Talk:Alleged Bush-Blair Al-Jazeera bombing transcript leaked/Archive01

This goes against the spirit of what you said about avoiding US/Iraq stories. I know we're a little short on material, but you, Neutralizer, have to realize that you do have a significant bias. I probably dislike the current US administration as much as you (I feel like throwing up watching GWB on TV), but that doesn't prevent you from writing neutral point of view articles. You've been really careful on at least one other, I just don't think you've done a good enough job of taking onboard the comments from various people about the bias you've inherited from the sources you choose to read.

I don't want to come back to saying your contributions to Wikinews are wasted, but your bias would work out better elsewhere where you can find less strict rules. Brian McNeil / talk 19:22, 22 November 2005 (UTC)Reply

I think this is a good start for an article. It is just to put in the other side view or comment to the issue. Btw, isnt it ok to be baised as long as the articles is npow? I mean in this days when The Great Superpower act as it does npow is as difficult as desirable.International 19:42, 22 November 2005 (UTC)Reply
I think it is terrible to say the best. If you are going to base an article on one person's opinion - then at least include the context that it was someone's opinion, and nothing in the memo specifically states "let's bomb Al-Jazeera! [evil laugh]" - which means it's up to people's interpretation to determine what they think. Articles about what they think is fine, but don't pass it off as "fact" or the only opinion. That means for this article a title change needs to be in order, as well as less emphasis on the "exciting" new "fact" found. I'd also like to point out that the authenticity of the "Downing Street" memo hasn't been confirmed, and shouldn't be treated as a significant document as it cannot be proven. We are here to get facts, and we can't base the facts on unverified information. If it is a person's opinion, note it as so. If you pass it off as fact, however, then the story is fabricated. --MrMiscellanious (talk) (contribs) 19:49, 22 November 2005 (UTC)Reply
I agree that the titel should be changed.International 20:19, 22 November 2005 (UTC)Reply



The title needs to be changed. How about: Leaked document alleges Bush intended to bomb Al-Jazeera headquarters

Sounds better to me than the current one. - Apollyon 22:08, 22 November 2005 (UTC)Reply
Still inaccurate. The "leaked" document may not be authentic, so there should be the word "unverified" in the title as well. --MrMiscellanious (talk) (contribs) 22:14, 22 November 2005 (UTC)Reply



This has changed enough that my initial comment is out of place on the page. Brian McNeil / talk 21:21, 22 November 2005 (UTC)Reply

Problems with latest 'fix'


The latest revision has several problems:

  • Redundant information: how many times do you want to mention that the document is "unverified"? This was clear already from the language of the previous and does not need such an emphasis. Any report that is based on classified information is also "unveified", even if it comes from official soures. Still, there is no need to mention this explicitely.
  • Important contextual information was removed: The fact that the conversation took place during the Fallujah operation is important as al-Jazeera was heavily criticised for its reporting in Fallujah and subsequently banned from reporting in Iraq.
  • The documents don't 'claim' anything, they are simple transcipts of the conversation between Bush and Blair.
  • The title needs to be changed back for reasons given in first and last point. --vonbergm 22:52, 22 November 2005 (UTC)Reply
I think it is more notable to state that the document is unverified, and that the "information" needs to be given a disclaimer. That being said, it's only mentioned three times - twice in article, once in title.
The Fallujah item isn't putting any contextual items in the article without mentioning what you have just claimed.
The transcript is being touted as a "document". And those "simple transcripts" are unverified. --MrMiscellanious (talk) (contribs) 22:56, 22 November 2005 (UTC)Reply
I will rewrite slightly to remove some redundancy, but keep at least one explicit mention that the document is "unverified". I assumed that the contextual information pertaining to Fallujah is common knowledge. I will add the Fallujah info and add a little bit on the al-Jazeera vs. US government background, including Fallujah reporting and broadcasting of binLaden messages. I will wait for more input before changing the title back. --vonbergm 23:05, 22 November 2005 (UTC)Reply
  • MrM, I left two instances of "unverified document" in the text as this seems to be important to you. In particular, the first sentence still starts with this statement. If this is ok with you, I will change the title back. --vonbergm 23:41, 22 November 2005 (UTC)Reply
I do not approve of the title being changed back. The item of unverified information is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. I don't want Wikinews getting the story "wrong", and that includes in titles. Whatever you change it to, MAKE SURE it makes a reference to the item being unauthenticated. --MrMiscellanious (talk) (contribs) 23:46, 22 November 2005 (UTC)Reply

