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Cablegate: Jordanian Daily Erroneously Links Usaid With

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS AMMAN 007530

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SNAR IZ JO
SUBJECT: JORDANIAN DAILY ERRONEOUSLY LINKS USAID WITH
NARCOTICS SMUGGLING; PROTEST REGISTERED

REF: AMMAN 6576

1. (U) The new Jordanian daily newspaper Al Ghad has
acknowledged its editing staff erred on September 7 by
running a photo of a crate bearing the USAID logo and a
supposed pile of illegal narcotics alongside a lengthy
article about drug smuggling operations between Iraq and
Jordan. The black and white photo carried the caption
"seized drugs," but the paper's editor-in-chief admitted to
IO that the picture did not have any relation to the story
and was in fact a file photo from the paper's archives. The
editor apologized for the error, which he insists was
inadvertent. Meanwhile, an official with the GOJ
Anti-Narcotics Unit told us that he doubted the materials
shown in the photo were narcotics in any case. As best as
post can determine, the grain photo actually portrays a crate
of peanuts being emptied. The editor promised to acknowledge
the error in print, and Charge has written a letter to the
editor for publication that strongly protests the error.

2. (U) Comment: We are not convinced this was an innocent
mistake. The photo may reinforce one of the article's
underlying messages, which is that drug smuggling was not an
issue for Jordan until the U.S. invasions of Iraq and
Afghanistan.

3. (U) Baghdad minimize considered.
HALE

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