From the Mirror, hat tip to Ed Strong.
PRESIDENT Bush planned to bomb Arab TV station al-Jazeera in friendly Qatar, a "Top Secret" No 10 memo reveals.The story was taken seriously enough by Newsnight's Jeremy Paxman to invite Frank Gaffney, President of the "think-tank" Center for Security Policy and super-hawk, to take part in a debate with an al-Jazeera journalist.
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.
The attack would have led to a massacre of innocents on the territory of a key ally, enraged the Middle East and almost certainly have sparked bloody retaliation.
A source said last night: "The memo is explosive and hugely damaging to Bush.
"He made clear he wanted to bomb al-Jazeera in Qatar and elsewhere. Blair replied that would cause a big problem.
"There's no doubt what Bush wanted to do - and no doubt Blair didn't want him to do it."
A Government official suggested that the Bush threat had been "humorous, not serious".
But another source declared: "Bush was deadly serious, as was Blair. That much is absolutely clear from the language used by both men."
It provided a not-so-rare glimpse in the kind of thinking that dominates the hard right neocon agenda. To Frank Gaffney, had the US carried out such an attack, that would have amounted to nothing more that the killing of "enemy combatants". Gaffney is of course also a complete hypocrite, as he kept annexing every one of his utterances with "assuming such an attack had of course taken place", or words to that effect. It's rather gratuitous to defend military action that hasn't actually taken place.
Gaffney's justification for such an attack on al-Jazeera's head quarters ("assuming such an attack had of course taken place" [sic]): they're propagandists and therefore causing harm to the Allies, they must be "dealt with".
al-Jazeera are considered propagandists because they show material the US MSM aren't allowed to show. Executions of hostages, communiqués from bin Laden and similar anathema material which Bush and Co believe could garner support for al-Qaeda and the Iraqi insurgents. The latter is however highly unlikely, about as unlikely as streaming the glossed-over, ironed-out US version of events, into the homes of millions of Middle Eastern homes would increase support for the Iraq adventure in that part of the world.
Gaffney conveniently forgets that most of the US and UK MSM take part in their own propaganda battle, aimed at portraying the war in Iraq in the best possible light, filtering out anything that might show this war for what it really is and emphasising any successes, no matter how small, as proof that all will end well.
al-Jazeera are in fact providing us with facts we would otherwise never learn about and that can only be a good thing.
For this purpose alone the US operates a "Muslim" TV station, designed as a counter-force for al-Jazeera. Needless to say, no bugger actually watches it...
Gaffney seemed also to expect other "freedom loving nations" (read: UK and Europe) to feel exactly the same. Well, Frank, think again: in this part of the world journalists aren't considered "enemy combatants".
Last but not least, according to Gaffney's "definition", half the blogosphere are "enemy combatants" because they don't support the war and loathe most of the Gaffney-style baloney that comes with it. Frankly Frank, drop dead tomorrow and many here will celebrate it as another victory for the anti-war camp. Do you want me to spell it out even more clearly? Arsehole...Want to read more on Frank Gaffney? Follow this link.
The Blairwatch Appeal:Keywords: al-Jazeera, Bush, Blair, Iraq, Afghanistan, Quatar, Gaffney, propaganda
As many of you will know, the memo regarding Bush's plans to bomb al-Jazeera headquarters, is now the subject of a gagging order, under the Official Secrets Act: in plain English, anyone caught publishing it risks going to prison for doing so. It's inconceivable that such a document can be withheld from the public and it is a further demonstration of the control-freakery of this New Labour Government. But one man, The Spectator's Boris Johnson, is prepared do just this: publish and be damned! Boris no longer stands alone, this here blogger and many other pledge to publish too, if the memo becomes available. You can join too: pledge allegiance to this cause here.