Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Bombing television stations

This morning's Guardian led on the story that:

The attorney general last night threatened newspapers with the Official Secrets Act if they revealed the contents of a document allegedly relating to a dispute between Tony Blair and George Bush over the conduct of military operations in Iraq ...

The attorney general, Lord Goldsmith, last night referred editors to newspaper reports yesterday that described the contents of a memo purporting to be at the centre of charges against two men under the secrets act.

Under the front-page headline "Bush plot to bomb his ally", the Daily Mirror reported that the US president last year planned to attack the Arabic television station al-Jazeera, which has its headquarters in Doha, the capital of Qatar, where US and British bombers were based.

Writing more about this clearly risks a knock from Inspector Knacker at 3 a.m. But it would not be surprising if Bush were planning to bomb al-Jazeera. In April 1999 NATO forces bombed the Serbian state television station in Belgrade, killing several civilian workers.

As the Guardian reported at the time,
Tony Blair, in Washington for Nato's 50th anniversary summit, insisted that bombing television stations was "entirely justified" since they were part of the "apparatus of dictatorship and power of Milosevic".
And guess which minister told "a heated press briefing at the Ministry of Defence":
"This is a war, this is a serious conflict, untold horrors are being done. The propaganda machine is prolonging the war and it's a legitimate target."
That great pacifist Clare Short, that's who.

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