CNN might want to coach network hosts—do some research before you take on an expert who is nonpartisan. I predict an interview conducted by two female hosts (I have no idea who they are) with national security expert Michael Scheuer will most definitely go viral if the network permits clips to stay up. The two women wanted Scheuer’s opinions on Libya, and they got an earful. By the time the interviews were over, the women more than likely needed bed rest.
Scheuer, who writes the blog Non-Intervention, is the former head of the CIA’s bin Laden unit. The intelligence analyst recently released the new bio 'Osama bin Laden', and of course, it’s a book that is a valuable contribution to the canon on the world’s most famous Islamist.
It’s hard to believe CNN and other media are buying into the attack on Libya, considering the controversy caused by the war in Iraq, but they are. Asked about “the solution” if NATO doesn’t arm the rebels and Ghaddafi’s forces win, Scheuer didn’t pull any punches.
“The better solution, as Mr. Paul says, is never go at all. This was none of our business.” Scheuer was referring to Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) whose Libertarian foreign policy approach rests on non-intervention.
There was a near collapse of the hosts when Scheuer said Obama might end up having to use ground troops.
The CNN host in the fluffy yellow blouse had a hard time wrapping her brain around that because President Barack Obama “said he wouldn’t do that!”
By now, Scheuer was smiling. He said US involvement in Libya is “absolutely a recruiting tool,” because Muslims see the situation as “the American-led West attacking a Muslim country that has oil.”
By now Yellow Blouse is near hysteria. The other host (Black Dress) kept her hand propped on her hip. By now both hosts are making declarative statements instead of doing what interviewers normally do—asking questions.
Yellow Blouse tries some spin. She says NATO has taken over “fully.”
Scheuer is grinning from ear to ear. He repeats the operation is indeed American-led and the Arab states involved in the NATO effort are “tyrannies hated by their own people.” He called Libya a “piece of theater set up by Mrs. Clinton and Mr. McCain and the bipartisan group that loves to intervene abroad.”
Scheuer delivered what amounted to a knockout punch—the climax of the exchange: “If you listen to Mrs. Clinton and the rather crazed Ms. Rice at the UN, this is all about democracy in a world where democracy is not going to take hold.”
By that point, you could almost hear both hosts’ hearts beating through their mics.
Scheuer tossed in the fact the U.S. is “nearly bankrupt.”
Black dress said the economy and Libya are two separate issues.
Scheuer fired back, “They’re not separate issues, Ma’am, you’re just carrying the water for Mr. Obama.”
He grinned broadly.
Black dress was clasping her hands together—she was perhaps trying to restrain herself from throwing something at the monitor.
She said this had been a “long, exhaustive interview.”
That, by the way, is apropos because CNN actually managed to produce real news rather than spin.
As he signed off, Scheuer was still grinning.
[Ed. Note: Many thanks to Michael Yon and his Facebook page supporters for inspiring this commentary. Michael’s page is one I frequent because it’s lively, informative and diverse. The acclaimed war correspondent files dispatches from his website Michael Yon Online.]
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(Commentary by Kay B. Day/April 5, 2011)
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