KAREN HUGHES LAYS DOWN THE LAW….Via A. Aardvark, Dana Milbank reports on a meeting Karen Hughes held on Thursday with her staff:

As if preparing troops for combat, she described her plans for improving world opinion of the United States: a “rapid-response unit,” a plan to “forward-deploy regional SWAT teams” and create “a dual-headed DAS for public diplomacy.”

One of her underlings rose to ask how this effort squared with the administration’s famously tight control over its message. “Recently, we’ve had tremendous amount of difficulty in some cases getting clearance for our ambassadors to speak,” he said.

Hughes replied that ambassadors are free to talk ? if they use the talking points she sends them. “If they make statements based on something I sent them,” she said, “they’re not going to be called on the carpet.”

Just say exactly what we tell you and everything will be fine. It must be loads of fun to be a United States ambassador these days.

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