Talk:Project for the New American Century

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Synthetic table, poorly sourced[edit]

This controversial edit needs consensus before being restored.

One of its "sources" claims that PNAC hijacked the US government and led the US to war, pretty nifty for a 5-employee organization. LLAP, Dear ODear ODear (is a) 09:55, 10 March 2015 (UTC)

I agree that some of the sources look a bit biased, but what exactly is SYNTH about the claim that person a (or person b, or person x) was a signatory to PNAC's statement (or a group member) and then later went on to serve in the Bush Admin? Assuming it's properly sourced that seems like a simple statement of fact, I'm still not clear how it's SYNTH. Fyddlestix (talk) 11:39, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
There is enough honest work to be one finding and soberly reporting the central points of high quality reliable sources. The names are already linked, so there is no need to create the table. LLAP, Dear ODear ODear (is a) 11:46, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
The sourcing of the table, BLP concerns, SYNTH concerns etc have been discussed to death and there is consensus against those claims. DEADHORSE. My only objection to the table is that it is UNDUE in the article. I would support a linked LIST which contains a sources statement of its significance. Jbh (talk) 12:13, 10 March 2015 (UTC)

"A person signed anything related to a group - therefore they are directly related to the group" = "guilt by association" and is precisely the reasoning given to "George Gnarph signed a petition from 'People for the Constitution'. Some of the signers of that document were Communists, and the group was led by Communists, therefore Gnarph is associated with Communists." Sorry -- SYNTH does indeed still apply, and any such edit must have a strong positive consensus in any event as being contentious. Cheers. Collect (talk) 13:16, 10 March 2015 (UTC)

Collect, we've been through this. Like, multiple times. Where exactly do you see this article, as written, assigning "guilt" to anyone, for anything? We're talking about a list of names indicating a simple, straightforward fact: that the people listed were both members/signatories to PNAC's statement of principles, and played a role in the GWB admin. You need to explain much more clearly how and why exactly you think that is SYNTH, or why it should even be regarded as contentious. The listed people were involved in both organizations, and there are reliable sources that testify to that fact. So where, exactly, is the problem? Fyddlestix (talk) 14:34, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
Adding to clarify - if you think there's significant doubt that some of these people can be portrayed as "involved" with PNAC that's a different matter (see JBH's list below) - that kind of need for sourcing/checking I can get behind for sure. I just don't see a problem with the table itself if the content is reliably sourced.Fyddlestix (talk) 14:46, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
OK - Who "just signed 'anything' related to" PNAC and did nothing to publicly advance that position or otherwise reinforce the position they took in that document. Your statement implies that all of the people on that list 'just signed something' - other than the 'Statement f Principals', which is a strong sign of association - if you can specify people like that I will support their removal from the list. State specifics which can be addressed. Thank you. Jbh (talk) 13:52, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
For instance I can see a case for the removal of Dov S. Zakheim. After a brief check, I do not see a lot of press associating him with PNAC. Jbh (talk) 14:05, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
Going through the table these are the only people who are not Signatories, Staff or Officers and therefore would need better sourcing for their connection to PNAC for purposes of the table. I suggest discussing the sourcing for including them or not be discussed in the list below:
Sources/Discussion:

"Mr Khalilzad was a founder member of the now ailing neo-con Project for the New American Century, and signed its 1998 letter that called on President Bill Clinton to topple Saddam Hussein." BBC - Zalmay Khalilzad: US power broker - 8 January 2007

