November 26, 2005
Rumsfeld on Al-Jazeera
Tomorrow’s (U.K.) Sunday Times has more background on Bush’s apparent threat to bomb Al-Jazeera:
THE Middle Eastern news network Al-Jazeera was accused by Donald Rumsfeld, the American defence secretary, of broadcasting “vicious, inaccurate and inexcusable” reports about the war in Iraq the day before President George W Bush met Tony Blair at the White House and apparently suggested bombing the station’s headquarters.
Rumsfeld denounced the satellite television station at a Pentagon briefing on April 15, 2004 after Al-Jazeera had reported that America’s assault on the insurgent stronghold of Falluja was terrorising civilians. “They are simply lying,” Rumsfeld said.
It was on April 16 that Bush reportedly said during talks with Blair that he wanted to bomb Al-Jazeera’s offices in Doha, Qatar, although it is not known whether he was joking.
A report last week that was said to be based on a transcript of the conversation claimed that Blair had talked the president out of a raid, but Lord Goldsmith, the attorney-general, has banned newspapers from publishing details under the Official Secrets Act.
… Frank Gaffney, head of the Center for Security Policy, a Washington-based think tank, last week described Al-Jazeera as “fair game” on the grounds that it promoted beheadings and suicide bombings.
In reality, Al-Jazeera has never broadcast any images of hostages being beheaded. But I guess reality is completely beside the point for conservatives these days.
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