CNN Submits Interview to Bin Laden. Bin Laden 2 Respond. CNN guilty of TREASON

At you can view a list of the CNN questions that will be delivered to Bin Laden by the Muslim TV station whose name escapes me right now.

Does freedom of speech mean that CNN has to fall for this ploy that was initiated by Bin Laden?

Aren’t we at war! This war has a psychological edge that must be managed…like a weapon, or a tactic. His video presence is a weapon…a tactic of war that threatens my safety. Should we facilitate his use of weaponry?! His war tacticts? NO!. Terrorism is a war with DIFFERENT weapons, like manipulation of the media. If CNN airs anything in terms of an interview in which he answers their questions, THAT IS TREASON.

CNN = Guilty of TREASON.

I don’t agree. CNN said:

I have also heard them say that in similar cases they would consult with the appropriate authorities. I’m sure that if the U.S. government had good reasons for not airing the responses, CNN would comply.

Treason is too strong a word, but I do see your point. Why should an international criminal be granted platform from which to espouse his views. Certainly being granted an international audience who will hear your agenda is one of the goals of terrorism.

Why is it that, albeit indirectly, CNN can find him while the US armed forces have been searching in vain? Obviously there are people who know exactly how to contact him; I would not have expected such a secret to be easily kept.

I’m getting a little on edge with these calls for press censorship. By making these comments, bin Laden exposes himself for the misguided menace that he is. I feel bin Ladens comments incite Americans to hate him more, not join his side.

It’s the same argument I use against anti-hate speech legislation: I prefer to know who the bigots are, and allow them to expose themselves for that ignorant asses that they are. Sorry, hope that didn’t hijack the thread! :slight_smile:

On, there is a geologist who claims that he has been able to determine Bin Ladens location in Afghanistan based on the type of cave walls behind him in his videos, he said that the CIA has contacted him and declins to comment further. What if the CNN thing is part of a secret attempt to get him to accidentally give away his whereabouts? In otherwords, her delivers the interview tape, geologists find out where he is, and BAM!!! bunker buster at his front door?
Eh, I know its a stretch, but worth entertaining, I think.
Bad Hat

CNN, like every television news organization, is interested in two things:

  1. Profit, and

  2. Scooping the competition.

The two are really 1A and 1B, because one way you enhance profit is by outdoing your competition. In most cases, this is absolutely a good thing. Competition frequently means better, deeper investigative coverage.

Understand this has nothing to do with keeping the public informed, their duty as journalists, blah blah blah. Nor does it have to do with the fact that they feel bin Laden is a great guy, deserves to be heard, or that they even think there’s two sides to this story.

It’s what CNN thinks people want to see. They think they will get more people watching their network if they do it. And they’re right.

This is an ugly, unfortunate consequence of how the news game works. That’s different from treason. They’re not guilty of treason unless they know or find out where he is and refuse to divulge it on the basis of “journalistic principle” when the crewcut men in black suits and sunglasses come knocking and ask them nicely.

Excuse me, but preventing someone from using a tactical weapon during war time is not Censorship.

If Bin Laden could fly over us and drop leaflets, and we could stop him, we SHOULD stop him. We would EXPECT him to be stopped by someone!!!

You need to see his propoganda as a WEAPON - it does not hurt free speech one iota when you install counter measures against foreign propoganda that jeopardizes your safety.

AND, this is a biggie…No matter what he says, or how assanine, it stirs up opposition - so nothing he could say would benefit or serve the US purpose in thise war.

CNN intends on airing something, or they wouldn’t play the game. They are just rolling out the “don’t blame us” disclaimers ahead of time, priming you for it.

Free speech does not exist at the safety of our Nation. Bin Laden now rides the extreme interpretation of free speech to the point that we risk our National war on terrorism? I missed something.

Treason has a broader definition than knowing where he is and not divulging the info.

Great! CNN just wants $$, so their intent wasn’t to hurt the US war effort. “Oops! Did our li’l ol’ interview hurt your war efforts by giving OSB access to a weapon of terrorism? We’re sorry, we just wanted higher ratings”. Sorry, CNN. That’s not how it works.

