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Hannity Exploits Foiled Terror Plot For Partisan Purposes

Reported by Ellen - May 9, 2007 -

For the second time in as many nights, Sean Hannity tried to exploit terrorism news as a partisan weapon against Democrats. Monday night (5/7/07), it was the Al-Zawahiri tape. Tuesday (5/8/07), it was the foiled plot against Fort Dix. With video.

At least with the Fort Dix discussion, Hannity & Colmes had real experts on, not some politico like Dick Morris from the night before. Last night's guests were Ken Ballen, of Terror Free Tomorrow, and Danny Coulson, former Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI.

Hannity waited no longer than his second sentence before he went on the attack against Democrats. (In his first, he attacked the Muslim imams suing US Airways for kicking them off a plane last winter.) “The Democrats, in just the last week and a half, were blocking a bill to protect terrorism tipsters.” I wish I had more time to research that because something tells me there’s another side to his story. Maybe one of our readers (paging Paige!) can find out more about it.

A few minutes later, Hannity asked, “What do you think we’re likely to find out in the next couple of days about surveillance and how that helped, how the Patriot Act helped, how all the measures that were put in place after 9/11 were of assistance, considering these issues are in quite dispute, especially among Democrats in Washington?” Hannity neglected to mention that there are plenty of Republicans who are unhappy with the Patriot Act as well.

Coulson said, “(The Patriot Act) shouldn’t be in dispute, Sean.” He complained about the calls to roll it back and said, “Without the Patriot Act, we’re defenseless.”

To Alan Colmes’ credit, he broke in and said, “Is there any evidence the Patriot Act had anything to do with this?”

Ballen also interrupted. “These people weren’t caught through the Patriot Act. Let’s be clear on our facts.”

“Yes, they were,” Coulson insisted, though he offered no evidence to back up his assertion.

“No, they were not,” Ballen said. From what I can tell, Ballen is correct, as the title to this AP article indicates: Store Clerk's Tip Key To Foiling Fort Dix Terror Plot.

“The ability we’ve given law enforcement could have assisted here,” Hannity said. “I think that’s the main question.” Actually, that was not the main question, as I documented above. Hannity asked how the Patriot Act helped, not how it might have helped.

Ballen said, “But let’s be clear on the facts in this case. They were caught through a store clerk giving a tip to the FBI.”

A peevish Hannity said, “They’d already been infiltrated.”

No, not according to the AP.