Jeffrey LewisEmerald City

Emerald City — That is what some in the Washington Post newsroom are calling Baghdad/’s “Green Zone.” This and other fascinating tidbits emerged at the 2004 Carnegie International Non-Proliferation Conference.

There is a bunch of stuff that I need to follow-up on before its blog ready, but here is one amusing tidbit:

Linton Brooks, administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration, sneered his way through a presentation of the Bush Administration/’s nuclear policies and programs, which he claims are “frequently misunderstood and even distorted by opponents who seek to mislead rather than inform.”

Guess that means me.

Brooks claims that “I/’ve never met anyone in the Administration who can foresee circumstances in which we would consider nuclear preemption to counter rogue state WMD threats.” Um, Linton, meet John Bolton, who told the Washington Times that negative security assurances were based on “an unrealistic view of the international situation.”

UPDATE: I went looking for other statements from John “Nuke /’em all” Bolton, noticing this comment:

I don/’t think we have any intention of using nuclear weapons in circumstances that I can foresee in the days ahead of us. The point is that the kind of rhetorical approach that you are describing doesn/’t seem to me to be terribly helpful in analyzing what our security needs may be in the real world, and what we are doing instead of chitchatting is making changes in our force structures, that we/’re making in a very transparent fashion.

The extremely similar language (“foresee circumstances”) suggests Brooks was reading from talking points, which isn/’t unusual. What is unusual is that the talking points are expressed as a personal opinion, rather than administration, viepoint.

How, pray tell, does one write talking points that purport to express the private views of individuals? What is this? A cult?