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Ex-spokesman McClellan sours on Bush in tell-all book

The ex-aide describes the administration as engaging in a 'political propaganda campaign' to sell the Iraq war to the US public.

EARLIER : Scott McClellan worked for President Bush as White House press secretary from 2003 until 2006.

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Whoa – it looks like Scott McClellan won't be getting a White House Christmas card this year. The former Bush press secretary is being shunned by administration officials from the president on down in response to his new tell-all memoir.

"This is not the Scott we knew," said current Bush spokeswoman Dana Perino on Wednesday – perhaps implying that this was another Scott McClellan, constructed in the secret basement lab of Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean.

But as Mr. McClellan fires back in kind – maybe he'll burn his White House pass live on CNN's "The Situation Room" – let's stop and look at one of his most substantive criticisms: that the Bush administration's strategy for selling the Iraq war was "less than candid and honest."

McClellan's not really the only ex-insider saying that. In important ways, this statement mirrors points made in a recent book by a former official who's otherwise supportive of the administration: Douglas Feith, ex-undersecretary of Defense for policy.

The similarities deal with prewar marketing. Both books say that the administration overemphasized the threat posed by Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction and played down other reasons for invading Iraq.

In his book "What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception," McClellan dubs the effort a "political propaganda campaign to sell the war to the American people."


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