Henninger: Media responsible for IEDs being weapons of mass destruction by showing their gruesome results

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In a column for The Wall Street Journal's OpinionJournal.com, deputy editorial page editor Daniel Henninger claimed that the use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) by insurgents in Iraq "qualifies as a weapon of mass destruction" because the "mass media distribute the dead, dismembered victims into our living rooms morning and night."

In his April 7 column for The Wall Street Journal's OpinionJournal.com, Journal deputy editorial page editor Daniel Henninger claimed that the use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) by insurgents in Iraq "qualifies as a weapon of mass destruction" because the "mass media distribute the dead, dismembered victims into our living rooms morning and night." Henninger was one of many conservatives in the media to join with the Bush administration in attacking "negative" media coverage for undermining public support for the Iraq war.

From Henninger's April 7 column:

Because of the practices that Islamic fundamentalism has chosen as instruments of policy -- in lower Manhattan, Madrid, London, Baghdad, Bali and for the future -- a whole range of settled customs in time of war deserve more organized thought than they have so far received. Beyond the Geneva Conventions, any such list would include the debate over Guantanamo and stateless combatants, prisoner interrogation methods (is "waterboarding" torture, or not?), the fight over electronic surveillance and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the custody status of suspected terrorists like Jose Padilla, and the fight over the provisions in the Patriot Act.

We are past the point of legal abstraction. We know the nature of the enemy's tactics, the use of loaded airplanes and the pursuit of WMD. Suicide bombings -- human beings used as weapons to kill civilians -- have become the portable gas chambers of terrorism. The use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) qualifies as a weapon of mass destruction, insofar as mass media distribute the dead, dismembered victims into our living rooms morning and night, causing some to give up.

As Media Matters for America previously noted, Henninger wrote in his March 24 OpinionJournal.com column that the media coverage of the Iraq war "amounts to a kind of contemporary brain-washing."

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy, War in Iraq
Network/Outlet
Wall Street Journal
Person
Daniel Henninger
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