BadHat - you don’t have to air the video. You can betray OSB and hand it over to authorities, geologists and tee shirt manufacturers.

OSB = Osama Bin Laden. Guess that should be OBL. - my bad

Assuming that CNN does not show any unedited, unscreened video from OBL or his organization (and I believe that they have agreed to this), we can be fairly confident that there will be no “hidden messages” or “terrorism triggers” to worry about.

So, what else about such a broadcast could be construed as treasonous?

Would it reveal any national security or military secrets? No.

Would it put our military or foreign service personnel at increased risk? That’s a reach. Potentially, maybe, if the tape caused an increase in pro-OBL violence somewhere (such as Pakistan). However, you can be sure that the Arab television network Al-Jazeerah (sp?) will not be constrained by such concerns, so showing it on CNN is unlikely to make much difference.

Would it give aid and comfort to the enemy? Possibly, but this is by no means certain. Very few minds are going to be changed, and it’s not at all clear whether the net change would be in OBL’s favor. Are you so uncertain of your own loyalties, or moral position, that you feel a few more of bin Laden’s rants are going to shift the balance in any significant way?

It’s also important to remember that, officially, the United States is not at war, no matter what GWB calls it. Only Congress has the power to declare war, and they have not done so. I admit the difference is semantic and legal, rather than practical, but one of the legal differences is that, in peacetime, the definition of treason is more restricted.

“Know your enemy” is good advice at any time, and all the more so when lives are on the line. I say, let the man speak – the more he says, the more he condemns himself. And perhaps, if we’re especially lucky, he might slip up and give himself away.

Philster, I don’t think you’ve successfully made the case that a bin Laden video is a “weapon”. Did you have any specific scenario in mind whereby exposure to such a video could damage U.S. efforts? Because it sounds like you’re just taking it for granted and expecting us to do the same.

OBL’s mere presence, and his ability to exchange comments with a US news organization, can only harm the relationships we have established with other countries. By propping him up for all to see, we only magnify his stature.

His magnified stature with Muslims is a threat to my safety, and a threat to the operation that is underway to counter terrorism.

Technically, we are not “at war”…realistically it doesn’t matter since we have a miltary process, a diplomatic process and a covert process in place to counter terrorism, most notably OBL/Al Quada.

I am not worried about secret codes. I am worried that the cancer that is 'Islamic extremisms will be fueled by any high profile telecasting of OBL. His ability to gain interview, and with a US news agency, and answer their questions can only hurt one or more of the efforts.

Again, it would be tantemount to propoganda. We cannot faciltate the propoganda machine of the enemy. He gets his face anywhere on TV to answer any CNN question (which they might edit, but others won’t) and he is yhelping to make himself in a god, facilitated by CNN…to WHATEVER degree. It should not be allowed.

You are underestimating the enemy. Respect this man, and you will be cautious in your dealings with him. If you are not cautious in your dealings, you will underestimate the importance of fulfilling the process where-in he requests an interview, we submit questions to him, the Muslim TV carries the whole thing, we edit it, and then he gets Prime Time coverage.

Just how does that help the US fight? And, are the risks of making him a superstar only obvious to me?

True enough, as far as it goes, but neither do I see any particular harm to the US purpose. Previous statements by Al-Queda on this matter have generally been met with derision in the US. In fact, perhaps if we had all been listening a bit closer to OBL’s rhetoric in the past, we might have spurred our government to take action long before the events of Sept. 11.

CNN is not a government-operated news service, thank (name deity here) for that, and has no particular obligation to run only government-approved news items.

This is the argument we always hear from those who would limit free speech: “of course, I wouldn’t fall for this, but those dumb, faceless masses out there, thay must be protected, because they can’t think for themselves”.

Philster, CNN may not be exercising the best judgement here, but do me a favor and stop trying to control my mind.

Actually, this is a golden opportunity for the administration to offset their one serious blunder of the conflict.

Thus far, Pres. Bush (speaking through Ari Fleischer) has simply dismissed all the statements that have come from bin Laden as the words of an evil madman that do not deserve a reply. Those same words of bin Laden have been broadcast to the Arab and Islamic world, unfiltered–and without contradiction or rebuttal.