Jbh (talk) 14:45, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
Weak source about the US Ambassador ... signing a "statement of principles" does not make one a "founder member" per se. Collect (talk) 15:11, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
The BBC is a RS Collect. If it says that he was a "founder member" then that's good enough for me and I'd wager it's good enough for most people. Certainly it meets RS criteria. Fyddlestix (talk) 13:25, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
Interesting claim - but wrong. The claim appears to be catenated with views of Cliff Kupchan , and furnishes no basis for a claim not found in any other source. In fact, it appears based on his signing the 1998 letter. Cheers. Collect (talk) 22:26, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
That's your interpretation. I see an article from a reliable source (the BBC) that contains this text - not as a quote, not attributed to anyone else, but in the BBC's voice: "Mr Khalilzad was a founder member of the now ailing neo-con Project for the New American Century." So, sorry but you don't really have a leg to stand on here. You don't get to arbitrarily decide which sources are trustworthy and which are not. This is clearly a reliable source. Fyddlestix (talk) 01:58, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
I agree.--Ubikwit 連絡 見学/迷惑 16:15, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
Sources/Discussion:
Sources/Discussion:
It's a tertiary source (Britannica) but: "During the 1990s Bolton was active in prominent conservative organizations, including the American Enterprise Institute, at which he was a vice president during 1997–2001, and the Project for the New American Century." looking for a better source but it would seem the statement that he was "active in" the group at least is not controversial. Fyddlestix (talk) 13:16, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
Hah, an even better source, right from Kristol's mouth: Bolton "served in the late 1990s as a director of the Project for the New American Century" Source is Irving Kristol, "Bolton's the One," Weekly Standard, 10.29 (Apr 18, 2005): 9. Fyddlestix (talk) 13:16, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
Sources/Discussion:

I suppose Checney has been struck because the connection is the most publicized, aside from being well-sourced.--Ubikwit 連絡 見学/迷惑 11:36, 13 March 2015 (UTC)

