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Bombing Al Jazeera: It's No Joke


Eli StephensLeft I on the News

Tony Blair has said it's a "conspiracy theory," the White House called it "outlandish" and "absurd." But now a British FOIA request (from FOIA Blog via Blair Watch with a major hat tip to Bob at Politics in the Zeros) comes back with this response:

Thank you for your email of 24 November in which you request a copy of any memos or notes that record President Bush's discussions with the Prime Minister about the bombing of the al-Jazeera television station in Qatar. Your request has been handled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

I can confirm that the cabinet Office holds information which is relevant to your request.The request is then denied on the grounds that "disclosure of information would or would be likely to predudice relations between the United Kingdom and any other State" (i.e., that it would embarrass George Bush). But, as Blair Watch points out, they key is in that second paragraph. Previous "non-denial denials" referred to in the first sentence of this post have tried to pretend that this never happened. But now the British government, in the process of denying a FOIA request, has absolutely confirmed that "memos or notes that record President Bush's discussions with the Prime Minister about the bombing of the al-Jazeera television station in Qatar" do exist. The ball is now in your court, American media.

By the way, it goes without saying that the charge itself (that Bush did seriously propose this) is entirely believable.

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