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DEBBIE SCHLUSSEL: HANNITY/NORTH SCAM TROOPS WITH “FREEDOM ALLIANCE”

SEAN HANNITY’S FREEDOM CONCERT SCAM:  ALMOST NONE OF CHARITY’S $ WENT TO INJURED TROOPS, KIDS OF FALLEN TROOPS; G5S FOR VANNITY?

By Debbie Schlussel

****03/19/10:  SCROLL DOWN FOR UPDATE: My Response to Freedom Alliance’s/Oliver North’s Weak “Non-Response” & New Lies  ****

For the last several years, Sean Hannity and the Freedom Alliance “charity” have conducted “Freedom Concerts” across America. They’ve told you that they are raising money to pay for the college tuition of the children of fallen soldiers and to pay severely wounded war vets.  And on Friday Night, Hannity will be honored with an award for this “Outstanding Community Service by a Radio Talk Show Host” at Talkers Magazine’s  convention.

But it’s all a huge scam.

In fact, less than 20%–and in two recent years, less than 7% and 4%, respectively–of the money raised by Freedom Alliance went to these causes, while millions of dollars went to expenses, including consultants and apparently to ferry the Hannity posse of family and friends in high style. And, despite Hannity’s statements to the contrary on his nationally syndicated radio show, few of the children of fallen soldiers got more than $1,000-$2,000, with apparently none getting more than $6,000, while Freedom Alliance appears to have spent tens of thousands of dollars for private planes.  Moreover, despite written assurances to donors that all money raised would go directly to scholarships for kids of the fallen heroes and not to expenses, has begun charging expenses of nearly $500,000 to give out just over $800,000 in scholarships.

In February 2009, a well-known conservative writer sent me this, about a friend at FOX News:

The guy went on to tell me about Hannity’s “Freedom Concerts,” which are staged across the country with the proceeds going to children of slain soldiers. Of course, as the guy tells it, there’d be a lot more money every concert to go to the cause if Hannity didn’t demand–and get–use of a Gulfstream 5 plane to fly him and his family/entourage to the concerts; a “fleet” (that’s the word the guy used) of either Cadillac or Lincoln SUVs for him and his family/entourage; and several suites at really expensive hotels for him and his family/entourage. The promoter apparently values Hannity’s star demands at well over $200,000 per event. The source says he heard that Oliver North pulled Hannity aside at one of the concerts and told him that this had to stop. But that may mean that, from now on, Hannity has to fly on a G4 instead of a G5, gets only a few luxury SUVs, and two or three suites.

North is the founder and honorary chairman of Freedom Alliance.

I began investigating these claims, and lo and behold, I discovered that Freedom Alliance gives very little money to the children of slain troops to pay for college and even less to wounded troops.  The stories of injuries to troops and how much Freedom Alliance gives them–$200 for a soldier from a poor neighborhood who lost three limbs–is heartbreaking.  Soldiers with traumatic brain injuries, severe wounds to the face from disfiguring burns and explosions, and multiple amputations got $1,000 or less, with only a handful of exceptions.

The tax forms available to the public for the Freedom Alliance–for the years 2006-2008–paint a tragic story, a story of a charity that makes gazillions and spends very little for the purposes it claims, a charity that spends millions more on its small staff and crony consultants than it ever gives in scholarships to the children of the fallen or severely injured troops or in aid to the injured troops themselves.  While Hannity’s Freedom Concerts take in millions, only a few hundred thousand go to the claimed intended recipients.

Over a year ago, when I began looking into this story, I contacted both Sean Hannity and the Freedom Alliance seeking comment and an accounting for where the money went.  Both declined to answer any of my questions.  Hannity refused to respond to an inquiry I sent to his personal private e-mail address asking him about the lavish expenses described in the e-mail above.

Freedom Alliance press secretary Alan Moore scheduled an interview for me with Freedom Alliance president Thomas Kilgannon, who in the past used Freedom Alliance resources to promote a book he wrote on the United Nations.  But when Moore asked me what the interview would be about and I answered truthfully, the interview was not granted, and my calls to him were never returned thereafter.  I told him I’d be asking Mr. Kilgannon about the expenses paid for Hannity and about the paltry percentage of Freedom Alliance funds actually going to the kids of fallen troops, to severely injured troops, and to anything other than expenses, consultants, and printing.  I wanted to know why Freedom Alliance had spent $60,000 for “aviation services” in 2006.

