Text of <em>Al-Jazeera</em> Letter to Prime Minister Tony Blair Regarding “Bush Bombing Memo”

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TWN has just secured a copy of a letter from Al-Jazeera Managing Director Wadah Khanfar to Prime Minister Tony Blair about the secret memo which allegedly outlines President Bush’s intent to bomb Al-Jazeera‘s headquarters and Blair’s efforts to dissuade him. Here it the text: TO THE ATTENTION OF: The Right Honourable Tony Blair The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Date: 26 November, 2005 Dear Prime Minister, It is with a great deal of concern that I write to you…

<em>TWN</em> Out and About on Tuesday

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For those of you in Washington, feel free to stop by at 4 p.m. for a program on Sino-Japanese Relations at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, organized by the Sasakawa Peace Foundation. Charles Kupchan will be moderating a session featuring University of Tokyo Professor Akio Takahara. Yang Bojiang of Brookings and I will be offering reactions and comments. And later this evening, I will be talking about the latest on John Bolton on Air America Radio’s Majority Report. I’ll…

Former State Dept Chief of Staff Lawrence Wilkerson Has White House Off Balance

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Former State Department Chief of Staff Col. Lawrence Wilkerson continues to hammer the White House over torture and detainee abuse revelations — but is also suggesting that as he learns more from various sources, his original views that the White House was not involved in duplicity regarding Iraq WMD intelligence is evolving. In a very important BBC interview this morning, Wilkerson speculated that the White House did cherry-pick and try to manufacture intelligence estimates that matched its biases. From an…

Rumsfeld & Pete Pace Today at 1:15 p.m. (ET)

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I can’t attend today, but Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Peter Pace are giving a media briefing at 1:15 p.m. One of the topics I am sure that they are going to cover — or at least be queried about — will be Joe Biden’s oped this weekend which asserts that without serious adjustments in the deployment norms we have in place now for active duty military and the national guard, we will…

Lawrence Wilkerson: White House Believed the President was All-Powerful and Geneva Conventions “Irrelevant”

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Today in a long interview session with a number of Associated Press correspondents, former State Department Chief of Staff Lawrence Wilkerson offered important commentary on the White House’s role in establishing a permissive environment that led to detainee abuse and torture. This from a breaking AP report by Anne Gearan, which has just hit the wires: A top aide to former Secretary of State Colin Powell said Monday that wrongheaded ideas for the handling of foreign detainees arose from White…

Frank Gaffney’s War Against <em>Al Jazeera</em>

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I thought that Frank Gaffney’s outrageous comments last week that, under certain circumstances, it would be laudable for U.S. forces to bomb Al-Jazeera’s Doha headquarters were the first time he had suggested destroying this important Arab media network. However, I just ran across an article by Frank Gaffney titled “Take Out Al Jazeera,” which ran on Fox News on September 29, 2003. In the piece, Gaffney argues: Under present wartime circumstances, though, the United States has the ability — and,…

Randall “The Corrupt Duke” Cunningham Resigns

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The repugnant Duke Cunningham — who was involved as well in the old Tailhook scandal — has finally resigned his House seat after admitting that he took bribes. An Associated Press report just posted on the New York Times website: Rep. Randy ”Duke” Cunningham pleaded guilty Monday to conspiracy and tax charges, admitting taking $2.4 million in bribes in a case that grew from an investigation into the sale of his home to a wide-ranging conspiracy involving payments in cash,…

President Bush, You Think That They Hate Us Because We are Free?

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I think that they hate us for not making clear that “their” lives matter. Read this clip in the Sunday Telegraph that only compounds the damage done by prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib. It looks like private defense contractors under contract with the United States government have serial killers out just randomly shooting people. Who is to blame for this? It has always been under Donald Rumsfeld that these abuses have occurred. He should have been forced to resign two…

John Bolton’s UN Honeymoon is Over: US Ambassador Gets Spanked by Great Britain

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John Bolton is having a public feud with Great Britain over his effort to withhold the UN’s budget until various reforms are adopted. This was a classic Jesse Helms tactic of the past and shows that Bolton is tipping towards bludgeoning the United Nations rather than using diplomatic skill to achieve his objectives. From the Daily Telegraph: Britain has angered John Bolton, America’s combative ambassador to the United Nations, by breaking ranks with him over the need for reform. The…