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Al Jazeera signs controversial US military media officer Rushing

LONDON - Former US Marine Captain Josh Rushing, who served in the US Central Command media office during the invasion of Iraq, has joined Al Jazeera International, its 24-hour English-language channel.

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Rushing, a 14-year veteran of the US Marines, was the US military's leading media spokesman during the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and a prominent figure in the documentary film 'Control Room', which documented his struggles at the top.

Rushing famously resigned from the US Marines after a conflict with the Pentagon and has gone on to become one of the most critical voices in broadcast and print media about the invasion of Iraq.

Nigel Parsons, managing director of Al Jazeera International, said: "Having Josh Rushing on board is important to our mission of bringing the world a fresh perspective on global news.

"Josh believes in truth of journalism and understands the importance, as well as the consequences, of providing news from all sides of the issue, a core value of the channel."

For his part, Rushing said during the war in Iraq, he witnessed how the US media was coopted by the US government's messaging. 

"I am proud to be part of a news network that believes in the power of the unspun truth," he said.

Al Jazeera International, which launches in early 2006, will be the first English-language news channel based in the Middle East. Operating from Doha in Qatar, it will be available globally, and will also have a London office and bureaux in Kuala Lumpur and Washington. It aims to take on the BBC and CNN.

Al Jazeera has also approached broadcasting veteran Sir David Frost to join the English-language international news channel.

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