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The Pentagon's Papers

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The Pentagon's Papers, not to be confused with THE Pentagon Papers, were left at Starbucks at Connecticut Avenue and R Street NW in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, March 28, 2004, presumably by a Bush administration or Department of Defense staffer on his/her way to a meet-up with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. There are four pieces of paper, writes Al Kamen on March 31, 2004, for the Washington Post: "One is stationery with the heading 'Office of the Secretary of Defense,' and right under that 'The Special Assistant.' ... It has a penciled map of directions from the Pentagon to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's house in Northwest Washington. Another sheet says, 'Eric's Telephone Log.' Someone has written 'Conf. call' at the top and some notes, some in partial shorthand, on one side. These apparently were taken by Eric." [1]

Kamen continues: [2]

"The notes say: 'Took threat v seriously and then segue to wh we have been doing. Rise above [ Richard A.] Clarke.
"'Emphasize importance of 9/11 commission and come back to what we have been doing.
"'[Commission member Jamie] Gorelick pitting Condi [ Condoleezza Rice] v. [Deputy Secretary of State Richard] Armitage
"'Our plan had military plans to attack Al Q -- called on def to draw up targets in Afg -- develop mil options.'
"There's an underlined notation 'DR' in the margin and a quotation, apparently from DR, perhaps Rumsfeld, to 'Stay inside the line -- we dont need 2 ruff [or puff] this at all. we need 2b careful as hell about it. This thing will go away soon and what will keep it alive will be one of us going over the line.'
"A third sheet is dated Saturday, 4:30 p.m., and headed 'Possible Q's for Sunday Talk Shows,' but there are no answers.
"A fourth sheet describes actions taken to change a policy of treating terrorism as a law enforcement matter to treating it as war."

And whom, exactly, found these papers? Well, Kamen writes "Our good citizen, no dummy he, concluded these were significant papers and should be turned over to the appropriate people. So that would be the Pentagon or the White House?

"Oh, no," Kamen says, "He turned them over to none other than that most left-leaning think tank, Center for American Progress (CAP), headed by none other than former Bill Clinton chief of staff John D. Podesta."

One of the Center's web pages headlines on March 31, 2004, with "Found at Starbucks: The Pentagon's Papers": [3]

"As most of America slept early last Sunday morning, the Bush Administration hustled and bustled to prepare for the Sunday morning talk shows - among others Colin L. Powell was appearing on Face the Nation and Donald Rumsfeld was booked on Fox News Sunday. Condi Rice was not scheduled to appear until prime time, when she would make a star appearance on CBS' 60 Minutes - the last in a long line of media appearances that caused 9/11 Commissioner Richard Ben Veniste to quip that 'Condi Rice has appeared everywhere but at my local Starbucks.'
"Well, others in the Bush administration did, apparently, make an appearance at the local Starbucks. And as the Washington Post reports today, one of them - obviously readying himself to prep Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld - left his notes on the table. Talking points, hand-written notes on spin tactics, and a hand-drawn map to the Secretary's house were found by a resident of DuPont Circle, who made them available to the Center for American Progress. The name of said resident is being withheld at his request, as he fears that he may be accused on national television of being 'disgruntled'."

The exact images of The Pentagon's Papers are available as a downloadble in pdf format at CAP. The map to Rumsfeld's house was "redacted by The Center for American Progress in the interest of national security."

CAP also provides "Possible Answers for Sunday Talk Shows," which is contained within the pdf file.


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