America’s obsession with torture and the Hannity syndrome

When we think of the word torture, what comes to mind?  Inhumane acts?  Cruel and unusual punishment?  If you were the interrogator, would you enjoy it?  I ask this because torture is cruel and inhumane.  How has America reacted in the past when our men were tortured?  We were angry, right?  So how does someone think that the same actions by us won’t spark the same kind of blowback?

Fox News commentator and political pundit Sean Hannity (who by the way makes millions of dollars)  has no problem with it.  In fact, he goes on to say this:

“My attitude is that if we capture an enemy combatant in the battlefield — or we can use Osama bin Laden — who may have information about a pending attack. You know what, I don’t have any problem taking his head sticking it underwater and scaring the living daylights out of him and making him think we’re drowning him and I’m a Christian,” declared Hannity.

There’s just one problem with this scenario: Sean Hannity has never been in the military.  He, as far as we know, has never had a gun fired at him.  He’s had snowballs chucked at, but that’s a little different.  Meghan McCain (daughter of John McCain) was on the show when he said this, and when asked she had this to say:

“I think it’s what separates us from the terrorists . My father could never lift me up as a child because he can’t move his arm. He can’t ride a bike because he can’t bend his knee because he was tortured. I think he knows better,” she said.

On an episode of Fox News last year, Sean Hannity and Charles Grodin had a discussion about torture.

When Mr. Grodin asked “have you ever been waterboarded?”, Hannity replied, “No, but Oli North has, and I’ve talked to him about it.”  You know, Hannity’s response reminds me when I was about ten and kids at school would lie whether or not we had, in fact, seen a naked woman.

“Have you seen a naked woman in real life?”

“No, but I looked at a Playboy once.” 

Since the name Oliver North came up, lets talk about him.  Now why would a conservative talk show host like Sean Hannity be conversing with a convicted felon for crimes against the United States for his part in the Iran-Contra scandal (crimes that were reversed on a technicality).  This is the same man whom before Congress called the Iran-Contra scandal a “neat idea”.  Undermining Constitutional authority and conducting back-alley deals, yeah, neat idea.  North was also one of the founders of REX-84 (Readiness Excercise of 1984).  According to Wikipedia this is the basis of the program:

Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North and the Federal Emergency Management Agency … had drafted a contingency plan providing for the suspension of the Constitution, the imposition of martial law, and the appointment of military commanders to head state and local governments and to detain dissidents and Central American refugees in the event of a national crisis.[1]
The Rex-84 Alpha Explan (Readiness Exercise 1984, Exercise Plan; otherwise known as a continuity of government plan), indicates that FEMA in association with 34 other federal civil departments and agencies, along with other NATO nations, conducted a civil readiness exercise during April 5-13, 1984. It was conducted in coordination and simultaneously with a Joint Chiefs exercise, Night Train 84, a worldwide military command post exercise (including Continental U.S. Forces or CONUS) based on multi-emergency scenarios operating both abroad and at home. In the combined exercise, Rex-84 Bravo, FEMA and DOD led the other federal agencies and departments, including the Central Intelligence Agency, the Secret Service, the Treasury, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Veterans Administration through a gaming exercise to test military assistance in civil defense.
The exercise anticipated civil disturbances, major demonstrations and strikes that would affect continuity of government and/or resource mobilization. To fight subversive activities, there was authorization for the military to implement government ordered movements of civilian populations at state and regional levels, the arrest of certain unidentified segments of the population, and the imposition of martial law. [2]

Now that we have him out-of-the-way, he is not the patriotic American that he likes to portray himself to be.  With all of this aside, Keith Olberman offered Sean Hannity $1,000.00 for every second he could stand water boarding.  To this day to my knowledge Hannity has not put his money where his mouth is.

As in the above video Lawrence O’Donnell points out that a very small percentage of Americans are warriors.  A very small percentage has ever seen combat and there are servicemen who have never seen combat and never will.  For those of you, like Sean Hannity, who support torture I challenge you this: for all the torture policies the Bush and Obama administration’s endorse, just for fun, have someone subject yourself to it.

Sean Hannity who can live in the nice apartments, wear the expensive suits, and make millions, sits at home on his couch far from the wars that he advocates. 

My hat goes off to those who have the courage to enlist into the military, and my heart goes out to those who have lost loved ones.  As a last thought, here is a video where an enhanced interrogation specialist states that torture is not credible.

For your casual perusal, here are some sources proving that even though we are more than a year past the Bush administration, torture techniques are still being used.


One thought on “America’s obsession with torture and the Hannity syndrome

  1. Great post. My favorite example of Hannity’s cowardice is how he has never responded to Olbermann’s offer to pay $ 10,000.00 to charity for every second that Hannity can endure being waterboarded. A true chicken-hawk.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s