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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old November 22nd, 2005, 22:02 Thread Starter
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EXCLUSIVE: BUSH PLOT TO BOMB HIS ARAB ALLY
Madness of war memo
By Kevin Maguire And Andy Lines

Picture of George Bush laughing

PRESIDENT Bush planned to bomb Arab TV station al-Jazeera in friendly Qatar, a "Top Secret" No 10 memo reveals.

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.

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"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."

Yesterday former Labour Defence Minister Peter Kilfoyle challenged Downing Street to publish the five-page transcript of the two leaders' conversation. He said: "It's frightening to think that such a powerful man as Bush can propose such cavalier actions.

"I hope the Prime Minister insists this memo be published. It gives an insight into the mindset of those who were the architects of war."

Bush disclosed his plan to target al-Jazeera, a civilian station with a huge Mid-East following, at a White House face-to-face with Mr Blair on April 16 last year.

At the time, the US was launching an all-out assault on insurgents in the Iraqi town of Fallujah.

Al-Jazeera infuriated Washington and London by reporting from behind rebel lines and broadcasting pictures of dead soldiers, private contractors and Iraqi victims.

The station, watched by millions, has also been used by bin Laden and al-Qaeda to broadcast atrocities and to threaten the West.

Al-Jazeera's HQ is in the business district of Qatar's capital, Doha.

Its single-storey buildings would have made an easy target for bombers. As it is sited away from residential areas, and more than 10 miles from the US's desert base in Qatar, there would have been no danger of "collateral damage".

Dozens of al-Jazeera staff at the HQ are not, as many believe, Islamic fanatics. Instead, most are respected and highly trained technicians and journalists.

To have wiped them out would have been equivalent to bombing the BBC in London and the most spectacular foreign policy disaster since the Iraq War itself.

The No 10 memo now raises fresh doubts over US claims that previous attacks against al-Jazeera staff were military errors.

In 2001 the station's Kabul office was knocked out by two "smart" bombs. In 2003, al-Jazeera reporter Tareq Ayyoub was killed in a US missile strike on the station's Baghdad centre.

The memo, which also included details of troop deployments, turned up in May last year at the Northampton constituency office of then Labour MP Tony Clarke.

Cabinet Office civil servant David Keogh, 49, is accused under the Official Secrets Act of passing it to Leo O'Connor, 42, who used to work for Mr Clarke. Both are bailed to appear at Bow Street court next week.

Mr Clarke, who lost at the election, returned the memo to No 10.

He said Mr O'Connor had behaved "perfectly correctly".

Neither Mr O'Connor or Mr Keogh were available. No 10 did not comment.

AL-JAZEERA'S INSIDE STORY
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old November 22nd, 2005, 22:33
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It has to be bullsh!t.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old November 22nd, 2005, 22:45
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i saw the headline in the the mirror, of all papers, today but in no other paper.... so its got to be bullshit.. still, wouldnt be totally surprised

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old November 22nd, 2005, 23:35
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This is great!

The stories that get some of you to wank off to...Truly amazing really....
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old November 23rd, 2005, 00:24
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Originally Posted by AMOROSO!
It has to be bullsh!t.
We have to wait for the document to be released, and then one has to make up ones mind and consider if it might be Bush's way of joking as it has been suggested by one civil servant.

But as for the proposition, outlandish as it seems to bomb a building in an allied country....
I spoke to Lamis Andoni who is an American/Palestinian Head of International Relations for al-Jazeera a few weeks ago, when she was in Denmark for a conference.

As you probably all know their office was hit by smart bombs in Kabul in 2001 and a missile attack killed one of their journalists in Baghdad.

In both events she told me how they had phoned in and mailed their exact coordinates and postion to the Pentagon even before the attacks started to try and insure that there would be no mistakes. Al-Jazeera do not consider these attacks to be accidebtal in the least, and she detailed several other situations where they had faced direct pressure.

