The Cable

Obama's Asia itinerary revealed

Here is President Obama's full itinerary for his trip to Asia, as conveyed by Ben Rhodes, deputy national security advisor for strategic communications, Jeffrey Bader, NSC senior director for East Asian affairs, and Michael Froman, deputy national security advisor for international economic affairs:

"The overarching theme is that America is a Pacific nation, it understands the importance of Asia in the 21st Century, and it's going to be engaged in a very comprehensive way," said Rhodes.

"I think it's a common perception in the region that U.S. influence has been on the decline in the last decade while Chinese influence has been increasing," said Bader.

Thursday, November 12: Alaska

President Obama departs Washington, DC and flies to Alaska, where he will speak to soldiers at Elmendorf Air Force Base. The schedule was changed to allow Obama to attend the memorial service at Fort Hood Texas on Tuesday. Leaving Alaska Thursday evening for Tokyo.

Friday, November 13: Tokyo

Obama arrives in Tokyo and holds a bilateral meeting with new prime minister Yukio Hatoyama at 7PM, followed by a joint press conference. He'll be looking to build personal ties with the new leader, whose Democratic Party of Japan took power in a stunning August election. "This government is looking for a more equal relationship with the United States, we are prepared to move in that direction," Bader said. Don't expect any breakthroughs on the dispute over U.S. basing in Okinawa.

Saturday, November 14: Tokyo Day 2

Obama will give a speech at Suntory Hall at 10 AM, giving "his view of American engagement in Asia." Then he will have an audience with the Japanese Emperor Akihito and his wife Empress Michiko. Leaving Saturday night for Singapore.

Sunday, November 15: Singapore

First, Obama will have a bilateral meeting with Singapore president Lee Hsien Loong, followed by the APEC summit leaders' meeting. At 2PM, there will be a bilateral meeting with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev. Later in the afternoon, Obama will have a multilateral meeting with all 10 leaders of the Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which will for the first time see American and Burmese leaders in the same room. "We're not going to let the Burmese tail wag the ASEAN dog," said Bader, saying that the previous policy of freezing out Burma has preventing U.S. interactions with ASEAN. Obama will also have a bilateral meeting with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Leaving Sunday evening for Shanghai.

Monday, November 16: Shanghai

Obama will start the day meeting with Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng. After that, he will have a dialogue with Chinese youth and then will travel to Beijing to have dinner with Chinese president Hu Jintao. "We've have a smooth transition in the U.S.-China relationship... the relationship is off to a good start," said Bader. Issues that will get the most attention are North Korea, Iran, climate change, human rights, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. "Clean energy is something where we expect to have some accomplishments to show," Bader said.

Obama will not stop by the sight of the Shanghai Expo 2010 and no comment on whether Obama will visit his half-brother Mark Okoth Obama Ndesandjo, who lives there.

Tuesday, November 17: Beijing

There will be a morning bilateral meeting with Hu, followed by a joint press conference. Then, Obama will tour Beijing hot spot before his state dinner. Obama will raise various human rights issues directly with Hu, Bader said, including Tibet, and that message was not undercut by Obama's decision not to meet with the Dalai Lama in Washington last month. "The president has made it clear that he is ready to meet with the Dalai Lama in the future at the appropriate time," Bader said.

Wednesday, November 18: Beijing Day 2:

Obama meets with Chinese premier Wen Jiabao  and do some more sightseeing. Also, "We do not expect that Beijing is going to produce a climate change agreement," said Froman.  That evening, Obama will leave for Seoul, South Korea.

Thursday, November 19: Seoul:

Obama will have a morning bilateral meeting with President Lee Myung-Bak, followed by a press conference.  He will then visit U.S. troops in South Korea before heading back to the United States that evening. No real expectation on movement on the U.S-Korea Free Trade Agreement. "He has noted in the past that there are some outstanding issues... he is prepared to have that conversation with the Koreans," said Froman.

The Cable

Casey vs. Lieberman on Ft. Hood Massacre

Army Chief of Staff George Casey took to the airwaves Sunday to warn the public not to overemphasize unconfirmed reports about anti-American and religious statements allegedly made by alleged Fort Hood gunman Major Nidal Hasan.

"I think we need to be very careful here about speculating based on anecdotes like that," Casey said on ABC's This Week, "We all want to know what happened and what motivated the suspect, but I think we need to be very, very careful here in these early days to let the investigation take its course."

He warned that any effort to prejudge Hasan as a terrorist or as having religious motivations could cause unnecessary and harmful effects for the 3,000 plus Muslims currently serving in the military.

"I think the speculation could potentially heighten backlash against some of our Muslim soldiers. And what happened at Fort Hood was a tragedy, but I believe it would be an even greater tragedy if our diversity becomes a casualty here," Casey said.

Meanwhile, Senator Joseph Lieberman, I-CT, was on Fox news talking all about Hasan's motivations and warning that the attack could be a new model of terrorism on U.S. soil.

"It's clear that he was, one, under personal stress and, two, if the reports that we're receiving of various statements he made, acts he took, are valid, he had turned to Islamist extremism," Lieberman said, "And therefore, if that is true, the murder of these 13 people was a terrorist act and, in fact, it was the most destructive terrorist act to be committed on American soil since 9/11."

Lieberman stated that the evidence was not all in, but he went on to detail each and every reported allegation of Hasan's anti-American behavior, including reports that he compared suicide bombers to U.S. soldiers who have sacrificed their lives in war and that he shouted ‘Allah Ahkbar' during the attack.

"The fact that he did that at the moment of these murders - if that's confirmed, of course - raises genuine concerns that this was a terrorist act," Lieberman said, ""There's concern from what we know now about Hasan that, in fact, that's exactly what he was, a self-radicalized home-grown terrorist."

He promised to start an investigation in his Homeland Security Committee as to Hasan's motives. The Army declined to comment Lieberman's investigation.

Chris Kleponis/Getty Images