November 26, 2003

WELL, THIS ISN’T A COMPLETE SURPRISE:

WASHINGTON, Nov. 25 — U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said on Tuesday the United States had gathered compelling evidence that an Arab news channel whose Baghdad offices were closed down was cooperating with insurgents.

Rumsfeld also said the station, Dubai-based Al Arabiya, and its competitor news channel Al Jazeera, had been summoned in advance by guerrillas to witness some of a growing number of attacks by those opposed to the U.S. occupation of Iraq.

This isn’t news to InstaPundit readers, who have seen reports from soldiers in Iraq that Al Jazeera is paying people to protest, and even to fire at U.S. troops. Then there’s the issue of Al Jazeera reporters acting as couriers for Al Qaeda.

It seems, at any rate, a bit simplistic to cast this as a simple press-freedom issue. Did we allow Nazi media to report on the liberation of North Africa?

I also don’t recall a lot of complaining when, under Clinton, we shut down pro-Milosevic TV stations in Yugoslavia. But that, I suppose, was different. Somehow.