Keep in mind that a charity is considered reputable if no more than 25% of its revenue goes to expenses and no less than 75% of it goes to the intended charity recipients.  Given that, Freedom Alliance’s balance sheets are embarrassing in their shamelessness.

According to its 2006 tax returns, Freedom Alliance reported revenue of $10, 822, 785, but only $397,900–or a beyond-measly 3.68%–of that was given to the children of fallen troops as scholarships or as aid to severely injured soldiers.

On the other hand, 62% of the money went to “expenses,” including $979,485 for “consultants” and an “advisor.” Yes, consultant/advisors got more than double what injured troops and the kids of fallen troops got. The tax forms show that “New World Aviation” got paid $60,601 for “air travel.” Was that for Hannity’s G5? Like I said, neither the charity nor Hannity is talking. And finally, that year, Freedom Alliance spent $1,730,816 on postage and shipping and $1,414,215 on printing, for a total of $3,145,031, nearly half the revenue the charity spent that year and about eight times what the injured troops and the children of fallen ones received.

That’s especially heartbreaking when you compare the hundreds of thousands consultants got and the millions spent on printing and postage to the outrageously small amounts given to wounded soldiers. In 2006, Freedom Alliance gave only $1,000 to a soldier from Bay City, Michigan, whom the charity says was in the following condition:

Face was blown up and lost sight in one eye.

And that $1,000 was relatively generous, when you consider this soldier from Romulus, Michigan, whom Freedom Alliance only gave $200:

SM [serviceman] was involved in roadside bomb incident in Iraq, which caused loss of both legs and left arm.

Romulus is a mostly Black Detroit suburb, which is one of the poorest cities in Michigan and in America. Freedom Alliance gave this brave soldier roughly $67 per limb. That’s sickening.

So is the fact that this soldier, from Alexandria, Virginia, also only got $200 from Freedom Alliance:

SM was wounded in Iraq by an IED explosion.  Lost right arm and severe shrapnel wounds to upper body and face.

Also appalling is the fact that in each year’s tax returns soldiers described as having brain trauma injuries, multiple amputated limbs, and severe burns over most of their bodies get a few hundred bucks each from Freedom Alliance and in almost every case, no more than $1,000.

That year, while fat-cat consultants and expenses took millions of Freedom Alliance’s money, seriously wounded troops to whom Freedom Alliance donated received a pathetic average of $785 each and the college student kids of the fallen got a paltry average of $2,943 toward tuition. Yes, out of millions raised that year by Sean Hannity at his Freedom Concerts, only $309,000 was given out in scholarships to 105 students, and only $110,703.82 was given to the wounded soldiers.

Freedom Alliance’s 2007 tax returns aren’t much better. Out of $12,459,317 it raised that year, only $895,347–or just 7%–went to seriously wounded troops and scholarships for fallen troops. 53% went to expenses, including $1,464,627 in postage and $1,151,428 in printing. $604,995 went to “professional fees” and “consultants.” Out of millions paid for Freedom Concert tickets and raised in fundraisers by Hannity listeners, only $596,500 went to college scholarships for soldiers who died in battle, and only $299,897 went to horribly injured troops. 208 student children of the fallen got an average of $2,868 apiece for tuition, though many got only $1,000 or less. 382 soldiers with serious injuries got an average of $785 each.

And, again, that year, the amounts given to soldiers with such grave injuries is despicably tiny. This soldier, from Killeen, Texas, got only $500 from Freedom Alliance:

SM was wounded in Iraq on June 18, 2007 in Digula Province, Baquba, Iraq. An IED exploded on the truck, he took shrapnel to the face, which cut off a piece of his nose. Also had shrapnel in throat and cheeks, which cut open his face and the inside of his throat.

This soldier, from Brady, Texas, also received just $500 from Freedom Alliance:

While serving in Baghdad Iraq, SM was hit with an IED blast. Sustained disfigurement, blindness, and superficial burns on face, hearing loss to right ear, TBI, peppered shrapnel to the face and right upper extremity.

