The Baying Hounds of CNN

I almost never watch CNN except when I’m at airports. Then I often can’t help it, since CNN has bought the rights to broadcast from boxes at pretty much every gate in America. The worst is LaGuardia, where the CNN sets are turned up to an ear-splitting volume and there is no escape.

That’s where I spent an hour or more at a gate this afternoon, listening unwillingly to CNN’s coverage of the “torture” issue. That’s pretty much all they talked about; they were nearly rubbing their hands together with glee. The premise of CNN’s coverage was that those nasty Bush officials surely ought to be prosecuted and imprisoned for waterboarding poor Khalid Sheikh Mohammed; the only question is whether they will somehow wriggle out of it. What was remarkable was the almost complete absence of any news value. No new facts were conveyed; no old ones, for that matter, if you’ve seen a headline in the last month. No analysis, not even any reasoned conversation: it was pure, mindless cheerleading for the Left. No wonder CNN’s ratings are in the toilet.

As I listened to an hour of almost non-stop wailing about waterboarding, I couldn’t help wondering how many people have been waterboarded by U.S. authorities during the first three months of the Obama administration. Some hundreds, I would think–surely far more than the three terrorists over whom such tears are now being shed. Those “victims” don’t count, apparently, inasmuch as they are only U.S. military personnel. And, hey, they volunteered.

But if waterboarding is “torture,” then it’s illegal. So why is the U.S. military still using it as a training device, last we knew? If we’re going to start prosecuting people, don’t we have to prosecute the many civilian and military leaders who have for decades inflicted waterboarding, or condoned the use of waterboarding, on our servicemen? Just a thought. Actually, of course, no one has any interest in such prosecutions (which would be absurd in any event) since there is no political advantage to be gained.

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