Fox News Exploits Deadly Hostage Situation In Sydney To Justify Torture

Fox News personalities co-opted a fatal hostage situation in Sydney, Australia to justify torturing terror suspects.

Three Dead After Hostage Situation In Sydney

Gunman And Two Hostages Dead After Standoff In Sydney, Australia.  On December 15, an Iranian-born gunman took 17 people hostage at a cafe in Sydney, Australia. The gunman, identified as 50-year-old Man Haron Monis, reportedly  “forced some [hostages] to hold a flag with an Islamic declaration of faith” in one of the shop's windows for several hours during an armed standoff with police, which ended after 16 hours in a hail of gunfire leaving two hostages and the gunman dead. [Associated Press, 12/15/14]

Fox News Exploits Tragedy To Justify Use Of Torture

Fox Host Elisabeth Hasselbeck Cites Hostage Situation To Justify CIA Torture. On the December 15 edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck cited the hostage situation in Sydney to lament the criticism that the CIA is facing in the wake of the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on the CIA's torture program:

HASSELBECK: When you see what's happening in Australia today, right now, in a chocolate shop, and you understand the real war with ISIS that we're in. It's the sharp contrast with the accusations of the CIA really just trying to do their job and keep America safe for the past 13 years startles you. [Fox News, Fox & Friends12/15/14

Fox Correspondent Leland Vittert: “Does Something Like This Justify ... Breaking The Law In The Interest Of Public Safety?”  On the December 15 edition of Happening Now, Fox News foreign correspondent Leland Vittert reported on the hostage situation in Sydney, Australia. After reporting that at least one hostage had been killed, and citing so-called “fallout” from the Senate's CIA torture report, Vittert asked guests Alan Colmes and Tammy Bruce whether  “something like this justif[ies], once again, the need for sometimes bending the law, perhaps some people would even say breaking the law, in the interest of public safety?” [Fox News, Happening Now12/15/14]

Co-Hosts On Fox's The Five: “Cut Off The Fingers And Toes” ; “Let's Waterboard Them.”  On the December 15 edition of Fox News' The Five, co-hosts Greg Gutfeld and Bob Beckel cited the fatal Sydney hostage situation as the latest example of global terrorism and the need for torture techniques. Gutfeld said that interrogators “have to have a last resort”  to get information, recommending that they  “cut off the fingers and toes”  of detainees. Beckel concluded that the United States should be capturing and waterboarding Islamic State prisoners. [Fox News, The Five12/15/14 via Media Matters]