LONDON (AP) - A British civil servant has been charged under the Official Secrets Act for allegedly leaking a government memo that, according to a newspaper report Tuesday, suggests that Prime Minister Tony Blair persuaded President George W. Bush not to bomb the Arab satellite station Al-Jazeera.
According to the Daily Mirror, Bush spoke of targeting Al-Jazeera's headquarters in Doha, Qatar, when he met Blair at the White House on April 16 last year. The U.S. government has regularly accused Al-Jazeera of being a mouthpiece for anti-American sentiments.
Critics jumped on the report, saying it raised questions about U.S. military attacks on Al-Jazeera offices in Afghanistan and Iraq that Washington said were accidental, as well as on other reportedly accidental U.S. attacks on journalists in Iraq.
In April 2003, an Al-Jazeera journalist died when its Baghdad office was struck during a U.S. bombing campaign. Nabil Khoury, a U.S. State Department spokesman in Doha, said the strike was a mistake.
In November 2002, Al-Jazeera's office in Kabul, Afghanistan, was destroyed by a U.S. missile. None of the staff was at the office at the time. U.S. officials said they believed the target was a terrorist site and did not know it was Al-Jazeera's office.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
"When we act, we create our own reality"
Via Springheel Jack: