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PNAC Founder Frank Gaffney Advocated Taking Out Al Jazeera in 2003

Reported by Marie Therese - December 1, 2005

Frank Gaffney returned to FOX News and the O'Reilly Factor on November 29, 2005 to plug his new book, "War Footing: Ten Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World" outlining a his plan for dealing with World War III, which he claims were are fighting right now.

Gaffney's a dyed-in-the-wool hawk, a true believer, and little of what transpired in the interview was new, including O'Reilly's lament that other news outlets don't seem to think we're actually in the middle of WWIII and, therefore, are ignoring this important story.

Frank Gaffney is a long-time proponent of the neoconservative agenda. Along with Dick Cheney and Richard Perle, he was one of the founders of PNAC (Project for a New American Century), the notorious think tank whose concept of American Imperialism formed the blueprint for the mess we've created in Iraq.

Among Gaffney's writings there is an article that I found illuminating in light of the brewing scandal in England over the release of top secret documents that purport to show that between April 16 and May 28 of 2004 Prime Minister Tony Blair expended a lot of energy talking George Bush out of bombing the headquarters of Al Jazeera.

Originally published September 29, 2003 on FOXNews.com's website, Gaffney's piece, entitled "Take Out Al Jazeera," offers a rationale for bombing not only Al Jazeera but Al Arabiya as well. In the same article Gaffney also suggests that the United States set up an independent satellite network to bring the "truth" to the Middle East.

News Corporation, owned by Rupert Murdoch, is a company involved in filmed entertainment, television, cable, direct broadcast satellite television, magazines, newspapers and books. Recently they expanded their holding to include several internet sites.

On April 16, 2004, during the same time period that Blair was consulting with Bush, News Corporation announced that Viet Dinh, author of the Patriot Act and a former Assistant Attorney General under John Ashcroft, had been elected to sit on the Board of Directors of News Corporation, FOX News' parent company.

Here is an excerpt from Gaffney's article, published about 6 months before the Blair-Bush confrontation.

More to the point, elected Iraqi officials and U.S. commanders advised our delegation of retired senior military officers and civilian defense experts that there is evidence that Al Jazeera is actually paying for such attacks. If confirmed, this would make the network and its associates enemy combatants and subject to appropriate responses.

For too long, the U.S. government has ignored less materially harmful forms of Arab media collaboration with our foes. (A similar charge of incitement could -- and should -- be leveled practically daily at the state-owned media of Muslim nations, including those of putatively friendly states like Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Pakistan.)

To some extent, this has been justified by a hope that so doing would allow American officials to use these vehicles to communicate the United States' wartime public diplomacy messages to their audiences. Pursuant to this strategy, Secretary of State Colin Powell, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice and others have appeared from time to time on Al Jazeera's shows. (So, in fact, on occasion has this author.)

Unfortunately, these episodic, and usually fleeting, appearances do not begin to match -- let alone to counteract -- the incessant drumbeat of Muslim victimization, anti-Western vituperation and approval for acts of violence thus justified when perpetrated by terrorists. The Iraqi Governing Council is confronting the reality of this danger every day and has responded appropriately, within its limited means.

Under present wartime circumstances, though, the United States has the ability -- and, indeed, an urgent responsibility -- to take more comprehensive action against Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya. Unless the two networks adjust their behavior so as no longer to act as the propaganda arm of our enemies, they should be taken off the air, one way or another.

To those who will decry this as censorship, they should be reminded of President Bush's injunction shortly after we were attacked two years ago: In the War on Terror, you are either with us or with the terrorists. It would be no more sensible for us to construe the masquerading of enemy propaganda, the communication and amplification of its calls to jihad and the legitimacy that attends transmission of such messages and images via television than it would be for us to regard bin Laden's messages, or Saddam's, as mere "news."

If we are serious about this war, we need a totally revamped information policy -- replete with much more concerted and effective efforts to win the hearts and minds of people who have no reason to fear us, let alone to attack us, but are being told to do so by Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya. A place to start would be to rapidly start up a satellite television service of our own, capable of reaching millions of currently unserved viewers in Iraq.

In the meantime, it is imperative that enemy media be taken down if they insist on using their access to the airwaves as instruments of the war against us and our allies.

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