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Karl Rove Attacks Obama For Not Interrogating Terrorism Suspects "The Way They Do In Crime Movies And Television Crime Dramas"

Reported by Ellen - December 29, 2009 -

Karl Rove was a guest on Hannity last night (12/28/09) in a segment that was obviously set up to lambaste President Obama over the foiled terrorist attack on Christmas and coincidentally make the Bush administration look smart and tough on terrorism. There was no mention of any of the less than stellar aspects to the Bush administration record on national security. And to add bizarre to bias, Rove went on to complain that Obama's actions made it impossible to interrogate the suspect the way they do in crime movies and television crime dramas. With video.

Rove’s was just one in a nearly non-stop parade of all Obama-blaming, all-the-time segments on Fox yesterday along with occasional calls for racial profiling on airplanes. I fully expect them to continue today, ad infinitum. But the segment with Rove was especially odious not only because of the blatantly anti-Obama set up but also because of the jaw-dropping hypocrisy of choosing Karl Rove, a guy who has no business accusing anyone else of national security failures, to do it. Substitute host Tucker Carlson not only failed to challenge Rove on any of the shortcomings of either Rove’s own record or those of the Bush administration, he facilitated Rove’s attacks.

Carlson’s introduction signaled that the segment was all about politicization. “We continue now with more coverage of the Obama administration’s response to the attempted terror attack.” He forgot to mention that the "coverage" consisted of the opinion of one very partisan opponent, only.

Carlson continued, “Joining me now to provide some historical perspective and to shed light on just how drastically this administration’s reaction departs from the precedent set by the Bush administration, is Fox News contributor and my neighbor, Karl Rove.”

There would be plenty who might think that Obama’s departure from the Bush administration’s precedent was a good thing but that fairness and balance was never offered. The segment was designed to bash Obama and bash Obama only – except when it was pumping up Bush.

Carlson asked Rove the following question which was nothing more than a set up to give Rove the opportunity to attack Obama and promote Bush. “Members of the Obama administration have said off the record to the Washington Post (I could not find the article he was referring to) that this is basically the fault of the Bush administration. These are the systems set up by the Bush people and these are the fruits of those systems. What do you think of that?”

Carlson made no attempt to report on what systems Bush set up, how they worked or were supposed to work and whether there was any validity to what the Obama administration said. Carlson also failed to point out the myriad attempts by the Bush administration to blame 9/11 on President Clinton

“I think that’s pathetic,” said Rove. He went on to gloat that the “father of the terrorist “ (Rove said he refused to use the term “alleged”) had reported the now-suspect to the U.S Embassy before the foiled terror attack. “The Obama administration ought to be asking why that information was not moved up the chain.”

It's a legitimate question but what about the Bush administration ignoring the August, 2001 memo titled, “Bin Laden determined to strike in US?” Fox News viewers could not be blamed for not knowing about that. Carlson never brought it up and I could probably count on one hand, maybe half a hand, the number of times I’ve heard it mentioned on Fox News in 5 ½ years.

Rove was a vision of victimhood as he whined, “For this administration, the Obama administration, to first and foremost decide it needs to launch a political attack on a previous administration and it’s all the fault of the Bush administration is pretty pathetic.” Did the Obama administration say it was “all the fault” of the Bush administration? I doubt it. That’s the kind of thing that would have been big news on Fox if anyone in the White House had.

Nevertheless, Carlson let the remark stand unchallenged.

With even more revolting disingenuousness, Carlson said, “Stand back and give me just a clear-eyed assessment of the sort of normal rules here for a president. This president was not notified until three hours after this incident became known. Is that a long time? It seems a long time.”

According to the Washington Post (p3), the president was notified two hours after the plane landed. To quote the Post, Obama’s advisers waited because “They wanted to make sure they had complete and accurate information before going to the president.” Carlson never reported that to the "fair and balanced" network's viewers.

Nor did Rove, of course. He said contemptuously, “Look, they woke him up immediately to tell him he’d won the Nobel Prize (Carlson laughed) but they couldn’t bother to interrupt his vacation for three hours to tell him that a terrorist had tried to bring down a plane on Christmas Day.” He continued self-righteously, “I mean, the president waits 72 hours before we hear from him? And it’s over 72 hours from the time of the incident to the time that the president spoke today.”

