Monday, March 12, 2007

US Taxpayers funding TNN: the Terrorist News Network

Joel Mowbray, writing in today's Wall Street Journal (subscription required), offers a startling insight into the Middle East's information war:

U.S. taxpayers fund an alternative to Al-Jazeera. The Al-Hurra network was once a voice for secular democracy, human rights, and peace. It was once a voice against terrorism.

Iraqi parliamentarian Mithal al-Alusi and Ken Tomlinson, chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, have expressed deep concern with Al-Hurra's new direction.

In December of 2006, Al-Hurra broadcast most of a speech by Hassan Nasrallah -- the leader of Hezbollah. Tomlinson called the decision to air Nasrallah's vitriolic, hate-filled speech, "It's the single worst decision I've witnessed in all my years in international broadcasting."

Al-Hurra's decision to run the speech represents a new course charted by its new chief executive, Larry Register, a long-time CNN producer. Register took over the reins of Al-Hurra in November. According to Mowbray, he quickly lifted the ban against broadcasting terrorists' speeches.

Over the last several months, Al-Hurra has aired live speeches by Nasrallah and Hamas chief Ismaeil Haniya.

In addition, it broadcast an interview with a reported Al-Qaeda terrorist who expressed glee at 9/11, saying it rubbed "America's nose in the dust."

These incidents don't appear to be aberrations. At a staff meeting, Register allegedly "bragged" about his personal relationship with a Hamas senior official.

When Israel implemented new security procedures, temporarily limiting access to Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque, Al-Hurra aired several hours of "breathless, live breaking news" coverage. One commentator offered an opinion that Israel planned to "destroy" the mosque. Ikrima Sabri, an Arafat associate, fabricated on-air stories that Israeli soldiers had tossed explosives into the mosque.

This is the same Sabri who, just weeks before 9/11, prayed for the destruction of the United States, the U.K., and Israel.

Register has set a new course for Al-Hurra, which is paid for with our tax dollars. It is a course that offers yet another outlet for terrorists' views.

You and I -- and all American taxpayers -- are funding an ex-CNN operative who is waging open information warfare against the United States.

And not only has CNN helped spawn a new outlet for pro-terror information warfare, but its equal offense is a stunning failure to cover important world events -- such as Iran's declaration of war on the United States. I therefore think it's fair to simply call it TNN.

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