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Iraq / Bush's Secret Mission / The Politics / Shepperd Interview #742764

CNN Evening News for Thursday, Nov 27, 2003
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(Studio: Carol Lin) Reports introduced.

(Crawford: Dana Bash) President Bush's top-secret visit with the troops in Iraq featured; scenes shown from Baghdad International Airport of Bush with the soldiers; details given of the travel timetable from Crawford, Texas, to Iraq. [US administrator in Iraq Paul BREMER - announces Bush.] [Before the troops, BUSH - thanks the soldiers for the invitation; says we will not retreat; tells Iraqis they can rebuild their country.] The planning for this surprise trip & the encounter of Air Force One with a British Airways pilot discussed.

(Studio: Carol Lin) Report introduced.

(Baghdad: Walter Rodgers) The reaction of the troops to the visit featured; scenes shown of the president with the troops. [BUSH - jokes about a meal; tells the soldiers you are defending against Saddam's henchmen; promise to stay until the job is done.] [Two SOLDIERS - react.] The political calculation in the Bush visit noted & whether the visit will change anything on the ground in Iraq & the fractious nature of Iraqi society discussed.

(Studio: Carol Lin) Report introduced.

(Washington: John King) The kodak moments of the secret mission by a president running for re-election examined; scenes shown of Bush with the soldiers in Baghdad. [GOP strategist Scott REED†- says Iraq is the biggest weakness for the president in the campaign.] [Presidential historian Robert DALLEK†- talks about the "quagmire."] [GOP pollster/strategist Bill McINTURFF†, veteran POLITICIAN -offer political views.] Statement from Democratic presidential candidate Senator John Kerry quoted. The sticking power of today's images in the presidential election campaign discussed.

(Studio: Carol Lin) Live interview held with CNN military analyst retired Gen. Don Shepperd about how the presidential visit to a war zone was pulled off. [From Tucson, SHEPPERD - says the visit was not real risky in the air with the danger being on the ground; notes the real danger was in policy if the plane had to turn around; explains how the pilots handled the flight & arrival & landing at the Baghdad airport; explains how heat-seeking missiles are fired at planes; says from the intelligence point of view the trip was not difficult to pull off, but the concern was about the secret leaking out.]

Lin, Carol;
Bash, Dana;
Rodgers, Walter;
King, John

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