My, how times change. Former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsefeld, who was a vocal opponent of Al Jazeera, is now praising the Middle Eastern network.
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Rumsfeld in 2004 called the network's coverage of the Iraq War "vicious, inaccurate and inexcusable." In 2003, a U.S. missile hit Al Jazeera's Baghdad offices, killing Al Jazeera correspondent Tariq Ayoub. And in 2005, the Daily Mirror reported that former President George W. Bush expressed interest in bombing the network's headquarters in a conversation with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
But now, as Al Jazeera has documented popular uprisings across the Middle East and North Africa, Rumsfeld says, "It's audience has grown and it can be an important means of communication in the world, and I am delighted you are doing what you are doing."