The Corner

Applying The Abd

Aaron Brown says he consistently applies the eponymous doctrine. To bolster his case, he says “October 30, 2003, Newsnight and CNN aired a Saddam torture tape that sounds very much like the tape you describe.” This is where the Swiss cheese comes in.

It should be noted that Brown doesn’t address the primary charge: a bipartisan group of U.S. senators released a Department of Defense tape showing ritual torture and mutilation by the Hussein regime two weeks ago–a newsworthy event–and the mainstream media ignored it.

As one reader wrote to me regarding Brown: “Does he honestly think that one time on one night in October” is enough? Did Newsnight show picture of U.S. abuse at Abu Ghraib only one time? It’s a question of proportion.

Writing earlier this week, Arnold Kling pointed out that “It would be one thing if there were an ongoing controversy over whether the treatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib was appropriate, in which case congressional hearings and extensive public debate would be warranted. However, given that there is consensus that the treatment served no useful purpose and reflected sick behavior by the guards, it strikes me that the controversy is being used more to undermine our reconstruction effort than to improve it.” There is, as we all know, ongoing controversy over whether or not ending Saddam’s regime was morally justifiable. To that end, the release of the tape by U.S. senators was relevant and newsworthy.

Anyway, Brown’s a good guy… even if he doesn’t apply his doctrine consistently. It’s lunch time. A ham and Swiss on rye is sounding pretty good right now.

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