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Sean Hannity's Torture-A-Go-Go!

Reported by Ellen - May 4, 2011 -

Like Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity has barely been able to conceal his excitement over the possibility that waterboarding and other forms of “enhanced interrogations” otherwise known as “torture” may have played a role in hunting down Osama Bin Laden. I don’t think there’s been a single discussion on his show about the capturing and killing of Bin Laden in which Hannity has not enthused over the use of torture and what he feels is its vindication. Never mind that the key evidence needed for the Bin Laden operation was NOT obtained via waterboarding. To listen to Hannity, you’d think it was the only strategy that worked. Monday night’s discussion with Rudy “9/11” Giuliani was a perfect case in point.

In a 7:37 segment – that included a 1:02 introduction – Hannity zeroed in on torture at 1:54, less than a minute into the actual discussion.

Hannity: By all indications, what we know now, and there’s going to be a lot more coming out in the days to come, so we don’t have the full picture yet, …they were able to track this guy down because he was a protégé of KSM (Khalid Sheikh Mohammed)… intelligence is what did this.

When Hannity says, “intelligence,” what he really means is “torture.” Giuliani knew it. He immediately launched into a full-throated defense of it. “Intelligence is the key to keeping us safe… That’s the thing that has been improved tremendously since September 11... That’s the area in which this country is safer, because our intelligence techniques are much better. And unfortunately, you do need these intensive interrogation techniques to get information out of some of these people… We can’t give that up.

Except, of course, that we did give it up and that’s when we got the final pieces of intelligence we needed to get Bin Laden. To quote Donald Rumsfeld, “We’ve always had the ability to capture or kill Obama (sic) what we didn’t have was the intelligence that was needed.”

Although Giuliani moved on to discuss why the jubilation over Bin Laden’s death may be premature, Hannity brought the conversation back to cheerleading for torture – and President George W. Bush. “I know George Bush, President Bush 43, spent the better part of his presidency looking for him and trying to find him (never mind that Bush said otherwise) – if it turns out that in fact it was enhanced interrogation techniques or rendition in Poland or Romania… If it was interrogation techniques, ‘cause we always had the means to get Bin Laden – in other words, if we knew where he was, but we needed the intelligence to confirm that, does this now bring this debate back to the forefront?”

Hannity quickly added, “I give President Obama a lot of credit here because I thought it was a gutsy choice, a gutsy choice not to drop a 2,000-pound bomb but to send these guys in so we can confirm that it’s him.”

But it’s pretty clear Hannity was also suggesting Obama might have found Bin Laden sooner if only we were willing to use those wonderfully effective torture methods. That flies in the face of logic considering that President Bush had more than seven years to use those methods yet NEVER found Bin Laden whereas President Obama never used them and he did. Of course, facts and logic are not Hannity’s strong suit.

Sure enough, after a bit more praise of Obama, Hannity was back to suggesting Obama was too soft on torture. “Would President Obama not now realize that without the intelligence he wouldn’t have had the ability to make this decision? I would hope that it might change his mind.”

Then it was on to attacking Obama for supposedly being a flip-flopper. Hannity said, “This is almost the opposite of what Candidate Obama said he would do.” Wrong again, Bullyboy! This is exactly what Candidate Obama said he’d do and you attacked him for it!”

When Giuliani corrected him, Hannity owned up.

As the segment ended, Hannity not only looked forward to seeing the photos of Bin Laden’s dead body, he suggested the White House was taking too long to release them.

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