Writing at Townhall.com, right-wing radio host Mike Gallagher argues today that former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan’s new book will cause “pain and grief” for “the families of the brave men and women who are serving their country overseas.” Later, on his radio show, Gallagher asked McClellan’s former colleague, Dan Bartlett, if “a guy like Scott ever stopped to think how he would hurt families in this way?” Bartlett agreed with Gallagher:
BARTLETT: He knew better than most that all this would be doing is pouring gas on a political fire in which, you’re right, some of the victims of all this political uproar are the very people out here in America who are supporting our troops, those who have loved ones in harms way.
GALLAGHER: You know, I wrote today at Townhall.com that the one aspect of this that always gets ignored when something like this comes out. I wonder if Scott McClellan ever stops to consider the pain and the anguish that his words cause the families of those brave men and women fighting this fight right now in Iraq and Afghanistan. I want you to follow with me for this for a moment. If you buy the premise that President Bush deceived us and had goofy reasons for going to war and he went with his gut rather than his head and all that, then you’d have to accept the premise that the war is folly, that we shouldn’t be there, that the men and women who are fighting and dying are doing so for no reason. That, that, so in other words, this media cycle of giving this spotlight to Scott McClellan and his book has to cause — and I’ve heard it from callers who are mothers and fathers and sons and daughters and husbands and wives of the men and women who are fighting for their country. Do you think a guy like Scott ever stopped to think how he would hurt families in this way?
BARTLETT: Well, the interesting part about that is he should have known better than most because we have had to deal with books from critics while he was serving as press secretary and we’d have conversation about people who motivated by whatever it may be, but to time these books for political purposes and that’s the irony is that he suggests, or at least is saying it in all these interviews and in the book that this was all aimed at changing the tone of politics in Washington when he knew better than most that all this would be doing is pouring gas on a political fire in which, you’re right, some of the victims of all this political uproar are the very people out here in America who are supporting our troops, those who have loved ones in harms way. And it almost trivializes a very important issue, that being the safety of our country and whether we ought to be going to war. The book’s timing is interesting in the respect that it makes no mention of the enormous progress we’re making on the ground in the last twelve months. I mean, he’s, everybody who is objective can, cannot deny what is happening over there, and the fact that he completely ignores it in the book is a bit troubling as well.