When I stood up to ask a question, I had the microphone offered and then quickly taken away at the moderator’s prompting as soon as I introduced myself.
Yikes — especially considering the mission of the CFR, as per their website: “Founded in 1921, CFR is dedicated to producing and disseminating ideas so that individuals and corporate members, as well as policymakers, journalists, students, and interested citizens, can better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other governments.”
(For the record, Arianna says, she was going to ask:
It has now been established, including by the Robb-Silberman commission, that the group you headed, the Iraqi National Congress, coached defectors to fabricate information about Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction to the intelligence community. Do you take responsibility for the actions of the group?
Oh! That reminds us: apparently Chalabi met with Judith Miller on Thursday and is seeing Dick Cheney sometime today.
This is my favorite part though (other than this bit of spin: “There is no communal strife in Iraq. Only individual acts of violence”): Half an hour after the speech ended, Arianna got a message from Chalabi’s office requesting her presence at breakfast the next day! This is the part where my imagination takes over. A mysterious, shady foreigner tries to gain the trust of the wily reporter, leading her on a wild goose chase involving the highest levels of national security and a life-and-death race to track down the destructive weapons of a madman. Oh. Wait. That actually happened. Never mind.
Arianna ended up having dinner with Chalabi; check HuffPo today for the skinny, and the New York Sun‘s editorial page to find out why they think Chalabi is a brilliant leader filled with “humor, grace, grit, and sagacity.”