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Bob Woodward wanted to interview John Kerry this year.

At the end of last year, during 3 1/2 hours of interviews over two days, I asked President Bush hundreds of detailed questions about his actions and decisions during the 16-month run-up to the war in Iraq. His answers were published in my book "Plan of Attack." Beginning on June 16, I had discussions and meetings with Sen. John Kerry's senior foreign policy, communications and political advisers about interviewing the senator to find out how he might have acted on Iraq -- to ask him what he would have done at certain key points. Senior Kerry advisers initially seemed positive about such an interview. One aide told me, "The short answer is yes, it's going to happen."

But then they changed their minds, which is a shame. If you follow the link above, you'll find the 22 questions Woodward was hoping to pose to Kerry. A couple of the questions are softballs, clear openings for Kerry to freely criticize Bush without putting forth an alternative course of action. But most of the questions are quite good, like this one:

2. The CIA was asked in late 2001 to do a "lessons learned" study of past covert operations in Iraq and concluded that the CIA alone could not overthrow Saddam Hussein and that a military operation would be required. The CIA soon became an advocate for military action.

Question: How can such advocacy be avoided? The CIA argued that a two-track policy -- negotiations at the U.N. and covert action -- made their sources inside Iraq believe the United States was not serious about overthrowing Saddam. Can that be avoided? How can diplomacy and covert action be balanced?

Again, it's a shame that Kerry didn't agree to be interviewed by Woodward. I guess they didn't see enough of a political gain in it, though it would have been an interesting counterpoint to Woodward's extensive interviews with Bush.

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