Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Dr. StrangeBush

In the ever-growing Pandora’s box of examples of just how moronic and shortsighted our current President and his crony-led administration is; it was revealed the other day that the Bush administration wanted to bomb the headquarters of Arab-language television channel al-Jazeera, which the Bush administration has frequently accused of being nothing more than a mouthpiece for anti-American sentiments. (You think Judith Miller at the NY Times is nervous about that concept... I would be)

The headquarters are in Qatar.

Qatar is a U.S. ally.

Nice… I mean, with friends like these, who needs enemas…I mean enemies. (Sorry, I was thinking about the high colonic that a good majority of the world’s population wants to give President Bush)

(Ok, hold on, before everyone starts the name calling, which if we deserve at times we gladly accept, let's be clear that while we know that al-Jazeera is used as a conduit for the garbage that spews from Osama and his freakish minions, it is not the purpose of the station, it is a media enterprise. While we wouldn't mind if they would 'shut-up' at many times, overall this comes down to a freedom of the media issue and once you start to censor the media ('Even one from another country' interjects Kemp) out... Also don't overlook that fact again that the headquarters is in the middle of a country that is an ally of the U.S. and has played a huge part in all U.S. miltary operations in the Gulf region.... but I digress, sorry for the interuption folks, Scott)

It turns out that a British civil servant (those British… always so civil…) is being charged under Britain's Official Secrets Act for allegedly leaking a government memo to The Daily Mirror, the memo is being described as a transcript of a conversation between the two leaders from a White House summit on April 16, 2004 (oh to be a fly on the wall for that conversation) In the conversation, the "President" revelaed the plan for 'military action' against the network. The memo even (seems to) suggest that British Prime Minister Tony Blair had to dissuade President Bush from implementing a plan to not only bomb the Qatar headquarters, but also other bureaus of the channel.

Granted, some inside the office of the Prime Minister are being quoted as saying that the alleged threat was “humorous…” But, the newspaper (which is sort of a cross between the New York Times and The National Enquirer - ewwwwww) quoted another source though as saying that “Bush was deadly serious, as was Blair.”

White House spokesman Scott McClellan (who I still think is slowly losing what’s left of his mind) sent an email to the Associated Press stating “We (the White House) are not interested in dignifying something so outlandish and inconceivable with a response.” Blair's office declined comment as well, stating that they never discuss documents that may have been leaked. (Uh, sure they don't...)

What is Al-Jazeera’s reaction to this? Well, they said in a statement that they are investigating the report. (What that exactly means I am not sure… but there ya go… they’re investigating it…)

What the network did say was that if the reports are found to be true, it would “cast serious doubts” on the Bush administration and their explanations of earlier incidents involving al-Jazeera and the U.S. military.

This is in reference to the fact that, in the last few years, U.S. bombs or missiles have hit offices of al-Jazeera in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

In April 2003, an Al-Jazeera journalist was killed when its Baghdad office was struck during a U.S. bombing campaign. A State Department spokesman said the strike was a mistake.

In November 2002, Al-Jazeera's office in Kabul, Afghanistan, was destroyed by a U.S. missile. No one was in the office at the time and U.S. officials maintained that they thought the target was a terrorist site and did not know it was al-Jazeera's office.

So there you go, both times the U.S. military stated that they were not intentionally targeted...

In related news (and by related I mean it contains info on the al-Jazeera network & absolutlety nothing about the subject at hand) the network has announced plans to begin airing an English-language version of its channel sometime in early 2006. The channel hired former U.S. Marine Captain Josh Rushing, who was a coalition spokesman during the U.S. invasion of Iraq. He than resigned and became a critic of the war itself and the coverage the war got from the U.S. media.

What will come of this little tidbit? Probably not much as I am sure one of two things will happen. It will be proven that it’s not true, or the Bush Administration will do what it always done when there is danger lurking in the shadows… create another controversy that will make everyone forget about this one…

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