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FOX News "Analyst" Advocates For The Pentagon About Prisoner Abuse and Koran Desecration

Reported by Ellen - June 4, 2005

Call me old-fashioned but when someone has the title of "Military Analyst" for a national television network, I expect him to be at least somewhat impartial and to explain the big picture in a way that enlightens and elucidates regardless of a viewer's political perspective. That's just so old media on FOX News, I guess. Last night, when Retired General Thomas McInerney appeared on The Alan Colmes Show (a radio program), he was just the latest in a long line of "FOX military analysts" to stump for the Bush Administration and the Pentagon - very long on rhetoric, very short on analysis.

The discussion centered around a recent judge's decision ordering the Army to release videotapes and photographs from Abu Ghraib prison to the ACLU. According to Colmes, the ACLU says the photos will show that the abuse at Abu Ghraib is more than the actions of a few rogue soldiers. Colmes also discussed recently-breaking news (conveniently released late on a Friday afternoon where it can be forgotten) that the Pentagon confirmed five incidents of Koran abuse at Guantanamo Bay.

Right away, General McInerney said he thought the judge has an agenda to show that higher-level people were involved. (Comment: So what? If it's not true, the truth, presumably, will come out. If it is true, isn't it a good thing that it be exposed?)

Colmes' other guest, Paul Martin, from Peace Action, said the US needs to build trust by coming clean so that we can be leaders around human rights and prove to the world we're neither torturers nor abusers. Doing so would help our troops, he argued.

Rather than debate the point or even provide any military analysis, the FOX Military analyst went on the attack against those who disagree with Bush Administration tactics. He said, "Many of our elite believe that bin Laden is less of a threat than George Bush." He went on to complain that TV shows display the Abu Ghraib photos but not the people jumping out of the World Trade Center.

Colmes asked if there should be an investigation of the mishandling of the Koran.

Condescendingly, McInerney said, "Alan, do you know that the Saudi Arabia government destroys more Korans than anybody in the whole world?" He said the Koran is mishandled throughout the world "and if we have a prison guard who doesn't use two hands with gloves on it, we call that a misuse."

Colmes: "No, we're talking about urinating on the koran."

McInerney: "Get a life, Alan. Get a life... This appeasement for these terrorists is absolutely despicable." (Comment: How's that for fair and balanced?)

Paul Martin asked that McInerney put himself in Muslim shoes. First, we decimate a country after misleading people over the reasons for going to war, 100,000 plus innocent people are killed, tens of thousands more have been wounded, we abuse prisoners and break the Geneva Conventions and now we're urinating on their sacred text. "And this is supposed to breed less terrorism?"

Here's McInerney's "analysis:" "Paul is a part of that elite in our country that believes bin laden is less of a threat than George Bush." McInerney called the Koran desecration "such a miniscule problem," that is being blown up out of proportion. Have liberals gone on a program to condemn what was done to Danny Pearl and Margaret Hassan? "You're comparing that with the handling of the Koran."

Colmes pointed out that it was McInerney drawing the analogy. McInerney complained that "You and Paul have no proportionality."

Colmes and Martin argued that the death toll in Iraq is higher than the number of Americans killed on September 11.

McInerney provided this "analysis:" "Which happened first?"

Martin: "That makes it right?"

McInerney: "It makes it right if you're going to defend yourself."

Colmes said that invading Iraq is not defending ourselves.

McInerney gave no military rationale for invading Iraq other than to say it broke 17 UN resolutions (not the reason we were given by Bush). Instead, he went on to attack Martin and Colmes again. McInerney said, "I'm just trying to remember when we asked President Roosevelt to ask (sic) the mistakes that were made in WWII. Does that help us to remain stronger against the Islamic fundamentalists or does that aid and abet them?" He went on to say that Paul has blown this out of proportion, ignores the horrific acts of the other side and repeats yet again that "this is part of this deep, deep sickness that you all have and it's unfortunate but I think you have got to understand that it does not help our nation win the global war on terror. We were not the individuals that attacked the World Trade Center."

Comment: What kind of military analysis is that? It seems like standard talk-show caller analysis to me. In fact, it wasn't too far off what some of the callers did say. Roger in Butte, Montana called Colmes and Martin traitors who should be arrested for "siding with the Moslem enemy. I don't give a damn about that stupid Koran." (Earth to Laura Bush again!)

McInerney added this qualification: I don't want to arrest you but I don't want you to aid and abet the enemy... The talk that you have... rightly resents (sic) the sickness that you are pervading and the lack of proportionality on the global war on terror."

Another caller, a Muslim, said that the Saudis "recycle" the Koran, they don't destroy it or urinate on it and that Muslims respect Bibles equally. McInerney said that in Saudi Arabia "they arrest you if you have a Bible," that at "Brooklyn University they smear dung on the Bible or the Virgin Mary... they call it freedom of speech." (referring to a piece of art with dung on a likeness of the Virgin Mary.)

Colmes asked if the abuse doesn't go higher up the food chain considering that Alberto Gonzales wrote memos saying that harsh interrogation tactics are lawful, that Rumsfeld said he didn't care about the Geneva Convetions and "then these acts take place and a few minor people have been maybe slapped on the wrist, that's OK?"

McInerney: Alan, unfortunately, this self-doubt, this sickness that so many of the left have is becoming pervasive... These people that are terrorists that are in Guantanamo or Abu Ghraib are terrorists. The fact is we give them Korans. We treat them in a way they have never been treated before."

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