Former Attorney General Urges Probe of Al Jazeera
By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey’s call for a congressional “inquiry” into Al Jazeera’s purchase of Al Gore’s Current TV gives hope that the controversial transaction benefiting the pro-terrorist Muslim Brotherhood can still be derailed.
At a Breitbart News-sponsored forum during last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Mukasey said, in response to a question from this writer, “I think if an American medium is controlled by a political force from abroad, that’s a proper subject for inquiry.”
That political force is the Muslim Brotherhood, which spawned al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. Its financial backer, which owns Al Jazeera, is the undemocratic and authoritarian government of Qatar. Mukasey’s speech to the Breitbart event was about Muslim Brotherhood infiltration in the U.S.
At the same time, U.S. military veterans are speaking out. Larry Bailey, co-founder of a group of veterans and supporters of the Special Operations communities of the Armed Forces, tells Accuracy in Media that Congress should examine the “penetration” of the U.S. media market by Al Jazeera because the pro-Jihadist television channel only spells “more trouble within our society.”
Bailey, a retired U.S. Navy veteran, founded Special Operations Speaks (SOS).
Fox News commentator Lisa Daftari has suggested that the new “Al Jazeera America” channel could inspire violence and terrorism by stirring up Muslims in cities such as heavily-Arab Detroit, Michigan, where one of its bureaus is scheduled to open.
The Obama Administration, which supports the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt with foreign aid and weapons shipments, has refused to subject the Al Jazeera deal to any official scrutiny.
Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) sent a letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski asking what, if any, agency review procedures and oversight processes came into play regarding the transaction. But Genachowski is stonewalling and has not responded. Murphy holds a senior position on the House Energy and Commerce Committee as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.
Murphy’s office told AIM, “We’re not surprised the FCC has not even acknowledged, let alone responded to, Chairman Murphy’s inquiry. But he is not deterred and will keep pursuing this deal even if he goes it alone.”
Although stories in the U.S. are appearing about hundreds of students and journalists flooding “Al Jazeera America” with job applications, there are reports coming in from abroad about journalists leaving the channel in disgust and outrage.
The German magazine Der Spiegel ran an article titled, “After the Arab Spring: Al-Jazeera Losing Battle for Independence,” on how the channel’s slanted coverage is sparking resignations by news personnel and complaints of editorial interference from the Jihadist-supporting Arab regime paying the bills.
In a column titled, “The collapse of Al-Jazeera’s credibility,” Ghaffar Hussain, a writer and commentator on Middle Eastern issues, expands on some of the evidence in Der Spiegel, noting that Al Jazeera is known for airing “propaganda for the Muslim Brotherhood” and its sponsors in Qatar.
Explaining the nature of the “Arab Spring” and the revolutions in Egypt and Libya, which were supported by the Obama Administration, he wrote, “The only reason Al Jazeera supported political dissidents pre-Arab Spring was because the Qatari royal family opposed secular dictators such as Mubarak and Gaddafi. Not because they were dictators but because they were largely secular and despised the clout Qatar sought to wield. Support for dissidents in this context was not about love for freedom and openness, but motivated by a desire to undermine regimes the Qatari state viewed unfavorably.”
He adds, “Since the Muslim Brotherhood has come to power in Egypt, Al Jazeera has done all in its power to portray the group in a favorable light. Protests against the Brotherhood-dominated regime are presented as being led by violent thugs with no political grievances, while [Egyptian President and Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed] Morsi’s poorly constructed and shallow speeches are given positive coverage.”
My question to Mukasey was as follows:
“General: [You spoke of] the assault [by] the Muslim Brotherhood—civilizational Jihad. Al Jazeera just paid Al Gore and his comrades $500 million to get into the U.S. media market, 40-50 million homes. Shouldn’t the House Homeland Security Committee hold hearings into this and examine Al Jazeera’s ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and terrorist groups?”
After urging the inquiry, Mukasey noted the “delicious irony” in The Wall Street Journal report about Al Jazeera “looking for space in the former New York Times building.” He added, “They should feel right at home.”
Indeed, the Times in an editorial had called the channel “an important news source,” and urged cable and satellite providers to carry it.
Another problem, as we noted in our column, Gore’s Al Jazeera Deal Now a Major Scandal, is that the former Democratic vice president has been sued for $5 million. In effect, Gore is accused of stealing the idea to sell his channel to the Qatar government. The media broker, John Terenzio, says his specialty is getting access for foreign channels in the U.S. media market and that he was not compensated for his work on the deal.
If the suit goes forward, more embarrassing details about the transaction could come out.
Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.