Sources/Discussion:
While it is apparent that Zakheim has not received as much coverage as others, note that hementions the connection himself in his own book, and claims he wasn’t a neocon, downplay PNAC's role in the administration, etc.
Note that the Christie book, in a footnote(p.48) to the discussion started on p. 47 lists 18 other PNAC appointees (apparently), including Zakheim, some not included on the table, such as Bruce Jackson. I don't see why Zakheim (or anyone else) shouldn't be included if there is to be a table/list, and Jbhunley, I think that the table is a worthwhile cross-reference, much better than a list.--Ubikwit 連絡 見学/迷惑 15:22, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
I looked the book (Christie) up - that footnote is a list of "Bush appointees who have been identified as neon-cons or as very close to the neo-cons by various observers." So that specific source doesn't document a PNAC connection. Fyddlestix (talk) 02:07, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
Sorry -- your basis for SYNTH is still SYNTH. And your desire to use "guilt by association" tables is contrary to policy. Collect (talk) 22:26, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
The size of the table alone with respect to the article makes it UNDUE. The article is about PNAC not about PNAC and the Bush administration or people who who were sympathetic to PNAC and the Bush Administration. There is a good case for listing people who associated themselves strongly with PNAC's policy positions, by signing the Statement of Principals, or policy letters and multiple public statements in support of those policies and PNAC. If the table becomes a repository for listing weak associations just to make it bigger I would be forced to support its complete removal. Jbh (talk) 15:35, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
OK, that's sound reasoning. I was justing thinking along the lines of being comprehensive, but your rationale is stronger, being more focused and precise.--Ubikwit 連絡 見学/迷惑 15:43, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
Sources/Discussion:
I can't find anything on an Armitage-PNAC connection other than his signature on the letter to Clinton about Iraq. Fyddlestix (talk) 02:18, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
Struck here. Struck on hatted list above. Removed from List article. Jbh (talk) 02:32, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
Jbh (talk) 14:20, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
Fyddlestix I found plenty, and his status as a signatory to the Clinton letter is well-covered in academic sources such as this, this, this, and this. Armitage outted a CIA officer that was writing a report refuting false claims about yellow cake and MWD, didn't he? Obviously he is going to attract a lot of attention in relation to Iraq, which was the subject of the Clinton Iraq letter, as per the sources.
Other book sources include [11][][12]
Let's centralize the discussion of the table at the List page.--Ubikwit 連絡 見学/迷惑 11:13, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
So far, I see no conceivable need for the infamous "table". We have specific mentions already of the signers, and wikilinks for them. Anything past that is SYNTH unless you find specific fact sources linking them in such a manner. (BTW Cheney is already listed as a PNAC signer above - no need to add him here) Some here are on the basis of "they signed a letter which core members of PNAC signed" which, IMHO, is a very weak sort of claim to use. Some not even for that much. Period. Collect (talk) 14:39, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
So far other editors see a "conceivable need for the infamous "table"." So, there is a place to discuss the specifics of inclusion above. Signing the 'Statement of Principals' is a strong tie of association. The 25 Signatories are referred to collectively in the press regularly and individuals are often referred to as one of the 25 Signatories when discussed in the press. If you see a weak association please discuss it above. General complaints have been addressed multiple times. Specific addressable concerns about individuals will move the discussion forward. Jbh (talk) 14:58, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
And that means they signed the "Statement of Principles" and nothing more. If you find that to be a "strong tie of association" then I am sorry indeed. Collect (talk) 15:04, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
Are you saying that that statement and those people are not strongly tied to PNAC in the press? Otherwise strike 'members' in the table and leave signatories. That would remove the people listed above from the list, keep the list from becoming a coat rack and limit the group of people to one that is often referred to as a group in the press. the '25 Signatories'. Jbh (talk) 15:42, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
I suggest "signers" is a better word - we can use ordinary words in articles, AFAICT. Collect (talk) 15:46, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
Note The above list of individuals participated in at least one project meeting or contributed a paper for discussion. The report is a product solely of the Project for the New American Century and does not necessarily represent the views of the project participants or their affiliated institutions. is not the same as calling a person a "member" of PNAC, or even being able to suggest they agreed with the report, or any part of the report. I suggest the disclaimer is dispositive here. Collect (talk) 15:00, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
And where is that disclaimer. I see it no where on the Statement of Principles. Jbh (talk) 15:38, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
Are you suggesting we simply ignore that clear disclaimer from the actual report from PNAC? Or did you miss my use of The above list of individuals participated in at least one project meeting or contributed a paper for discussion. The report is a product solely of the Project for the New American Century ? I suggest we ought neither state nor imply that any person on the list of the end of the report subscribes to that report. The "statement of principles" is a "statement" and is not the "report". Collect (talk) 15:44, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
Jbhunley Having reviewed the literature a bit as well as the subjects articles on Wikipedia, I think that only Fukuyama and Zakheim can be removed from the list. The others would seem to be too embroiled in the core controversies related to the group.--Ubikwit 連絡 見学/迷惑 16:15, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
@Ubikwit: The issue though is whether they were embroiled as strong associates of PNAC or merely intellectual fellow travelers. There were a lot of people who drank the kool-aid on Iraq, US hegemony and a mono-polar international system. That some of these people would be weakly in PNAC's orbit is unremarkable. The section above is a place to bring cites to sources to demonstrate whether a person should be included. The more focused and defined the criteria for inclusion the more relevant the list is to the article.
@Collect: Right now the list consists of directors/staff/fellows and signatories. Whether the others should be included is what is being discussed above. I removed the list of people "Participated in one meeting...." over a week ago. That is not what is being discussed here. There is no mention of the report in the table, what is being discussed those who signed the Statement which is encyclopedic for the reasons I have previously stated. Please find sources to back up your assertions. I am sure that I and everyone else here would be very happy to discuss them, otherwise you are simply repeating yourself to no avail. Jbh (talk) 17:11, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
And I consider that we already have the lists of signers etc. and that the table becomes SYNTH as soon as multiple sources are combined in order to show a relationship not found in the individual sources. Once a person is in the article, the need to have them listed more than once is de minimis at best. And the assertion that using multiple sources to make a claim not found in any single source is directly and precisely what WP:SYNTH requires. It is not up to me to "prove" anything - it is up to those making such claims to prove that they are not making claims based on SYNTH. Cheers. Collect (talk) 19:06, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
That's not the definition of SYNTH Collect, perhaps you should review what WP:SYNTH actually says. It clearly defines SYNTH as "material from multiple sources to reach or imply a conclusion not explicitly stated by any of the sources. Similarly, do not combine different parts of one source to reach or imply a conclusion not explicitly stated by the source." In this case, however, the only conclusion that is being drawn is that there were multiple personal connections between the GWB admin and PNAC. And we already have multiple sources that state that conclusion clearly. Since the only conclusion that I can imagine anyone drawing from the table is reliably sourced, I don't see how this table can be construed as SYNTH. Fyddlestix (talk) 21:24, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
Using two or more sources to reach conclusions not reached by any individual source is SYNTH. Making a table whoch implicitly makes claims not made by individual sources is SYNTH. Cheers. Collect (talk)
Yes. So what, exactly, is the SYNTH "conclusion" that you see being drawn by the table? What are these "implicit claims" that you think the table makes? We've been here before, remember? Either explain specifically what you see as the conclusion/implication being made through SYNTH, or stop making the claim that the table is SYNTH. Fyddlestix (talk) 23:19, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

