Tuesday, November 25, 2003

More Freedom of the Press


In another sign of a harder line coming from Baghdad, the Washington-appointed Iraqi Governing Council pulled the plug on the Dubai-based Al-Arabiya satellite television network yesterday, saying it would no longer be allowed to report from Baghdad until it agrees to stop "encouraging terrorism."

Its crime appeared to be airing an audio tape purported to have come from deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. It aired the audio tape, in which a voice calls for a holy war against occupying troops on Nov. 16. The CIA said it could not confirm the voice was, in fact, Saddam's.

"I would like to you know that we are serious in fighting terrorism and the Governing Council will exert more efforts," Jalal Talabani, current head of the council, told reporters in Baghdad. "We will have an active political, media and military role against terrorism."

CNN reported yesterday that it and the BBC had also been warned that they, too, could face sanctions if they did not toe the line.

Imagine if Clinton.... Oh never mind, you can't.