Hannity distorted Duelfer's remarks to support his claim that Iraqi WMDs went to Syria

››› ››› JEREMY CLUCHEY

FOX News Channel host Sean Hannity misrepresented comments that Charles A. Duelfer, special adviser to the director of Central Intelligence, made October 6 regarding the possibility that Iraq moved weapons of mass destruction into Syria prior to the 2003 American-led invasion of Iraq. Hannity said, "I think I'm the only one in the world that -- that has been willing to say as much ... I think they went to Syria." Hannity bolstered his suggestion by falsely claiming that "Duelfer is now saying that," but Duelfer did not say that.

From the October 18 edition of ABC Radio Networks' The Sean Hannity Show:

HANNITY: The Duelfer report [a comprehensive report on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction], nobody pays attention. He's [Duelfer] out there saying today that a lot of the weapons went to Syria, but nobody's paying attention to it. And I think I'm the only one in the world that -- that has been willing to say as much. ... I believe, and maybe I'm the only one left in America, those weapons -- we know he [former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein] used them against the Kurds, knew he used them in the Iran -- Iranian -- Iran-Iraq War, I think they went to Syria. Duelfer is now saying that. There's an article on [The] Drudge [Report website] right now talking about that.

The "article on Drudge" to which Hannity referred was an October 18 article from the online publication WorldTribune.com, the editor and publisher of which is an assistant managing editor at the conservative Washington Times and "a former 'corporate editor' for News World Communications," according to The New Yorker. News World Communications, which owns the Times, is a media company owned by the Reverend Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church. The WorldTribune.com article related comments Duelfer made at an October 6 meeting of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee -- but Duelfer's comments that were included in the article did not support Hannity's theory that Iraq had WMDs and moved them to Syria before the 2003 American-led invasion. Rather, the article asserted that Duelfer "could not rule out Saddam's transfer of Iraqi missiles and weapons of mass destruction to Syria" and quoted the following statement by Duelfer to the Senate Armed Services Committee: "A lot of materials left Iraq and went to Syria. ... But whether in fact in any of these trucks there was WMD-related materials, I cannot say."

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy, Intelligence, War in Iraq
Stories/Interests
Prewar Intelligence/WMD
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