Monday, November 24, 2003


We've discussed this type issue here before. It centers on Al Jezeera and Al Arabiya being used by Saddam as his mouthpiece.

He puts together a tape calling for Iraqis to murder coalition troops...but it is never broadcast anywhere except on these so-called news networks. Effectively that makes them his mouthpiece, and makes them complicit in the crimes committed in his name. By broadcasting these tapes when there is no other outlet for them, these networks cross the line from reporting news to creating news.

And in my mind that act removes them from any legitimate claim of protection under "freedom of the press".

As Paul Harvey says, self government cannot work without self-discipline.

Iraqi police shut down the Baghdad offices of Dubai-based Al Arabiya on Monday, and the country's Governing Council said legal action would be taken against the Arabic satellite channel for inciting violence.

''We're going to open a court case against Al Arabiya...because it...disseminates Saddam's propaganda,'' Jalal Talabani, who currently holds the rotating presidency of the Governing Council, told reporters.

''Al Arabiya broadcast in Saddam's voice an invitation to kill members of the Governing Council. Saddam in our eyes is a criminal, a torturer, a war criminal, and whoever disseminates for him exposes himself to legal punishment,'' he added.

The channel has broadcast several audio tapes purportedly from Saddam Hussein, calling on Iraqis to drive out occupying troops and attack U.S.-led forces.

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