for information purposes only


"Civil servant David Keogh, 49, is accused under the Official Secrets Act of handing it to Clarke's former researcher Leo O'Connor, 42. Both are bailed to appear at Bow Street Magistrates Court in central London next week."

Would an "unverified" document lead to charges under the "Official Secrets Act"? I suppose this could be explained by


"reasons bordering on esoteric that I don’t care to puzzle over" 1 of Ed's great quips.

Neutralizer 23:25, 22 November 2005 (UTC)Reply

Indeed it would. Charges are based only on suspicion, while the teams build cases that will be presented to courts. --MrMiscellanious (talk) (contribs) 23:44, 22 November 2005 (UTC)Reply
  • Neutralizer, while I agree, this still does not prove that the document or its alleged contents are authentic. I believe it is best to leave it to the reader to draw their own conclusions. --vonbergm 23:46, 22 November 2005 (UTC)Reply
ok..agreed. Neutralizer 01:11, 23 November 2005 (UTC)Reply

Discussion on Title


MrM insitst that the term "unverified" needs to remain in the title (see his comments above). I disagree as

  • the previous title Report: Bush talked of bombing Al-Jazeera was already clear in that this is not a factual statement
  • the fact that the document is "unverified" is in the nature of reporting based on secret documents and not stressed in this way in other wikinews articles, nor in other news outlets reporting on this (as a google news search quickly reveals). The fact that the documents are "unverified" is stressed twice in the article, once at the very beginning and once further on. Adding this to the title is neither necessary from an NPOV perspective, nor desireable as it does not add anything.

Please comment. --vonbergm 00:03, 23 November 2005 (UTC)Reply

I believe it is very necessary (but your discussions are redundant) to include the "alleged" part, because we are not here to make opinions, we are here to present the facts. To be as factual as we can, I think we should abstain from anything that would make it seem like this is a proven occurrance, because as of right now - it is more factually correct to state that the said conversation did not happen than to say it did. That being said, the article and title both need to conform to this presentation of keeping the facts right. --MrMiscellanious (talk) (contribs) 00:28, 23 November 2005 (UTC)Reply
The old title did not 'make opinion' either. Your argument is not an argument against the old title. Your title simply unneccessarily overemphasises that the statement is based on other peoples reporting. On top of that it does not make sense to say that the "documents allege" something. --vonbergm 01:09, 23 November 2005 (UTC)Reply
We NEED to overstress it is other's reporting - first of all, it's not our reporting. Second of all, it's not our "evidence". So yes, people have "alleged" that the transcript meant something. It doesn't mean that the documents allege anything, that is correct. But it isn't our place to a) take credit from others' reporting, nor b) assume a document is fact, and therefore make a stance on an issue by showing support for that stance in the article. --MrMiscellanious (talk) (contribs) 01:41, 23 November 2005 (UTC)Reply
Quote: "BBC News website world affairs correspondent Paul Reynolds said: "An attack on al-Jazeera would also have been an attack on Qatar, where the US military has its Middle East headquarters. So the possibility has to be considered that Mr Bush was in fact making some kind of joke and that this was not a serious proposition."" (emphasis mine).
This sort of thing needs to be taken into account, this guy has probably read more about the US administration than Wikinews has in total content. The BBC article on the subject is quite lengthy, and has to be because The Mirror has a significant readership. Their title is nowhere near as sensational as the one here, and people seem to have lost sight of the fact that there is only one source claiming to know the content. Anyone leaking the actual content has been threatened with legal action, but The Mirror hasn't been prosecuted - yet. So, where's the section questioning how credible the mirror is as a source? Brian McNeil / talk 20:10, 23 November 2005 (UTC)Reply

