Al Jazeera continues to seek clarification on the Daily Mirror report of a leaked memo that alleged “President Bush planned to bomb Arab TV station Al Jazeera” and reiterates its call to see a copy of the relevant section of the memo. Civil servant, David Keogh and MP researcher Leo O’Connor were jailed today for leaking the secret four-page memo.
Press and public were banned from the trial which has been heavily criticized by MPs and civil rights groups. The memo is purported to have recorded discussions regarding the events in Falluja between Tony Blair and George Bush in the Oval office in 2004. Former defence minister, Peter Kilfoyle, stated that “There remain unanswered questions about the discussions about the attack on Falluja and subsequent deaths of many hundreds of civilians’.
Al Jazeera submitted a Freedom of Information application early in 2006 requesting the disclosure of the contents of the memo but the request was denied. Any substantiation of the contents of the memo would be extremely serious not only for Al Jazeera but for media organisations across the world.
It would cast significant doubts on the US administration’s version of previous incidents involving Al Jazeera’s journalists and offices. Both Al Jazeera’s Kabul Bureau and Iraq Bureau were bombed by the US resulting in the death of Al Jazeera journalist Tareq Ayoub. Al Jazeera reiterates its request for clarity on the matter and urges Downing Street to clarify the Daily Mirror report on the contents of the memo.