War in Afghanistan

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  • Fox Host Glosses Over Murder Convictions While Hyping Blackwater As Solution To "Win The War"

    Blog ››› ››› LIBBY WATSON

    Days after several former Blackwater guards were found guilty of violent crimes related to the deaths of 17 Iraqi civilians, Fox News' Brian Kilmeade hosted Blackwater founder Erik Prince for an interview that glossed over the severity of the convictions and provided a platform for accusations that the prosecution was politicized.

    On the October 27 edition of Fox & Friends, Blackwater CEO Erik Prince joined Brian Kilmeade to discuss US troops leaving Afghanistan. After decrying President Obama's strategy in Afghanistan, Kilmeade asked Prince about the recent murder, manslaughter, and weapons-related convictions of four former Blackwater guards. Kilmeade noted that the Blackwater guards had been found responsible for the deaths, describing the violent crimes as "something controversial." Kilmeade explained, "They have been convicted for what they say is that crime," though he made no mention of which specific crimes were being referenced. 

    KILMEADE: In 2007, your contractors were involved in something controversial in Iraq. And they've been convicted now -- four Blackwater guards responsible for the deaths of 14 Iraqi civilians, wounding 17 others. They have been convicted for what they say is that crime. What's your reaction to that?

    Prince described the case as "highly politicized" and suggested contractors like Blackwater were "scapegoats."

    Kilmeade ended the segment by hyping Blackwater as a solution to success in Iraq, saying, "And if actually we want to win the war, they should call you up."


  • Watch: Shep Smith Rebuts Fox News' Rush To Judge Bowe Bergdahl


    Many Fox News hosts and pundits rushed to brand recently released Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl as a deserter and a traitor, but Shepard Smith took a different line by saying he was "disgusted" by the rush to judgment, cautioning that Bergdahl is innocent until proven guilty.

    On May 31, the White House announced it had secured the release of Bergdahl from the hands of the Taliban in Afghanistan. Right-wing critics of President Obama began reporting as fact that Bergdahl had been a deserter and collaborated with the enemy, despite the fact that an investigation into the matter has not yet taken place.

    On the June 3 edition of Shepard Smith Reporting, host Smith took umbrage at the reporting, saying, "If you desert or commit treason, you have to be proved to have done so. We can't just decide because some people come on television and yakety yak, and we've got a report of this and a report of that and that's what happened. As the Army said, as the Pentagon said, you bring them home. You bring them home first, and then you investigate."

  • Media Fabricates Claim That Negotiations Over Bergdahl Release Were Unprecedented


    Media responded to the news that the Obama administration secured the release of prisoner of war (POW) Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl from the Taliban by parsing whether or not the administration violated longstanding policy by negotiating Bergdahl's release. In reality, experts say the U.S. has a long history of such negotiations, and Bergdahl's release was conducted using an intermediary nation.

  • On Fox, "Hate Group" Leader Pam Geller Says Obama "Switched Sides" In War On Terror

    Blog ››› ››› TODD GREGORY

    Sean Hannity invited anti-Muslim "hate group" leader Pam Geller onto his Fox News show to analyze current events again, and Geller used the opportunity to accuse President Obama of being in league with terrorists.

    On the May 7 edition of his show, Hannity led a discussion of a Washington Post report that the U.S. has been releasing prisoners in Afghanistan "as part of negotiations with insurgent groups." During the discussion, Geller said that Obama "has basically declared the war on terror over." Hannity interjected, "Two weeks ago." (This accusation is presumably based on the overhyping of a single quote from an anonymous State Department official.)

    Geller continued, "Two weeks ago. And frankly, he's not just declared it over, he's switched sides. The very idea that we've been releasing jihadists for years is not an act of appeasement, it's an act of surrender."


    It is inexplicable that Hannity continues to give a platform to a person designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as the leader of a "hate group." She is devoid of credibility.

