Hannity & Colmes Regular Says Chavez "Should Have Been Killed A Long Time Ago"
Reported by Ellen - August 25, 2005
Although Pat Robertson's recent remarks calling for the United States to assassinate Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez have been widely criticized elsewhere, FOX News' prime time show Hannity & Colmes (8/24/05) chose a guest - one whose views were surely known before airtime - who not only backed up Robertson but agreed that Chavez should be killed.
"Former CIA analyst" Wayne Simmons is a frequent FOX News guest and can always be counted on for rabidly hawkish sentiments (search his name in our search box for write-ups on some of his other appearances on FNC). Choosing him to discuss Robertson's remarks is a near-guarantee of corroboration. It is almost impossible to imagine that FOX News would not have known where Simmons would have stood. Surely, he did not disappoint his host.
It wasn't just Simmons, either. Hannity opened the discussion by saying that Robertson advocated "SOME SAY (my emphasis), the assassination of Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez."
In fact, that's exactly what Robertson said. According to Media Matters, Robertson said,
You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war. And I don't think any oil shipments will stop. But this man is a terrific danger and the United ... This is in our sphere of influence, so we can't let this happen. We have the Monroe Doctrine, we have other doctrines that we have announced. And without question, this is a dangerous enemy to our south, controlling a huge pool of oil, that could hurt us very badly. We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator. It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with.
Hannity should have known that Robertson did, in fact, advocate the assassination. Either Hannity lied outright or he was uninformed. Neither one reflects well on a national talk-show host.
Hannity then started demonizing Chavez, as though priming the audience to feel like like Chavez has it coming to him. Hannity said "He's met with Qaddafi, he's met with Castro, he's bashed the United States on Al Jazeera television, he's preparing for war against the United States..."
Comment: In fact, I could find no proof that Chavez is preparing for war against the United States. This lengthy article about him in the Guardian Unlimited is hardly a flattering profile but makes no mention of war-preparations. Neither does this shorter piece in the Guardian.
Hannity concluded his description of Chavez by saying that he "made sexually suggestive comments about Condoleezza Rice."
Comment: Funny, but that's the exact same way that Robertson's own organization, CBN News phrased it.
Simmons offered this "fair and balanced" perspective on Chavez: "We have in our midst - meaning, you know, the same hemisphere - a college-educated, militarily-trained, lethal, murderer, treacherous lech who has... threatened not only the United States and the west but armed himself with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia which, as you know, is the oldest, most well-trained terrorist organization in Latin America."
When it was Alan Colmes' turn, he asked, "Should we assassinate him?"
Simmons: If a stray bullet from a hunter in Kentucky should find its way between this guy's eyes, no American should lose any sleep over it.
Colmes asked if, as a Chrisitian nation, assassinating another country's leader would be the Christian thing to do.
Simmons: I'm a Christian as well but I'm also about protecting this country.
Colmes: Do you want him dead?
"Absolutely. He should have been killed a long time ago... It doesn't matter to me who kills this guy. He's to go."
Colmes said assassinations are against the law. "We don't do that."
Simmons: "The president can order that. That should have been ordered. This guy needs to go."
Colmes asked if there aren't other dictators more dangersous, like in North Korea. "Should we knock those guys off, too?"
"Yeah, absolutely... This is not something where we have a terrorist dictator where we can go negotiate."
Colmes, sounding disturbed: But you want to go kill people! You want to go after a guy who's not an imminent threat to the United States and you want us to be in the assassination business.
Simmons, sounding condescending, said, "Alan, you know that's not what I want to do. I want to protect America. These are our enemies."
"How many people should we kill?
"Alan, if I'd had the opportunity to assassinate Hitler or Mussolini, I would have done it. This situation is no different."
Colmes: Chavez is a Hitler?
Hannity interrupted to defend Simmons. "He's saying he is." Turning to Simmons, Hannity said, "You're saying he's a murderer."
"I'm saying he absolutely has the possibility of becoming exactly that in South America."
Hannity: Would it have been wrong if Hitler was assassinated?
Colmes: I don't believe we should be in the assassination business, period. It's against the law and we have an executive order. Do you want to break the law? Do you believe in rule of law?
Hannity didn't answer.