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.