Thursday, September 22, 2011

Khanfar Quits Al Jazeera: Is Wikileaks Posted U.S. Embassy Cable to Blame?

Al_Jazeera_English_Doha_NewsroomImage via WikipediaAfter an eight-year stint as Managing Director and Director-General of Al Jazeera, the Qatar-owned broadcasting network,Wadah Khanfar has resigned amid whispers his departure was precipitated by a WikiLeaks-posted October 20, 2005, cable from the U.S. Embassy in Doha, Qatar, indicating Khanfar's willingness to delete content from Al Jazeera's Website at the urging of a U.S. Intelligence official, according to Yahoo News' blog, The Cutline, and

Neither Al Jazeera nor Khanfar in his resignation memo to staffers allude to the latest WikiLeaks-stirred controversy, with Khanfar merely suggesting it was time to move on after eight years at the helm. He will be replaced by Sheik Ahmad bin Jasem bin Muhammed Al-Thani from Qatar's royal family. It's nice to see a news executive work his way up the ladder after beginning at the top rung.

The WikiLeaks cable at issue, which was published in late August, purportedly reveals Khanfar agreeing to delete graphic photos and a doctor's testimony from Al Jazeera's Website that the U.S. found disturbing. Khanfar allegedly agreed he would remove the content after waiting a couple of days so that the deletions would not be "talked about."

CNET reports that Khanfar Tweeted about his resignation, saying he was "entertained" about the rumors underlying his departure.

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