April 2008

Additional DC photos

I've added four additional photos from the CAP and MEI events, taken by Jodi and graciously shared with the site:

DC, continued

The DC events are now included in the Iraq 2008 section. I also added two more brief videos I shot at the MEI event.

The DC events

Still trying to get everything caught up from the DC trip two weeks ago, but I wanted to get as many of the clips and photos compiled in one place as possible.

April 2, Center for American Progress: "A View From the Ground in Iraq" (video)

Length: 1:25:51
LARGE (400.1 MB) ----- SMALL (86.5 MB)

(I was not using a flash, so the color is way off)

Two ThinkProgress interviews recorded later that afternoon:

Length: 2:47 (11.0 MB) ----- 2:24 (9.7 MB)

April 3, Middle-East Institute: "The Situation on the Ground in Iraq" (audio only)

Length: 1:14:34
LARGE (69.4 MB) ----- SMALL (18.0 MB)

A couple brief videos that I shot, also under low-light conditions:
Length: 0:25 (7.8 MB)
0:13 (2.6 MB)
0:44 (14.0 MB)

(More photos that I took; I slowed the shutter speed, which gave better color but did not freeze motion)

Another clip from Tuesday

Délie sent over an interview Michael did on International, which contains his first direct comments on the presidential candidates.

He is scheduled to be on at least TSR and AC360 today, possibly other shows as well. He has an interview with General Petraeus today; should make for some excellent viewing!

The clips from yesterday (including his first visit to The Sit Room) are converting and will be up ASAP.

"Inside the Surge," yesterday's clips, and today's testimony

The clips from yesterday's appearances on The Situation Room and Election Center are up, as well as the "Inside the Surge" special. Sorry these took so long; the conversions had my poor little PowerBook slogging away all night!

Also, MediaBistro had this item on their DC tipsheet this afternoon:

TUESDAY APR 08, 2008
Ware On Capitol Hill

A tipster tells us that CNN's Michael Ware was in today's Senate hearing with Gen. David Petraeus and Ryan Crocker. Ware had one of his feet up on a chair and his head resting in his hand, eyes closed. Was maybe even napping.

Said our tipster: "He's a badass for living in Iraq for five years, so he's allowed to sleep anywhere in my book."

I have never seen anyone so exhausted and still functioning. I hope he's heading home for a hugely deserved vacation once the testimony ends! He's already been on TSR three times today; and it sounds like he's heading back to Baghdad.

"Iraq: Inside the Surge"

Michael's second special aired on CNN International last night, and it is a powerful, insightful summation of what the surge has been all about. Many of the concepts are ones we've heard him discuss often, especially in recent months, but they are woven together in a tight package that is a perfect precursor to the Petraeus/Crocker testimony which begins tomorrow in DC.

I don't want to describe too much -- a great believer in "show it, don't tell it" am I, and thanks to Délie, the clips are converting and will be available on the site tomorrow -- but I have to mention two things: one is how striking it is to see Michael out in the open in Baghdad (in the GZ at one point, but in other locations as well). It truly is amazing that the rooftop is ever able to contain him at all.

There is also an incredible "reveal" in the first section, one of those moments when you know what's coming but hope you are wrong. A reveal is a dramatic term, and to me it was dramatic, although It was written and edited so well -- not hyped up, just a simply reality in Baghdad -- it's not even shocking or surprising. It just ... is. I've always appreciated the understated way he draws us into his work. It serves him well (as always) in this special, and I grieve for a man whose face I had never before seen.

I am going to post some screen grabs on the blog, and will get the clips (as well as his two appearances on Domestic today) posted as soon as they are ready.

Meeting Mr. Ware

Have just gotten home from spending several days in Washington, DC, where I was able to hear Michael speak at two events (Wednesday at the Center for American Progress and Thursday at the Middle East Institute; I will be adding the clips and transcripts and etc ASAP, but I just walked in the door and have to be at work in a few painful hours!)

First of all, let me say that hearing Michael speak in person is riveting. To say that he commands a room is an understatement; his turn of phrase, the sucker-punch-to-the-gut way he has of encapsulating events and concepts, the dry humor and raw emotion, the scope of his intelligence and awareness of causation and consequence -- all of that is in play far more than comes across through a television camera. Even exhausted to the brink of collapse (as I daresay he was at these events) he is a constant blur of motion as he pulls the audience along the path of understanding. He has often said that he feels an obligation to bear witness to the events he has seen in Iraq. I would go further and say he seems to feel the need to make us understand what we have wrought by starting this war (and whether we voted in favor of it or not, we as a country must own it) and that he possesses the rare gift of making people see what they would prefer to avoid. The sheer force of his personality and the rawness of his honesty demands nothing less.

I was also fortunate enough to speak with him briefly after the CAP event and found him to be gracious, humble, charming, and blazingly intense. (I could go on, and probably will when I have more time...) It was a privilege to be able to thank him for his work. It is why I started this website and why it continues to this day -- because his work is so incredibly vital. I could never do what he does, but I can contribute this site in order to make sure that his work is seen by as many people as possible.

(But if you ever have a chance to hear him speak, I definitely urge you to go!)

Also... Monday, CNN International is showing a 30-minute special about the Surge, the creation of which is the reason Michael was so exhausted this past week. I will post it as soon as possible.