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Is Sean Hannity Hoping For Another Terrorist Attack?

Reported by Ellen - April 25, 2009 -

As I recently wrote, you have to wonder about Sean Hannity's motives for screeching on national television, night after night, that our country is more vulnerable to attack now. I mean, if you really believe that the release of the torture documents has made us more vulnerable to attack, as Hannity claims, because it lets them know they won't be tortured if they're caught, then why would you further help the enemy by letting them know this is a good time to attack? After watching last night's (4/24/09) edition of Hannity, you now have to wonder whether Hannity isn't actively trying to make that happen. Hannity reiterated many times that our national defenses have been weakened, that President Obama doesn't like America, added that he couldn't believe Obama “made it” to 100 days in office, then “sincerely” hoped the 9/11 Commission was wrong when they said another attack was inevitable – but if so, would Obama be responsible? Hannity was aided in his efforts by Mike Huckabee, a guest with absolutely no professional experience in this area, but who nonetheless opined that waterboarding is “like a carnival ride.” Then, with tortured logic, the two agreed that banning those harsh interrogiations carnival rides would embolden our enemies. With video

For a long time now, I've mainained that Hannity's Plan A is to paint Obama as weak on national security (as opposed to Plan B, painting him as a socialist) so that the moment we're hit, he can blame Obama for it. But Hannity seems to be taking it a step further now. After all, this is the guy who last week vehemently supported Texas governor Rick Perry's threat of secession. And if Hannity is so concerned about national security, wouldn't he have chosen to interview someone with real expertise in that area, rather than former Arkansas Governor and pastor Mike Huckabee about whether or not we're in danger?

“How damaging” (not is it damaging) are the release of the memos and photos of torture?” Hannity asked early in the interview.

According to FOX News, Huckabee has no military experience, no national security experience and no foreign affairs experience. But Huckabee (who may be considering another presidential run in 2012) declared with total certainty, “It's very damaging, especially if you ever think about wanting to recruit someone to be in the CIA.” And Huckabee knows this how? It's true that at least one former CIA official has stated his disapproval but Huckabee presented that position as fact. Maybe he is or was some kind of undercover operative, but there's nothing in his public resume to indicate he has any expertise about the CIA either.

Hannity, another tough talker without any military, national security or foreign affairs experience, declared his views validated. “So my analysis is right. I'm saying that Barack Obama and the administration is hurting our nation's defenses.”

Again, if Hannity were really interested in knowing if his analysis was right, he would have asked a real expert. Who will be the next terrorism expert on the show – Joe the Plumber?

Huckabee, warming right up to his role as intelligence expert said, “It's hurting us first on the point of intelligence gathering. It's going to be much more difficult for us to get the intelligence. We're now telling them all of our techniques. We're letting the other side know exactly what we do and how we do it.” Actually, aren't we letting them know what we won't do? And, as I heard in a radio interview with a law enforcement expert (someone with actual, first-hand experience with interrogation) last week, criminals know the limits on police officers yet are successfully interrogated and yield useful information all the time. But "fair and balanced" Fox put forth only one side - the Republican, partisan side - of this complicated issue.

Huckabee was really on a roll now. Although the screen merely identified him as “former Arkansas governor,” he declared, “The most dangerous thing that we did” was to tell the terrorists “we really weren't hurting them. It was like a carnival ride.” Huckabee immediately said he thought he'd be “YouTubed” for the remark. And he damn well should. For a former pastor to call torture (we prosecuted Japanese soldiers who waterboarded our troops and our allies) “like a carnival ride” is nothing short of disgraceful.

“Christian” Huckabee went on to say that because waterboarding is merely a simulation of drowning, not the real thing, and because we got information out of it, it was worthwhile. So if “usefulness” is the standard, then why stop there? Why not rape and maim while we're at it? That might really give us “useful information.”

But “expert” Hannity now claimed that knowing how far we'll go and now how far we won't go will “of course” be used in terrorists' training.

In his Hanctimonious voice, Hannity claimed to be “amazed” that four former CIA directors were against the release of the material. Hannity didn't mention that Defense Secretary Robert Gates supported the move. With his phony-baloney Hanctimony, Hannity prompted asked Huckabee, “Why do you think (the Obama administration) did this?”

Huckabee now put on his Washington psychologist hat (nope, no expertise there either). “He can not get over the fact that George Bush preceded him in the presidency.”

Hannity, mugging for the camera said he “can't believe (Obama) made 100 days.” Was Hannity expecting him to be impeached already? Hoping someone would have committed an act of violence? Or was Hannity hoping for some kind of civil unrest, perhaps after a terrorist attack?

Then in a stunning moment of hypocrisy (even for Hannnity) he accused Obama of putting his political benefit over the best interests of the country.

“You can't play politics with national security,” Huckabee said gravely, ignoring or else completely clueless that that's what was going on right there on the FOX News set. In his next breath, “Don't-play-politics” Huckabee said, “I think it's now interesting... that in 2002 Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders were fully briefed” on all the details of waterboarding “and they were perfectly OK with it in 2002 so if we're going to have a criminal investigation, let's make sure we have some lady-sized handcuffs to go along with the ones they're gonna put on the Bush people.” No Republican politics there, eh?

You could practically see Hannity smacking his lips at that one. “That's the second part of the politicizing of this,” he accused, and he wasn't talking about Huckabee's remark. He meant, there's “evidence” Pelosi “may have lied.” He went on to ask whether, if she lied and had known about the torture, “should she be removed as House Speaker?” And where's the Obama politicization there? We never learned.

The banner read, “report reveals key Dems, including Speaker Pelosi new (sic) about torture.” Actually, it came out well over a year ago that Pelosi was aware of the torture. Funny how I never heard it mentioned by Hannity or Huckabee as a concern until now, when they know their own guys face far worse trouble. And anyway, the logic is now even more tortured. Waterboarding is not torture but a valuable terrorism-fighting tool, even though it's like a carnival ride - but we should remove Nancy Pelosi for approving of it?

“Let's look at the big picture,” Hannity said. He meant of course, “Let's focus on attacking Obama.” Time to start counting off the smears on his fingers! “The apologizing for America tour, calling America 'arrogant' to our enemies, bowing before the Saudi King... What does this say about Barack Obama and his mindset and the principles that guide his decision-making?”

But Huckabee didn't go where Hannity was obviously trying to push him. Instead, Huckabee complained about Obama negotiating with “people who don't deserve that level of respect from the president.”

So Hannity tried again. Citing the 9/11 report which said that another attack is “not a matter of if, but it's a matter of when” and adding that “we're taking all of these steps to send signals to the world that America is lowering its defenses, to what extent – God forbid, and I mean this sincerely (a sure indication that he doesn't) – if lowering our defenses results in an attack, to what extent is Barack Obama responsible for the decisions he's making in this last month. Is he responsible?”

Yes, if the attack occurred because we didn't torture someone, offered “Pastor” Huckabee or as he put it, “completely emasculated our intelligence gathering operation.”

The Fox News video of this segment is called “Hurting America” with quotes, as though pretending that it's not really Fox making that accusation. But there's real irony there because the only harm to America I saw was from the poisoned rhetoric, the bullyboy championing of torture, the baseless accusations and their own willingness to endanger our country for partisan gain.