And then, there are the 2008 Freedom Alliance tax forms, which were signed in November 2009 and filed only recently.  That year, Freedom Alliance took in $8,781,431 in revenue and gave $1,060,275.57 total–or just 12%–to seriously wounded soldiers and for scholarships to kids of the fallen.  Remember, this is well below the 75% required to be considered a legitimate charity.  And after claiming in written letters to donors that 100% of the money donated, via the Freedom Concerts or otherwise, to the scholarships would go directly to the scholarships and not to expenses, the Freedom Alliance decided to do the contrary and charge expenses anyway–charging a whopping $436,386 to give out $802,250 in scholarships.  That means that 35% of the $1,238,636–all of which was supposed to go to scholarships for these kids of the fallen–went to Freedom Alliance.

Freedom Alliance spent $5,375,654–or 61% of its total revenue earned in 2008–on expenses, but actually 80% of the total revenue spent and given out for that year.  That includes $1,055,791 spent on postage and $925,392 on printing.  It spent $157,041 on travel.  Is this the item that includes the money for the alleged Sean Hannity Gulfstream flights?  Like I said, neither the charity nor Hannity will answer questions.

Meanwhile, 167 students got an average of just $4,803.89 each in tuition.  With the amount this charity raises, these kids should all be getting a free ride paid for by Freedom Alliance.

And 299 very seriously injured soldiers got an average of just $805.21 each for very grave injuries.  And the heartbreak of their stories and the disgustingly low amount donated to them continues.  This soldier, from Laurel, MD, got just $1,000:

SM lost both legs and one arm, below elbow, due to IED blast.  SM also lost hearing in both ears on April 21, 2008.

Wow, while Sean Hannity and his friends at Freedom Alliance are paying their crony consultants hundreds of thousands of dollars, they’re giving this soldier $200 per limb lost or rendered useless.

This soldier, from Fort Sam Houston, Texas (where my own father was first sent when he was drafted during Vietnam), fared even worse in Freedom Alliance’s “generosity,” receiving only $165:

SM is a bilateral amputee with 30% facial burns sustained during IED blast, 31 May 2008, OEF.

Just $165 for that?  Pathetic.  And so very tragic.

Since Sean Hannity is always bragging about his phony “investigations” (stuff he just rips off from others) and “investigative” skills, you’d think he could figure out how to read a tax return and bother to look at Freedom Alliance’s.  But you would be wrong.  He has neither the skills nor the desire.  He knows better and is well aware that they waste money on him and his luxe accommodations and travel.  But this isn’t about that or truly about helping the troops and the kids of our war dead.  It’s about promoting himself, the same way Angelina Jolie and Madonna get the press to film them in Africa.

To make matters worse, Hannity deliberately lied to his radio audience about how much money was going to the kids of the fallen American soldiers.  On May 28th of last year, Hannity told his listeners, “Our new sponsor, Boca Java, just pledged $30,000 to the Freedom Concerts.  That will provide a full one-year college scholarship for a kid of a fallen soldier.”  In fact, Freedom Alliance’s tax forms indicate it has never given any student more than $6,000 in a school year, and usually it’s been far less.  Many students only get $1,000, which will barely cover anything at most colleges, today.  A Boca Java spokeswoman told me that last year was the coffee purveyor’s last one sponsoring the Freedom Concerts, as it now donates directly to the troops, sending them free coffee and through sales of its Brew of Bravery.

A friend of mine was one of the artists who performed in Hannity’s Freedom Concerts and was shocked when I showed him the tax forms and the expenses.  He no longer performs at the concerts because he was tired of the egomania.  Now, he’s just angry.  “We paid our own way and for all of our costs and expenses to perform because we thought we were helping the troops and their families and that all the money was going to them.”

In investigating Freedom Alliance and its tax forms, I learned that the organizations which evaluate charities are entirely worthless.  Freedom Alliance is certified as “Best in America” by the “Independent Charities of America.”  It is also rated a “Four Star Charity” by “Charity Navigator.”  Both of these “ratings” are posted prominently on Freedom Alliance’s website, misleading donors into believing they are donating to a worthy cause, when in fact they are mostly donating to a black hole of expenses.  Even Charity Navigator notes in its strange, illogical, and mostly inaccurate Four Star rating that Freedom Alliance has a fund-raising “efficiency” of only nine cents on the dollar.  And, in fact, Charity Navigator’s ridiculous rating formula robotically crunches numbers in a way that considers the money spent mostly on consultants, postage, and printing as having gone to the wounded soldiers and kids of fallen soldiers, when in fact that’s not where it went at all.  It simply can’t be taken seriously.

