Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan appeared on CBC Radio One’s “The Current” this morning to discuss his recent memoir, in which, he asserts that the Bush administration waged a “propaganda” campaign in order to “sell the war” in Iraq to the public.
Inquiring about Vice President Dick Cheney’s motivations to go to war, host Jim Brown noted that Cheney “doesn’t strike me as someone who would be particularly motivated by idealistic visions.” McClellan agreed, adding that Iraq’s oil occupied Cheney’s mind more than anything else:
MCCLELLAN: Certainly you can’t discount the large oil reserves inside Iraq and how much that plays into our national security interests and I don’t think you can discount how much that plays into the vice president’s thinking.
BROWN: Or his portfolio for that matter.
MCCLELLAN: Or his portfolio for that matter, absolutely with that being a former chief executive officer for Halliburton and that certainly played heavily into his thinking more so I think than the idea of transforming the Middle East into a beacon of democracy.
McClellan later added that he believes that Bush never “would have made the decision to go in and invade Iraq” if “he could see what had happened.” But when asked if Cheney “would do it differently a second time around,” McClellan said flatly: “No.”
BROWN: Do you think Dick Cheney would do it differently a second time around?
MCCLELLAN: No. Well he might have done some military things differently but I think he was determined to see Saddam Hussein removed from power and would have continued to encourage that.
During a speech at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco last month, McClellan suggested some book titles for Cheney should he choose to write a memoir of his own after leaving office: “The Lies I Told,” or “I Upped Halliburton’s Income – So Up Yours.”