What Happened? Don’t Ask Scott McClellan
Scott McClellan’s Congressional testimony today added little, if anything, beyond the revelations in his tell-all book. The last two hours of the hearings were taken up by sympathetic Democrats asking him about having to swallow the Bush administration’s line on a laundry list of issues– Plamegate, the U.S. Attorney’s scandal, Justice Dept. memos authorizing torture and the general selling of the Iraq War.
McClellan said he had no inside knowledge about any of these things. As a press secretary he was only privy to administration talking points, not inside information. Beside, he kept telling us he was merely deputy press secretary for much of the administration.
Instead, McClellan repeated his disappointment with Karl Rove and Scooter Libby for lying to him about the Valerie Plame leak. And he said he wouldn’t rule out that Dick Cheney played a role in leaking Plame’s identity.
Otherwise, McClellan was less than impressive. He stuck with his tried-and-true book thesis that an administration ought not to use a "permanent campaign" to sell a war. But he seemed to think using campaign tactics was fine to promote lesstitillating topics like tax cuts and No Child Left Behind. When lawmakers asked how to change the political system he reflexively derided, McClellan gave no answers.
For Congressional investigators still on the Karl Rove’s trail, McClellan’s tell-all revived questions about the GOP strategist’s involvement in the Plame affair and his alleged role in the firing of U.S. Attorney’s. But it looks like McClellan has nothing more to say.