Wednesday, November 23, 2005

[White House]

Bombing Al Jazeera.

On the one hand, it's a little hard to imagine Bush bombing al Jazeera; on the other hand, it's Bush. So maybe it's not so implausible after all:
The White House has dismissed claims George Bush was talked out of bombing Arab television station al-Jazeera by UK Prime Minister Tony Blair....

According to the Mirror's source, the transcript records a conversation during Mr Blair's visit to the White House on 16 April 2004, in the wake of an attempt to root out insurgents in the Iraqi city of Falluja, in which 30 US Marines died.

The memo, which the Mirror says is stamped "Top Secret", allegedly details how Mr Blair argued against what the paper calls a "plot" to attack the station's buildings in the business district of Doha, the capital city of Qatar.
I have no idea whether Bush actually contemplated this, but I have every confidence that if he did, and if there's an authentic transcript, nothing will come of it. Still, it shows how far out of control of the news cycles the White House has become. Three years ago, suggesting that Bush may not really have the grounds to invade Iraq was tantamount to treason; now we're looking at reports that he may have wanted to bomb a close ally to stifle free speech. How far we've come...

(Lotsa bloggers talking about it though--and how could they not?? Including: Kevin Drum | Avedon | Moderate Voice (Justin Gardner) | Carpetbagger | Steve Soto )

4 comments:

iggi said...

as someone pointed out (maybe at C&L), the fact that the Brits are making such a huge stink out of the leak actually means the memo may have merit...

Jeff Alworth said...

I noticed two things about the story: 1) the Beeb covered it, and 2) Downing Street didn't deny it outright.

(It's also well to note that the WH, which described the story as "outlandish," also didn't deny it. And outlandish the story is--all the more so if true.)

r zemeckis said...

the only thing i cant imagine is shrub listening to anything reasonable from anyone. more likely it's a leak to bolster blair's image, and maybe take a baby step away from our junta.

The Manly Ferry said...

I'm trying very, very hard to get excited about this one. But I can't.

I mean, if Bush contemplated this, it's kinda par for the course, isn't it? It's even more plausible as a joke. In any case, whether he toyed with it/ seriously considered it/patched in the orders/etc. it didn't happen, saner minds prevailed and so on. In other words, someone, somewhere where it mattered got it together to say, "Are you out of your freakin' mind?" And, on the evidence of reality, Bush heeded the advice.

In the big picture, this isn't telling lefties anything they don't already believe, it's likely being applauded by the righties who aren't dismissing it as one more "manufactured hit-job" by the Bush-loathing left a la the National Guard memos...so....why the blogosphere fascination?