Steve and Jen bring you this daily review of the news
Premium Advertiser

News Blog Sponsors

News Links

BBC World Service
The Guardian
Washington Post
Iraq Order of Battle
NY Times
LA Times
ABC News

Blogs We Like

Daily Kos
Digby's Blog
Operation Yellow Elephant
Iraq Casualty Count
Media Matters
Talking Points
Defense Tech
Intel Dump
Soldiers for the Truth
Margaret Cho
Juan Cole
Just a Bump in the Beltway
Baghdad Burning
Howard Stern
Michael Moore
James Wolcott
Cooking for Engineers
There is No Crisis
Whiskey Bar
Rude Pundit
Crooks and Liars
Amazin' Avenue
DC Media Girl
The Server Logs

Blogger Credits

Powered by Blogger

Archives by
Publication Date
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
Comments Credits
Comments by YACCS
Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Madness of President Bush

Al Jazeera staff rounded up

Did Bush plan to bomb Al-Jazeera?

The American press is predictably ignoring the story. Yet it is only too plausible that Bush wanted to wipe out what he saw as a nest of terrorists.

By Juan Cole

Nov. 30, 2005 | Last week, the British newspaper the Daily Mirror reported that George W. Bush had told U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair in April 2004 that he was planning to bomb the Al-Jazeera offices in Qatar. The report, based on a leaked top-secret government memo, claimed that Blair dissuaded Bush from bombing the Arab cable news channel's offices. An anonymous source told the Mirror, "There's no doubt what Bush wanted, and no doubt Blair didn't want him to do it." The Mirror quoted a government spokesperson, also anonymous, as suggesting that Bush's threat had been "humorous, not serious." But the newspaper quoted another source who said, "Bush was deadly serious, as was Blair. That much is absolutely clear from the language used by both men."

White House press secretary Scott McClellan brushed off the report, telling the Associated Press in an e-mail, "We are not interested in dignifying something so outlandish and inconceivable with a response." In a response to a question asked in Parliament, Tony Blair denied that Bush had told him he planned to take action against Al-Jazeera. The two men involved in the leak have been charged with violating Britain's Official Secrets Act.

The report kicked off a furor in Europe and the Middle East. It was, predictably, virtually ignored by the American press. It would be premature to claim that the Mirror's report, based on anonymous sources and a document that has not been made public, proves that Bush intended to bomb Al-Jazeera. But the frightening truth is that it is only too possible that the Mirror's report is accurate. Bush and his inner circle, in particular Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, had long demonized the channel as "vicious," "inexcusably biased" and abetting terrorists. Considering the administration's no-holds-barred approach to the "war on terror," the closed circle of ideologues that surround Bush, and his own messianic certainty about his divine mission to rid the world of "evil," the idea that he seriously considered bombing what he perceived as a nest of terrorist sympathizers simply cannot be ruled out. Add in the fact that the U.S. military had previously bombed Al-Jazeera's Kabul, Afghanistan, and Baghdad, Iraq, offices (the U.S. pleaded ignorance in the Kabul case, and claimed the Baghdad bombing was a mistake), and the case becomes stronger still.

Did the US target Al Jazeera? Probably not, since that would require effort and be, in the end, counterproductive. Besides, they've killed Americans as well.

But did Bush seriously consider bombing Al Jazeera?

The problem isn't whether he did or didn't, but that people believe he did. Which is far worse than any plan he discussed. Besides rank stupidity seems to be Cheney's pervue.

The fact that Blair has to hush this up by the Official Secrets Act is more about that fear of perception than any sort of tantrum by Bush.

posted by Steve @ 12:21:00 PM

12:21:00 PM

The News Blog home page


Editorial Staff

Add to My AOL

Support The News Blog

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay Learn More
News Blog Food Blog
Visit the News Blog Food Blog
The News Blog Shops
Operation Yellow Elephant
Enlist, Young Republicans