Suggestion of a more objective title


Perhaps "Alleged Bush/Blair Al-Jazeera bombing transcript leaked" would be adequately NPOV. Including the word transcript implies that it relates to a conversation, while detail of the greater content of the alleged transcript is better left to the article where greater elaboration is possible. It also reduces the occurrence of the awkward and rather repetitive "unverified document alleges Bush talked of ..." with a more detailed and concise "Alleged Bush/Blair ... transcript leaked". 00:06, 23 November 2005 (UTC)Reply

If this makes MrM happy, I can live with it. --vonbergm 01:12, 23 November 2005 (UTC)Reply
I find the suggested title better than the present, anybody change it? International 01:43, 23 November 2005 (UTC)Reply



The Bush administration has regularly accused Al-Jazeera to fuel the insurgancy and criticized it for airing images of dead soldiers and US military contractors and civilians casulties from behind rebel lines in Fallujah.
Provide some specific quotes if this is the case, however if it isn't - don't take a stand and claim that anyone was "accusing to fuel the insurgency". --MrMiscellanious (talk) (contribs) 01:34, 23 November 2005 (UTC)Reply

Come on! Other sources make similar comments.

Guardian: The Bush administration has regularly accused Al-Jazeera of being nothing more than a mouthpiece for anti-American sentiments.

And if you want origianl reporting, try e.g. [1]. --vonbergm 01:52, 23 November 2005 (UTC)Reply

  • That's great, but not understanding what the Guardian has to say as justification for the statement in the article. Just because the Guardian thinks it, doesn't mean it goes here. Try again (I'm honestly asking you for a specific example, not another sources' claims, please don't take this the wrong way). --MrMiscellanious (talk) (contribs) 01:54, 23 November 2005 (UTC)Reply

It's right there, just above your statement. That little "[1]" is a link to one example. --vonbergm 01:59, 23 November 2005 (UTC)Reply

Or are you saying that that is not "specific" enough? Do I need to dig up a transcript from an "official US government site"? --vonbergm 02:18, 23 November 2005 (UTC)Reply

"when a particular outlet, Al-Jazeera, does such a horrible job of presenting the news, and when it takes every opportunity to slant the news, present it in the most outrageous way, and when it will do such things as put on videotape that it has received from terrorists, and put it on for the purpose of inflaming the world and appealing to the basest instincts in the region, then we have to speak out, and we have." -Powell, July 2004

That is more what I'm talking about - quotes from the administration and the like. But still, there's no mention of the insurgents. And, the statement would need to be reformatted to display someone's claim, and not the statement it reflects right now (which is an opinion inserted by the editor). --MrMiscellanious (talk) (contribs) 03:12, 23 November 2005 (UTC)Reply

Glad you also found some quotes, although as you said, your quote does not back up the above statement. If you look for more specific quotes, try this interview with Wolfowitz, but remember, this is not the focus of the story but just background information. --vonbergm 03:55, 23 November 2005 (UTC)Reply



MrM, I added the al-Jazeera background information back in. You pointed out that this is not common knowledge and asked for it to be inserted in the first place. Also, I added the name of the killed reporter that you edited out as it provides further opportunity to explore the background. The fact that he was an al-Jazeera reporter is important here, as this is the only reason that the story mentions him and not the other reporters that got killed by US bombs or sniper fire in Iraq (like the Abu Dabi station). Lastly, you moved the second "unconfirmed document" statement back to the end, although it fits contextually better in the text where it was.

