As if the interview with former CIA torture architect Jose Rodriguez on 60 Minutes wasn't bad enough, Sean Hannity followed up the next day with an even more infuriating interview of Rodriguez as well. If you were disgusted by Leslie Stahl lobbing friendly softballs to this war criminal, it's probably not going to do your blood pressure any good to watch the Hannity job he received the next evening on Fox.
Hannity brought on Pat Buchanan this Wednesday evening and was continuing to parrot Rodriguez's talking points that without torture, President Obama would not have had the intelligence needed to send in the SEAL team after bin Laden.
As Media Matters has been documenting, carrying water for Bush and Cheney's torture program is nothing new for Fox or the right-wing media. You can read more about that from last year here: Right-Wing Media Still Hyping EITs, Ignoring Experts' Dispute, and here: Right-Wing Media Tout Bin Laden Death As Victory For Torture, Ignore Dispute.
And here is their latest report debunking Hannity's talking points in the clip above: One Book Defending Waterboarding Doesn't Change The Fact That Torture Doesn't Work:
In a book published Monday, Jose Rodriguez, the former head of the CIA's Clandestine Service during the Bush administration, defends the use of enhanced interrogation techniques (EITs) such as waterboarding, a technique that groups such as Amnesty International have called "torture." Rodriguez claimed that EITs "led to the capture and killing of Usama bin Ladin." However, multiple experts, including a CIA interrogator, an FBI counterintelligence expert, a former CIA inspector general, and the chairs of the Senate Intelligence and Armed Services Committees, have said that these techniques were not effective or did not lead to the strike against bin Laden. [...]
One can hear the same argument Rodriguez is making on Fox News and other conservative media outlets, which have touted bin Laden's death as a victory for EITs and President Bush. But it's an argument rebutted by many experts, who dispute whether the use of EITs yielded critical intelligence that led to bin Laden.
And you can read those rebuttals in the rest of their post. I'm still waiting for Hannity to take up that offer Keith Olbermann made for him to be waterboarded back in 2009 if he still doesn't think it's torture. Transcript of Hannity and Buchanan below the fold.
HANNITY: You know, Pat, I have been making this case for a long time. And I know some of your former leftist colleagues that you were very close to at one point might took a lot of issue with this. But here's the reality. And we are going to have this discussion about Bin Laden, we need to have the whole discussion. And the reality is that we had Jose Rodriguez and he was the guy that led the enhanced interrogation technique efforts, Abu Zubaydah, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. He knows the intelligence that we got. We had him on this program this week. He could not have been more clearer. Without EIT, without rendition, without black sites, without Gitmo, we don't have the intelligence for the President to make the decision to send in SEAL Team Six. So we are going to have this discussion, let's put it out in the open here. He was wrong. And we wouldn't have gotten Bin Laden but for the Bush policies that he opposed?
BUCHANAN: Well, I think that's correct. And look, getting Bin Laden was a process that took a long, long time. Again, let me go back to Nixon, briefly. President Nixon in 1969 was out on the Pacific when the fellas went to the moon. But Johnson had done a tremendous part in this, Kennedy had. And the greatest part of course was these astronauts themselves. But again, Sean, what we are seeing, and it suggests a real desperation in the campaign, an effort to take an event which is a very positive event for all Americans and to say, this was me, this was us. This is what we -- Democrats did in the White House, when it was that SEAL Team out there in Afghanistan that did it.
HANNITY: All right. So, when the reality comes in. He was wrong on the policies that gave us the intelligence. And if you listen to Joe Biden, he says, OK, so Bin Laden's dead and GM is still alive, if you will. They are still in business. Now, investor's business daily today comes out with a piece, and GM and GMAC still owe the taxpayers of this country over $35 billion. So, is he going to be able to tout -- those are the two things he's touting as his success. Does the story get to be told on that? And does that backfire on him?
BUCHANAN: Well, I think some of us who had GM stock can tell you--
HANNITY: Are you one of them, Pat?
BUCHANAN: My wife's inheritance --
HANNITY: Oh, man!
BUCHANAN: But I tell you, I am glad GM's kept alive and all of that. But look, again, why did Biden do this and turn this into an us versus mitt thing? We did it. He didn't. The thing is, this is so stupid politically, I'll tell you, Sean. When have you something like that that the President is associated with and made the call and said go ahead. It was a gutsy call. Why don't you just stand back and let people say what you did?
BUCHANAN: Take a light bow and point to these fellows. They are the ones who did the job. Fellows, let's applaud them. You are there. You don't have to say "Me, me, me!"