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Shame on Fox News: No Outrage Over Amnesty for Troop Killers

Reported by Judy - June 26, 2006 -

Fox News can brag all it wants about how it supports the U.S. troops in Iraq, but the news channel let its true feelings toward troops show Monday (June 26, 2006) on "Dayside" when its hosts pooh-poohed concerns about a plan by Iraqi Prime Minister al Maliki to give amnesty to insurgents even if they have killed American troops.

Democrats have come down hard against the plan, calling it "unconscionable" while the White House is waffling about it, according to the Los Angeles Times.

According to the Times:
"U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, speaking to reporters after the parliamentary session, did not rule out the possibility of pardons for insurgents who had belonged to groups that had taken up arms against American forces.

"Only 'irreconcilables' — insurgents who fundamentally oppose the Iraqi state, either by fighting for a return of Baath Party dictatorship or for Al Qaeda's vision of an Islamic Caliphate — would be categorically excluded, he said.

"'All wars must come to an end, and hostility has to be replaced by reconciliation, and difficult decisions have to be made by all,' he said. 'I'm optimistic that we can reach an understanding on this issue but also one that meets the requirements of justice.'"

Yet, when "Dayside" co-host Mike Jerrick interviewed Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Michigan, about the proposal, Jerrick kept contradicting Stupak's description of the amnesty proposal.

"Not insurgents that were directly related to any deaths, right?" Jerrick said as he introduced the subject.

Stupak replied: "No, they’re talking about amnesty if you kill, torture, maim any U.S. soldier or citizen, as long as you were doing it in resistance of the occupation, you’d be entitled to amnesty. And we just think that’s outrageous.”

After Stupak finished, Jerrick again insisted no one involved in deaths would be given amnesty, but Stupak stuck to his guns.

"Look at the first reports around June 15 or June 16," he said.
" ... The Maliki government was saying that they actually have an agreement, a tacit agreement, if you will, with the United States, that amnesty be part of this plan. We think that’s totally outrageous that they would even consider that. There should not be amnesty for killing U.S. servicemen or women."

Again Jerrick insisted, "I’m just not seeing that clearly laid out.”

"Dayside" co-host Juliet Huddy may have been borrowing from the right-wing Washington Times
, when she asked if the Iraqi government should not be allowed to make such decisions for itself. The newspaper's article on the topic noted:

"White House spokesman Ken Lisaius said, 'We welcome this initiative by the Iraqi government,' but he cautioned that reconciliation must be an Iraqi process, led by Iraqis.'

" Moreover, Republican senators also acknowledged that the Iraqi government is now fully sovereign and has to decide this issue itself."

Stupak countered that, "It sounds like the Maliki government has been doing that. Obviously there’s conversations going on. Who are these conversations with -- the Defense Department, the Secretary of State, or did the conversations occur when the president did his surprise trip there about two weeks ago over to Iraq?"

The tone of the segment was to tamp down any effort to express outrage over the idea that a government set up at the cost of American treasure and lives would betray its benefactors by giving amnesty to those who killed our troops. Left unanswered by Huddy and Jerrick was the question: If someone has not killed or injured people, why do they need amnesty? What are they being given amnesty for -- thinking about plantng a roadside bomb?

Fox News senses that the White House likes this plan and doesn't want to let Democrats get out in front of Republicans with their opposition to the idea. Instead, Fox News insists that it just isn't happening at all.