Al-Jazeerah Once More

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No interest in talking about Dick Durbin anymore, sorry, but I do want to highlight a comment found over at Instapundit by one of our typically “clever” conservative friends:

The damage is done, and al-Jazeera isn’t likely to tout Dickie’s retraction with much vigor.

The idea here, as is common around conservative parts, is that al-Jazeerah, in its never-ending quest to undercut and undermine the United States, went full throttle with Durbin’s original Gitmo remarks, but won’t air the apology. The slander here—that al-Jazeerah exists solely to support a vast network of anti-American insurgents and terrorists—is fairly brainless. Look at recent events: Marc Lynch points out here that al-Jazeerah was earlier playing up an offhand comment by Condoleeza Rice giving support to protestors in Egypt. Lynch also has an account here of a recent al-Jazeerah show in which various scholars and thinkers were invited to respond to and criticize the latest video from al-Qaeda’s #2, Ayman al-Zawihiri.

What we have here, of course, is a (mostly) free press and lively political debate going on, exactly the sort of thing that’s going to spur dialogue and reform around the Middle East. Now it’s understandable that the right-wingers who would prefer not to have an open debate about Guantanamo here at home also despise al-Jazeerah for doing the same thing abroad, but they could at least be open and honest about what they’re objecting to. The idea that al-Jazeerah is in bed with Islamic terrorism just doesn’t stand up—especially in light of news like this.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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