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Dennis Kucinich Speaks Truth To Tantrum-Throwing Sean Hannity

Reported by Ellen - November 16, 2005

Wrapping up the segment with Senator Lindsey Graham, Sean Hannity gleefully announced, "Wait til we show our audience something next. We're going to show them intelligence... Democrats are screaming about pre-war intelligence but is there a piece of evidence that they have no answer for? Wait til you hear the tape we play next."

The so-called "piece of evidence" Hannity was crowing about was a tape from Colin Powell's UN Presentation in which an Iraqi general and a colonel discuss a coming UN inspection. The colonel asks what to say if an inspector sees "this modified vehicle." The general says "I'm worried you all have something left." The colonel responds, "We evacuated everything. We don't have anything left."

After playing the tape, Alan Colmes asked the obvious questions: Does that tape still stand up to scrutiny and what, if anything, does it prove?

The guest was Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH). He started out by saying that it's important to recognize that Colin Powell has regretted his appearance before the UN and that it's also important to recognize that "This is President Bush's war, that he has to take responsibility for it. The buck stops at his desk."

Hannity rudely interrupted Colmes' segment to say "It's America's war."

Kucinich ignored Hannity and pointed out that two-thirds of current Democrats in Congress and one-half of the Democratic senators voted against the war and "no amount of trying to shift the blame" is going to take the responsibility away from President Bush.

Colmes added that Bush "was wrong." The vote was "not even for war, it was for the president having the authority under certain conditions which he didn't even live up to."

With his most sanctimonious look of concern (head slanted, eyes squinted and finger jabbing), and the words "Smoking Gun" on the screen for most of the interview, Hannity began his segment by changing the subject and attacking with a falsehood: "You talk about Colin Powell taking responsibility..." (As I quoted above, Kucinich talked about Bush taking responsibility.)

In fact, that was just the beginning of Hannity's temper tantrum of lies. As his look changed from sanctimonious concern to sanctimonious outrage, Hannity "quoted" Kucinich as having accused the president in 2002 of "authorizing the bombing of civilians in Afghanistan, repealing the Bill of Rights, withdrawing from the Geneva Convention, using assassinations squads and shedding the blood of innocent villagers in Afghanistan."

Kucinich told Hannity that he had "deliberately misquoted me" and that the speech in question, A Prayer For America, referred to what Congress had not authorized.

Here's a link to Kucinich's speech, via AlterNet and the relevant section. In my opinion, it's pretty clear that Kucinich is warning Congress about what could happen to our country rather than accusing the Bush Administration of doing any one of the particular items mentioned, many of which have obviously not occurred:

Let us pray that our country will stop this war. "To provide for the common defense" is one of the formational principles of America. Our Congress gave the President the ability to respond to the tragedy of September the Eleventh. We licensed a response to those who helped bring the terror of September the Eleventh. But we the people and our elected representatives must reserve the right to measure the response, to proportion the response, to challenge the response, and to correct the response.

Because we did not authorize the invasion of Iraq.
We did not authorize the invasion of Iran.
We did not authorize the invasion of North Korea.
We did not authorize the bombing of civilians in Afghanistan.
We did not authorize permanent detainees in Guantanamo Bay.
We did not authorize the withdrawal from the Geneva Convention.
We did not authorize military tribunals suspending due process and habeas corpus.
We did not authorize assassination squads.
We did not authorize the resurrection of COINTELPRO.
We did not authorize the repeal of the Bill of Rights.
We did not authorize the revocation of the Constitution.
We did not authorize national identity cards.
We did not authorize the eye of Big Brother to peer from cameras throughout our cities.
We did not authorize an eye for an eye. Nor did we ask that the blood of innocent people, who perished on September 11, be avenged with the blood of innocent villagers in Afghanistan.
We did not authorize the administration to wage war anytime, anywhere, anyhow it pleases.
We did not authorize war without end.
We did not authorize a permanent war economy.

Unfortunately for the petulant Hannity, Kucinich was not in the least intimidated nor flustered by Hannity's bullying, gotcha tactics. "Sean, when will you realize the American people oppose this war in Iraq and nothing you say is going to change that? What you've done is continue to try to mislead the American people by insisting on your point of view which is wrong."

Like a spoiled child, Hannity kept trying to interrupt and shout over Kucinich, saying, "I'm not going to let you get away with this... You have a responsibility... when you speak out the world hears you... and when you as a Congressman say, quote that the United States authorized the bombing of civilians in Afghanistan, quote the United States has the repeal of the Bill of Rights, the United States is using assassination squads and shedding the blood of innocent..."

Comment: Readers, check the speech for yourselves if you don't believe me. I didn't find any such quotes in Kucinich's speech.

Kucinich said he was being misquoted and urged readers to go to http://www.kucinich.us (Comment: I could not find the speech there but it is on AlterNet, as linked above.)

Hannity waved his copy of the speech in the air and insisted that he was quoting Kucinich.

Kucinich ended by saying, "I wish you'd get to the title of this program, ..."

Hannity, unable to accept that his bullying tactics had failed, interrupted. "You said it."

"...which is why we're in Iraq, and we shouldn't be there and (unintelligible because Hannity kept talking), we should be talking about what are we gonna do to bring our troops home? This administration doesn't want to talk about that."

Comment: Funny how Hannity forgot that "smoking gun" intel he was so excited about and spent all his time attacking Kucinich about something else. It strongly suggests Hannity has no defense for the war in Iraq. Nevertheless, it's outrageous for a national news network's host to lie and distort his way through an interview.

Demand that "Real Journalism, Fair and Balanced" FOX News require its hosts to get their facts straight.


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