Fox News hosts use Sydney siege to defend CIA

Host claimed CIA are just ‘trying to do their job and keep America safe’

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Fox News has plunged itself into the centre of controversy once again for referencing the Sydney siege in an apparent justification for the CIA’s use of “enhanced interrogation”.

In a discussion with Fox & Friends co-hosts Brian Kilmeade and Steve Doocy during a segment on the 16-hour siege, Elizabeth Hasselbeck used the hostage situation to defend the CIA after it was widely condemned for enhanced interrogation techniques revealed in the so-called 'torture report'.

The report by the United States Senate found methods including ‘rectal feeding’ were used on terror suspects.

"Meanwhile, the actual individuals here at home who have been looking into and trying to stop attacks like this and perhaps future hostage situations, as we are still at war indeed with Isis and terrorism, are the CIA, and they have been painted as the bad guys at home,” Hasselbeck said.

The show then included a clip of former Vice President Dick Cheney defending the techniques during an interview with NBC News.

Mr Cheney has already made his views on the report clear, telling Fox News it was “full of crap” shortly after its publication.

Her co-host Kilmeade said after the clip was shown: “Look at the CIA. If they thought the methods were to be nice and be friendly in order to get the maximum amount of information as quickly as possible, that’s what they would have done. I think people are acting as if we were out of our minds and the CIA was just sitting there and trying to get an eye-for-an-eye.”

Hasselbeck added: “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, and 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, it startles you, any day.”