According to the Post, Obama deliberately waited in order to “not unduly elevate a botched incident and thereby encourage other would-be attackers.” Another piece of information not given to the "we report, you decide" network's viewers.

Gosh, an obviously amateurish terrorist attack was tried and failed under President Obama whereas a sophisticated terrorist attack succeeded and killed thousands of people under President George W. Bush. President Bush started an entire war in Iraq based on faulty terrorism data that was supposed to be a cake walk lasting a few months. Nearly 7 years later, President Obama is doing his best to end that war. Even if the Obama administration is 100% culpable for this attack, the damage (none, really) pales in comparison to the damage that occurred under Bush’s watch. But, like anything else that did not reflect well on the Bush administration, nobody mentioned it.

And what’s worse, waiting to address the public after a terrorism attempt that had already been foiled or sitting in a classroom, as though nothing has happened, for several minutes after being told that a plane had just struck the second Twin Tower?

But the only “historical perspective” Carlson really provided was that of the Bush administration’s uber partisan.

Rove next attacked the president for calling the suspect an “isolated extremist.” And what a coincidence! Fox News has picked up Rove’s charge and turned it into a new news story.

Rove spat, “Please, Mr. President, don’t play us for suckers. This is not an isolated extremist. It is part of an international conspiracy which struck us on 9/11 and has been attempting to hurt us every day since then."

Who’s playing whom for a sucker now? Something tells me that Rove is not privy to the same kind of intelligence that Obama is. And speaking of playing the public for suckers, which administration was it that repeatedly conflated Saddam Hussein with 9/11?

Not only did Carlson not think of that irony, he said, “I agree with you completely.”

And nobody brought up how, as former News Hound Melanie noted, two of the “masterminds” behind the Christmas Day “terror attempt” in Detroit were released from Guantanamo Bay by the Bush administration in 2007.

Next, Rove went on to complain that Obama allowed the suspect to “lawyer up.” Rove graciously allowed as how he was not “talking about enhanced interrogation techniques, although those might have been useful.” But, he continued, “We had a chance to take this guy, sweat him (my emphasis) and find out the chain of command up the line that activated him, trained him, prepared him, equipped him and sent him into action and now we’ve got him hiding behind a public defender.”

So they shouldn’t torture him, just rough him up a bit and deprive him of his Constitutional rights? Yeah, that’s the patriotic thing to do, alright.

Next on Rove’s list, accusing the Obama administration of not thinking of terrorism as “a war” but a “nuisance,” and treating the suspect like “a shoplifter or a guy who tried to knock over a 711.”

In fact, Obama made it clear he thought the incident was far more than a nuisance. As part of the country's response, he announced earlier, “We do not yet have all the answers about this latest attempt, but those who would slaughter innocent men, women and children must know that the United States will more -- do more than simply strengthen our defenses. We will continue to use every element of our national power to disrupt, to dismantle and defeat the violent extremists who threaten us, whether they are from Afghanistan or Pakistan, Yemen or Somalia, or anywhere where they are plotting attacks against the U.S. homeland.”

That sounds to me like someone who’s on a war footing, but maybe Rove just thinks we should pop off and invade a new country, like Yemen, which seems to be the country du jour for chickenhawks like Joe Lieberman and Rove.

“This is the appalling lack of understanding on this administration’s part of what we’re actually in,” Rove went on, still without challenge about Iraq or 9/11 or even the failures of the Bush administration in Afghanistan.

And then, just as the segment was ending, Rove offered up this stunning piece of fantasy: “How much could (the suspect) have said if CIA or FBI interrogators had a chance to put the fear of God in this guy and sweat him as we’ve seen in a dozen television crime dramas or an infinite number of crime movies. What if they were able to do that?”

Predictably, Carlson didn’t think it worth noting that there’s a world of difference between a television crime drama and a real life terrorism investigation.

So who’s really showing a lack of understanding now? Memo to Rove: This is not a movie.

You can contact the show at Hannity@foxnews.com or Fox at yourcomments@foxnews.com.