Oh you can just see the big brains at work here. The Sunday Times is reporting that the day before Dubya "jokingly" told Tony Blair they ought to bomb the daylights out of Al-Jazeera in Qatar, Rummy was fuming about them in a Pentagon briefing. Sounds like one of those coordinated, full-frontal assault things that a kick-ass, take-no-prisoners guy like Dubya would go for:
The Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad detailed 34 instances of alleged hype and distortion by the television station from April 8-13, ranging from reports of a helicopter and fighter plane being shot down to stories about American soldiers killing and mutilating Iraqi citizens.The CPA? Was this before, during or after they lost $8 billion dollars in cash? Just curious.
In 2001, after the September 11 attacks, the Pentagon awarded the Rendon Group, a public affairs firm, a $16.7m contract to monitor media in the Islamic world. It was assigned to track “the location and use of Al-Jazeera news bureaux, reporters and stringers”, and was asked to “identify the biases of specific journalists and potentially obtain an understanding of their allegiances”.Now if only they'd just done what they were told and run with that Jessica Lynch thing and shut up about the torture, which we don't do but don't ask us to stop, all of this could've been avoided.
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.Was this one of those nights where everyone at the Times got loaded and tried to see how many assholes they could shove into one story? O'Reilly better get cracking on that War on Christmas shit again, 'cos this one's a comer.
(thanks to reader db for the tip, and graphics love to Monk of course)
Update: According to UPI, Blair may have overplayed his hand by invoking the Official Secrets Act:
Leading opposition figures from the Conservative, Liberal-Democratic, Scottish National and Plaid Cymru (Welsh) parties have banded together to back the cross-party motion titled "Conduct of Government policy in relation to the war against Iraq" to demand that the case for an inquiry be debated in the House of Commons. They seem assured of the 200 signatures required to get such a debate.Given how heavily Fearless Leader claims we leaned on British Intelligence to justify our own little incursion, this could get very interesting.