failed to appreciate was the extent to which the post-WWII order that so benefited the United States was based on the Rule of Law, both international and domestic.

Sure, there were violations and exceptions but they were understood to be deviations from the Norm of Law.

The testing time nears. Will there be hearings, investigations and trials? (Not now, after the elections, silly!) Or will all be swept under the rug?

This is critical not only for citizens of the United States (hey! wake up!) but also for elites around the world who are wondering about the wisdom of continuing to hitch their wagons to Uncle Sam.

Or make other arrangements.

Charles I

Wow, that's one bleak way station. Looks discomfortingly unidirectional - away from the white light. . .

So shame on Scottie for not rearing up on his hind legs for a spot of confession before cashing this cheque, we're all appalled, its deja vu all over again.

But as a recovering Leninist (yes, Pat, a poly sci student) goddammit, What Is To Be Done? Only blogging this train wreck? It won't be stopped? Taking Russia out of WW I is as good as it gets in the throw-a-spanner-in-the-skoda dept? Couldn't somebody poke Colin Powell or SOMEBODY in the ass or the conscience, get 'em to stand up and say "We shouldn't do this, this is crazy, everybody take ten slow deep breaths and THINK with the brains God gave us?" Is there no troublesome Cardinal to be found in all the land? Where is the constituency Zanzibar looks for? Only here? What the hell is in that koolaid?

Er, those aren't rhetorical questions from this Canadian. Nobody can/will stop this?

And Leila, sadly, the industrialists don't give a whit for war or peace. All their risk, all the U.S. indebtedness, the oil prices, global instability, speculation, consumer confidence, lack thereof, donkey or elephant, its all been seamlessly incorporated into a globalized financial whirlygig that hedges all their bets, insures returns and mobility while depositing losses (as economic costs, ie a car plant closure) into the local economy as they walk out the door, bank card in hand, headed for tomorrow's leaner, greener, pasture, and the fantastic new bubbles they will grow there.

They will, however, stick around to purchase the capital stock of your government's services, parts of which they shall rent back to you, some in in garishly mutated form, - ie the Homeland Security/GWOT industries - generating a subsistence service economy of mcjobs . . . generating the tax revenues to pay the cost plus contracts. . . .

Like, won't the Chinese be using just a wee bit less oil for a few months? Doesn't matter, some futures guy somewhere nips that in bud even while foreseeing increased Chinese oil imports later, as the full extent of damage to the coal economy and hydroelectric generation emerges next winter. . . No, don't be looking to anybody with money bulging out of their pockets for anything but the narrowest, most liquid of perspectives - which cannot take in the greater interests of the greater good, or we'd all be rich.


So, we now hear the bleatings from a newly contrite Scott McClellan, a modern day prodigal son yearning to put the past behind him. 'Scuse me if I demur to slaughter a fatted calf to celebrate his return, let alone forgive his complicity in selling the atrocity in the Middle East.

In other news, that eccentric ex-peanut farmer, Jimmy Carter, has gone off the reservation yet again. Not that you will hear anything reported (or at least anything accurately reported) about the things that he had to say in our ever dependable Corporate Media here in Eternal Rome.


I mean, who exactly does this guy think he is, some sort of expert at bringing together implacable enemies or something? Now if he had something like the Camp David Accords to his credit, he might have something to offer. Oh, well then...hmm. Somebody say something about a Concert of Nations?


"Perhaps if McClellan had had the welfare of his country closer to his heart than the idea of service to his emperor then fate might have been kinder to him. Or perhaps not; duty is a hard thing."

Substitute "Colin Powell" for "McClellan".


Scotty is truly "a man for all seasons." I love how Bush's enablers carp that such a book shouldn't have been published during Bush's term. They're not against Freedom of the Press, mind you, just inconvenient Freedom of the Press. No doubt if Scotty had waited until Bush left office they would have criticized him for that too.


Sociologist James Petras' term "Zioncon." Glad to see it gaining circulation.

Of course the Zioncons control the media as well as the government.

Part of the consequence of the IQ shift. American Jews have an average IQ of 115. No big deal on the surface, but an astounding impact on the shoulders of the Gaussian or bell shaped curve of distribution. One of every four Americans with an IQ of over 140 is a Jewish Americans. This is where the action is-- people with IQ's in the exceptional range. 30% of the student body of Yale, Harvard- etc. 13 U.S. Senators, 43 representatives. Not bad for 2% of the population.

Wish they were not with notable exceptions so attached to the settlement of the West Bank to the detriment of the indigenous population and the harm to the soul of these United States and its principles, to wit:

Human Rights in a Nutshell

United States Declaration of Independence We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

United States Constitution Amendment XIV Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Patrick Lang


No, you may not. Powell proved himself to be a good courtier not a good soldier.

