Saturday, September 24, 2011

Foe to friend – changed US stance on Al Jazeera (after putting CIA plant at its head)



Al Jazeera's director general has resigned due to rumors he is linked to the CIA. Critics say that would explain the switching US attitude towards the Qatar-based news network.

Not all that long ago, the Al Jazeera news network was considered “evil” by Washington. However the White House has certainly changed its tune, recently praising the channel’s ground-breaking coverage.

That is little surprise, say critics, after WikiLeaks revelations exposed Wadah Khanfar, its director general, as having links to the CIA, prompting him to hurriedly quit. Stepping into the vacant chair is Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani, an executive at Qatargas and a member of the country's ruling dynasty. This has fueled fears that Doha’s voice will get louder.

Al Jazeera, or “The Island”, is not in isolation anymore. Right now Al Jazeera English is seen in 2 million American households.

The channel’s in-your-face coverage of the violent turmoil in the Middle East and Libya, has grabbed it a cozy place alongside other local news sources in the US. The recent WikiLeaks claim about Al Jazeera’s now-resigned director general, though, indicate a longer-term interest in the channel among certain sections of America. more