Please visit the new home of Majikthise at bigthink.com/blogs/focal-point.

« Atlanta | Main | Hi! »

May 11, 2007

Brits convicted for exposing Bush's plot to bomb Al-Jazeera

Larisa on how the assassination of journalists was protected by state secrets--two British men were convicted of violating the Official Secrets Act for leaking a memo that recounted a conversation in which George W. Bush proposes bombing Al Jazeera in Qatar.

You can read Larisa's story about the contents of the leaked memo here:

According to sources familiar with the case, the classified government memo, consisting of minutes of an April, 2004 meeting between UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and President Bush, described a disagreement between the two leaders over plans to silence anti-US sentiments in the middle-east.

The memo alleges that President Bush expressed his frustration with al-Jazeera, which is the equivalent of a large broadcast news company such as CNN and has a viewership of 50 million, and wanted to bomb their headquarters using US bombers stationed nearby.

Blair, according to the memo, dissuaded the President from this action because Qatar is an ally of the US and such an action would result in severe backlash. [Raw Story]

Now, the civil servant and the legislator's aide who leaked the memo have been found guilty of violating the Official Secrets Act--following a largely secret trial.

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
https://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341c61e653ef00d83513cfa853ef

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Brits convicted for exposing Bush's plot to bomb Al-Jazeera:

Comments

Reporters are convicted for reporting on a war crime.

Time for the UK to catch up with the 18th century and get a First Amendment.

So now the UK has high-profile political prisoners.

Eric, the bombing in Qatar didn't actually happen, so it's not really a war crime.

The U.K. Official Secrets Act has always been abhorrent to those of us living under the First Amendment. Except for clear cases of spying, it's not a crime in the U.S. to divulge classified information unless you've previously agreed not to.

It's hard to tell how much Bush had developed this plan. I'm pretty sure one of his advisors would have shot this down if Blair hadn't. It's really stupid to bomb al-Jazeera. They may be anti-US compared to our mainstream media, but they're actually far more pro-western-liberalism than most of the governments and religious leaders in that part of the world.

That Bush would think seriously enough about this to mention it to Blair is kinda creepy. Bush is a scary guy sometimes...

Didn't another Cheney/Rumsfeld boss follow his murder fantasies about journalists to an unhealthy extent? I'm thinking Jack Anderson... G. Gordon somebody... Nah, there couldn't be a pathology core to anybody's political outlook.

so it's not really a war crime.

So what's all the fuss over the Fort Dix plot, then?

But seriously, it's called an ancillary offense: conspiring to commit a war crime is still a crime. What's more, al Jazeera offices were actually bombed in Afghanistan and Iraq.

But they DID bomb Al Jazera... right behind the Palestine Hotel... and they killed a Al Jazera camerman.

I am certain they Bushie didn't have a detailed plan drawn up... he let's the air force do that... he just sent Blair a memo with the brilliant idea of sending them a air mail bomb message so to speak.

Some secret... Bush and Blair like two little boys playing with tin soldiers... but they are really playing with (and destroying) human lives.

A war crime, yes, but that's hardly breaking new ground for this crew. Attacking a television network in a closely-allied nation- a nation which happens to host several American bases critical to his own war- strikes me as a level of suicidal, bugf*ck insanity shocking even for Junior.

So what's all the fuss over the Fort Dix plot, then?

But seriously, it's called an ancillary offense: conspiring to commit a war crime is still a crime.

Oh come on. Conspiracy charges are often just an attempt to manufacture a crime where there isn't one. Would anyone here be surprised if the whole Fort Dix terrorism prosecution fell apart?

Besides, it takes more to have a conspiracy than a couple of bozos in a room talking about whether they should or should not blow something up, especially if they decide not to. Otherwise every planning meeting by the military runs the risk of becoming a war crimes conspiracy if they consider a course of action that they decide not to do because it would break the law.

There's no need to invoke the spectre of "war crime" when this is, as Cass so eloquently put it, "suicidal, bugf*ck insanity."

On the other hand, if those al-Jazeera offices were bombed after this coversation...

I'm willing to amend my Comment on top to, "Reporters are convicted for reporting on Bush's desire to order a war crime."

Forget the "war crime" label.

Evidence that the president of the United States is even entertaining the prospect of murdering civilian journalists in a friendly country is a huge deal. The fact that the hit was never completed is beside the point.

Remember why Eason Jordan lost his job? For suggesting that many, many journalists had been murdered by US forces. Remember what the U.S. did to Al Jazeera in Iraq?

Which was why it was necessary to suppress the story. Nothing is more subversive of people's respect and obedience towards their leaders than to find out just how repulsive they are. (And in the U.K.'s case, to learn just what kind of a lunatic their P.M. has decided to hitch their wagon to.)

We can only hope that inimical countries (which ought to include everywhere by now) are covertly working to undermine this government, because sentimental attachment to a long-gone democracy is counterproductive and the state still functions well enough to negate domestic opposition.

It's hard to believe, but the wingnuts (up to and including GWB) actually believe their own rhetoric. CNN is a bastion of liberal bias, Fox news is fair and balanced, the media as a whole are anti-American, anti-Freedom, and objectively pro-terror. Bombing Al-Jazeera makes perfect sense in this worldview. In fact, failing to bomb Al-Jazeera is grossly negligent and only defensible because doing so would get in the way of other, more important, objectives such as bringing democracy and freedom to the Arab world.

"It's hard to believe, but the wingnuts (up to and including GWB) actually believe their own rhetoric. CNN is a bastion of liberal bias, Fox news is fair and balanced, the media as a whole are anti-American, anti-Freedom, and objectively pro-terror."

This is true. I've a close friend who often tries to convince me that Fox News is the least biased of all the major networks. He has an arsenal of statistics that he likes to quote, such as how many times reporters from any network refer to our enemies in Iraq as "insurgents" or "terrorists" or "fighters". In his view "fighter" is the least accurate and the most biased.

He's an old friend that I've known since we went to summer camp together, back in 1986. I know he really believes what he's saying. He's not just pulling my leg.

The comments to this entry are closed.