Skip to comments.Rumsfeld: Al-Jazeera is disgraceful... "vicious, inaccurate and inexcusable"
Posted on 04/15/2004 3:54:55 PM PDT by dennisw
Rumsfeld: Al-Jazeera is disgraceful By MATTHEW GUTMAN
US Secretary of Defense called the pan-Arab satellite news channel Al-Jazeera "vicious, inaccurate and inexcusable" for reporting that US and coalition troops were killing and terrorizing Iraqi citizens.
Rumsfeld, speaking to reports at a Pentagon press conference Thursday, was reacting to a question posed as to the accuracy of Al-Jazeera reports saying hundreds of Iraqis have been killed in the fighting in Falluja.
"Its disgraceful what that station is doing," Rumsfeld said, adding, "They are simply lying."
Al-Jazeera is by far the most widely watched news network in the Arab world.
The US-led coalition in Iraq and the Iraqi Governing Council threatened Monday to ban the Arab world's leading satellite news channels al-Jazeera and al-Arabiyeh reporters from Iraq for ratcheting up sectarian strife in this war-torn country, according to a leading government official.
For almost a week, until the Marines began to take on embedded reporters, the two channels were among the handful transmitting news from the battleground town of Falluja.
Their frequent use of the term "massacre" and their ongoing use of images of bloodied women and children has led US officials in Iraq to question the balance of their reporting.
"There is no doubt that if al-Jazeera and al-Arabiyeh continue to incite violence and sectarian rifts in this country... they will be closed down here," said Iraqi National Security Adviser Dr. Muafak Rube'i. In a press conference with Western and Arab journalists, he slammed the Arab world's leading satellite news channels for stirring up both the Shi'ite rebels in the center and south of the country and insurgents in the so-called Sunni Triangle.
The campaign against the two stations has gained momentum in recent days as thousands of Iraqis heeded the calls of mosques to send aid to Falluja and "resist American occupation."
Several Arab journalists walked out of the press conference as Rube'i answered questions. Some Arab journalists commented that the new Iraqi Governing Council's limits on freedom of speech were too fast approaching those of Saddam Hussein's regime.
Still, Rube'i battled back, adding in both English and Arabic, that "false reporting will not be permitted in this country." Al Jazeera editor-in-chief Ahmed al-Sheikh denied claims of bias and incitement. "Those [Iraqi] people were killed. How were they killed? Who killed them? We were showing scenes on the ground, from hospitals and so forth. We are a news organization and we must follow news wherever it is," Al-Sheikh said on CNN. "We are not biased, people trust us," he added.
US Deputy Operations Commander in Iraq Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt also accused Arab media of biased reporting, going as far as accusing Al-Jazeera and others of "spreading lies." When asked Sunday how Iraqis should respond to the disturbing images on TV, Kimmitt snapped: "change the channel. Change it to a legitimate honest news station. Showing American soldiers killing only women and children is lies."
The proliferation of satellite dishes in Iraq has lent powerhouses Al Jazeera and Arabiyeh greater influence among Iraqis in the past year. The coalition allotted a $96 million grant to the indigenous Al Iraqiyeh which airs only 40 minutes of news a day. Most of its programming consists of home-improvement shows for housewives, Iraqi national team football games, and local features.
Increasing numbers of Iraqi leaders and even some viewers doubt the veracity of the two stations' version of events. "Al Jazeera broadcasts lies," said Dr. Mahmud Othman, a Kurdish Governing Council member over the weekend. "Their reporting is simply not accurate."
Some feel that Al Jazeera has overstepped its role. According to Yasou Ohnuki of the Japanese Broadcasting Company, the Qatar-based station has been acting as an intermediary between the kidnappers of three Japanese and Japanese officials.
Intermediary or accomplice?
Opps, that is where we have a main base here. We are paying millions and millions for this.
This station has to be revamped
My uncle tells me he helped set up this station years ago and saw trouble then. BTW, uncle said, we (US) paid for this station.
Accomplice to Jihad. How come Jezeera is often on scene for big time Jihad actions..... such as mortar attacks, rocket attacks and the immolation, desecration in Fallujah of the 4 American contractors?
Jezeera is the propaganda dissemination arm of the Jihadists and Islamic terrorists. Their best friend as Jihad friendly video is pumped into Muslim + Arab homes worldwide
Fabrizio Quattrocchi, 36, in better times.
The other 95% of the media isn't any better.
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