The revelation of deceit perpetrated during the Bush regime is by no means an original concept. However, I have begun reading a book entitled WHAT HAPPENED by Scott McClellan, former Press Secretary for George W. Bush. McClellan has been criticized by both the right and left for choosing to reveal the inner workings of the Bush administration. The left is angry because he failed to speak out against these blatant deceptions earlier and the right simply views him as a turncoat. They contend that he wrote the book based on a lucrative offer by the publisher, Public Affairs, not because of any crisis of conscience. Regardless of his reason; his book soared to #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list. Though I have only read a few chapters of WHAT HAPPENED, I find it to be both fascinating and appalling.
The author began as a true believer in George W. Bush and was honored to be a part of something he envisioned as the beginning of a historical change in American politics. Well; he had the historical aspect right. Unfortunately for McClellan, his Camelot-like perception was quickly and painfully crushed. “I believed in George W. Bush’s leadership and agenda for America, and had confidence in his authenticity, integrity, and judgement. But today the high hopes that accompanied the early days of his presidency have fallen back to earth.” It would be difficult to debate Bush’s authenticity but arguing about his integrity and judgement would be too easy.
The crux of McClellan’s opening chapters is the deceit practiced to justify the our entry into the war in Iraq. The role the CIA played in this is both criminal and expected. Bush based his reasoning for waging war on the threat of Iraqi nuclear capabilities and their attempt at furthering those capabilities. This was predicated on the discovery of Iraq’s interest in purchasing uranium, also known as yellowcake, from Niger. The fundamental problem with that is the fact that it never happened and the president and his lemmings were fully aware of that. Adding insult to injury; Mohamed ElBardari, the director general of the United Nations’ nuclear inspection and verification division, claimed that the allegations were anything but credible (nice job CIA) and there was “no evidence or plausible indication” that Iraq was involved in any form of a nuclear build-up. He issued this statement just days before Bush authorized the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom. I must confess that I consider that operational term to be somewhat ironic at this point.
I have always been of the opinion that Bush was/is either too ignorant or too arrogant to admit when he has mud on his face. Proof of that would be the interview in which he stated that he could not think of a single mistake he made as president. If he had simply called me; I could have helped him with that answer. To further exacerbate this problem was his statement that became known as “the sixteen words” in the inner circle of the White House. “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” That’s it GW, blame it on the Brits! This alleged transaction was found in documents that were admittedly forged by the CIA! To encapsulate; Bush sent our young men and women off to fight a war based on a lie that he was fully aware of.
Much of the verification of this deception was credited to, at the time, an unnamed source. That source proved to be former Ambassador Joseph Wilson who had been sent to Africa in January of 2002 to investigate the collusion between Iraq and Niger. Once the source was revealed; Vice President Dick Cheney, who was concerned about his credibility (why would that be in question?), and his shadow Scooter Libby began a campaign of covertly attacking the veracity of Wilson. According to McClellan; Richard Armitage, Karl Rove, and McClellan’s predecessor, Ari Fleischer (I can’t imagine those shoes were difficult to fill) joined forces with Cheney and Libby in their attack on Wilson. The author went on to say that Bush himself aided this band of idiots with his handling of the documents pertaining to the yellowcake fiasco. What took place next is one of the most disgusting and diabolical things ever initiated by high ranking members of our government.
As a means of retaliation; the aforementioned group “anonymously” leaked the identity of Wilson’s wife to the press. Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame, just happened to be a covert CIA operative. In their pathological zeal to avenge Wilson’s perceived betrayal, they jeopardized the life of a government official and the lives of anyone professionally affiliated with her. These vindictive bastards were responsible for decision and policy making for the most powerful nation in the world. For lack of a better phrase: I find that fact to be very, very scary. More to come…