Did Bush Really Wish To Bomb Al Jazeera?

The Bush Administration is denying that President Bush mentioned in an April 2004 conversation with British Prime Minister Tony Blair that he would like to bomb Al Jazeera.

The Daily Mirror report was attributed to two anonymous sources describing a classified document they said contained a transcript of the two leaders’ talk. One source is quoted as saying Bush’s alleged remark concerning the network’s headquarters in Qatar was “humorous, not serious,” while the other said, “Bush was deadly serious.”

A spokesman for Blair’s office declined to comment on grounds that the document is part of a criminal investigation. Two civil servants have been charged with violating Britain’s Official Secrets Act for allegedly disclosing the document.

If this allegation is true and the President was indeed serious it would be very disturbing indeed. The story certainly seems plausible considering that US bombs destroyed the Kabul offices of Al Jazeera in November 2001 and similarly bombed the Baghdad offices of Al Jazeera, Al Arabia and the Palestine Hotel after entering the city in 2003,

On April 8, the day after their entry into Baghdad, U.S. forces attacked Al Jazeera’?s broadcasting facilities there, despite the fact that Al Jazeera, officials had told the U.S. military the precise coordinates of their offices in the hope that this would make it more difficult for them to make another “tragic error.”

On April 8, 2003, U.S. forces not only bombed the Al Jazeera facilities in Baghdad, but they also attacked Abu Dhabi TV facilities located there. On the same day a tank shelled the media facilities and personnel at the Palestine Hotel, killing two journalists and seriously injuring three others. The assault on the hotel is interesting in part because once again U.S. officials engaged in serial lying in “explaining” the attacks-the numerous media personnel in the hotel, and their video shots, uniformly contradict the official claims of shooting or other action or threat from the hotel. All of them agree with Robert Fisk’?s statement that the U.S. response was “a straightforward lie.”

One journalist who is convinced of this story is Middle East correspondent for The Independent, Robert Fisk, who penned an article shortly after the aforementioned events entitled “Does The US Military Want To Kill Journalists.” Now with the emergence of this Mirror article it will be interesting to see what Fisk will have to say. What are your thoughts? Do you believe that this could actually be true or are these simply examples of what happens during the fog of war?

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