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11/22/2005

Was Bush going to bomb Al-Jazeera?

We report, you decide:
Bush al-Jazeera 'plot' dismissed

The White House has dismissed claims George Bush was talked out of bombing Arab television station al-Jazeera by UK Prime Minister Tony Blair.

The allegations were made by an unnamed source in the Daily Mirror newspaper.

A White House official said: "We are not going to dignify something so outlandish with a response."

...According to the Mirror's source, the transcript records a conversation during Mr Blair's visit to the White House on 16 April 2004, in the wake of an attempt to root out insurgents in the Iraqi city of Falluja, in which 30 US Marines died.

The memo, which the Mirror says is stamped "Top Secret", allegedly details how Mr Blair argued against what the paper calls a "plot" to attack the station's buildings in the business district of Doha, the capital city of Qatar.

A Downing Street spokesman said: "We have got nothing to say about this story. We don't comment on leaked documents."

...Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman Sir Menzies Campbell said: "If true, then this underlines the desperation of the Bush administration as events in Iraq began to spiral out of control.

"On this occasion, the prime minister may have been successful in averting political disaster, but it shows how dangerous his relationship with President Bush has been."
Link.

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