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Blinken, Pentagon slammed for ‘Al Jazeera,’ Hezbollah-linked outlet interviews

"What the hell is any U.S. government spokesperson doing talking to Hezbollah?" asked Michael Doran, of the Hudson Institute.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is interviewed by Jalal Chahda of Al Jazeera in Doha, Qatar, June 12, 2024. Credit: Chuck Kennedy/U.S. State Department.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is interviewed by Jalal Chahda of Al Jazeera in Doha, Qatar, June 12, 2024. Credit: Chuck Kennedy/U.S. State Department.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Defense are being criticized widely for interviews with terrorism-tied outlets over the Shavuot holiday.

On Wednesday, Sabrina Singh, deputy Pentagon press secretary, fielded a question during a briefing about tensions on the Israeli-Lebanese border from Al Mayadeen, a Lebanese outlet with ties to Hezbollah. She also took a follow-up question from the publication.

“The Pentagon is answering questions put to it directly by Al Mayadeen, a Hezbollah propaganda outlet. What the hell is any U.S. government spokesperson doing talking to Hezbollah?” wrote Michael Doran, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and director of its Center for Peace and Security in the Middle East.

“Why is a Pentagon spokeswoman giving an interview to pro-Hezbollah, a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization, Al Mayadeen?” wrote Jason Brodsky, policy director at United Against Nuclear Iran. “Would be useful to get clarification from the Department of Defense on this matter.”

Blinken Al Jazeera
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is interviewed by Jalal Chahda of “Al Jazeera” in Doha, Qatar, June 12, 2024. Credit: Chuck Kennedy/U.S. State Department.

Also on Wednesday, Blinken sat down for an interview with Jalal Chahda, of Al Jazeera, at Old Doha Airport in Qatar. He did so several days after it was revealed that a Palestinian man with ties to Hamas and Al Jazeera had held Israeli hostages.

Al Jazeera is a Hamas mouthpiece that literally employs terrorists and has openly violated the Department of Justice’s order to register as a foreign agent of Qatar. So naturally, Blinken spoke to the outlet earlier today,” wrote Eitan Fischberger, a Middle East analyst based in Israel.

“The gentleman who interviewed him, Jalal Chahda,” has posted on social media that Israel’s “paper tiger” Iron Dome is “weaker than a spider’s web, a failure and helpless against the rockets of the honorable resistance that defends the honor of the ummah,” Fischberger wrote, citing the Middle East Media Research Institute.

Chahda has also written that “in the past, I believed that armed resistance in occupied Palestine was one of the methods of liberation, and today I believe that armed resistance is the only method,” added Fischberger.

Gen. Charles Q. Brown, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote on Wednesday that it “was a pleasure to welcome Gen. Joseph Aoun, commander of the Lebanese Armed Forces, to the Pentagon.”

“We discussed the current security situation in the Middle East as well as continued aims to de-escalate tensions,” Brown wrote.

“We subsidize both Hezbollah and the Iraqi militias through our so-called ‘state-building’ enterprises in Lebanon and Iraq,” wrote Tony Badran, news editor at Tablet and a former research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, of Brown’s meeting with Aoun.

“Team Obama-Biden just hosted the commander of the Hezbollah auxiliary force, whose salaries it covered with taxpayer dollars, and which it looks to expand,” Badran added.

The Biden administration has repeatedly snubbed senior Israeli cabinet members—who are not tied to U.S.-designated terror groups—with whom it disagrees.

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