Thursday, November 24, 2005

Even as much as I sometimes think (especially in light of incidents like the Plame leak) that there is no limit that the Bush administration won't go to in abusing its power to punish those who put forth a competing message that President Bush doesn't like, I was skeptical at first about this story. I thought at first the tabloid story (published in the London Daily Mirror) that a leaked government memo said that the President had considered bombing the Qatar headquarters of the al-Jazeera television network sounded a bit too daft to be true. After all, we know how tabloids are in the United States, right, what with all the pictures of an aged Elvis shaking hands with Eminem, or of Marilyn Monroe waving out from inside a UFO. The memo, purporting to detail a discussion between President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair about bombing a televion network headquarters located in a friendly country, seemed to fit that category.

However, Britain took the unusual step today of warning the media to lay off of the story, saying it would interfere with a court trial of two men accused of leaking the memo:

Downing Street spokesman Ian Gleeson said Tuesday that Blair's office would have no comment, because the memo the Daily Mirror cited was the subject of court action.

Two men face trial under Britain's Official Secrets Act in connection with release of the memo, and the attorney general's office warned news organizations that the case against them should proceed "without prejudice."

OK. Now stop and think about this. IF TWO MEN ARE ON TRIAL FOR LEAKING THE MEMO, THEN THAT IS PROOF THE MEMO EXISTS(!) (whether they were found guilty of leaking it to the media or if it turns out that the media got it from someone else). And if it exists, we can safely assume (given its source) that it accurately reflects the actual conversation between Bush and Blair.

From the CNN story, The Mirror reported that Bush was angered by Al-Jazeera's coverage of the April 2004 uprising in the western Iraqi city of Falluja, where U.S. Marines were dispatched to restore order after four American security guards had been killed and mutilated by insurgents.

Blair talked him out of the idea of bombing the network's headquarters, the newspaper reported.

Now, I don't know if President Bush was having a temper tantrum that day, or what, but the idea that the President of the United States would even consider bombing a television station because he didn't like their news coverage is frightening in and of itself. The man really has lost his marbles and let power go to his head.

And maybe it provides a whole new take on why the MSM tilts to the right. They know we have missiles that are accurate enough that they could target the editor's office, and that 'Bush Cassidy' has his finger on the trigger.

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