Our professional ‘Diplomats’ have no ‘earthly idea’ what’s really going on in their respective countries…!

One only has to look at who was writing the ‘cable’, and, whom was the recipient of said cable…! Something I’d mentioned before…

Anyways, I was seriously disappointed when I read last night’s Guardian wikileak ‘revelation’…

WikiLeaks cables claim al-Jazeera changed coverage to suit Qatari foreign policy

US embassy memos contradict Arabic satellite channel’s insistence that it is editorially independent despite being heavily subsidised by Gulf state…

…a cable written in November 2009 predicted that the station could be used “as a bargaining tool to repair relationships with other countries, particularly those soured by al-Jazeera’s broadcasts, including the United States” over the next three years. [...]

In February, the US embassy reported to Washington how “relations [between Qatar and Saudi Arabia] are generally improving after Qatar toned down criticism of the Saudi royal family on al-Jazeera”. In July 2009, the US embassy said the channel “has proved itself a useful tool for the station’s political masters”. [...]

In a clear example of the regional news channel being exploited for political ends, the Doha embassy claimed Sheikh Hamad (HBJ) told the US senator John Kerry that he had proposed a bargain with the Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, which involved stopping broadcasts in Egypt in exchange for a change in Cairo’s position on Israel-Palestinian negotiations.

“HBJ had told Mubarak ‘we would stop al-Jazeera for a year’ if he agreed in that span of time to deliver a lasting settlement for the Palestinians,” according to a confidential cable from the US embassy in Doha in February. “Mubarak said nothing in response, according to HBJ.”

Al Jazeera promptly rejected that nonsense, as it should…

Al Jazeera rejects leaked US claims

Al Jazeera says the leaked US cables about the network are very far from the truth.

Al Jazeera has dismissed the claims made in the leaked US cables that the state of Qatar is using the news network as a bargaining chip in foreign policy negotiations by adapting its coverage to suit other foreign leaders and offering to cease critical transmissions in exchange for major concessions.

Al Jazeera said the claims, which were published by the Guardian newspaper, on Sunday were far from the truth.

This is the US embassy’s assessment, and it is very far from the truth. Despite all the pressure Al Jazeera has been subjected to by regional and international governments, it has never changed its bold editorial policies which remain guided by the principles of a free press.” said Al Jazeera in response on Sunday.

Btw, I’ll take Al Jazeera’s journalistic integrity over the Guardian’s any day! Although, I’d rate them both above our own Fawning Corporate Media here…!

So today, the Guardian issued this Mea Culpa…

Al-Jazeera is not the poodle of the Qatari emir

As a former reporter for the Qatar-based channel, I never saw evidence of US embassy claims that it is ‘leaned on’

We are becoming used to WikiLeaks reports of cables from US diplomats being immediately accepted as factual statements, rather than opinion based on encounters – the latest being the leaked communiqués from the US ambassador to Qatar, Joseph LeBaron.

The ambassador claimed that Qatar-based satellite channel al-Jazeera was being used “as a bargaining tool to repair relationships with other countries, particularly those soured by al-Jazeera’s broadcasts, including the United States”, and based his opinion on what he had been told by Qatar’s prime minister, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani, who said: “Al-Jazeera’s ability to influence public opinion is a substantial source of leverage for Qatar, one which it is unlikely to relinquish.

Bully on you, the Guardian…!

Btw, Al Jazeera put Qatar on the map…!