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.