Hannity And North Distort Facts Of Muslim Delegate To Smear Obama
Reported by Ellen - May 22, 2008 -
White supremacist sympathizer Sean Hannity was back on his hypocritical high horse last night (5/21/08) in order to make unfounded insinuations about Barack Obama based on untruthful allegations about a Muslim delegate who has endorsed him. As Hannity Hanctimoniously suggested that Obama should condemn the delegate (even though Obama had nothing to do with his selection) Hannity has yet to condemn his own past association with Neo-Nazi/white supremacist Hal Turner. Once again, I'll include a little nugget at the end of this post to show what kind of guy Hannity's former “soul mate of hate” is. With video.
James Yee is a Muslim and a former Army Chaplain at Guantanamo Bay who was accused of treason after sounding, as one officer put it, “extremely sympathetic to the detainees.” In an exhaustive series of articles by the Seattle Times, it summed up Yee's eventual exoneration and honorable discharge by saying,
It is a story of officers so eager to root out traitors that they let small suspicions and misunderstandings escalate into an international investigation, then zealously tried to salvage the case as it unraveled.
Recently, Yee was chosen as a Barack Obama delegate by Washington State Democrats. So it's no surprise that a bigot like Hannity would try to use this to smear Obama, no matter how flimsy the connection.
Apart from being a Muslim and an Obama supporter, Yee also, apparently, accused American interrogators of desecrating the Koran (accusations that have been widely reported) despite admitting he had not personally witnessed any acts of desecration.
For Hannity and his guest, Oliver North who, unlike Yee, was actually convicted (of lying, but his conviction was later overturned on a technicality), this signified a “connection” to Obama, one that indicated anti-American sympathies if he did not denounce it.
Hannity said, “Weren't the charges (against Yee) not pursued because the fear of revealing national security secrets?”
North said yes, that the government did not want to hold up classified documents that “(Yee) had compromised.”
Actually, that was the public excuse but as Ray Rivera, the author of the multi-part investigation in the Seattle Times, revealed, the so-called classified documents had never actually been classified.
Prosecutors came to a stark realization. An investigation that had begun on allegations of sedition, espionage and aiding the enemy had come down to minor charges of mishandling classified documents — a security infraction that had been rampant at Guantánamo. And now they couldn't even prove Yee had done that.
Mugging for the camera, Hannity waved his pen like a magic wand that would alter reality and said, “Let me get this. So this is Barack Obama's delegate and he goes on Syrian TV... and on Syrian TV he admits he didn't see the desecration of the Koran but as his source he is quoting prisoners, terrorists."
“Who we all know have made up lots of stories,” North said, without a hint of irony. “About abuse, about how terribly they've been treated (a legitimate issue that goes beyond Yee's statement and one which Hannity & Colmes persistently ignores) and we know that 36 of them having been released from Guantanamo have gone back to become terrorists.”
“Now here's the question,” Hannity said. “Does Barack Obama have a responsibility, if this is his delegate... to denounce him? ...This is a huge story.”
North thought not. Why? Because he didn't denounce Rev. Wright, North falsely said. He added, “You and I both know that Barack Obama's gonna do anything he can to get...”
Hannity interrupted and started counting on his fingers. “So he hangs out with William Ayers, he has a guy negotiating with Hamas on his team that he has to get rid of.”
Both those statements are distortions, as Hannity almost certainly knows. Obama had a very casual relationship with Ayers, there is no evidence that the two “hang out.” Also, the “team member” Obama got rid of, Robert Malley, was as FOX News reported, an informal ancillary adviser who had no formal role in the campaign and never met with Obama, literally one of hundreds of informal advisers who from time to time offered advice on Middle East policy. Furthermore, Malley was not “negotiating” with Hamas but had been in contact with them through his work for a “conflict resolution think tank.”
North did not correct those misstatements. He added, “And (Obama's) got as his spiritual advisor, a guy who says, 'GD America.' Look, this man is going to do anything he can to get elected.”
And since Hannity is so intent on demanding other people denounce associates, here's another screen grab from one of his past associates, Hal Turner, whom "For years, Hannity offered his top-rated radio show as a regular forum for Turner's occasionally racist, always over-the-top rants."
From Turner's website: