A former White House spokesman says Americans have lost trust in U.S.
President George Bush, because he is refusing to reveal his
administration's involvement in leaking the identity of a
previously-covert CIA operative. VOA White House Correspondent Scott
Stearns reports, the Bush administration dismisses the allegations,
saying the former spokesman is misinformed.
Former White House
Spokesman Scott McClellan says then Chief of Staff Andrew Card told him
that President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney wanted him to tell
reporters that the Vice President's chief of staff was not involved in
leaking the name of a CIA operative.
That Chief of Staff, Lewis
Libby, was later convicted of obstructing the investigation into the
leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity. Her husband, a former
U.S. ambassador, was a vocal critic of the president's justification
for invading Iraq.
McClellan told the House Judiciary Committee
Friday that White House officials leaked Plame's identity to get back
at her husband.
"I do not know whether a crime was committed by
any of the administration officials who revealed Valerie Plame's
identity to reporters, nor do I know if there was an attempt by any
person or persons to engage in a cover-up during the investigation," he
said. "I do know that it was wrong to reveal her identity because it
compromised the effectiveness of a covert official for political
reasons. I regret that I played a role, however unintentionally, in
relaying false information to the public about it."
McClellan's testimony, the current White House Deputy Spokesman Tony
Fratto said McClellan has probably already told everyone everything he
doesn't know, so Fratto does not think anyone should expect him to say
Judiciary Committee Chairman Democrat John Conyers
says McClellan's allegations are the most important matter Congress
could examine in its oversight of the administration.
White House insiders leak classified information, manipulate media
coverage and otherwise employ their immense power to punish dissenters,
Congress does not have any other option," he said. "It has a
Constitutional duty to check and balance an errant Executive Branch."
ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, Texas Congressman Lamar
Smith, questioned McClellan's motivation for writing a book that
contradicts everything he said and did as White House Spokesman.
McClellan alone will have to wrestle with whether it was worth selling
out the president and his friends for a few pieces of silver," he said.
says he wrote the book, in part, because he was prohibited from
discussing the matter in 2005 due to the criminal investigation. He
says he made a commitment to share with the public what he knew as soon
as possible and believes President Bush could restore much of the trust
McClellan says he has lost by doing the same.
cloud of suspicion over the White House is not something I can remove
because I know only one part of the story," he added. "Only those who
know the underlying truth can bring this to an end. Sadly, they remain
President Bush commuted Libby's two-and-a-half year
prison sentence, sparing him from serving time. McClellan says that was
special treatment that further undermined the president's commitment to
Current White House Spokeswoman Dana Perino says it is
sad that McClellan is so disgruntled about his experience. She says
those who supported McClellan before, during, and after he was press
secretary are puzzled because this is not the man they thought they