Newsweek Int’l Editor Attended Secret Pre-War Meeting

In State of Denial, Bob Woodward delivers this sparkling scoop: Fareed Zakaria attended a secret gathering convened by Paul Wolfowitz in late 2001. The task at hand, according to a fellow participant, was to draft “a forceful summary of the best pro-war arguments” which became a blueprint for the Bush Administration’s PR campaign. Although he was a columnist at Newsweek and was editor of the magazine’s international edition, Zakaria didn’t attend in a journalistic capacity—in fact, he signed a non-disclosure agreement beforehand. But we are left with the astounding fact that one of the war’s crucial media proponents—apart from Zakaria’s ubiquity and sterling reputation as a foreign policy analyst, his is by far the most prominent Muslim voice in the press—helped craft the arguments that Bush used to take the country to war. Then for 16 months leading up to the invasion, he wrote columns, edited news coverage, and appeared as an analyst on television putatively evaluating those same arguments for his vast audience.