<em>TWN</em> Travels to Mexico City



I will be getting into Mexico City late tonight and am returning to Washington on Saturday. I do have TWN readers in Mexico — quite a number of them — but don’t know where they are located. So email me if interested in a blog politics coffee session either Friday afternoon or Saturday morning. The International Herald Tribue had a nice piece today on Cem Oezdemir’s talk at the New America Foundation yesterday. The work of Cem’s so-called “CIA Committee”…

Richard Armitage: Deputy Secretary Becomes Knight and Oil Man



Richard Armitage co-chaired with former Secretary of Defense Harold Brown my very first Council on Foreign Relations study group when I moved to Washington in the mid-1990s. He’s an interesting man — tied deeply into Japan affairs. But truth in advertising — Armitage and I have very different views of Japan’s path to normal nationhood. But Armitage, as I have written before, turns out to have been an element of conscience in the first term of this Bush administration. He…

Guest Post: From the Quartet Meeting to Olmert’s Washington Visit



The Quartet New York meeting, including its commitment to creating a mechanism to re-start Palestinian assistance, could mark the re-emergence of this international foursome (US, EU, Russia, UN) as a force in Middle East peace. A multi-lateral approach, with US, EU and moderate Arab State’s partnership at its core, offers hope for kick-starting a new effort at progress on Israel-Palestine. The challenges ahead will revolve around stabilizing the situation in the PA, guaranteeing security, creating a credible option for Israeli-Palestinian…

European Complicity on Secret CIA Detention Camps and Rendition Flights? Meeting Today with Cem Oezdemir



(European Parliament Member Cem Oezdemir) Recently, I wrote about an important interim report that was issued by a Temporary Committee of the European Parliament investigating the complicity of European governments in illegally collaborating and cooperating with the CIA on secret enemy combatant detention centers and clandestine rendition-related flight traffic. Cem Oezdemir, who is a Member of the European Parliament from Germany and a former Memer of the German Bundestag, is Vice President of the European Parliament’s Temporary Committee on the…

Hastert Loyal to Goss — Lashes Out at Hayden and Negroponte



House Speaker Dennis Hastert is seriously confused about who scores gains and who loses if Michael Hayden is confirmed as successor to Porter Goss as Director of Central Intelligence. In a short article that just appeared on Roll Call‘s website, Hastert lashes out as Negroponte for Goss’s firing, calling it a “power grab” by John Negroponte. Oddly, Hastert also thinks that elevating Hayden will give too much influence over intelligence to the Pentagon. Hellooo? John Bresnahan writes: Speaker Dennis Hastert…

A Happy “Europe Day” to You and Yours



On May 9, 1950, French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman suggested the banding together and rationalization of Western European coal and steel production. This was the spark of the incremental intertwining of sovereignty, currencies, and aspiration into what is now the European Union. The 9th of May is now memorialized as “Europe Day“. Tonight, I’ll be going to the “Europe Day” celebration at the home of the Ambassador of the European Delegation to the U.S., former Prime Minister of Ireland John…

Misreading Michael Hayden’s Role in the Intelligence Bureaucracy Wars: Negroponte Wants Hayden to Battle with — Not Help — Rumsfeld



(President George W. Bush and Lt. General Michael Hayden) The crack team that puts out the American Progress Action Fund’s “Progress Report” has its Mike Hayden review out, and its predictably critical. But they get the Michael Hayden picture half-wrong. Hayden — and now the super spy Steve Kappes who was fired by Goss and who will be the new CIA Deputy — may become the best hope of knocking back Don Rumsfeld’s imperialism over the national intelligence capacity of…

Creative Diplomatic Move by Iran: Direct Talks or Bust



Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is pulling a slick and interesting move in US-Iran diplomacy by sending President Bush the first letter from an Iranian President to a U.S. President in 27 years. This is clever. The Europeans have been our interlocutors with Iran, but that hasn’t been enough. Republican Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Richard Luger has been calling for the U.S. to negotiate directly with Iran. Democrat Joe Biden has been calling for the same. Last September at a conference…

Breaking News in London and D.C.



Tony Blair is demoting British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw to serve as Leader of Parliament’s Lower House. Margaret Becket, who has been serving as Secretary of State for the Environment, will succeed Straw. Straw is taking the same path of the late Robin Cook when he was demoted from the Foreign Secretary portfolio. Straw has adamently opposed a strike against Iran, under current conditions, and has stated forcefully that it would be an “illegal act.” Blair seems to want to…