I watched "Hannity and Colmes" last night and Sean Hannity is following Dick Cheney's lead.
Speaking with author Stephen Hayes, whose "The Connection" purports to draw a straight line from Bin Laden to Saddam, Hannity quickly called the legitimacy of the commission into question, referring to "the liberals' beloved 9/11 commission."
Then he demanded an apology from John Kerry, since in Hannity's view the 9/11 commission's findings, despite his apparent scorn for that investigative body, have shown that there in fact was a connection between Saddam and Al Qaeda, which is of course precisely the opposite of what the commission determined.
It was instructive to notice the little sleight of hand tricks Hannity used.
Chairman Tom Kean said there were "contacts" between Al Qaeda and Saddam, Hannity argued. Vice Chairman Lee Hamilton, a Democrat, said there was a connection. Isn't it time, Hannity asked, for Kerry to apologize to Bush, "now that we have incontrovertible evidence" of these connections?
His big trick is confounding "contacts" with a "collaborative relationship," which the commission denied ever existed. Of course there were contacts, but the contacts didn't lead to anything. That's the whole point of the commission's findings.
The other small trick, which is all about Doublespeak, comes when Hannity makes sure to point out that Hamilton is a Democrat, while omitting the fact that Tom Kean is a Republican. On the one hand, Hannity is saying that a member of Kerry's party has admitted to the contacts. On the other, he continues to cast asperions upon the "liberals' beloved commission," calling into question the legitimacy of the very entity upon whose findings he is, falsely, basing his argument.
Hannity goes on to say that we've now gotten this "incontrovertible proof" -- "in spite of the false news reports in our biased media."
Again, the Times simply reported those aspects of the commission's findings that touched upon Iraq. I've gone and looked at the commission's report (and so can you). The Times' reporting is thoroughly accurate.
"Here's what bothers me about these liberals in general," Hannity went on, talking about liberals' supposed hypocrisy and flip-flopping on the Iraq campaign.
Hillary Clinton in 2002 said "Saddam has given aid and comfort and sanctuary to terrorists including Al Qaeda," Hannity said, citing Clinton as a member of the flip-flopping Democratic side. What he fails to mention is that she supports the war. So of course she bought the administration's claims about Iraq.
Hannity then cited Kerry, how last year he called Saddam's WMD's a threat, but now he has turned on President Bush.
Well, yeah, Kerry was worried about Saddam's WMD's and nuclear capabilities. Bush told him and everyone in America that Saddam had these capabilities, and based on that information, Kerry agreed to the resolution authorizing the use of force in Iraq. And now he's figured out that there's no evidence of these weapons.
It's just one subtle lie after another from Hannity. And then the coup de grace, as Hannity excoriates the mendacity of liberals "because they politicize this war so that they can get their power back at a time when Americans are being beheaded."