UK Denies Bush-Blair Talk on 'Bombing' Al-Jazeera
Two months after a British tabloid claimed that President George W. Bush told Prime Minister Tony Blair that he wanted to bomb al-Jazeera, the Arab TV news channel, the British government has denied the allegation.
A spokesman for Blair "said a memo about the Bush-Blair conversation does not refer to bombing al-Jazeera," the BBC reported Tuesday.
"When the allegations were first made in November," noted the Telegraph, "a Downing Street spokesman said: 'We don't comment on leaked documents.' The White House said at the time the story was 'outlandish.'"
When a lawyer for al-Jazeera requested a transcript of the conversation in November, Blair's office conceded that it held "information relevant to your request," according to the Press Gazette, a British Web site for journalists. Al-Jazeera took that statement as evidence that the memo does refer to the alleged conversation about an attack on the station.
Yosri Fouda, al-Jazeera's bureau chief in London, said Downing Street's denial was "heartening" if it were true, but added: "We don't want people to play with words, [saying] that the very word 'bombing' wasn't mentioned."
"But maybe it turns out another word was used like 'military action' or 'missile strike' or 'neutralising Al Jazeera,' Fouda said. 'It is too serious a situation to be thrown into a state of semantics.'"
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Posted by: Pinto Bean | January 19, 2006 02:42 PM
Posted by: Uhhh..they did bomb them | January 19, 2006 03:42 PM
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Posted by: OD | January 20, 2006 12:40 AM
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Posted by: David Patrick, UK | January 20, 2006 09:01 AM
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Posted by: Hypocrisy | January 20, 2006 05:18 PM
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