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In FOX's Wishful Wonderland, We're Winning the War on Terrah

Reported by Marie Therese - April 29, 2005

I just finished watching a gut-wrenching photo-history of the the build-up to the first attack on Fallujah, produced by March for Justice (thanks to Randi Rhodes). It made me realize why I subject myself to watching FOX News day in, day out. Because FOX was and is complicit in the massive load of bull that led this country into a bloody, seemingly unending nightmare in Iraq. Ensconced in the soaring black cube that is FOX News' New York Headquarters, extremely rich, shrivelled old men like Roger Ailes and Bill O'Reilly join dissatisfied younger men like Sean Hannity, Neil Cavuto and Shepard Smith to beat the hypnotic drums of war. Thrum, thrum, thrum. Again and again and again. Yesterday was no different.

The dyspeptic O'Reilly welcomed his good friend, Retired Army Col. David "Blood and Guts" Hunt, FOX News Military Analyst and gung-ho warrior raking in the cash as a security consultant and neophyte author.

Got a problem? Hand it off to the Colonel. With his gravelly voice and forceful delivery, he'll whip the audience into a frenzy of rah-rah flag-waving. Never mind that the State Department reports that terrorist attacks quadrupled worldwide between 2003-2004. Never mind that bodies are floating in the rivers of Iraq. Never mind that Afghanistan is now producing 90% of the world's heroin. Who cares? Just feed the audience a steady diet of fear and faith and swarthy, stubble-faced villains draped in the garb of the desert and hope they chew their cuds in placid oblivion.

And, if you don't have a real, live villain to kick around, why, just make one up! Give him an appropriately villainous name then scatter his possessions here, there and everywhere, suggesting a presence but never actually "catching" the guy. As for a name, how about "Abu Musab al-Zarqawi," Elusive Master of Disguise and Islamofascist Superman Extraordinaire?

O'Reilly and Hunt discussed the latest encounter between the Forces of Good and Righteousness and the ever-wily al-Zarqawi, brought to you on the heels of a precipitous downturn in President Bush's poll numbers!

O'REILLY: ... One of the most frustrating parts of the "War on Terror" has been the inability of the US government to find terror bigshots like bin Laden, Mullah Omar and al-Zarqawi, the Butcher, who is still killing indiscriminately in Iraq. But, late last February the American military did get Zarqawi's computer. With us now from Philadelphia with the In-Side-Story, FOX News Military Analyst, Colonel David Hunt, the author of the brand new, best-selling book "They Just Don't Get It," which is a primer on the War on Terror, a very important book. Alright, so what is this computer deal? What did they find out?

HUNT: Yeah. Overall we have to understand how bad trade craft this is. Zaraqwi is running around with this kind of sensitive information. We've got pictures on there - which is amazing - but he got pictures of his disguises. We've got information of other operatives. We've got information on the computer that shows bank accounts in Jordan, in Saudi Arabia and in Syria. He had $100,000 - about $80,000 Euro - $100,000 on him and millions of dollars in these accounts. It also had on the computer upcoming, planned IED ambushes. Also, some very unique detonating capability, things like garage door openers, some special watches that detonate explosives, so it's very interesting from a trade craft [POV] to have any of that stuff available and it shows the desperate nature of his organization. But, for anyone to have that on one computer - it's bad trade craft. We're very lucky to get it and we're using it against them now.

O'REILLY: OK. And we might tell everyone that they found this computer in a raid and they say Zarqawi just escaped but - ya' know - they've been sayin' that for years. [Apparently O'Reilly is getting a trifle suspicious, too!] And it was two months' ago, so you figure they ran down all the leads, all the bank accounts, all the people that were - they got everything done before they made the announcement, so we're not breakin' any secrets or anything like that. Now, it strikes me as very unusual that you would carry around a personal computer with all that information on you when you know that you're the most wanted man inside Iraq. Is that - is that unusual to you?

HUNT: It's very unusual and it shows that - a couple of things. There's one possibility. The information on the computer is bogus. It was done for deception. But, it turns out a lot of this stuff is accurate. But it shows that his organization is getting desperate. You don't put stuff on that. You put it on a thumb drive. You have it encrypted. But this was very open stuff. It was a Panasonic Ion notebook, very strong and portable notebook, but to have it on there at all is amazing and we're releasing the information really to put a stick in his organization's eye, to say "See. We gotcha!"

They were very close to capturing him - a vehicle ambush is what they're tryin' to do. They missed him. The people were supposed to block the ambush and then the Navy SEALS were gonna go in and take him. ["The people"? Who exactly are "the people"?] It didn't work as perfectly as it should have. They usually don't He ran out, but, luckily, they got two guys in the truck plus this very valuable information. It was a good hit. It will weaken his organization. But, unfortunately, as you've already said, we don't have a very good track record of catching people who are trying to kill us.

O'REILLY: No. It's very discouraging for the American people. I'm sure you - the intelligence agencies - are trying their hardest, but very discouraging. Now, with all kinda money, millions [sic] at his disposal in three separate countries - Jordan, Syria and Saudi Arabia - is that what they found out?

HUNT: That was on the computer.

O'REILLY: And that money comes mostly from Islamic charities. They divert it into special accounts to be used by AlQaeda because Zarqawi is Al Qaeda. With that kind of money, you can buy almost anything in this world, can he not?

HUNT: He can and that's the issue. Absolutely right. It's actually in the book. Thanks for the plug. It's actually in the book. I talk about how money is taken across the Muslim [world] between two different ways by $500 million - unaccounted money for the Muslim world. But, they're using cells in Iraq - about fifteen guys - they're not payin' that much money. The real issue is buying weapons of mass destruction - nukes. People have talked about Zarqawi maybe having a nuke and he's got - the issue with this computer is it seems he had the money to do that. And with guys like AQ Khan running around free in Pakistan and the Russian mafia sellin' the stuff, it is possible that he has that, 'cause he certainly has the means and the money to do that and we certainly think he has the will. It's a very serious thing, if he's got it. [Got what? The rain in Spain?]

O'REILLY (overtalks last 7 words): You know, it's interesting. This week President Bush met with Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, ya' know, and I'm just wondering if behind the scenes the US government is saying "Hey!" You know. It isn't begging - ya' gotta figure they're doing things behind the scenes that we don't know about to protect us, [other] than lettin', you know, countries like Jordan, Syria and Saudi Arabia have these bank accounts that Al Qaeda have [sic] access to. I'll give you the last word.

HUNT: Yeah. Well. On the Prince's meeting, I'm not so sure how serious you can take a meeting with that guy showin' up late for our President's meeting. I think that's inexcusable. That country's got a lot of problems - Saudi Arabia. They gave a half a billion dollars to Al Qaeda over ten years. We're not dealing directly with the places like Yemen and, on this money-laundering, it's endangering us and we need to get at it pretty quickly.

O'REILLY: That's right. Alright, Colonel. Good book. I want everybody to check the Colonel's book out. "They Just Don't Get It."

COMMENT

Let's just leave it at O'Reilly's last five words, shall we?

They just don't get it!

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