Politics & Policy

Document Extract

National Security Agency Telephone Record

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article appears in the October 25, 2004, issue of National Review This COULD HAVE BEEN…

11.05.04

Begin Extract:

[Dialing. Static. Click.]

PRESIDENT-ELECT JOHN KERRY: “Jacques?”

UNIDENTIFIED MALE VOICE: “Oui?”

P-EJK: “Jacques, c’est John Kerry à l’appareil.”

JACQUES CHIRAC: “Oh! Bonjour, Jean! Ça va?”

P-EJK: “Oui, oui. Très bien!”

JACQUES CHIRAC: “Félicitations, mon vieux . . .”

P-EJK: “Thanks, Jacques. Thanks. Sorry to switch to English, but . . .”

JACQUES CHIRAC: “Is no problem, Monsieur le President-elect. Please. It is very good to hear from you.”

P-EJK: “Thanks, Jacques. Anyway, the reason I’m calling is this. As you know, part of my message to the American people during the campaign was . . .”

JACQUES CHIRAC: “Congratulations, by the way.”

P-EJK: “Thanks, thanks. Anyway, as I was saying, part of my message to the American people during the election was that I’d be able to repair the alliances that my predecessor had damaged. And one of my promises to them was that I could get more countries involved in the effort to rebuild . . .”

JACQUES CHIRAC: “It was, as one says, a real nail-chewer, no?”

P-EJK: “Nail-biter.”

JACQUES CHIRAC: “Pardon?”

P-EJK: “The expression is ‘nail-biter,’ not ‘nail-chewer.’”

JACQUES CHIRAC: “Nail-biter. Nail-biter. Okay, then. It was a real nail-biter.”

P-EJK: “Yes, well. Okay. Back to what I was saying. One of my promises to the American people was that I could get more countries involved in the effort to rebuild Iraq, which obviously includes sending troops, peacekeeping missions, training exercises, that sort of . . .”

JACQUES CHIRAC: “I am wondering to myself if it was not maybe a question of the first debate?”

P-EJK: “Excuse me?”

JACQUES CHIRAC: “The first debate. You seemed in command. Un vrai président, non? As a student of politics, I ask myself if this was not a crucial moment, yes?”

P-EJK: “You know, Jacques, I’d love to sit down sometime and really hash out the ins-and-outs of the election . . .”

JACQUES CHIRAC: “Maybe at one of the summits?”

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