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WikiLeaks Proves Al Jazeera Changed Coverage for American Officials

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WikiLeaks Proves Al Jazeera Changed Coverage for American Officials

On September 20th, Al Jazeera, the pan-Arab news network, had its top news director step down.

According to WikiLeaks, the news director, Wadah Khanfar, had modified the network’s coverage of the Iraq war in response to pressure from the United States.

It seems that WikiLeaks came into possession of a series of documents that stated Khanfar had several meetings with members of the United States Defense Department Intelligence Agency in 2005.

The documents focus on a loose partnership between Al Jazeera and the U.S. military during the Iraq War.

According to those documents, Khanfar censored the network’s coverage of the conflict in an attempt to aid the US military in quelling anti-U.S. sentiment in the Arab world.

Much of the coverage that is said to have been censored by Khanfarwas included images of injured civilians. These images were allegedly removed by Khanfar.

The New York Times provided an example of Khanfar’s censorship which was motivated by the US military.

“In at least one instance, involving a report on the network’s Web site, Mr. Khanfar said in the cable that he had changed coverage at the American official’s request. He said he had removed two images depicting wounded children in a hospital and a woman with a badly wounded face.”

Another document, a cable sent by the American ambassador, Chase Untermeyer, suggests close ties between US Department of Defense, Qatari Foreign Ministry, and Al Jazeera.

It describes an embassy official’s meeting with the news director.

According to the cable, the official gave Mr. Khanfar copies of critical reports by the United States Defense Intelligence Agency on several months of Al Jazeera’s coverage of the Iraq war; which was similar to reports given to him by the Qatari Foreign Ministry.

Another interesting fact about the release is that Al Jazeera was one of several media outlets Wikileaks turned to in an effort to release the 2010 Iraq War Logs.

When it comes to global whistle-blowing, even WikiLeaks’ own partners in disclosure are not safe.

Originally published on

  • Truthmonger

    Funny, earlier leaks (i.e. pre-Wikileaks) made it pretty clear that AJ had NO interest in moderating its coverage despite our requests delivered through intermediares.  There were also INNUMERABLE scenes of supposed civilian casualties during the most intense phases of the fight – many of which were later proven to be fake.  For most of the last decade Al Jazeera’s anti-Western slant was exceeded only by Iranian state television and MSNBC.  Our presence in Qatar is small relative to what we have in other spots throughout the region, so what new leverage would be suddenly have?  For example, we give Saudi Arabia hundreds of millions in bribes annually on top of the oil and defense money we pump into their economy and their STILL the biggest state sponsor of terror globally.  Only Iran has a more anti-Western state controlled media than the Kingdom (MSNBC is still far as we know).  Al Jezeera has come a fair ways in balancing its coverage over the past few years, and is the closest thing the Middle East has to a free press outside of Israel (and even that’s debatable).  Ironically, AJ’s reporting is now more skewed regarding events in the US than in its own backyard.  I know dyed-in-the-wool Republicans who sometimes watch AJ to get a more objective feed about what’s going on in Iraq than they could from American news outlets.  That’s how deep the mistrust of the mainstream Western media goes.

    Has it occurred to anyone that with so many official US documents to
    study and with its contacts in foreign intelligence that it might be fairly easy for Wikileaks to fabricate a few memos?  And if they did, who would call them on it?  We already know their supposed penchant for openness and “truth” only applies to their victims and not their own contributors.  We also know they have an atypically leftist agenda and have no problem with breaking the law and helping traitors commit treason.  Hardly what I’d call a reliable source at this juncture.

“The thing about the truth is, not a lot of people can handle it.” -Conor McGregor

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