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At State, Slow to Articulate the Message

By Ed O'Keefe

By The Post's Glenn Kessler in our blog, On the Plane:

BANGKOK -- Diplomacy is often about the message. Six months into Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's tenure, the State Department sometimes still has trouble getting her message out.

Reporters traveling with Clinton had been led to believe that the highlight of Clinton's last day in India -- Monday -- would be the signing of an "end-use monitoring" agreement permitting U.S. firms to compete for $10 billion in military aircraft purchases by India.

But no U.S. official attempted to explain what that meant beforehand. In addition, up until a final news conference, there was virtually no information provided on a series of other agreements the two governments had been negotiating for the weeks leading up to Clinton's visit.

So when Clinton and her Indian counterpart signed something else--a technology joint venture to spur research--confusion ensued among reporters. Did the "end-use" deal collapse? Was Clinton playing semantic games by saying the "end-use" deal had been "finalized"? No one seemed to know for sure.

Continue reading this post in On the Plane >>>

By Ed O'Keefe  | July 21, 2009; 3:00 PM ET
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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