Appearing on MSNBC’s The Rundown on Monday, The Atlantic’s Washington editor-at-large Steve Clemons dismissed criticism of the Obama administration trading five Taliban prisoners for Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl: “Well, look, I think we need to turn this on its head. There's been a lot of conventional reporting about the Taliban Five....These are important people, but they were largely paper pushers.”
On Monday, as has been their habit going back at least to the Clinton administration, Investor's Business Daily's editorialists once again broke a story the establishment press likely could have reported years ago.
IBD revealed that the Obama administration "was secretly negotiating the Taliban Five's release without (Bowe) Bergdahl." IBD reasonably believes that coming up with any reason to get the five out of Guantanamo Bay was important to the administration, as it would set a precedent for releasing others from the facility, and eventually emptying and closing it against the will of the majority of Congress, the U.S. military, intelligence officials, and the American people.
Bush Derangement Syndrome is alive, well, and living in the head of Nancy A. Youssef at the Daily Beast.
In a March 26 item tagged "Fallen Hero" (?!) about the Army charging Bowe Bergdahl with "desertion and misbehaving before the enemy," the web site's Senior National Security Correspondent wrote that "the administration celebrated negotiating his release after years of failed bids by both the current and former administration." But Bergdahl walked away from his post in June 2009, five months after Barack Obama's inauguration. Youssef's report actually had worse components than that.
Haras Rafiq blasted the blame-everyone-but-the-terrorist mindset of many on the left on Thursday's New Day on CNN during a discussion of ISIS member "Jihadi John," who has been identified by several media outlets as Mohammed Emwazi. Rafiq singled out a British organization, CAGE, for their defense of Emwazi, who has personally beheaded several Western hostages: "I'm quite disgusted at the way that they've actually tried to co-opt the victim mentality as an excuse almost to try to justify this person's radicalization."
The three major networks have, so far, devoted a staggering 67 minutes and 49 seconds to obsessing over every aspect of whether the New England Patriots cheated in their AFC championship win on Sunday. Yet, only ABC allowed a scant 34 seconds to the Obama administration's release of five terrorists out of Guantanamo Bay and back to areas connected with extremist violence.
As of 6 pm Eastern on Thursday, CNN has devoted just 19 seconds of air time to the release of five prisoners from Guantanamo Bay detention facilities – a news brief during the New Day program. This is still more coverage than CBS and NBC, as both Big Three networks ignored the story on their Thursday morning newscasts. ABC gave a 16-second news brief on Good Morning America.
The ability of tiny numbers of far-left fringe group demonstrators to get undue press attention virtually any time they want continues to be intensely annoying.
In mid-2007, Barack Obama made closing the prison at Guantanmo Bay a core promise of his 2008 campaign. That was 7-1/2 years ago. Obama has been in office six years. Gitmo is still open. So naturally, the aggrieved professional protesters at Code Pink organized a demonstration against Gitmo remaining active on yesterday's 13th anniversary of the prison's opening — at former Vice President Dick Cheney's house. They got far more ink and bandwidth than they deserved from the press, including Reuters — i.e., far more than nothing.
During her Friday show on MSNBC, amid live coverage of French authorities killing multiple terror suspects following dual hostage standoffs, host Andrea Mitchell lamented the fact that President Obama's political agenda may be setback by the attacks in Paris. Talking to Maine Senator Angus King, she fretted: "Do you think that this terror incident will in any way slow down the President's intention to continue drawing down from Guantanamo and to eventually close that facility, if possible?"
On Monday night, Daily Show host Jon Stewart mercilessly attacked former Vice President Dick Cheney’s defense of the CIA’s enhanced interrogation program after 9/11. During his opening segment, the Comedy Central host accused Cheney of loving “torture” and asked “what if, hypothetically, this treatment was perpetrated on someone who had been detained wrongly, surely that would soften Cheney’s Bronsonlike torture boner.”
On Sunday, NBC’s Meet the Press hosted former Vice President Dick Cheney to speak on the recent Democratic Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation tactics on suspected terrorists. While Cheney spoke out in defense of the program, moderator Chuck Todd asked his guest “when you say waterboarding is not torture, then why did we prosecute Japanese soldiers in World War II for waterboarding?”
Kristen Welker, NBC News White House Correspondent, served as fill-in host on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports Thursday afternoon and took the opportunity to badger Congressman Peter King (R-N.Y.) over the Democratic Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques on suspected terrorists. Speaking to her Republican guest, Welker asked “some of the enhanced techniques that the report found included extended waterboarding, sleep deprivation, rectal rehydration, slapping and stress positions. How is that not torture Congressman?”
A day after Rosie O’Donnell proclaimed that the CIA engaged in “horrific” and “illegal” “torture,” on Thursday morning the cast of ABC’s The View decided to revisit the controversial Democratic Senate report on the CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques on suspected terrorists. Predictably, Rosie doubled-down on her claim that America “tortured” people but conservative co-host Nicolle Wallace eagerly slapped her down. The ABC host insisted that she has “never been more proud to defend the people who walk the line for this country and this city and the city in which I worked, the city where my mom and dad lived.”