Friday, May 30, 2008


THE Bush administration has been caught off guard by the revelations of former insider Scott McClellan, who in a new book turns whistleblower on President George W. Bush and the invasion of Iraq.

A host of loyal Bush lieutenants swamped the US television and cable networks yesterday to slam the former administration spokesman.

Central to his book is Mr McClellan's analysis on Mr Bush's decision to go to war in Iraq, a determination Mr McClellan says he had made by early 2002 - at least a full year before the invasion - if not earlier.

"He signed off on a strategy for selling the war that was less than candid and honest," Mr McClellan writes.

He adds Mr Bush's main reason for war always was "an ambitious and idealistic post-9/11 vision of transforming the Middle East through the spread of freedom".

But he said the President and his advisers made "a marketing choice" to play down this vision in favour of one focused on misleading portrayals of the threat posed by the supposed weapons of mass destruction.

During the "political propaganda campaign to sell the war to the American people", Mr Bush and his team tried to make the "WMD threat and the Iraqi connection to terrorism appear just a little more certain, a little less questionable than they were".

Democratic presidential aspirant Barack Obama said yesterday that he hadn't read the book but added: "I don't think the substance is particularly surprising.

"I think many of us have been troubled by the lack of straightforwardness in this administration. The only news is that somebody within the administration has confirmed what a lot of us have thought for some time.",,theaustralian

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