And I’m not the only one who noticed.  The comments on Charity Navigator’s Freedom Alliance page are indicative that those who checked this charity’s tax forms also note the scam.

“Wonkling” wrote:

If you look at the actual 990, it breaks down its program expenses. They actually spent more money this past year on postage than they did over the past 4 years on scholarships. They paid 60k to an air company, millions to consultants, marketing, fundraising. Their actual expenditures on funds for children of killed/disabled veterans is far less than what they paid themselves or their consultants. Having a large capacity (4 stars) should not overshadow a cumbersome efficiency rating (2 stars).

“Chickenbone” wrote:

Since 2003 Freedom Alliance has collected in cash $48,241,571! Since 2003 they have spent on the Wounded and Dead Veterans and their Families $1,781,782 or .036 cents on the dollar, according to their own IRS 990’s!

Yes, Sean Hannity’s Freedom Concerts are just a giant con.  His gushing lumpenconservatariat fans and listeners actually believe he’s doing good, while he travels in style around the country feeding his ego.  It’s a win-win for him.  But it’s a lose-lose for the donors (who are mostly hard-working, Middle Americans who want to help our troops and their families and bought concert tickets and held other fundraisers) and mostly a loser for the kids of the fallen troops and the troops, themselves, who survived with very serious injuries.

You’ve heard the saying, “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”  I love patriotism, but in this case, Sean Hannity’s “Freedom Concerts” and the Freedom Alliance are Exhibit A of that saying.  But they’re not really patriots.  Not even close.  Their only patriotism is to the faces they see in their mirrors.  Hey, Sean, you’re a “Great American.”

Sadly, the real great Americans–the ones who gave their lives and the ones who survived but gave their limbs and their skin for this country–are getting ripped off.

****  UPDATE, 03/18/10:  Just as I expected, the liars and frauds at Freedom Alliance want to keep the gravy train going for them and their cronies.  So they’ve issued a “response,” which doesn’t refute a single fact in here and frankly provides no hard evidence of anything . . . because they don’t have any. One of the “prominent bloggers” who posted the phony response is Erick Erickson, a guy who supports Rand Paul and the other 9/11 Truther Paul, and who defended Emily, Zanotti, the lunatic who has been stalking me for four years and who praised Muslim death, rape, and torture threats against me and my family.  Yes, sadly, there are a growing number of anti-Semites on the right, and Erick Erickson is one of them.  And the anti-Semites are now the defenders of this rip off of our seriously wounded troops and the kids of our fallen heroes.

Here is my response to their extremely weak PR attempt at CYA:

In fact, the Freedom Alliance “response” doesn’t answer any of the questions I raised and goes on to lie more. They don’t address why they gave a triple amputee only $200—and in fact there are many of these examples provided in their tax return addendum, but I only cited a few for brevity’s sake. They also lie and claim that they gave a lot more money to charity b/c they categorize it as “program expenses.” But I’m sorry—calling $3 million in consulting fees, printing, and postage “program expenses” doesn’t change the fact that it still went to their cronies, not to a fund and not the soldiers who only got on average less than $900 apiece. It also doesn’t change the fact that out of the money spent (I didn’t use the money they claim they raised for their scholarship fund) the vast majority goes to those kinds of expenses.

Also, the “scholarship fund” is really a war chest for something else. We’ve been at war since 2001, when we went into Afghanistan, and we’re winding down in Iraq. Unless the kids were born in 2001 or thereafter, many of these kids are in college now and Freedom Alliance is giving them a pittance toward their college tuition, while they continue to build this massive war chest. With a giant multi-million dollar fund, why aren’t they giving the kids a free, complete ride to college? And how many kids of deceased troops will there be in the future? Enough to exhaust a multi-million dollar fund? Doubtful.

