Politics & Policy

The Abd Doctrine

There was a point in my career when I would have considered success having a sandwich named after me at a good deli. I could never have imagined a doctrine, which is much cooler than a sandwich any day (“Seeing, and Believing,” by Nick Schulz, June 17). Still, I am not sure I am worthy. The line, “you can’t really appreciate what happened in the prison until you see the pictures,” was first spoken not by me but by the Secretary of Defense before the Congress. Nevertheless, I embrace it, and hope you do not now switch it to the Donald Rumsfeld Doctrine.

Of greater importance is the application of the Aaron Brown Doctrine, or ABD as we now call it. In that regard, I would mention that on October 30, 2003, Newsnight and CNN aired a Saddam torture tape that sounds very much like the tape you describe. We showed severed fingers (up to the moment of the cut), we showed a man having his tongue cut out. There was a beheading. That sort of horrific stuff. We did so because, to quote myself, you can’t really appreciate what Saddam was like until you see it. The ABD also came into play when we, and the network, ran al Qaeda training tapes, which among other things included experiments with poison gas on dogs. It too was disgusting and telling.

It seems fair to draw two conclusions. We are consistent in our application of the ABD, and your writer does not watch often enough.

Aaron Brown

Anchor/Managing Editor

CNN’s NewsNight with Aaron Brown

New York, N.Y.

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