FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Former White House press secretary Scott McClellan is now talking, and everyone but the White House is listening.
McClellan strongly defended his critical memoir about the Bush Administration in a TV interview this morning. He said the president decided to go to war against Iraq shortly after the 9-11 attacks. He said Mr. Bush did not review all the evidence before making his decision and instead relied on his gut.
McClellan said he became "disillusioned" with the administration once he realized he was being used as a pawn in a much larger political game. He said the president and his aides operated in a "permanent campaign culture", which caused them to ignore the facts leading up to the war once those facts didn't fit their picture and advance their political agenda.
McClellan says the tipping point for him was the CIA leak case, particularly when he found out that it was the president himself who had secretly declassified parts of an intelligence report about Iraq, enabling Scooter Libby to leak classified information that bolstered the case for war to the media. These are damning revelations in light of Bush's repeatedly condemning the selective release of secret intelligence information.
McClellan says the low point of his job was being ordered to tell the press that Karl Rove and Scooter Libby were not involved in leaking CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity to the press. A criminal investigation later revealed that they were.
Critics call McClellan a turncoat, a sellout and a disgruntled former employee. The White House has called his book puzzling and sad, and some former colleagues want to know why McClellan never voiced any of these doubts earlier. His former deputy, Trent Duffy, says McClellan owes his whole career to President Bush yet he's "stabbing him in the back... and dancing on his political grave for cash."
Scott McClellan will be a guest in the Situation Room tomorrow.
Here’s my question to you: What would you ask Scott McClellan?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Cathy from Sunrise Beach, Missouri writes:
Would you testify under oath in an impeachment hearing for President Bush and V.P. Cheney on what was going on in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq?
Tom from Tucson, Arizona writes:
My question to him would be: Many have said that you were not fit for the job of press secretary when you were in the job. What seemed to get you there was your rock solid loyalty to the man sitting in the oval office. What was the price tag for selling out your only friends in politics?
Jinpa from Texas writes:
Not yet having read your book, Mr. McClellan, can you elaborate with more detail just what role V.P. Dick Cheney played in the deceptive practices of which you speak in your book? Is he as shifty, cold and under-handed as he appears to those of us on the outside?
Shelly from Ohio writes:
Since you knew the information about Iraq and WMD was false, do you not feel it was your obligation to the American people to speak up? After all, the American people were the ones paying your paycheck, not George Bush. I feel you should take the proceeds from your book and give them to the U.S. troops who have PTSD and other mental illnesses due to their service in the Iraq war.
Frank from Venice, Florida writes:
Would you help put some of these people in jail?
Jake from New Jersey writes:
Sure, why not speak up before and save a couple hundred thousand lives from displacement, distress or destruction when you can hold out until now and make a couple hundreds thousand dollars instead? Ah, the American way...
Scott, Have you got a bodyguard?