The White House has said the allegation that Bush wanted to bomb al Jazeera is "so outlandish" it does not merit a response. If that's so, then why this?... Britain, which is prosecuting a civil servant and a parliamentarian's aide for leaking the secret memo, refuses to comment on its contents. rkm -------------------------------------------------------- http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/112605C.shtml Go to Original Al Jazeera Wants US Bomb Memo Answers By Reuters Friday 25 November 2005 London - Arabic news channel Al Jazeera's general manager flew to London on Friday to demand the British government explain a leaked report that President George W. Bush wanted to bomb the TV station. The Daily Mirror newspaper reported on Tuesday that a secret British government memo said British Prime Minister Tony Blair had talked Bush out of bombing Al Jazeera's headquarters in Qatar in April last year. "I have come to London in order to reach out to British officials, to investigate about the memo that some claim exists during the past week," Al Jazeera managing director Waddah Khanfar told Reuters by telephone after his arrival in London. "It is a matter of deep concern for all of us in al Jazeera, and the Arab world and the media." He said a delegation from the channel would deliver a letter to Blair on Saturday asking for an interview. The White House has said the allegation that Bush wanted to bomb al Jazeera is "so outlandish" it does not merit a response. Britain, which is prosecuting a civil servant and a parliamentarian's aide for leaking the secret memo, refuses to comment on its contents. The Daily Mirror quoted one unnamed government official saying Bush's comments may have been a joke, but another unidentified source saying the president appeared to be serious. Britain's attorney general has warned other media that they can be prosecuted under the Official Secrets Act if they reveal anything else about the memo. "It is of very deep concern not only to Al Jazeera journalists, but to people who trust Al Jazeera as the most credible source of information in the Arab world," Khanfar said. "People should know the facts about it. It is not a matter that can be brushed away or dealt with in very vague statements." Blair's spokesman said the prime minister's office had not yet received a formal request from Al Jazeera for an interview, but the British government would be willing to talk to Al Jazeera as it would to any other news organization. "This is the first I suspect that Downing Street has heard of this request. It is somewhat short notice," he said. "We are quite happy to talk to Al Jazeera just as we are quite happy to talk to other broadcasters and media operations. In terms of who talks to them I think that depends on who is available and how much time he will give us to set up meetings." Al Jazeera has repeatedly denied US accusations it sides with insurgents in Iraq. Khanfar said it was time the United States stopped accusing it of supporting terrorism. "We demand to know the facts about this document and we demand a (cessation) of all kinds of accusations from the American administration." Asked if he thought it was true that Bush wanted to bomb the station, Khanfar said: "We are going to suspend any judgment until we find out if that document is correct or not. But I can say we were attacked twice, once in Kabul and once in Baghdad, and two of our colleagues were killed." In 2001, the station's Kabul office was hit by US bombs and in 2003 Al Jazeera reporter Tareq Ayyoub was killed in a US strike on its Baghdad office. The United States has denied deliberately targeting the station. The Daily Mirror said Bush told Blair at a White House summit on April 16, 2004 that he wanted to target Al Jazeera. -- -------------------------------------------------------- http://cyberjournal.org "Apocalypse Now and the Brave New World" http://www.cyberjournal.org/cj/rkm/Apocalypse_and_NWO.html Posting archives: http://cyberjournal.org/cj/show_archives/?date=01Jan2006&batch=25&lists=newslog Subscribe to low-traffic list: •••@••.••• ___________________________________________ In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.