Thursday, January 12, 2006

Hannity, During Testy Radio Interview, Implies Bremer Is Disloyal To Bush Administration

Conservative talk radio host Sean Hannity defined "party before country" on his radio broadcast yesterday.

During an interview with Paul Bremer, former head of the Coaliation Provisional Authority, on his new book, My Year In Iraq: The Struggle to Build a Future of Hope (co-written with Malcolm McConnell), Hannity took great offense to Bremer's suggestion that he believed there should be more troops in Iraq. (A similar discussion was scheduled to occur on last night's Hannity & Colmes, on Fox News Channel.)

While Hannity didn't call Bremer a liar, he made several statements that implied Bremer was somehow a traitor -- not to the country, but to the Bush Administration -- to publicize his dissent against President Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. It was as if Hannity was saying, "How dare you turn against your fellow Republicans!"

The interview took the form of Hannity offering a reason Bremer shouldn't have written the book or spoken out against the administration, and Bremer -- who sounded as if he was not prepared for such a testy exchange -- defending himself by saying his account was truthful, and that he remained a loyal Republican, Bush supporter and in favor of the war.

Some of the highlights:

HANNITY: MOUTHPIECE FOR THE ADMINISTRATION?

Hannity said he spoke with a senior Bush Administration official, who told Hannity that Bremer wanted to "revise history." If Bremer believed there weren't enough troops, why didn't he say so at the time.

Bremer replied that he did relate his feelings in multiple conversations with Bush, and via e-mail with Rumsfeld. He said that he didn't feel it was right to air his concerns via the media. (His first public statement on the matter came in October, 2004 -- four months after he left his position.)

Hannity then asked, more than once, how it was that Bush could publicly say that he offered to provide whatever the Pentagon wanted, and yet the Pentagon never asked for more troops.

Bremer said that Bush had a choice: listen to the Pentagon, or listen to him. Bush chose to listen to the Pentagon. But that didn't mean Bremer didn't offer his opinion.

HANNITY: IS BREMER AIDING THE ENEMY (ER ... LIBERALS)?

Hannity suggested that it might be wrong for Bremer to write the book now -- while the war was ongoing -- because it would "give the liberals and the anti-war critics" another reason to rally against the war, or the administration's management of it.

"Can't you see how?" Hannity offered multiple times.

But Bremer retorted that it was foolish to lump him in with anti-war critics, since he remains a friend of Bush and a supporter of the Iraq policy.

Hannity, not fazed, added that it might have been better for Bremer to write a "history book" -- many, many years in the future.

***

Is Bremer telling the truth in his new book? JABBS has no way of knowing.

What is known, though is that Bremer's public statements of "truth" today don't match his public statements of "truth" in 2003. It's very possible that Bremer talked to Bush and e-mailed Rumsfeld with his concerns.

But given the contradiction in public statements, either Bremer was spinning Bush talking points in 2003, or he's trying to cover his rear now. Take your pick which is worse.

For example, Bremer may have quietly said that then that there was a lack of troops. Publicly, he had this exchange during a July, 2003, briefing:

JOHN NEEDHAM (LOS ANGELES TIMES): You said all week that security is a primary concern of yours and Sergio DiMayo echoed that the other day in his report to the Security Council. Is the current troops strength adequate to produce the security that you’ll think is need now?

BREMER: Yeah I think it is. We’re doing basically three things now and over the next 60 days to improve security. One of them is to reconfigure our troop profile there as John Abizaid announced over the weekend. Basically the general concept is to get to – get away from heavy forces towards lighter more mobile force, forces which have Special Operation skills.

And while Bremer is now saying the U.S. didn't predict an insurgency, in July, 2003, he told Tony Snow of Fox News Sunday something quite different:

Q: Do you think that some of Saddam’s forces already had plans for opposition, even before the war began, and that they prepositioned personnel and weaponry before the war?

BREMER: Well, it’s possible. There has been some evidence of planning for the possibility of losing the war militarily and going into some kind of insurgency or organized resistance. We certainly are seeing now organized resistance at small level, squad level organized resistance by professional killers. These are guys who are trained soldiers. It's not a massive uprising by disgruntled factory workers. These are professional killers -- members of the Fedayeen Saddam, Baathists, former members of the Republican Guard. But it's important to remember that these attacks are in a very small area of the country, a country which was traditionally Saddam's area of support, and they pose no strategic threat to us. We will overpower them.

12 Comments:

Anonymous JohnnyRingo said...

I love that wingnut strategy that no one can critisize the war or the president while it's ongoing.
In fact we're supposed to wait 10 or 20 years to see how it turns out in history.....Then express our views.

I can't see past that logic. Nice try Sean.

1:28 PM  
Anonymous gratuitous said...

I don't know why Hannity should be upset

After all, who's going to listen to Bremer now and why shouldn't Paul make another pile of money with his book? Shouldn't Bremer be able to personally profit coming and going, or is comrade Hannity some kind of closet communist who hates the free market?

1:28 PM  
Anonymous Imagevision said...

Hannity interviewed Cheney on his health yesterday > Hannity is another Jack Abramoff selling his services to the highest bidder

2:07 PM  
Anonymous ash said...

Image: and I bet FOX hyped it for hours, referring to the exclusive interview - since Cheney wouldn't dare go on another network, administration shills as they are also becoming.

