Pleading their Case in the Post

In yesterday’s Washington Post, columnist David Ignatius offered advice to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice: accept Hezbollah’s terms for a cease-fire in Lebanon. But how does Ignatius know what Hezbollah’s terms are? They were leaked to him:

Lebanese sources outlined for me the compromise package they say was discussed Monday when Rice met with Fouad Siniora, the Lebanese prime minister, and Nabih Berri, the parliament speaker and leader of the Shiite militia known as Amal.

So Hezbollah, either directly or through intermediaries, wanted to put pressure on Rice to accede to their terms. They sought to do that by contacting an opinion columnist with the Post and leaking their terms–or a version of those terms, anyway–and he dutifully responded with a favorable story and the desired “advice” for Secretary Rice.

I guess it’s not surprising that Hezbollah knew where to go for a favorable reception, but wasn’t there a time when this sort of collaboration would have been considered unseemly, if not shocking?

Blog of the Week Blue Crab Boulevard has more.


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