May 29, 2008
The Guardian

Bush's Dishonest Campaign to Sell Iraq Invasion

by Ewen MacAskill

A former senior aide to President Bush claims that the White House deliberately mounted a dishonest propaganda campaign to sell the Iraq invasion to the US public, in the most damning insider account of the presidency so far.

Scott McClellan, who worked for Bush for seven years, including three as White House spokesman, brands the war a "serious strategic blunder" and "not necessary".

The scathing comments stunned Washington yesterday because the Bush team, until now, has had a reputation for intense loyalty to their boss. Republican strategists and former White House colleagues turned on McClellan, accusing him of writing the book for the money and asking why, if he felt as he had, he did not resign at the time. The White House expressed sadness and puzzlement.

McClellan's comments are from What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception, to be published on Monday but excerpts of which appeared on the Washington-based Politico website.

On Iraq, McClellan says Bush and his advisers "confused the propaganda campaign with the high level of candour and honesty so fundamentally needed to build and then sustain public support during a time of war".

He accuses Bush and his advisers of being more interested in permanent campaigning for re-election in 2004 than what was best for the country. . . .


Julian Borger, "The Spies Who Pushed for War," Guardian, July 17, 2003

"THE ORIGINS OF THE IRAQ WAR: The 'Neoconservative' Agenda for Middle East Conflict,", July 2004

Laura Barcella, "The Failures of Post-9/11 Media," AlterNet, January 2, 2006

David Barstow, "Behind TV Analysts, Pentagon's Hidden Hand," Washington Post, April 20, 2008

Robert Scheer, "The Pornography of Power: How Defense Hawks Hijacked 9/11 and Weakened America," Twelve (June 9, 2008)

[Katie Couric, the anchor of "CBS Evening News," said on Wednesday that she had felt pressure from government officials and corporate executives to cast the war in a positive light.

Another broadcast journalist also weighed in. Jessica Yellin, who worked for MSNBC in 2003 and now reports for CNN, said on Wednesday that journalists had been "under enormous pressure from corporate executives, frankly, to make sure that this was a war presented in a way that was consistent with the patriotic fever in the nation."--Brian Stelter, "Was Press a War 'Enabler'? 2 Offer a Nod From Inside," New York Times, May 30, 2008

John Brown, "The Pentagon's new Iraq propaganda: The US is spending $300m to 'engage and inspire' Iraqis," Guardian, October 27, 2008

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