Submitting questions to bin Laden and then logically slicing and dicing the lies in his answer would be a good starting point to actually engage him in the propaganda battle that the U.S. is, so far, simply allowing him to dominate. Since he will be responding to our questions, we can actually control some of the debate. (I doubt that CNN will roll over and let the State Department actually phrase the questions, but they might be willing to let the State Department vet them–they get the same exclusive interview either way.

Actually, I would suspect that the US government approves of this.

  1. Great way to verify he is really still alive.

  2. Potentially a way to locate his position
    These are true regardless of the way he answers the questions.

  3. Many OBL supporters don’t believe he really had any part in 9/11. If he publicly takes credit for this, I don’t think this will help his cause at all. I really doubt he will unambiguously take credit though. If he does take credit, it would be a nice thing to hand the taliban for their request for proof. It would really leave them in a hard spot. This is exactly why I don’t think OBL will say anything other than stuff that is highly suggestive rather than definitive.

I have mixed emotions on this issue. But I did want to note that I think this is a little disingenuous by CNN:

How can any comments by an alleged murderer of 5,000+ U.S. citizens, who the military and law enforcement might of the entire Western world is trying to arrest or kill, not be newsworthy?

The would not be newsworthy if, for example, they were practically identical to earlier statements. Except, perhaps, for a line such as, “Today Osama bin Laden released a set of replies to CNN’s questions; unfortunately, he merely repeated the remarks he issued on <date> without directly answering the questions we submitted.”

Philster I think you need to take into account a couple fundemental points that you seem to be missing. First of all if you remember correctly when CNN and other news media started airing the OBL tapes they aired them without much censorship. Then the Gov’t stepped in and thay ALL stopped airing the tapes with any words from OBL audible to us. They paraphrased for his remarks.
Second, after this censorship the UN and other countries started a propaganda war against OBL with the USA heading it up. Dropping leaflets etc…etc…This has to be fought on three fronts, propaganda, military, political. Even former president of USSR Gorbechav said this war has to be fought politically, to actually make any gains.
What makes you think the Gov’t is not behind the Q’s going to OBL from CNN? It would be a great way to lead a political propaganda war. And a great way to track and find out where OBL is hiding.

*Originally posted by El_Kabong *

I’m not trying to control your mind. I am trying to control the minds of the growing number of folks attracted to Islamic Extremism. Last time I checked, they weren’t entitled to the rights my nation offers me.

I guess we should just act like we always did and discard and discount the impact that this growing sect has on liberties we enjoy. Last time I checked, offering him a stage risks making him a growing superstar.

The only way to view Islamic Extremism is as a cancer. It can grow to the point that to kill it, you kill the host. The world is the host of this cancer, and you cannot allow it to grow in number and support by allowing crusty pants Bin Laden a platform.

I defend free speech and would shed blood for it. CNN cannot offer a platform to someone when that platform has negative implications for the security of my country.

In case you haven’t noticed, free speech doesn’t mean you facilitate a platform for Bin Laden to be godded, wherein his support grows, our woes increase and the cancer expands throughout the third worlds that will be raising more children in the hopes they get to terrorize the evil empire (US) someday.

Wake up. This is not about free speech. Free speech has limits. You can’t yell fire in a crowded theatre to induce rioting, and you can’t give your enemy a powerful propoganda platform when it insites riots that affect national security. Riots in Pakistan and other Muslim nations will grow in size and volatility. That hurts the effort.

I would no more give this guy bombs to lob at us than I would give him 1 second of TV exposure to address media questions posed by a US news agency. CNN does not have the right to cause the harm they would…free speech does not support the terroristic propognada machine of an enemy during conflict.

Imagine every second
Of Bin Ladens face
Is one thousand more enemies
that we must erase.

His whole war is to become a cancer…a terroristic cancer.

He already has the stage and the audience throughout the rest of the world. Shutting him down only in the U.S. plays into his propaganda that the U.S. will stifle his word. Playing his word (if it is not simply a repeat of earlier rhetoric) then rebutting it, gives us more presence on the world stage.