    By contrast, during the very next hour on Fox News, Greta Van Susteren hosted someone with a relevant background to comment on the Washington Post report -- Fox News military analyst Robert Scales.

  • Hannity's "Heroism Vs. Politics" Obama Special Filled With Right-Wing Bunk

    Blog ››› ››› ZACHARY PLEAT

    Sean Hannity devoted his Fox News show Friday to furthering misleading attacks on President Obama's record on national security.

    Hannity opened his show by playing a misleading political ad from a right-wing political activist that deceptively edited statements President Obama made about the Osama bin Laden raid to make it look like Obama took all the credit for the success of the raid himself. Hannity then asked audience members whether they agreed that Obama "politicized the killing of bin Laden this week":

    The reality is that President Obama has repeatedly thanked and praised the American troops and other military and intelligence individuals who participated in the mission.

    Hannity later turned to birther and less than ethical Fox military analyst Gen. Thomas McInerney to criticize the Obama administration for attempting to negotiate with the Taliban. McInerney said "you can't negotiate with them." However, CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and many other national security experts have said that it is in America's interest to negotiate with the Taliban.

    Perhaps the most disgraceful part of Hannity's special was when he brought up the topic of waterboarding and said that "President Obama calls that torture." Fox national security analyst KT McFarland then offered a full-throated defense of the practice:

    McFARLAND: No, it's not torture. And there's a second issue, which is: Did it work? And it worked. And if it worked, it's kept the United States safe for this last 10 years -- even if it's torture, it's probably worth doing.

    In fact, former interrogators, intelligence officials, and experts have stated that torture did not lead to bin Laden's whereabouts, and furthermore, that it doesn't provide trustworthy information.

    And it's not just President Obama that "claims" waterboarding is torture.

  • Contrary To Claims On Fox, Obama Has Repeatedly Thanked And Praised Troops Who Killed Bin Laden


    Fox News figures celebrated the anniversary of the operation that killed Osama bin Laden by attacking President Obama for not giving the military personnel that carried out the mission "the credit that's due to them." But Obama has repeatedly praised and thanked the Navy SEALs and other military and intelligence individuals who participated in the mission.

  • Fox News' Ralph Peters: Soldiers In Photo Were "Blowing Off Testosterone" In Afghanistan

    Blog ››› ››› KEVIN ZIEBER

    Fox News military analysts, retired Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney and retired Lt. Col. Ralph Peters, today dismissed recently published photos of soldiers posing with Afghan corpses as an incident that "did not even rise to the level of a fraternity prank," and "young people blowing off testosterone," as Peters put it. Peters and McInerney also attacked the Los Angeles Times, the newspaper that first published the photos, and Peters went after the anonymous soldier who reportedly provided the photos, suggesting the soldier was "a misfit who couldn't measure up to the very high standards of the 82nd Airborne."

    The photos have been widely condemned by the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, and the senior allied commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Allen. Army spokesman Col. Tomas W. Collins was quoted as saying: "[T]hese photos are probably a manifestation of the soldiers' relief that this insurgent no longer posed a threat to them or their fellow soldiers. That cannot excuse what they did. We are the United States Army, and the world rightly has very high expectations that our soldiers will do what's right. Clearly, that didn't happen in this case." Afghan President Hamid Karzai has called the photos "inhumane and provocative."

    Appearing on Fox News' America Live to talk about the controversy the photos have generated, Peters said that "the LA Times editors are liars" and that they published the photos "because their paper is on the rocks and they're trying to push up circulation." He added: "I think there really is maybe a scandal out there at the LA Times." McInerney added that the Times "is the problem" and "they should be condemned."

    Peters also took the opportunity to attack the unnamed soldier, saying: "If it is a soldier, why wait two years to enforce good order and discipline? Was the soldier really in the unit? Was the soldier present at any of these events? Was the soldier a misfit who couldn't measure up to the very high standards of the 82nd Airborne?"