Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Iraq - Oil For News Program

Town Hall reports on how Saddam bought Al Jazeera's news coverage.

Town Hall notes there is a video tape of "former managing director of the influential Qatar-based, government-subsidized satellite network Al Jazeera, Mohammed Jassem al-Ali", indicating "that Al Jazeera had put into effect the directives that Uday had proffered in those previous meetings."

Ali was subsequently fired over allegations that al Jazeera had been infiltrated by Iraqi intelligence. The BBC saw things differently. BBC's Arabic station was the forerunner of Al Jazeera. But documents uncovered after the fall of Baghdad confirm the allegations.

Further, their best-known Arab correspondent, Tayssir Alouni, was arrested in Spain for ties to Al Qaeda.

Interestingly, six months after Ali was fired, al-Jazeera's editor-in-chief, Ibrahim Helal, resigned and joined the BBC.

And the circle was complete.

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