Woodward: Journalists Attended Secret Iraq Strategy Mtg.

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Woodward: Journalists Attended Secret Iraq Strategy Mtg.

Postby Gouda » Tue Oct 10, 2006 5:53 am

<!--EZCODE LINK START--><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/09/business/media/09zakaria.html?ex=1318046400&en=ab43603ab31201e7&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss">New York Times link</a><!--EZCODE LINK END--><br><!--EZCODE QUOTE START--><blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Secret Iraq Meeting Included Journalists</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br><br>October 9, 2006<br><br>By JULIE BOSMAN<br><br>It was the kind of shadowy, secret Washington meeting that Bob Woodward is fond of describing in detail. In his new book, “State of Denial,” he writes that on Nov. 29, 2001, a dozen policy makers, Middle East experts and members of influential policy research organizations gathered in Virginia at the request of Paul D. Wolfowitz, then the deputy secretary of defense. Their objective was to produce a report for President Bush and his cabinet outlining a strategy for dealing with Afghanistan and the Middle East in the aftermath of 9/11.<br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>What was more unusual, Mr. Woodward reveals, was the presence of journalists at the meeting.</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--> Fareed Zakaria, the editor of Newsweek International and a Newsweek columnist, and <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Robert D. Kaplan</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END-->, now a national correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly, attended the meeting and, according to Mr. Kaplan, <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>signed confidentiality agreements not to discuss what happened.</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br><br>While members of policy research groups often dispense advice to administration officials, journalists do not typically attend secret meetings or help compile government reports. Indeed, many Washington journalists complain that the current administration keeps them at an unhealthy distance.<br><br>Mr. Zakaria takes issue with Mr. Woodward’s account, saying that while he attended the meeting for several hours, he does not recall being told that a report would be produced.<br><br>“I thought it was a brainstorming session,” he said. “I was never told that there was going to be a document summarizing our views and I have never seen such a document.” (Mr. Woodward wrote that the report, which supported the invasion of Iraq, caused Mr. Bush to focus on the “malignancy” of the Middle East situation.)<br><br>Mr. Kaplan said much of the meeting was spent drafting and reworking the document, which in the end carried the names of all 12 participants and was <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>“a forceful summary of some of the best pro-war arguments at the time.” </strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END-->Could any of the participants have been unaware there was a document in the making? “No, that’s not possible,” he said.<br><br>Mr. Kaplan, who was then a freelancer at The Atlantic Monthly, said he spoke to his editor before attending, and was given approval to attend because <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>“everybody was in a patriotic fervor.”</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br><br>Mr. Zakaria said he felt participating was appropriate because his views, as a columnist for Newsweek, were public, although he has never divulged his involvement to his readers.<br><br>“My column is an analytical column,” he said, adding that he gives advice to policy makers and elected officials: “If a senator calls me up and asks me what should we do in Iraq, I’m happy to talk to him.”<hr></blockquote><!--EZCODE QUOTE END--> Woodward, secret meeting master himself, calling out other journalists for secret meetings. Yes, how <!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>unusual</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END-->, Bob. <br><br>This whole account is dubious. As if Bush and Cabinet needed "forceful pro-war arguments." As if 911 took them all by surprise and they quickly needed to come up with a war strategy. Beyond the not-so-shocking revelation of journalists conspiring with war policy drafters, I find it hard to believe Bush needed a strategy paper drawn up on Iraq and Afghanistan after 911 (in fact, is there not proof that plans were already drawn up before?) <br><br>Raises the question: how influential and/or real are these mini-Bilderbergs? Was this meeting for show - something perfunctory, intented for the public later? What is the difference between pre-911 Iraq planning and post-911 Iraq strategy reporting? This account is also confusing because it states that this report was about forming <!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>both</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--> pro-war arguments <!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>and</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--> war strategy. Which is it? Was it both? Is Woodward's "revelation" nothing more than a false impression and another diversion of attention? <br><br>Kaplan and Zakaria, disingenous. I've posted on Kaplan before (the roving <!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>pax americana </em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END-->boyscout who often manages to paint a nice portrait of areas of the world the US needs to bring 'stability' to: Balkan Ghosts, The Coming Anarchy, the "pagan ethos"...) Wise to keep an eye on his "work" if you wanna know what the imperialists (want to) have in mind. <p></p><i></i>
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Re: Woodward: Journalists Attended Secret Iraq Strategy Mtg.

Postby Gouda » Tue Oct 10, 2006 6:16 am

<!--EZCODE QUOTE START--><blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>It was the kind of shadowy, secret Washington meeting that Bob Woodward is fond of describing in detail. <hr></blockquote><!--EZCODE QUOTE END--> I also think this is meant to titillate the urban liberal reading class and its hack journalists into thinking that this is the furthest extent of public-private sector conspiracy. No history, no precedent: Iraq was pushed on the fly, after 911, in some "shadowy, secret" DC meetings we've all heard about. Bob enlightens. A rare glimpse, a privilage. You are satiated. That's all you need to know. Cigar bar banter. And plenty of fodder for the depth-challenged online liberal blathersphere. <br><br>Maybe the rest of Woodward's book goes broader and deeper. I have not read it. Just judging by hush-hush faux scandal tenor of this NY Times article. <p></p><i></i>
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Re: Woodward: Journalists Attended Secret Iraq Strategy Mtg.

Postby robertdreed » Tue Oct 10, 2006 7:25 am

How ecumenical of Mr. George Christian Walker Bush to invite Robert D. Kaplan, the author of <!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>A Pagan Warrior Ethic</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END-->, to a military strategy meeting. <p></p><i></i>
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