White House 'Puzzled' by McClellan's Charge

Current and former members of the Bush administration want you to know one thing about former White House press secretary Scott McClellan's new tell-all memoir. They're puzzled.

Responding to What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and What's Wrong With Washington they sounded disbelieving that McClellan could have written such things. Among McClellan's charges are that the Iraq war was "not necessary" and that President George Bush pursued it as part of his campaign for a "legacy of greatness."

Current White House press secretary Dana Perino encapsulated the Bush administration when she told reporters, "We are puzzled. It is sad. This is not the Scott we knew."

McClellan argues that the Bush Administration used propaganda to sell an invasion of Iraq to the American people, but he stops short of saying President Bush lied. "We got caught up in this back and forth partisan squabble to see who could win the media narrative," McClellan says. "It's not a deliberate effort on the president's part or any of his advisers' to go out there and be misleading or engage in spin or anything like that. It's just the way the game's become played in Washington."

On our blog, an open thread: Former Bush aide call Iraq war 'not necessary.'

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