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Monday, August 16

You all probably saw that Sec Donald Rumsfeld was in Afghanistan last week. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was there too, Gen Myers. I was there to help coordinate the event. Here are two photo's I took. One of Rummy and Karzai at the podiums. The other was a shot of the press. I coordinated via email with Rumsfeld's PAO and coordinated in person with the U.S. embassy and Karzai's PAO. We also had a broadcast journalist from the 105th film at the conference, and had two photographers traveling around Kabul all day long with Mrs. Rumsfeld and Mrs. Myers as they visited Afghan schools and orphanages.

You would not believe how complex a visit from a dignitary is to organize. Just the security alone, not to mention the logistics of the press conference. There where numerous helicopters circling overhead, Afghan police, Afghan militia, Afghan Army, Presidential guard, Rumsfeld's security, embassy security, private security contractors, International Security Assistance Force, and the U.S. led coalition forces. All of these entities and probably more were involved and orchestrated perfectly (seemingly) to provide air, area, and site security. They even took my pistol away from me. To be quite honest, I think everyone was afraid to sneeze or even scratch their nose for fear that the body guards would 'take us down'. It's very sobering to realize how big a threat there is, even on the palace grounds; and to realize how courageous Karzai and other leaders are to significantly risk their lives to serve their country.

It was quite a memorable and exhausting day for all of us. It was good to meet with several of karzai's staffers though and refreshing to hear from their mouths the aims and hopes of the country.






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