JUICY, JUICY, JUICY – AT 8:21 A.M. ET: Was someone in the BBC a sympathetic conduit for Al Qaeda propaganda? From London's Telegraph:
The BBC is accused of being part of a “possible propaganda media network” for Al Qaeda, according to the leaked US files on the Guantanamo detainees.
The files, obtained by the WikiLeaks website and passed to The Daily Telegraph, disclose that a phone number of someone at the BBC was found in the phone books and phones of a number of extremists seized by US forces.
A detainee assessment, dated 21 April 2007, states: "The London, United Kingdom (UK), phone number 0044 207 XXX XXXX was discovered in numerous seized phone books and phones associated with extremist-linked individuals.
“The number is associated with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).” Analysis by The Daily Telegraph suggests the number is one for Bush House, home of the BBC World Service.
The assessment continues that US forces uncovered many “extremist links” to this number, suggesting that extremists could have made contact with BBC employees who were sympathetic to extremists or had information on “ACM [anti-Coalition Militia] operations”.
It says: “(Analyst Note: Numerous extremist links to this BBC number indicates a possible propaganda media network connection. Network analysis might provide leads to individuals with either sympathetic ties to extremists or possibly possessing information on ACM operations.)”
COMMENT: We caution that there's no absolute proof here, and no name of a specific BBC employee. But the BBC has a history of leftist and often pro-Arab bias. Two days after the 9-11 attacks it ran a vicious, anti-American program that stunned the program's guest, a former American ambassador to Britain.
I think there have been some efforts in the last few years to correct this, with apparently some success. But the BBC's bias is less institutional, then reflective of the kind of people the organization hires – young, urban and often minority. I'm not sure the leftist bias can be entirely eradicated.
I'd like to see further reporting on the possible Al Qaeda link.
April 26, 2011