War Profiteering

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The first blog post I did over four years ago at The Washington Note had to do with the subject of war profiteering and players in the national security establishment that were making money from defense contractors while also serving as so-called “objective” commentators on the war, weapons systems, and the like. My target at the time was former Clinton administration CIA Director James Woolsey — or “Jihad Jim” as some of his friends call him — who was the…

In New York? See the “Joe Stiglitz Movie” at Lincoln Center Wednesday, 12/3

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Joseph Stiglitz is an economist I wish Barack Obama would spend some more time with. I can’t attend this one time only showing of Around the World with Joseph Stiglitz but I would if in New York. I’ll be on a plane to Brussels. Hope some of you can make it and report back. — Steve Clemons Update: There are a limited number of tickets for $5 available. If you would like one, please email acs76@columbia.edu.

3 Streaming Live: James Glassman on Public Diplomacy 2.0, Helene Cooper on her Memoir of a Lost African Childhood, and Barton Gellman on Richard “The Angler” Cheney

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Monday and Tuesday this next week, I have three events I am chairing at the New America Foundation — and all of them are superb. If you are in the Washington, DC area, you are welcome to join us. I’ll hyperlink the website for each of the specific events so that you can RSVP directly to our event staff. The first features Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy James K. Glassman who will be speaking on the subject, “Public…

Michiko Kakutani Lists “America & The World” with Brzezinski, Scowcroft, and Ignatius in her TOP TEN

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Hot damn! I am very excited today. A book, America and the World: Conversations on the Future of American Foreign Policy that I was very involved in helping to hatch made it to Michiko Kakutani’s top 10 list for books from 2008. And to top off a great day, my colleague and friend Steve Coll‘s The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century also made the cut. Some of you have previously read about my enthusiasm for the…

Uncomfortable Thanksgiving: Obama, Prop 8, and My Marriage

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I got married to my partner of 17 years in San Francisco on August 18th of this year. We did so under the beautiful dome of San Francisco’s magnificent City Hall — and I had my picture taken (above) with Harvey Milk’s statue. It was a powerful package for me — paying a fee to the City for a contract that finally said that my partner and I had the rights and responsibilities of other married couples. We met others…

Can Turkey Really Help Solve the Iran Nuclear Problem?

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Turkey’s unique position as a NATO member and a Middle Eastern, Muslim nation with close ties to Iran would seem to make the country an ideal candidate to help solve the simmering conflict surrounding the Islamic Republic’s controversial nuclear energy program. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan made this argument himself last week, when he suggested that his government mediate negotiations between the new Obama administration and Iran. The Bush administration has been broadly supportive of Turkey playing such a…

Condolences: Fear and Tragedy Unfolding in Mumbai

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There is great tragedy unfolding now in the middle of Mumbai. More than 900 wounded and more than 80 dead. Gunmen are holding fort in the Oberoi Hotel and the Taj Hotel — which are the two hotels I stayed at during recent trips to Mumbai. I knew a number of the staff in these two hotels and am very worried about them. Condolences to all who have lost people in this sad episode. We need to think about the…

Robert Gates: Should We Want Him to Stay?

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Bob Gates is keeping his Pentagon perch (which has been quite clear for some time). I had moved close to the view that Gates should go. My thinking at the time was that Gates played a vital role “Out-Cheneying Cheney” in the last couple of years of G.W. Bush’s term, but that his skill at crunching out the ambiguity in the national security decision making process that Cheney and Rumsfeld exploited would not be necessary in the Obama White House…