In the fall of 2002, I attended what was basically the biggest gathering of Beltway anti-Iraq War types during the key season when the Bush administration was selling the war. Joe Wilson was there, liberal foreign-policy types from the Clinton administration, and so on. Several hundred people.
The big keynote speech was by Zbigniew Brzezinski, and he shared an anecdote that remains chiseled in my memory and I’m sure the memories of everyone else there. It was October 1962, he said, and an American official in Paris, I believe the ambassador, who at the time was Chip Bohlen, one of the famous post-war Wise Men, was sitting with a French official. I’m pretty certain it was Charles de Gaulle himself, but I don’t recall for sure.
At any rate, the American informed the Frenchman that U.S. intelligence services had in recent days taken some shocking photos of Soviet missiles being placed in Cuba. The American had on the table before him a file folder filled with surveillance photos. He went to push it in the direction of the Frenchman (whom I’ll now just call de Gaulle for the sake of simplicity).