Thank you, Mr. Marks, for monitoring this conversation. It does a great service to those of us who refuse to expose ourselves to such ugliness yet need to be aware of what the other side is up to.

3:05 PM  
Anonymous lpbk2713 said...

There was an interesting article in my local newsrag yesterday regarding Hannity. He will have a speaking engagement here tomorrow. He refuses to allow the media to be present while he speaks.


Link: http://www.theledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/200...

"After 10 minutes, all members of the media will be escorted out of the special section in which they will be kept and taken outside the chapel so that Hannity can continue his speech to the audience."

The phrase "what have you got to hide?" the RWers like to use so often keeps echoing in my head for some reason.

Ten thousand bucks for a table of eight. Who the hell made the determination that he was worth ten thousand bucks?

5:25 PM  
Anonymous ash said...

I know who, Ip. The same big spenders who buy up conservative "books" to put them on the bestseller lists then practically give them away when suddenly they're not on the list anymore.

And what have we here? No "removed by administor"s, no Anons, no huge uptick in the number of posts, though this has been up for hours. Why? Hannity didn't send them here.
Really, fellow libs, stop talking about they want honest discussion. No, they didn't.

7:13 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

lpbk2713 said...
"There was an interesting article in my local newsrag yesterday regarding Hannity. He will have a speaking engagement here tomorrow. He refuses to allow the media to be present while he speaks."


Sean addressed this on his radio show today. As I'm sure you know, MSM is not all that friendly towards people like Hannity, Rush or O'Reilly etc. because they are enjoying excellent ratings and taking viewership away from the major networks. There is no love lost there, on either side.

It's not so much a matter of "what has he got to hide", as, 'if they want to hear what I have to say, they can darn well buy a ticket, like everyone else'. I'm sure Sean would be more than happy to schedule a special event just for the media. :)


lpbk2713 said...
Ten thousand bucks for a table of eight. Who the hell made the determination that he was worth ten thousand bucks?


Ummm, let me think a second....the free market, perhaps? To paraphrase fellow poster, gratuitous, " is comrade lpbk2713 some kind of closet communist who hates the free market?

4:10 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

ash said...
"I know who, Ip. The same big spenders who buy up conservative "books" to put them on the bestseller lists then practically give them away when suddenly they're not on the list anymore."


Ash, I think you might be thinking of former Democrat Speaker of the House, Jim Wright, who sold his "book" (a collection of his speeches) in bulk to his supporters, the Teamsters. ;)

4:21 PM  
Anonymous alias: "cutiepie" johnson said...

Actually, Trinity, there's been documentation of how some of the conservative-friendly publishers jack up their sales numbers by giving away thousands of books via promotions -- buy the newsletter, get the book free, become a member of this conservative association, get the book free, etc.

There have been several dozen examples of books from big-name conservative personalities, which have extraordinary first-week sales, then dropping to almost no sales within a couple of weeks. This allows the publisher and the author to promote themselves as a New York Times best-seller, and to try to provoke the MSM into writing reviews -- something that would be less likely if the sales were nil from the start.

I can't give you examples off the top of my head, but could probably post again later tonight, if you're interested. The strategy has been extremely successful, though, over the past decade or so.

4:41 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

alias: "cutiepie" johnson said... -- buy the newsletter, get the book free, become a member of this conservative association, get the book free, etc.

I wouldn't argue with that point, "cutiepie". I've seen that myself on Newsmax and elsewhere. If that is all that Ash is referring to, then I stand corrected. I thought she was implying something scandalous or illegal, as in the case of Jim Wright.

As far as the heavy sales on the front end, a lot of that also has to do with advance orders of the book. Many people reserve their copy prior to release.

I know from my own experience that it can be difficult to get a hold of a copy of certain books, such as Mark Levin's "Men In Black". I had to go to half a dozen book stores before I found a copy, they got sold out that quickly.

And again, going by my own experience, I know that individual conservatives do indeed purchase books written by people that they admire. I own many, and didn't get any of them free. I know I'm not the only one.

On the other hand, if I want to read something by Al Franken, or Michael Moore, I borrow those books from the library. ;)

5:56 PM  
Anonymous ash said...

Hey, Trin. You got me. Though I've heard of Wright, I'm not familiar with his case. So I definitely was not thinking of him.

And now I've got you. You did a conflation, comparing him to people like, oh, Coulter, who zooms to the top of a list, drops out of sight, all in a flash of the eye. Very suspicious. Very telling.

5:58 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

ash said...
"And now I've got you. You did a conflation, comparing him to people like, oh, Coulter, who zooms to the top of a list, drops out of sight, all in a flash of the eye. Very suspicious. Very telling."


Ash, I'm still not sure what you are getting at. Very suspicious? Very telling? What is it that you think is going on? Do you not believe that conservative books sell? I've always been under the impression that they do very well.

You bring up Ann Coulter. Well, I have at least two of her books. Her books do sell. She's quite popular. I believe she gets $25,000 per lecture now, although she discounts for students.

As far as what "cutiepie" said about conservatives trying to provoke mainstream media into writing reviews, even when a conservative book is on the New York Times best-seller list, they don't always review it. O'Reilly complained about that a lot.

11:42 PM  

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