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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Another Downing Street Memo

Holy cow! Was the US seriously thinking about bombing al-Jazeera?

From the British paper The Mirror, November 22, 2005:
PRESIDENT Bush planned to bomb Arab TV station al-Jazeera in friendly Qatar, a "Top Secret" No 10 memo reveals.

But he was talked out of it at a White House summit by Tony Blair, who said it would provoke a worldwide backlash.

A source said: "There's no doubt what Bush wanted, and no doubt Blair didn't want him to do it." Al-Jazeera is accused by the US of fuelling the Iraqi insurgency.
An anonymous government official is quoted as saying that Bush's remark was made in jest, but several sources are cited as claiming that it was absolutely serious.

Former Labor Defence Minister Peter Kilfoyle has challenged the Blair government to publish the transcript of the leaders' private conversation.

Britain is prosecuting someone for allegedly leaking the contents of this memo under the Official Secrets Act.

In 2001 al-Jazeera's Afghanistan office in Kabul was hit by two US bombs. In 2003, al-Jazeera reporter Tareq Ayyoub was killed in a US missile strike on the station's Baghdad headquarters.


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