Cliff Kincaid
Still time to stop Al Jazeera America
By Cliff Kincaid
July 11, 2013

Al Jazeera is under scrutiny for subversion in Egypt, and facing a mutiny from its own reporters over supporting the Muslim Brotherhood there. But The Washington Post assures us in a story that the channel's official launch in the United States is on August 20, and its coverage will be different.

Philip Seib, author of The Al Jazeera Effect, is quoted as saying, "I don't think you'll see al-Jazeera America touting the Muslim Brotherhood. It will be more like CNN."

But the foreign owners in Qatar will remain the same, and that is part of the problem. Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey has said that Al Jazeera's purchase of Al Gore's Current TV should be the subject of a congressional inquiry because of the channel's foreign sponsorship.

As Accuracy in Media has been reporting for over six years, the anti-American channel works hand-in-glove with the Muslim Brotherhood and its associated terrorist groups, including al Qaeda and Hamas. Nothing has changed. In fact, Al Jazeera has become more open about its work as a foreign policy instrument of Qatar, including the promotion of al Qaeda-linked terrorist groups in Syria.

It is apparent that the Egyptian military and its supporters in the pro-democracy movement didn't want Egypt to become another Syria.

The Muslim Brotherhood website still carries a story referring to Al Jazeera as "the greatest Arab media organization." The channel originally made a name for itself by airing al-Qaeda videos, and one of its correspondents was convicted of being an agent of the terrorist group that carried out the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The hit movie "Zero Dark Thirty," based on the killing of bin Laden, notes that the al-Qaeda leader was tracked down in part by locating a nearby Al Jazeera office that received and aired terrorist videos.

In response to the jailing of Al Jazeera journalists in Cairo after the overthrow of Mohamed Morsi, the channel proclaimed, "Regardless of political views, the Egyptian people expect media freedoms to be respected and upheld."

Broadcaster Jerry Kenney, a leading critic of the Qatar-funded propaganda network, said, "This is hilarious. Media freedoms? Why don't they allow it in Qatar?" Qatar, which sponsors and funds Al Jazeera, is a dictatorship which jails independent journalists and even poets critical of the regime.

But that doesn't seem to bother Soledad O'Brien or the other Americans who are going to work for Al Jazeera America. "If you look at what they're doing at Al Jazeera English: High quality journalism," she says, oblivious to the fact that while its slant has been watered down somewhat, the channel still has a bias in favor of global jihad.

To cite one example, note our report on Al Jazeera English airing sympathetic coverage about, and running "exclusive" interviews with, terrorist leaders from Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), whose symbol is an AK-47 rifle and a black flag rising from the globe.

One Al Jazeera story, headlined "Mali: The 'gentle' face of al-Qaeda," was picked up by The Huffington Post, one of the most-read online news sites in the world.

Near the end of a long story about the violence in Egypt, The New York Times noted that the Egyptian military held a news conference where they showed video footage of handguns, tear gas grenades, and bottles of whiskey that soldiers had found in the Islamists' tents. The Times added:

"As the conference began, a crowd of Egyptian journalists demanded that a television crew from Al Jazeera leave. Most Egyptian journalists in both the state and private media believe that Al Jazeera, the pan-Arab network owned by the government of Qatar, sympathizes with the Muslim Brotherhood. 'We are in Egypt, the country of democracy,' Mr. Abdel Lateef, the police spokesman, said to raucous cheers as the crew left."

Other accounts of the incident note that the military officer expelled Al-Jazeera Arabic's Cairo director, Abdel Fateh Fayed, and an Al-Jazeera crew from the press conference after the other journalists in the room complained about its bias in favor of Morsi.

Apparently the journalists who work with Al Jazeera understand its mission most of all.

"Just like the rest of Al Jazeera, Al Jazeera America is committed to high-quality, objective and balanced investigative journalism," its website says. Can anybody take this seriously?

The channel claims it is true in the same way that Al Jazeera English and Al Jazeera Arabic adhere to a "Code of Ethics," which includes fidelity "to the journalistic values of honesty, courage, fairness, balance, independence, credibility and diversity, giving no priority to commercial or political over professional consideration."

For an example of how this has been applied in practice, look at Egypt.

Since the overthrow of the Morsi regime, the channel has served as a voice for a Muslim Brotherhood "uprising" against the new government.

In response to the crackdown, Al Jazeera has objected to the "intimidation" of its journalists, acknowledging that "Al Jazeera Arabic's correspondent [was] hounded out of a government press conference by attendees who applauded the spokesman at the end of the event."

The statement also acknowledged that some Al Jazeera staffers have "decided to leave" because they had "partisan political opinions." In fact, according to all objective accounts, they left because of the channel's blatant bias in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood. The number of staffers who resigned has been estimated as high as 22.

The only real question is why all this evidence of the channel's service to the Muslim Brotherhood is being ignored by politicians in Washington, D.C., whose job it is to protect the American people from homeland security threats.

For example, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, refuses to hold a hearing into Al Jazeera's operations on American soil.

By any reasonable standard, Al Jazeera America should have to register as a foreign agent of the Muslim Brotherhood and/or Qatar, and have its broadcasts labeled on the air as foreign propaganda. A complaint about this was filed with the Department of Justice by broadcaster Jerry Kenney, but no action has been taken on it.

The House Homeland Security Committee can be contacted at (202) 226-8417

© Cliff Kincaid


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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