Hannity on Abu Ghraib photos: "Was that a DNC plot too?"


On the September 10 edition of his ABC Radio Networks show, FOX News Channel host Sean Hannity suggested that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) may have been behind the Abu Ghraib prison abuse photos. Hannity based his suggestion on his claim that the controversial memos relating to President George W. Bush's military service, which were first aired on CBS's 60 Minutes, were obtained by "the same person that had the Abu Ghraib pictures."

From the September 10 edition of ABC Radio Networks' The Sean Hannity Show:

HANNITY: [T]his woman who also produced -- was the producer who obtained the Abu Ghraib photos. ... [T]he same person that had the Abu Ghraib pictures -- the Abu Ghraib photos is apparently the same one that got these documents. ... Now here's the question. Where did she get all this stuff from? So that could mean that Abu Ghraib -- where did that come from? Was that a DNC plot too? I mean, there's a lot of questions here.

Hannity is apparently referring to CBS producer Mary Mapes, who produced the 60 Minutes segment on Bush's military service and also "helped '60 Minutes' break the Abu Ghraib prison scandal in Iraq," according to a September 11 article in The Washington Post. In questioning whether the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse photographs were part of "a DNC plot too," Hannity is making two assumptions, the first of which is unproven and the second for which no credible evidence has been offered: that the CBS memos are fake, and that the DNC is responsible for them. As for Hannity's advancement of the conspiracy theory of a "DNC plot" in regard to the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal, the best response is offered by the August final report (pdf) of the Independent Panel to Review DoD [Department of Defense] Detention Operations:

The events of October through December 2003 on the night shift of Tier 1 at Abu Ghraib prison were acts of brutality and purposeless sadism. We now know these abuses occurred at the hands of both military police and military intelligence personnel. The pictured abuses, unacceptable even in wartime, were not part of authorized interrogations nor were they even directed at intelligence targets. They represent deviant behavior and a failure of military leadership and discipline. ... The aberrant behavior on the night shift in Cell Block 1 at Abu Ghraib would have been avoided with proper training, leadership and oversight. Though acts of abuse occurred at a number of locations, those in Cell Block 1 have a unique nature fostered by the predilections of the noncommissioned officers in charge. Had these noncommissioned officers behaved more like those on the day shift, these acts, which one participant described as "just for the fun of it," would not have taken place.

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