Al-Jazeera threat reports 'censored'
From correspondents in London
NEWSPAPERS reported today the British Government has threatened to
prosecute them if they publish a leaked document alleging US President
George W. Bush threatened to bomb al-Jazeera TV.
The Daily Mirror said yesterday that Bush talked of bombing al-
Jazeera's headquarters in the Gulf Arab state of Qatar when he
hosted talks with Blair in Washington on April 16, 2004.
The White House - which has accused al-Jazeera of being a mouthpiece
of anti-US sentiments by airing statements from al-Qaeda leaders and
footage of hostage beheadings in Iraq - dismissed the newspaper report
The Daily Mirror said today that Attorney General Peter Goldsmith
warned the newspaper on yesterday that publication of any further
details from the document would be a breach of the Official Secrets
Goldsmith threatened an immediate High Court injunction unless the
Mirror confirmed it would not publish further details. "We have
essentially agreed to comply," the newspaper said.
Both The Guardian and The Times published similar articles saying
newspaper editors could be prosecuted if they revealed contents of
The secrets act makes it an offence to possess of government
information, or a document from a civil servant, if that person
discloses it without lawful authority.
The Mirror said the memo turned up in the office of then British
lawmaker Tony Clarke, a member of Blair's Labour Party, in May 2004.