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NYT: Secret Meeting With Journos In 01 Produced Report Supporting Iraq War

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kpete Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 12:15 PM
Original message
NYT: Secret Meeting With Journos In 01 Produced Report Supporting Iraq War
Edited on Mon Oct-09-06 12:16 PM by kpete
Secret Iraq meeting included journos
Nov. 29, 2001; Produced report for Bush which supported invasion of Iraq.
Secret Iraq Meeting Included Journalists
By JULIE BOSMAN
Published: October 9, 2006

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.

What was more unusual, Mr. Woodward reveals, was the presence of journalists at the meeting. Fareed Zakaria, the editor of Newsweek International and a Newsweek columnist, and Robert D. Kaplan, now a national correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly, attended the meeting and, according to Mr. Kaplan, signed confidentiality agreements not to discuss what happened.

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.

Mr. Zakaria takes issue with Mr. Woodwards account, saying that while he attended the meeting for several hours, he does not recall being told that a report would be produced.

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.)
more at:
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/09/business/media/09zaka...

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madmusic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 12:31 PM
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1. So, will everyone know now who/what the neocons are?
Rec.
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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 12:34 PM
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2. Was the queen of all fucking Iraq there?
Seems to me they'd have wanted Judith Miller to be there from the get-go; her support and favorable reporting in the New York Times was crucial to selling the war in Iraq. And Zakaria's objection to Woodward's account is laughable: Sure I was there, but nobody said a report of the meeting would be written. Pretty weak, Fareed.
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wanpete Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 12:47 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. pathetic excuse that is totally unbelievable, looks like he's a neocon
in sheep's clothing.
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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 01:09 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Everybody likes that "inside" access
But nobody want to admit that it influences them. From what Ive seen of Zakaria, I mostly like him. Hes bright, personable and makes a good presentation. Im sure that the idea that he got access in exchange for favorable treatment in the stories he filed is repugnant to him, but the evidence is there. He wasnt quite the cheerleader that (for example) Judith Miller was, but he gave the administration a good gloss in his stories. His face and image helped to sell the administrations product at a crucial time.

From what I can tell, Zakaria hasnt completely soured on Mr. Bushs excellent foreign adventure, but he knows that the product marketed doesnt match the product delivered. Woodwards book makes him look like a chump, but I would submit that hes no more a chump than Woodward himself was in selling the invasion of Iraq. I hope that Zakaria is able to develop a more skeptical attitude toward power when it is trying to use his journalistic real estate as the setting for its sell job to the public.
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