Moreover I added more detailed information on the charges against the leakers as at this point this is the only solid information on the nature of the leaked documents. --vonbergm 01:36, 23 November 2005 (UTC)Reply

Disruptive Behaviour


MrM, before you flag an article NPOV because you claim that certain information is not backed up by the sources, I suggest you make a simpe search to verify your claims. At least wait 5 minutes so that people can point you to the right reference if you are unwilling to verify your opinion yourself. Please remove the flag! --vonbergm 01:43, 23 November 2005 (UTC)Reply

I will not until the questionable item is cleared up. Saying "check 'The Mirror'" isn't good enough. If you will not provide the information and facts that prove this with specific examples, then it is assumed that you are making a stance on an item. The NPOV tag stays until my issue is cleared up. It's not others jobs to dig for information that you claim in an article. We don't make stances - provide SPECIFIC EXAMPLES in order to justify the statement, because as of right now it is a biased statement. --MrMiscellanious (talk) (contribs) 01:47, 23 November 2005 (UTC)Reply
And to your 'disruptive behavior' title on this section, I would have to ask you: how would tagging and discussing the reasons for that be 'disruptive'? You must learn that not everyone shares your viewpoint, and it is expected of users to work towards an understanding between the two. Saying someone is 'disruptive' for having valid claims of a tagging and justification is not very constructive in my opinion. At least give me the courtesy of being a fellow editor in asking for a little bit of respect on our ability to discuss items without becoming immature users who must stoop to name-calling or unfair claims because of their different perspective on items. --MrMiscellanious (talk) (contribs) 01:51, 23 November 2005 (UTC)Reply
  • Disrupive is (a) to tag the article with no prior attempt to discuss and (b) to tag regarding a concern that is easily verified by looking at the sources. (Which I assume you read as you were actively editing.)

I provided a link to an original piece of reporting above. This was merely the first that a google search brought up. --vonbergm 01:57, 23 November 2005 (UTC)Reply

The statement is backed by the sources. As long several respected news sources report this, I assume that their information is accurate and well sourced. I find it unneccessary to give links to original reporting to back up the statements in the article. If people question the information from the news sources, that can be discussed on the talk pages and that is why I have provided a link to an original source for you. (Of course, you could have just done the google search yourself to verify that your suspicion is unfounded and thus avoided this discussion.) But this does not justify (a) you removing the information without discussion or (b) tagging the article without prior opportunity for discussion. Remember, the information *is* backed by the sources. Questioning the accuracy of the sources, which is what you are doing here, does not justify an "instant NPOV". --vonbergm 02:10, 23 November 2005 (UTC)Reply

You are avoiding the question. Why are other sources constituted as specific examples? The statement is, blatantly, an opinion. I don't care what sources you get it from - it doesn't make it any less of an opinion and more of a fact. If the item cannot be accounted for, then it will be removed, or I will slap on a new "fabricated" warning. --MrMiscellanious (talk) (contribs) 02:25, 23 November 2005 (UTC)Reply
  • Are you actually reading what I am saying? Have you checked the source I provided for you or are you really arguing that you only accept "official government documents" or the like and the link I provided is not good enough? With some work, I am sure I can also get the transcript for you. So let me say it again: The statement is backed by the sources in the article, and the sources in the article are backed by the "original reporting" in the link above. And if that is not good enough yet, then I will dig up the transcript from an "official US government" website if you politely ask for it. --vonbergm 02:32, 23 November 2005 (UTC)Reply
  • I am asking you, as I have been this whole night, for a documentation in the article claiming who claimed that the Bush administration claimed that Al-Jazeera was "fueling the insurgency". Not a link. Not an excuse. Explanation of the claim in the article. --MrMiscellanious (talk) (contribs) 02:47, 23 November 2005 (UTC)Reply

I guess I am still not getting what you want. For claims that cannot be independently verified, I agree that it is favourable to identify in the text of the article who made that claim (as done on seval occasions in the article). But this statement is well backed by several sources that are given in the article. If you question the accuracy of the sources, I provided a link to reporting from the time in question. Are you claiming that the statement a) is not factual b) is factual but the sources provided in the article are not sufficient, or c) something else --vonbergm 03:20, 23 November 2005 (UTC)Reply

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