Since this is going no where I have created the list article I suggested above:

I am sure the title could be better but it is a start. Comments on inclusion criteria can be made on the article talk page. Jbh (talk) 20:18, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

Sorry, but if you're proposing a list article then every single PNAC member associated with the Bush aministration, including advisors, needs to be included. No "if ands or buts" about it. The characterization "strongly" in that context would be purely an OR/SYNTH appellation of your own making.--Ubikwit 連絡 見学/迷惑 20:23, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
Check out the inclusion criteria on the lists talk page. I could care less about the word 'strongly'. Before someone can be placed on the list they must be notable enough for their own article. They must be Directors/Staff/Fellows etc of PNAC or they must be one of the 25 signatories or they must be shown through RS to have tied themselves to PNAC, for instance commonly referred to as a part of PNAC, signed multiple policy letters etc. There needs to be a good case for inclusion for each person added. I will be extremely disappointed if you and Collect move your battle to a new venue. We have a pretty good consensus here of who should be on the list here. Please do not screw that up with your zeal. Thank you. Jbh (talk) 20:32, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
Don't start casting aspersions on me because you changed your position about the inclusion of the table.
Every single individual I've supported inclusion on that table has their own Wikipedia article and is notable. As a matter of fact, you should pay closer attention, because I even added one person from a new category (advisors) that I haven't had time to explore further:
others served in important advisory roles, such as William Schneider, Jr., who was appointed to the Defense Science Board:
Neoconservatism and the New American Century, Maria Ryan, Palgrave Macmillan, 2010
Obviously it is sourced to a peer-reviewed book and you can check his Wikipedia article for further info.
Cheers.--Ubikwit 連絡 見学/迷惑 20:40, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
Wow! You stated "every single PNAC member associated with the Bush aministration, including advisors, needs to be included. No "if ands or buts" about it." that is not the comment of someone who is about to do something moderate.

I have not changed my position at all I have always said the sheer size of the table overbalances the article and could make it UNDUE. I suggested a list above and the debate here is going nowhere. we are at the same point we were at when I stepped into this at BLPN a month ago. By making it an article now the SYNTH must be proven at rather than asserted.

I care not one iota who is on the list as long as their association is strongly sourced. Adding "every single PNAC member associated with the Bush aministration, including advisors, needs to be included. No "if ands or buts" about it." does not equate to strong sourcing in my mind.

As to aspersions are you really telling me you and Collect have not been carrying on a battle? Really? Really?