The media drivel about a "good soldier" being someone who behaves with "corpse like" obedience is just that. pl

SubKommander Dred

In an administration as full of rats as the presidency of George II, it surprises me not in the least that Scott McClellan would finally spill his guts about what happened in the White House these past few years. I mean, did anyone really think that little piss hound of a man (McClellan) would not do as much as he possibly could to blame someone else for the lies and criminal fraud that he and his buddies colluded to put forth about the war, Katrina, Climate Change, Tax Cuts...
Here was a guy who went along with it at every step of the way. And now he has a book about it, bemoaning the lies and dishonesty of his former comrades in arms. Too bad he was about 5 years to late.
He could have done something to alert the American public early on (before the war started) and told them what Dick and George had in store (Abu Graib, Guantonamo, Extrajudicial Rendition, spying on your email) but instead, he went along, just doing his job, only following orders, a "Good German" I guess you could say.
Scott McClellan is a pasty faced, lying, rat. He was a rat when he was working for George W Bush, and he's still a rat now that he's working for himself.

SubKommander Dred


Judging from the comments on McClellan by people such as "SubKommander Dred", McClellan is as least as bad as Cheney, or perhaps worse, because he was tardy in spilling the beans.

Am I missing something? McClellan didn't make decisions; he was a loyal Republican follower of Bush from whom information was kept; he will pay a price for his book (while making a great deal of money). He's not among the angels, but he has a fair degree of moral courage. The spleen of these comments seems petty and craven to me. We should be grateful that the book has been written-- at a time in which we have a Republican candidate who endorses Bush's position and a media and punditry that are still on the whole shills for the Bush agenda.


You people amaze me. The fact that this turncoat now plays your preferred brand of muzak in your echo chamber automatically makes him credible, when previously he wasn't?

"Texas where the easily deceived seem legion"??? I would say sic semper tyrannis wins this round.


Whenever dealing with the U.S. Government, the public is required to "execute" (sign and swear) some form of certificate that places them in legal jeopardy if they lied or misled about the facts.

Even without a certificate, one can be held liable for factual repressentation (or misrepresentations.

Bush/Cheney/McClellan did not say: "we think they have WMDs"; they emphatically stated that "they have WMDs". (I personally think that Bush is too slow to think as he speaks; indeed he has a tendency to express things as if they are facts.)

McClellan may make a few bucks on his book, but he is part and parcel of a conspiracy that "misprepresented" the situation leading to the invasion of Iraq. They should be held criminally liable for their spoken deeds.

Maybe the incoming admistration will have the balls to go after these guys.


Of course as far as Will is concerned, I refuse to use the terms Zioncon or Neocon, prefering ZionKon and NeoKon, because these these Flathead Jacobin people know nothing of Conservation.

Likewise I prefer the French spelling of Iraq, namely Irak- because they invaded the Irak of their dreams as they fantasized it- not the real flesh and blood one that existed.



I'm glad for the memoir while still condemning the man. "Better late than never" is the about the best we can hope for for the Bushists' sense of public service--not good enough by far, Scotty, but thanks for the confirmation of what we knew all along.

Not that it will matter in the least, unfortunately, to the "deliberations" of the republic, to the extent we even have "deliberations". The president's press sec declares that he (and his boss) engaged in a "propaganda campaign" in selling and presenting a war while carrying out his official duties. The Congress yawns, the Press declares it "old news" and hardly asks a single question. Pass the vodka.

As for Pinhead Majority, they were well aware of all McClellan says as of Nov 2004 yet couldn't find any reason not to reward Bushco with another term---Bush had done so much to deserve it, of course!

Pinhead Majority will do no better this time around, whatever the corporate press decides to present as the "issues" of the presidential "campaign", ha-ha.

William R. Cumming

Very interesting to see the comments on this posting. White House lead press officials really reverse the "Beware the Trust of Princes" guidance as in "Beware the Trust of White House Press Officers." They knowingly accept a position that will require the truth to be compromised on behalf of their Prince but if any morality left they are shamed and made guilty by that fact. Eventually depending on their character confession seems to sooth their soul. But let's face it, Congress allows this charade to go on. Now with missing e-mails even the history of the war-runup will be distorted. But there is ultimately a test of Presidential actions and words, whether through the Press Office or otherwise (Speeches) in that deeds not words become very significant. And now after 5 years it becomes time to ask what are the benefits of that invasion and who exactly has received those benefits from the invasion of Iraq and in what form did they recieve them and how. We know many of the costs, but now it is time to examine the benefits, if any? This may be the only accurate way to assess this White House's words and ultimately actions. Certainly the dead and wounded on all sides did not benefit. Certainly it appears long-term damage done to US institutions and international standing. So again what are the benefits from this invasion? Time to weigh the benefits versus costs?

Patrick Lang


Are you interested at all in whether or not what McClellan says is true?

Tucker Carlson said quite clearly last night on "Hardball" that trying to start a social revolution in the Middle East by invading Iraq is not a conservative idea. He said that it is a "utopian" idea.

I agree with that. Do you? pl

Clifford Kiracofe

Does he explain WHY Bush went to war? WHY the White House went to war? Not just that they lied about it, which we already knew.

Also, perhaps SST lawyer-readers can indicate whether we are reaching issues relating to treason as more light is cast on the decision-deception for war? Or to misprision of treason, also a federal offense, for which see:


2. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/18/2382.html

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