Spy Plane Finale: Safe Landing

A carefully engineered game plan helped Bush bring the U.S. flight crew home. An inside look

It was not the kind of good morning that Laura Bush is used to. At 5:40 a.m. last Wednesday, the phone rang in the presidential bedroom. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice was on the line. Chinese diplomats had finally accepted a U.S. letter of regret about the South China Sea air crash that had locked the two countries in 11 days of tense confrontation. The standoff was safely over, the American air crew heading home. The President, still in bed, rolled over to his wife and dryly delivered the news. "Looks like the matter is going to be resolved," he said,...

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