Al-Jazeera Director Quits Amid Rumors of US Ties

Tuesday, 20 Sep 2011 05:02 PM

By Newsmax Wires

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The director of the Mideast media group Al-Jazeera has resigned amid revelations in documents that WikiLeaks released suggesting that Wadah Khanfar had close ties with the United States government, reports The New York Times.

A U.S. diplomatic cable revealed that the United States Defense Intelligence Agency had engaged in a three-way conversation with director Khanfar and the government of Qatar, which owns the network. The rumored results of the talks were that Al-Jazeera changed its coverage of the Iraq war to appease U.S. interests.

The cable shows that Khanfar was concerned about a written agreement between the network and the United States. It quotes Khanfar as saying that “the agreement was that it was a non-paper. As a news organization, we cannot sign agreements of this nature, and to have it here like this in writing is of concern to us.”

Khanfar confirms in the cable that he bowed to U.S. pressure in at least one instance when he deleted photos of wounded people in a hospital from a story on the network’s website.

In a resignation note on his Twitter account, the eight-year Al-Jazeera veteran said his goal at the network had been “to establish al-Jazeera as a global media leader,” which he claimed to have accomplished.

A member of the Qatari royal family has replaced Khanfar.

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