Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


Pressure to Release "Bomb Al Jazeera" Transcript

Pressure Mounts For Release Of "Bomb Al Jazeera" Transcript

Report and Links Compiled By Lyndon Hood

More news and background:
Wikinews: Alleged Bush-Blair Al-Jazeera bombing transcript leaked
Wikinews: Further details about Bush-Blair memo stopped

Al Jazeera Reports:
Memo: Bush wanted Aljazeera bombed
UK gags paper over Aljazeera memo
Pair charged in Aljazeera memo leak
Mirror/Reuters: Jazeera seeks Blair meeting
Mirror: Iraq Wife 'To Sue U.S'

Site Receiving Pledges To Publish Transcript Once It Is Released:

British Prime Minister Tony Blair is coming under opposition pressure to release a memo which reportedly show that he dissuaded President Bush from ordering the bombing the Head Quarters of Al Jazeera TV in Qatar, an ally of the United States.

Blair has now denied receiving any information on US plans to attack the station.

Mirror: Pressure in Memo Row Rises
Mirror: Gag Bid 'To Spare Premier'

On the 22nd of November the Daily Mirror reported on a "Top Secret" memo - a transcript of a Meeting between Bush and Blair in April 2004, at the time of the first Coalition action against Falujah. The Mirror said that Blair dissuaded Bush from bombing the headquarters of Arab TV station Al Jazeera.

The station is owned by the Qatari Government and located in the capital, Doha. Qatar.

Qatar is an ally of the US and Britain. It provided the base of central command for the 2003 Coalition invasion of Iraq.

Mirror: Exclusive: Bush Plot to Bomb His Arab Ally

Following the publication of the article, the UK Attoney General threatened to prosecute media under the Official Secrets Act if they revealed any more details of the memo.

Guardian: Legal gag on Bush-Blair war row
Mirror/Reuters: Press warned over Jazeera bombing report

According to reports:

A source told the Mirror: "The memo is explosive and hugely damaging to Bush.

"He made clear he wanted to bomb Aljazeera 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."

Another source said: "Bush was deadly serious, as was Blair. That much is absolutely clear from the language used by both men."

A spokesman for Blair's Downing Street office said: "We have got nothing to say about this story. We don't comment on leaked documents."

Another source said: "Bush was deadly serious, as was Blair. That much is absolutely clear from the language used by both men."

Other US and UK sources suggested the President was joking. The White House has described the allegations as ''outlandish and inconceivable'.

A spokesman for Blair's Downing Street office said: "We have got nothing to say about this story. We don't comment on leaked documents."

However, in answer to a written question in the UK Parliament asking "what information he received on action that the United States administration proposed to take against the Al Jazeera television channel?" Blair replied, "None."

Blair denies knowing of reported al Jazeera plan
Guardian/AP: Blair Denies Knowing of U.S. Bomb Plans
UK Hansard: Written Answers to Questions [28 Nov 2005]

A civil servant and a former employee of a Labour MP are facing trial under the UK's Official Secrets Act. The charges are understood to relate to the leaking a memo on the outlook for Iraq that appeared in the Sunday Times last year, and not the document cited by the Mirror.

BBC (17 Nov): Two charged 'over Iraq memo leak'
Sunday Times (May 23, 2004): Confidential: Iraq memo

United States forces have previously been accused of deliberately targeting Al Jazeera in the 2001 bombing of the station's Kabul office and in 2003, when their Baghdad office was struck during the US bombing campaign, killing an Al Jazeera journalist.

For more background on this See a paper by Scoop Editor Alastair Thompson presented shortly after the end of the Iraq Invasion.

Scoop: The Role of Media in the Second Gulf War - Targeting of Journalists


© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Binoy Kampmark: A Looting Matter: Cambodia’s Stolen Antiquities

Cambodia has often featured in the Western imagination as a place of plunder and pilfering. Temples and artefacts of exquisite beauty have exercised the interest of adventurers and buccaneers who looted with almost kleptocratic tendency. In 1924, the French novelist and future statesman André Malraux, proved himself one of Europe’s greatest adventurers in making off with a ton of sacred stones from Angkor Wat... More>>

Dunne Speaks: Labour Leadership Speculation Premature And Facile
Speculation that the Prime Minister’s leadership of the Labour Party may be at risk because of this week’s adverse poll results is as exaggerated as it is premature and facile. While her popularity has plummeted from the artificially stellar heights of a couple of years ago and is probably set to fall further to what would be a more realistic assessment... More>>

Ian Powell: Colossal ‘Porkies’ And Band-aids Don’t Make A Health Workforce Plan

On 1 August Minister of Health Andrew Little announced what he described as the start of a plan for the beleaguered workforce in Aotearoa New Zealand’s health system: Government’s 5 year late health workforce announcement. In October 2017, when Labour became government with its two coalition parties, it inherited a health workforce crisis from the previous National-led government... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: The Fuss About Monkeypox
The World Health Organization has been one of the easier bodies to abuse. For parochial types, populist moaners and critics of international institutions, the WHO bore the brunt of criticisms from Donald Trump to Jair Bolsonaro. Being a key institution in identifying public health risks, it took time assessing the threat posed by SARS-CoV-2 and its disease, COVID-19... More>>

Dunne Speaks: Time For MPs To Think For Themselves
One of the more frequently quoted statements of the Irish statesman and philosopher, Edmund Burke, was his observation that “Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgement, and he betrays instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your opinion.”... More>>