Comparing waterboarding — which is so harmless journalists have volunteered to do it — to assassinating American citizens is like comparing a Nerf ball to an uzi. Comparing involuntary detentions at Guantanamo Bay — where the greatest threat to prisoners is weight gain caused by over-eating — to an American president ordering the killing of Americans is like comparing the murder of over a million unborn innocents each year to the hyper-legal, Constitutional execution of a handful of murderers.
There’s just no comparison, but that hasn’t stopped the media from comparing Bush and Obama’s anti-terrorism policies as though they belong somewhere on the same moral plane.
Something, however, that is not comparable is the level of outrage we’re (not) seeing from the media. When it was discovered that the Bush Administration had waterboarded a 9/11 mastermind, the media acted as though we had been hit by an asteroid. “Hysterical” might be a more accurate term. The discovery, though, that, as if out of some bad science-fiction movie, our current president is ordering the assassinations of American citizens, has only elicited token outrage from these very same people.
Sure, the media’s talking about it. But the media expressed more outrage over Bush-era wiretaps than anything we’re seeing today. In fact, the media’s coming off as more annoyed at Obama for taking away an anti-Bush talking point than a few assassinations without due process or judicial review. The lack of energy we’re already seeing towards this tells me that, by next week, The Narrative will already have moved on to more important issues, like some nobody-Republican who answers a birth control question poorly.
If I might digress a bit…. Today, in Hollywood, the very same blacklisters who attacked Kathryn Bigelow for making a film that accurately portrayed waterboarding as crucial in the hunt for Osama bin Laden are thinking exactly what about the president they so vigorously and publicly supported?
Now, personally, I’m okay with drone strikes. The policy is apparently very effective. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to know more about the policy’s limitations, and I am troubled by the fact that we can’t gather intelligence from those killed from on high. But let’s not throw out the good in pursuit of the perfect. (I also don’t buy that drones cause more civilian casualties than using typical warfare methods to get these guys.)
But even if I opposed Obama’s drone strikes (and my mind could still be changed) and supported Bush’s waterboarding (which I most certainly did), that wouldn’t make me a hypocrite. As I said in the opening, you simply can’t compare the two.
But those in media who attempted to turn waterboarding into Bush’s Watergate and who are now only slightly annoyed at their Assassin-In-Chief are again exposed as the dishonest, unprincipled, partisan opportunists they are and always have been.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC