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Rumsfeld: Al-Jazeera 'Promotes Terrorism'

Donald Rumsfeld speaks during meeting of defense ministers on Asian security issues, Saturday
The U.S. Secretary of Defense says Al-Jazeera television in the Middle East is promoting terrorism by broadcasting pictures of extremists carrying out beheadings and other brutal attacks.

Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld says Al-Jazeera's coverage of kidnappings in Iraq and other extremist violence in Iraq is slanted so that even a loyal American who watched the satellite network's reports would eventually turn against U.S. policies.

"America is not wrong," Mr. Rumsfeld said Saturday in Singapore, where he is taking part in an Asian security conference. What is wrong, the Defense Secretary says, is "chopping off people's heads," then publicizing such acts on television.

Al-Jazeera has won wide attention in the Arab world since the terror attacks against the United States nearly four years ago. The Qatar-based network has broadcast messages from al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and has many times aired provocative video sent by militant groups. Such films have shown hostages being put to death, or foreigners held captive in Iraq pleading for their lives.

Qatar-based Al-Jazeera says it is not anti-American. The network describes its news reports as objective and accurate, reflecting what Al-Jazeera calls its journalists' "passion for truth."

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.