Moreover, because they hoarded millions of dollars, their returns show the fund shrunk by several million dollars with bad investments and market losses. That money could have put these kids through college for the entire time. What’s their excuse for the soldiers with no limbs and with severe burns? Are they waiting for two decades from now when technology is better? $165 for a soldier who is blind and his face blew up? No excuse for that. Their “response” is simply a non-response and an attempt to cover up the fraud. I will be posting more on this and on more fraud at Freedom Alliance, in the coming days. Stay tuned.
DS

Short URL: http://www.veteranstoday.com/?p=22369

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Posted by on Mar 19 2010, With 0 Reads, Filed under Vet News, Veteran Service Organizations. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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96 Comments for “DEBBIE SCHLUSSEL: HANNITY/NORTH SCAM TROOPS WITH “FREEDOM ALLIANCE””

  1. For we have all known for years that Hannity is a thug. Now we know why.

  2. It’s pretty simple to check the data, unfiltered, for yourself. American charitable organizations are required to file form 990-PF with the IRS. These are publicly available through a number of resources, but the easiest to use is Guidestar (google or bing it to find the link – registration is free and fast, then use Guidestar to search for Freedom Alliance).

    What you will see: in 2008, Freedom Alliance reported revenue of $8.78 million, and awarded 167 scholarships totalling $802,250.

    Where did the other NINETY PERCENT of money raised go? Well, Freedom Alliance spent about a million dollars on just postage in 2008. Plus about 3 million dollars to direct-mail consultants for fundraising.

  3. Yes, Israel pulled 9/11 with sayanim like Frum holding Bush’s hand. We’ve been Neoconned. All Jews out of DC …. NOW. Tel Aviv, flattened…NOW

    Wake up idiots. These Jews are robbing us blind through their Federal Reserve System. Destroying our schools and culture with their multiethnic policies.

    It is still hard to believe Americans just don’t get it. The Bolsheviks, the Holohhoax….snap out of your stupors and smell the coffee

  4. If what Debbie Schlussel writes can be supported by ONLY 10% of evidence, Hannity and consort should rot in prison for the rest of their life.
    This is even worse than anyone can imagine. The soldiers risk the ONLY asset nobody ever can give them back (their life) or are maimed for the rest of it, and some jerks device a SCAM to cash on their sacrifices, the needs of the wounded-disabled and of the relatives of the fallen…
    These guys ought to be prosecuted and condemned to lifetime in jail. Crimes like this should raise a nationwide outrage and all citizens should join to finance lawyers to proceed in court against the Scammers.

  5. Can you post an example of Schlussel’s investigative report on a liberal…for fair and balanced news?

    • Joe,
      The odd thing about Debbie is that she is famous for being very right wing/neocon/Zionist…all that Bush/Cheney stuff. She is a them. She certainly isn’t a liberal.

      g

  6. Send these Freedom Alliance tax forms to the IRS and FBI to be investigated immediately. We cannot let these men continue to use our wounded warriors and heroes in this manner. We either stand for something, or fall for anything.

  7. John in St. Louis

    Let’s examine the recent Hannity track record:

    Lied about being “waterboarded for the troops.”

    Used false video to make a rally look larger. Jon Stewart exposed him. And Hannity blamed some poor producer for the mistake.

    Hannity flat out lied about “Bush never golfed” while HE was President. That was soundly proven wrong.

    Anything else?

  8. How much have YOU given Deb? This is terrific, one zionist shill exposing another zionist shill. Guess Sean Calamity cannot expect the same cover as others in la kosher nostra, as he is not a chosenite tribe member. What balderdash!

  9. “Hannity scams Troops families” is my title of my mass emailing of the story of the SCAM and link. I would take zero chance of spending any money anywhere near Hannity and North.

  10. Debbie Schlussel is a scam artist – she has been fired from several news organizatioins for her unethical behavior. People who have interacted with her in Michigan and DC describe her as a “lunatic” and “crazy”. Veterans Today should immediately pull her slanderous piece down. I’ve heard that several lawsuits against Schlussel are already brewing over this…..

    • Becky,

      Debbie has been controversial and our publication has come up against her on occasion. However, as Sean Hannity has the massive power of Israeli owned News Corp behind him and supports policies that endanger our troops (as I see it) but has involved himself in a “charity” supporting troops, he should be given every opportunity to “come clean.”

      Thus far his answers, from an accounting standpoint are inadequate.

      gordon
      Senior Editor

      • