News broke this week that former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan is not only publishing a book on his experiences, but is also adding some insights to the Plame leak scandal. Indeed, his publisher released a six-sentence excerpt, that drew all kinds of attention.
Most media reports interpreted this to mean that McClellan was implicating Bush and Cheney directly in the leak and subsequent cover-up. The problem with the six-sentence excerpt, however, is that’s rather vague. McClellan “unknowingly passed along false information,” but that’s been his line all along. Bush and Cheney were “involved” in his inadvertent falsehoods, but what does “involved” mean, exactly?
Apparently, not nearly as much as White House critics had hoped.
"There's no suggestion in the book that the president deliberately lied and sent him to the podium to tell people something that wasn't true. But it's pretty clear Scott went into battle without proper body armor," said Peter Osnos, founder and editor at large of PublicAffairs Books.
"Scott's not suggested that the president was himself party to a conspiracy to mislead. But it's pretty damn clear that other people knew what they had done and didn't tell the truth," Osnos said.
In other words, McClellan isn’t going to implicate Bush in the scandal; he’s going to exonerate Bush’s role in the entire fiasco. Typical.