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Chickenhawk Sean Hannity Smears War Veteran John Murtha – Again

Reported by Ellen - June 14, 2006

It takes a special brand of bully to smear a war veteran, especially when the smearer, himself, never had enough patriotism to enlist. But chickenhawk Sean Hannity was obviously feeling emboldened last night by what he considered President Bush’s “successes” of the day – his surprise trip to Iraq and the Special Prosecutor’s decision not to indict Karl Rove.

At the beginning of Hannity & Colmes' discussion last night (6/12/06) about Iraq Hannity, gleefully reported the results of a USA Today poll saying 48% of Americans believe the US probably or definitely will win the war in Iraq, up from 39% in April, and that 47% believe things are going very or moderately well in Iraq, up from 38%. Nobody mentioned some of the other, less flattering-to-Bush results of the poll: The majority (53%) say things are going badly in Iraq, that 60% of the people still disapprove of Bush’s handling of the war, 51% think it was a mistake to go to war against Iraq in the first place, and that only 26% think our country is better off as a result. Also not deemed fit to report by the “real journalism, fair and balanced” network was the Pew Research survey results showing that people in European and Muslim countries see US policy in Iraq as a bigger threat to world peace than Iran's nuclear program. You can read the rest of that damning report on the BBC's web page.

Instead, Iraq was happy as ever for Hannity, who has never visited there, and guest Oliver North who has but soon proved to have selective knowledge of the facts. He called called Bush’s visit “a very brave and Churchillian moment.”

Alan Colmes asked, “We were told this was going to be a short war, now it’s called the long war, Ollie, and we’re building permanent bases there. Why?”

North’s surprisingly uninformed answer (or was he just spinning?): I just want to make sure everybody understands something. I don’t recall ANYBODY and I was there when it started, I’ve been back over there seven times since. I don’t recall anybody ever saying this was gonna be a quote, short war. I certainly remember a lot of people saying this is going to be a long, hard slog. This is going to be a difficult effort. Everybody I think recognizes that bringing about a democratic outcome in a country that does not have anybody living alive in it to have seen one is a very challenging task.

Alan Colmes rightly said that Donald Rumsfeld said he didn’t think the war would last six months. “Wasn’t that one of the selling points?” (Comment: For a list of other Bush administration officials who said the war would be short, see USA Today’s “Prewar Predictions Coming Back To Bite”

Guest Wesley Clark said Colmes was exactly right, that the war was billed as being paid for by Iraqi oil, billed as a cakewalk, a search for weapons of mass destruction, and as an example of democracy.

But soon the gloating Hannity took his turn. He made quick mention of all the “successes” in Iraq such as “We have an elected government getting more confident every day.” Hannity didn’t bother to consider why that same government wasn’t worthy of receiving advance notice of Bush’s arrival.

Nor did he or anybody else mention the coincidence that Congress approved more than $100 billion of taxpayer dollars for Iraq that same day. To quote Reuters, “The legislation provides $65.8 billion that the Pentagon says it urgently needs to buy more combat materials for soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Shortly before the House approved the money, the House Appropriations Committee approved another $50 billion "bridge fund" for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This batch of money would pay for combat operations for about six months beginning Oct. 1. If, as expected, the bridge fund is approved by Congress, U.S. spending on the wars would total about $450 billion, with no slowdown in spending in sight.”

Clark was great at talking down Hannity’s bullyboy attempts to silence Clark’s “pessimistic” comments about the war. Clark said, “You think somebody’s born with a terrorist gene and you can go out and kill him. By our action, if we don’t conduct ourselves the right way, we create MORE terrorists.”

Then it was time to smear Murtha. Hannity said, “I’m listening to Jack, John Murtha saying our marines are killing civilians in cold blood… What I see in spite of all the evidence and success, there’s not even an ounce of decency in the Democrats to realize a lot of good can come from a representative...(Clark interrupted to object) …With all due respect, General, your party has undermined the president and the troops almost every step of the way and people like you – you ought to be condemning people like Pete Stark and you ought to say to John Murtha, don’t accuse our troops until there’s been a full investigation. Will you do that?”

In fact, Murtha’s comments were made in support of the troops, as anyone who bothered to read his full statement would know. Furthermore, Murtha did not accuse the troops of anything other than being stretched too thin. He was referring to an investigation by the Pentagon, about which he was briefed, and about which even an article on FOXNews.com reported he was "coming from a position of knowledge.” Hannity must know that – he’s been told by guests and by Colmes, who reminded him again last night.

“The investigation’s not in and (Murtha) has condemned them,” Hannity insisted to Clark.

Would you like to let FOX News and Sean Hannity know what you think of him smearing a decorated war veteran like John Murtha with distortions? You can contact FOX at comments@foxnews.com and Hannity at hannity@foxnews.com. You can also contact Colmes at colmes@foxnews.com.

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