The Americans were alledgedly very much incensed when al-Jazeera reported live from the Fallujah air-bombings on the same day as the US army had agreed to a seize fire. Many such examples to go with their showing the beheadings tape and terrible civilian casualties in many spots.

I know it's The Mirror, I know the White House has rubbished the comment, but they did the same with previous leaked documents.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old November 23rd, 2005, 00:35
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wow

i dont buy this

if it is....then there is nothing i can really say

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old November 23rd, 2005, 00:41
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But Glen, don't you think it's exaggerated that they would specifically target a TV station in another country? I could accept that they "accidentally" "misread" some coordinates but to go out of their way in order to do a hit... How would they cover that up? Even brown-nosed Western journalists would get fired up by such a hit, as journalists tend to be rather sympathetic to other journalists on these matters...

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old November 23rd, 2005, 00:45
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Not to say that I believe it but how can you not see why one side would want to eliminate media that reports the other sides view of the war? I mean, c'mon.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old November 23rd, 2005, 00:50
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I don't know if it's true, but I have no trouble believing it...the US is one of the few nations left that understands the Art of War

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old November 23rd, 2005, 03:50 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by AMOROSO!
But Glen, don't you think it's exaggerated that they would specifically target a TV station in another country? I could accept that they "accidentally" "misread" some coordinates but to go out of their way in order to do a hit... How would they cover that up? Even brown-nosed Western journalists would get fired up by such a hit, as journalists tend to be rather sympathetic to other journalists on these matters...
Im not convinced of it yet, but I was aware that they did hit an Al-Jazeera station previously as Glen mentioned. It would be easy to do a hit and call it an "accident" or "friendly fire".

I hope it turns out to be one big farce, like the downing street memo.





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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old November 23rd, 2005, 06:15
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Originally Posted by Giureconsulto
I don't know if it's true, but I have no trouble believing it...the US is one of the few nations left that understands the Art of War

That's because they're so accustomed to waging war

But in general you're right, it's unbelievable that people actually try to put some sort of sense of ethics in war.

Last edited by IVO; November 23rd, 2005 at 06:51.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old November 23rd, 2005, 10:39
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Originally Posted by Mr. Bean
Im not convinced of it yet, but I was aware that they did hit an Al-Jazeera station previously as Glen mentioned. It would be easy to do a hit and call it an "accident" or "friendly fire".
No. The difference is exactly that there'd be no way of calling this a mistake if they did a hit on al-Jazeera in Dubai.
"Ups - one of our plains dropped a bomb while flying over friendly territory, and it just happened to hit al-Jazeera, who we've already bombed twice in other countries. Third mistake, sorry. Our bad".
Doesn't work. It would be seriously damaging in the region and I promise you that journalists from even normally friendly sources would be straining against their leashes.


AMO: I must admit I do not have any problems believing first of all that Bush could have uttered this as an intention. I don't have any problems believing that a military agency would draft a 'scenario' for hitting al-Jazeera even if it's in Dubai. After all - there's been lots of examples of less imaginable actions being 'considered' at scenario level.

What I do have major problems believing is that the diplomats and bureaucrats in Washington/Pentagon would not shoot such an idea down before it could ever be carried out.

As such I think this is 'just' very bad publicity for Bush, who could be stood up as raging moron (again ) if the memo get's published in full.
What is indicative of the memo's veracity is the almost unprecedented action on behalf of Downing Street (at least in recent history) to issue a threat to prosecute the printing of the memo itself, as it would constitute a breach of the laws on publishing classified documents. This is novel, considering that even very damaging/delicate papers have previously been allowed to go into print.

Futhermore it substantiates that you can find wordings like The Mirrors article printed yesterday in the actual memo, because nr. 10 issuing such a threat to editors is VERY bad press to begin with because of the freedom to speculate it offers/the thought it provokes that 'they have something to hide', and there'd be no reason to break with tradition if the alternative of the memo getting public wasn't considered worse.

APATHY: A word now fallen into disuse due to a lack of concern for it.

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