Blunkett advised Bliar to bomb Al Jazeera

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by sniper_bob, Oct 14, 2006.

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  1. Interesting snippet from Blairwatch...

    DAVID Blunkett has admitted he urged Tony Blair to break international law and bomb al-Jazeera's Baghdad TV transmitter during the Iraq war.

    The disgraced ex-Home Secretary makes his astonishing revelation in a Channel 4 Dispatches programme, to be shown next week, saying he viewed the Arab television station as a legitimate target.

    He brushes aside protests that, as a civilian organisation, the bombing of al-Jazeera would have been illegal under international law.

    The amazing exchange will be shown on Monday in the second episode of a two-part screening of the audio-diaries he kept during his time in the Cabinet.

    Mr Blunkett tells Dispatches he suggested to the war cabinet that al-Jazeera's Baghdad transmitter be attacked.

    Asked whether he was not worried that this would be "outside the rules of engagement", Mr Blunkett says: "There wasn't a worry from me because I believed that this was a war and in a war you wouldn't allow the broadcast to continue taking place."

    Dispatches reporter Isabel Tang protests: "But al-Jazeera was a civilian target."

    Mr Blunkett replies: "Well, I don't think that there are targets in a war that you can rule out because you don't actually have military personnel inside them if they are attempting to win a propaganda battle on behalf of your enemy."

    Tang goes on: "But surely that's against international law." Mr Blunkett says: "Well I don't think for a minute in previous wars we'd have thought twice about ensuring that a propaganda mechanism on the soil of the country you were invading would actually continue being able to propagandise against you."

    Two weeks after Mr Blunkett pressed the Prime Minister to attack al-Jazeera, the station's Baghdad offices were bombed by the Americans, killing journalist Tareq Ayoub.

    By the same principle they'll be ordering the bombing of ITN/Beeb offices if they dare to broadcast anything anti-Tone. You hef bin vorned.
  2. Dare I say it, the blind leading the blind.
  3. this is the same Blunkett who traveled up to Bradford after the riots when he was home secretary, to 'see for himself' the situation on the ground.

    Probably just using a turn of phrase, and he sholdn't be barred from the full glory of the english language just because of his disability, but still.... odd chap.

    Out of interest, are we at all concerned about someone with no defense connection at all recommending strike target candidates, whilst extremely senior soldiers who point out pertinent defense issues are seen as somehow anti constitutional?
  4. Here is a recently discovered still of his dog undergoing HALO training, prior to deployment with Mr Blunkett as an FAC in Iraq


    When did he do his Joint Targeting Course then?
  5. Auld-Yin

    Auld-Yin LE Reviewer Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    How do you know? Are you Blunktwit's lapdog?
  6. This is the topic of a very determined search by the anti-war faction who claim there is a memo from Bush to Blair discussing this bombing.Govt denials of course. FOI got nowhere. Be good to see what they will do now this has come up.
  7. I don't really see what the problem is. I really don't.
  8. Well, that a Minister of the Crown thinks a SATELLITE tv station based in QATAR has a "TRANSMITTER" in BAGHDAD...rather than two blokes with a Thuraya or similar.
  9. Is that his reserve ?
  10. Higround - Al Jazeera is an independent Muslim broadcaster based in Qatar and their audience is predominently Muslim. Their reporting is factual but with a Middle Eastern slant. They are not a mouthpiece for AQ or any political/insurgency group and in fact were highly critical of Saddam. The propaganda that Blunkett refers to is nothing more than Bad PR for Bush/Bliar.

    Bombing their reporters in Baghdad not only inflammed Muslim sentiment against the Allies but it was also a denial of Freedom of Speech to the Muslim community. Most of whom, at the time, were very anti-Saddam.
  11. If there is any chain of events between Blunkett's bizarre recommendation and the actual bombing (very doubtful otherwise he would have kept his trap shut) he should be arrested. Bombing the transmitter was not "proportionate" and illegal. Also stupid.