You expect a moderate response when you say to me "No "if ands or buts" about it.". I suggest to you that my response was measured precisely with respect to your immoderate statement. Now I suggest we chalk this up to a miscommunication arising from the limitations of a talk page, move on and learn something about how we each communicate. Jbh (talk) 21:59, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

I think you see the problem - and agree that such a list would be SYNTH for damn sure. We already list signers etc. The table is going to violate WP:BLP and WP:NPOV just as the earlier efforts to label PNAC as a "Jewish group" with "dual loyalties" also failed. We already list the participants - anything else is getting into murky water. And my only "battle" has been to obey policy. Cheers. Collect (talk) 22:26, 12 March 2015 (UTC) Collect (talk) 22:26, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
The best thing to do now if you feel that the list violates policy is to AfD it, I take no offence if you do. That will allow more people to comment and an un-involved administrator can close it. I chose this vehicle for dispute resolution because discussion here and at BLPN got us essentially nowhere. This list has nothing to do with calling PNAC a "Jewish Group" or about "dual loyalties", and I certainly advocate neither of those positions, so bringing those up makes no sense to me. The overall membership of the list is tightly constrained, contains only BlueLinked subjects and serves an encyclopedic purpose. If you disagree you now have a vehicle for definitive resolution, Keep/Merge/Delete, whatever it is it ends this particular issue on this article and we can all move on with further improvements. Cheers. Jbh (talk) 22:53, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
Sorry -- AfD is for deletion of the entire article. Not just a BLP violating list. Collect (talk) 22:56, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
Yes. This article:
I know the title is crap. It is under discussion on the talk page. Jbh (talk) 23:11, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

Moved List article, as follows[edit]

New title: List of PNAC Members associated with the Administration of George W. Bush
--Ubikwit 連絡 見学/迷惑 11:44, 13 March 2015 (UTC)

Carter misquote?[edit]

I never made it to the bottom of the article when I was doing a source-check, but was just glancing over it now and I think there's a big problem with the long block quotation from Carter in this section of the article. The source given is this article from the Sidney Morning Herald, which is a translation from Jochen Bolsche's article in German. Problem is, the Herald article specifically notes that it was translated by one of the paper's readers rather than by one of its reporters - so possibly not such a reliable translation. It seems like Carter's words have been translated from English into German and then back into English, and have gotten garbled along the way. So compare the quote to what seems to be the original text, which I found here:

Some new approaches have understandably evolved from quick and well-advised reactions by President Bush to the tragedy of Sept. 11, but others seem to be developing from a core group of conservatives who are trying to realize long-pent-up ambitions under the cover of the proclaimed war against terrorism.

becomes

At first, argues Carter, Bush responded to the challenge of September 11 in an effective and intelligent way, "but in the meantime a group of conservatives worked to get approval for their long held ambitions under the mantle of 'the war on terror"

We have thrown down counterproductive gauntlets to the rest of the world, disavowing U.S. commitments to laboriously negotiated international accords.

and

As has been emphasized vigorously by foreign allies and by responsible leaders of former administrations and incumbent officeholders, there is no current danger to the United States from Baghdad.

becomes

The restrictions on civil rights in the US and at Guantanamo, cancellation of international accords, "contempt for the rest of the world", and finally an attack on Iraq "although there is no threat to the US from Baghdad"

Peremptory rejections of nuclear arms agreements, the biological weapons convention, environmental protection, anti-torture proposals, and punishment of war criminals have sometimes been combined with economic threats against those who might disagree with us. These unilateral acts and assertions increasingly isolate the United States from the very nations needed to join in combating terrorism.

becomes

"This entire unilateralism", warns the ex-President, "will increasingly isolate the US from those nations that we need in order to do battle with terrorism".

Bottom line, these aren't Carter's words and they should not be (block)quoted as such. Even more importantly, however, is that if this is indeed the source for these quotes, there is zero mention of PNAC or any specific conservative individuals/groups in Carter's column. So any direct association between Carter's words and the PNAC seems to have come from Bolsche's article (in German) rather than from Carter himself. Seems like a very misleading quote at worst, and an inaccurate quotation of Carter's own words at best. I'm going to go ahead and remove the whole quote - no objection if someone wants to re-insert a discussion of this, clearly marked as Bolsche's interpretation of Carter's words. But unless I'm wrong about what the original source is here (and I don't think I am) the article is misleading when it suggests that these are Carter's actual words, and when it suggests (with certainty) that he was talking about PNAC. Fyddlestix (talk) 01:38, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

