Worth quoting at length

In a government memo leaked to the British press, President Bush bounces the idea of bombing the Arabic newspaper Al Jazeera off Prime Minister Blair. The private chit-chat between Bush and Tony Blair, published in the British Daily Mirror, "sounded like just another bizarre British tabloid fantasy" when Kevin Drum at Political Animal first read it. With catastrophically low approval ratings and scandalous torture allegations looming, President Bush must wish that was so.

From the offending, revealing Mirror article:

President Bush planned to bomb Arab TV station al-Jazeera in friendly Qatar, a "Top Secret" No 10 memo reveals. But he was talked out of it at a White House summit by Tony Blair, who said it would provoke a worldwide backlash.
....A Government official suggested that the Bush threat had been "humorous, not serious." But another source declared: "Bush was deadly serious, as was Blair. That much is absolutely clear from the language used by both men."
....Bush disclosed his plan to target al-Jazeera, a civilian station with a huge Mid-East following, at a White House face-to-face with Mr Blair on April 16 last year. At the time, the US was launching an all-out assault on insurgents in the Iraqi town of Fallujah.
But, Drum reports, the impolitic wishful thinking was quite real, painfully so for the Mirror, which now faces an order not to publish further disclosures on the subject. A little touchy, but then the government already caught the mouse, now being prosecuted for releasing official secrets.

White House Spokesman Scott McClellan said that the claims were "outlandish and inconceivable," but the story has incited Al Jazeera to question US military hits on their news rooms., including the following:

2001 -- direct hit on the Al Jazeera Kabul office in Afghanistan
April 2003 -- US bombing campaign strikes Al Jazeera Baghdad office and kills a journalist
November 2002 -- US missile destroys Al Jazeera office in Kabul, Afghanistan
In addition, Mother Jones cites the US tank attack on a hotel well-known to be housing foreign journalists in Baghdad. As Diana Dees writes, that although "it does seem clear that the Pentagon knew that reporters were housed there, but what actually happened will never be known."

That open-ended conclusion may follow here too unless a serious independent investigation follows McClellan's brush-off. Given that the seriousness of the WMD review promoted only the appointment of Bush-apologist and co-author of torture justification, Gonzalez, that seems unlikely. What do you do when the government prefers not to double-check its sources and the British tabloids are reporting to keep America's democratic leaders in line?