~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I O 93 93/93 I O ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Location: LaGrange, Kentucky, United States

The opinions and interests of a husband, analyst and Iraq war veteran.


Friday, November 04, 2005

Who's asking the hard questions over at Al Jazeera?

Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) has objected to the appointment of Dorrance Smith as assistant secretary of defense for public affairs on the basis of this Wall Street Journal op-ed which the WSJ has thoughtfully reprinted today.

[Smith] While I was in Iraq in 2004, Al-Jazeera was expelled from the country by the Iraqi Governing Council for violating international law. Numerous times they had advance knowledge of military actions against coalition forces. Instead of reporting to the authorities that it had been tipped off, Al-Jazeera would pre-position a crew at the event site and wait for the attack, record it and rush it on air.

[Editors] Mr. Smith has standing to address these issues in part because the former ABC news producer spent nine months in Iraq as a media adviser to Ambassador Paul Bremer. He knows more about terrorist propaganda, and its potential effects, than the Americans on the receiving end of the terror tapes.

In any case, surely these are all questions the spokesman for U.S. Secretary of Defense has a right--even a responsibility--to raise. Contrary to Sen. Levin's assertions, Mr. Smith's op-ed is evidence of why he is qualified for the job

Frankly, I'm surprised that the esteemed editorial staff didn't hit upon the obvious solution: Mr. Smith should leave public service and simply submit his resume to Al Jazeera. Why not? Worked for this guy.

[Former Marine PR officer Josh] Rushing, 33, has taken a job reporting for a new channel for Al-Jazeera. That's the Qatar-based network that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said is "perfectly willing to lie to the world" and has "a pattern of playing propaganda over and over and over again" for its 50 million viewers, most of them in the Arab world. [...] He hopes he can help people around the world see America differently, and help Americans see the world in new ways.

And I'd certainly be less worried about Al Jazeera's actions with the good Mr. Smith onboard.

(Linked at the Mudville open post)

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