Excellent work, worthy of a barnstar! Capitalismojo (talk) 03:15, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
Hey, thanks! Fyddlestix (talk) 03:55, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
Not sure about the Bolsche piece, but here is the original in German.Bushs Masterplan: Der Krieg, der aus dem Think Tank kam. It is not clear that the interpretation published by the Sydney Herald should be discarded because, it must have been subject to editorial control, and here is the originalA think tank war: Why old Europe says no. It is clear that Bolsche is talking about PNAC.
Incidentally, Carter was subsequently interviewed by the Independent on March 22, 2004 Carter savages Blair and Bush: 'Their war was based on lies', and he indirectly refers to PNAC (not by name) in that ("Pax Americana", etc). It is clear from the interview in the Independent that Carter made at least one public statements on the matter during 2002, and then an on later, with no reference to the above-linked WP op-ed.

Before the war Mr Carter made clear his opposition to a unilateral attack and said the US did not have the authority to create a "Pax Americana". During his Nobel prize acceptance speech in December 2002 he warned of the danger of "uncontrollable violence" if countries sought to resolve problems without United Nations input.
His latest comments, made during an interview at the Carter Centre in Atlanta, are notable for their condemnation of the two serving leaders. It is extremely rare for a former US president to criticise an incumbent, or a British prime minister. Mr Carter's comments will add to the mounting pressure on Mr Bush and Mr Blair.
Mr Carter said he believed the momentum for the invasion came from Washington and that many of Mr Bush's senior advisers had long ago signalled their desire to remove Saddam by force.

I think that the text should be restored, with the sources, and discussed.--Ubikwit 連絡 見学/迷惑 05:09, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
Carter's nobel lecture is here, I don't think it's the source of the quotes Bolsche was using. The Independent piece can't be either, because it was published later. I spent quite a while yesterday trying to figure out where the quotes might have come from, the WP piece is the only thing I could turn up. Again, to be clear: I'm not adverse to this being discussed in the article, but I'm not really comfortable with us quoting "Carter" when we're really quoting translated-Bolsche-quoting-Carter. It needs to be re-written (and, I'd suggest, paraphrased) to make the context clear and avoid making it look like "Carter said X" when it seems likely that he never actually used those words. Fyddlestix (talk) 13:45, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
I've further copy edited to attribute the statements to Bolsche. Here's a secondary source for the Carter quotes that cites the same Sydney Herald article.[13]
Perhaps there is a transcript for "His latest comments, made during an interview at the Carter Centre in Atlanta" cited by the article in the Independent. There are close parallels between some of the statements in the WP op-ed and statements by Bolsche. It wouldn't be that unusual for Bolsche to take those statements by Carter and apply them to the ten PNAC members in the Bush administration he specifically lists in the Der Spiegel article:

...wenn nicht zehn PNAC-Mitglieder, die diesen Brief beziehungsweise den Gründungsaufruf unterzeichnet haben, mittlerweile im Telefonverzeichnis der Bush-Administration stehen würden:

・Richard B. Cheney ist Vizepräsident der Vereinigten Staaten,
・Lewis Libby ist Cheneys Stabschef,
・Donald Rumsfeld ist Bushs Verteidigungsminister,
・Paul Dundes Wolfowitz ist Rumsfelds Stellvertreter,
・Peter W. Rodman ist verantwortlich für "internationale Sicherheitsangelegenheiten",
・John Bolton ist Staatssekretär für Rüstungskontrolle,
・Richard Armitage ist stellvertretender Außenminister,
・Richard Perle, einst Vize-Verteidigungsminister unter Reagan, ist Chef des American Defense Policy Board,
・William Kristol, der PNAC-Vorsitzende, berät Bush und gilt als das "Hirn des Präsidenten",
・Zalmay Khalilzad ist, nachdem er als Sonderbotschafter und Königsmacher in Afghanistan gewirkt hat, derzeit Bushs Sonderbeauftragter für den Kontakt zur irakischen Opposition.

--Ubikwit 連絡 見学/迷惑 23:18, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

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