The big news in political circles this morning is the new book by former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan which paints a not-so-pretty portrait of President Bush, especially related to the Iraq war and Hurricane Katrina. This is notable, in my opinion, in that it is the first book (that I’m aware of) accusing Bush of intentionally misleading the public in the lead-up to the Iraq war by somebody who was actually in a position to have known what was going on. All such books previously have been conjecture-based hatchet-jobs by the political opposition.
I have no reason to doubt that McClellan is telling the truth—or, at least, what he believes to be the truth. Having said that, I must be perfectly clear that nothing I have read so far regarding McClellan’s book changes my opinion about the war in Iraq, since using a propaganda machine to sell the war with bad data does not mean that Iraq didn’t violate 17 U.N. Security Council resolutions (they did) or that military force was not justified (it was). Further, even if McClellan’s book is 100 percent accurate, lying to the public is not an impeachable offense any more than me lying to you would be a criminal act. Immoral, yes, but not criminal—unless, of course, the president had been under oath (he wasn’t).
So, despite the left-wingers salivating over this ‘evidence’ with which the president can supposedly be impeached, please, calm down and read your Constitution. McClellan’s revelations may rightfully cause outrage, and may be politically devestating for Bush (and for the Republican Party), but remember to keep it all in perspective—and remember that bad arguments and bad decisions don’t necessarily discredit our entire enterprise in Iraq.