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Friday, September 30, 2011

Today In WTF? Rumsfeld Edition

Sept 30th, 2011
by F. Grey Parker

Click for larger view. Image via
During the last ten years of Permawar, the reporters of Al-Jazeera have been attacked by our country in more than one location. Just prior to the capture of Kabul, Afghanistan in 2001, their affiliate was destroyed by American munitions. As Muftah Al Suwaidan, then London bureau chief, noted at the the time:

"Al-Jazeera's office is in the heart of Kabul. The building is the only one to have been hit so it looks like it was deliberate."

Then came the 8th of April in 2003 in Iraq. NPR reported dryly:

"Three journalists were killed in military operations in Baghdad Tuesday, including an incident in which a U.S. tank fired at a hotel housing hundreds of international reporters."

There have been allegations that these were very much intentional operations and that former President George W. Bush was all for them. There has even been reportage that Bush was so gung-ho about targeting Al Jazeera's journalists, he openly discussed bombing their headquarters in Doha, Qatar, with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Blair is alleged to have talked W out of it.

Think about it. This would have been akin to bombing Rockefeller Center to stop the free dissemination of information the W regime didn't want transmitted.

Image via wikileaks
The thing is, the targeted killing of journalists during the W. years was not altogether uncommon.

The sheer number of the dead and the scope of the coordinated killings is unlike anything our country has ever been guilty of before.

Of course, that can be said of us on many fronts since the abandonment of Just War Theory by our government.

The now infamous "collateral murder" video, which helped to make wikileaks a household name was not the most brazen act of violence against the non-combatant press corps... it is simply the only one for which we have seen the military's video record.

These facts make this morning's news a heck of an eye opener. Via HuffPo:

"Former US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has given an interview to Al Jazeera, ending his feud with a channel he once described as "vicious".

Questioned by Sir David Frost, Bush’s former right-hand man, who many see as the architect of the second Gulf War, struck a conciliatory tone in the interview.

"Its audience has grown and it can be an important means of communication in the world," he said of the channel.

"I am delighted you are doing what you are doing."

What Rumsfeld is trying to accomplish is anyone's guess. Distance from the last regime? Denial of complicity in outright war crimes? Who knows.

It is more than perplexing. It is disgusting. And here I thought the Dick Cheney "torture is good" tour promoting his "book" was beyond the pale.

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