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Hannity & Colmes Discussion On Iran Another Stealth Attempt By FOX News To Push Regime Change, This Time Via An Anti-Muslim Bigot

Reported by Ellen - April 2, 2007 -

Friday night’s Hannity & Colmes (3/30/07) included a panel discussion on Iran with two guests presented as neutral experts who were anything but. A bit of research uncovered some interesting facts about one of them, Kevin Hermening, introduced only as a former 1979 hostage in Iran. Hermening, it turns out, has made some rather bigoted statements about Muslims, including, in September, 2001, a call for “immediate and unequivocal deportation of every illegal alien and immigrant, with a focus on removing those of Middle Eastern descent.” With video.

Also not mentioned on the show was the fact that Hermening is a Republican operative who twice unsuccessfully opposed Democratic Congressman David Obey of Wisconsin.

In a July 1, 2005, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article, Hermening said he “did some research and compared photographs” after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected president of Iran and concluded that Ahmadinejad was one of his interrogators. Hermening only had one interaction with the man he claimed was Ahmadinejad, early in the 444-day captivity, 26 years before the 2005 interview. Hermening acknowledged to the Milwaukee paper that it was possible his interrogator was a look-alike, “But I am relatively certain he was involved with the interrogation from day one."

Almost two years later, in late March, 2007, Hermening’s “relative certainty” had changed. He told Alan Colmes Friday night, “There’s no question Ahmadinejad was involved in the original interrogations.”

That same 2005 article about Hermening included this bigoted statement about Ahmadinejad: “You cannot take a turban off a terrorist, put a gray suit on him, and pretend he's not still a terrorist.”

The other guest (along with FOX News reporter Steve Centanni, who was captured in the Gaza Strip last summer, held for two weeks, then released) was Ilan Berman, introduced as the author of a book called Tehran Rising, but there was no mention of the fact that, as SourceWatch has reported, “He trades in the Iran threat.” SourceWatch also noted that in testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee, “Berman used a dubious Israeli source to push for action against Iran.”

As “Hostage Crisis Day 8” was displayed on the screen, Berman told Colmes, “There’s actually an opportunity here, a fairly large opportunity here, to use this new awakening that we’re beginning to see in Europe that the Iranians are bad-faith actors, that they’re not legitimate and reliable partners, to leverage that and to actually create a greater coalition to squeeze them financially.” He later added that the big issue is “Iran’s runaway nuclear ambitions.” Berman didn’t see fit to mention that the IAEA (you know, the ones who got it right about Iraq’s WMD’s) recently reported that Iran may have recently halted, at least temporarily, its uranium enrichment program.

Hermening is now a financial planner and seems to have no foreign policy expertise. But, in a statement right out of a PNAC playbook, he said, “This is a last gasp effort of a dying regime. Our country and the Brits and the French and everybody else has a responsibility to help the people who want to see regime change bring it about in their country.”