News Release

Scott McClellan and Iraq Lies: What Happened?

“I had unknowingly passed along false information. And five of the highest ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice President, the President’s chief of staff, and the President himself.”
— From former White House press secretary Scott McClellan’s forthcoming book What Happened regarding the leak of Valerie Plame Wilson’s identity. An excerpt was released Tuesday.

MEL GOODMAN
Goodman, a former CIA analyst, is a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and author of the forthcoming book The Failure of Intelligence: The Decline and Fall of the CIA. He said today: “The fabrications about Plame were an outgrowth of a larger set of lies to justify the Iraq invasion. The administration of course went after Joe Wilson and his wife Valerie Plame because he was exposing some of those lies.

“But there were many things showing how deep the deceptions went. In 2002 I spoke with Alan Foley, the head of the CIA’s Weapons Intelligence Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Center — we had invited him to give a talk at the National War College. After the talk, I asked him what WMDs he expected to find in Iraq. ‘Not much, if anything’ he replied. The attitude at the CIA was that the President wanted to invade Iraq and their job was to produce the justification for it.”

DAVID MacMICHAEL
A former analyst for the CIA, MacMichael said today: “McClellan has apparently joined the ranks of those who now regret getting caught up in the administration’s falsehoods. This should be one more nail in the coffin of the administration’s credibility. But there’s a continuum of administration misinformation that is uncritically relayed to the public via spokespeople and the press.”

ROBERT PARRY
Available for a limited number of interviews, Parry just wrote the piece “Bush’s Plame-gate Cover-up,” which states: “In early fall 2003, George W. Bush joined in what appears to have been a criminal cover-up to conceal the role of his White House in exposing the classified identity of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson.

“That is the logical conclusion one would draw from a new statement by then-White House press secretary Scott McClellan when it is put into a mosaic with previously known evidence. …

“In October 2005, Fitzgerald indicted Libby on five counts of lying to federal investigators and obstructing an investigation. Libby was convicted on four of five counts in March 2007 and sentenced to 30 months in jail, but Bush commuted Libby’s sentence to spare him any jail time. That also eliminated any incentive for Libby to turn state’s evidence against Bush and Cheney.

“Now, however, McClellan has become the first White House insider to acknowledge the original lies that senior administration [officials] told about the Plame-gate affair — and to put the President in the middle of the cover-up.

“The next question might reasonably be: what are the Democrats in Congress going to do about it?”

Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush, was written with two of his sons, Sam and Nat.
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167.