Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Secret Iraq Meeting

I somehow missed this NYT piece relating an anecdote from Woodward's latest book:
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. A report was produced 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.

When journalists meet secretly with government officials to brainstorm what to do with "Afghanistan and the Middle East," they cease to be journalists. I've always liked Zakaraia, and to his credit he's been critical of the Iraq War more recently, but this incident is just unbelievable.

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