Pentagon Spokesman Becomes Al Jazeera Correspondent

Josh Rushing served as a Pentagon spokesman in Doha in 2003, during the first months of the invasion of Iraq. Now he is joining an all-English network owned by Al Jazeera. The new network, Al Jazeera International, is set to launch next year.

Joining him will be BBC veteran journalist Sir David Frost.

Rushing will report from the bureau in Washington and Frost will be in London.

Rushing was featured in "Control Room," a documentary about American efforts to create a positive image during the early stages of the war.

The former Marine, who quit the services to join Al Jazeera, did not like the Pentagon's reluctance to grant interviews to the news channel.

"I was struggling to get them interviews and access. This was the best way to address their Arab audience and we were blowing it because we thought they were critical."

Rushing proved he is now a spokesman for Al Jazeera.

"They should have gotten access to interviews with the senior leadership at the highest level. They are very progressive reporters, they are powerful voices in the Arab world…. To me, the burden is on the US government to be on Al Jazeera as frequently as possible defending its ideology, explaining what it is doing."

The new correspondent said Americans think poorly of Al Jazeera because they haven't seen it.

"Most of the people I meet in America who have the strongest opinion about Al Jazeera have never seen it and if they have seen it, they don't understand it."

Now that he no longer works for the military, he can denounce the Pentagon's top man, Donald Rumsfeld.

"When he says they incite violence in Iraq, I know they were kicked out of Iraq over a year ago ... the violence has not seemed to go down, so I wonder about that logic."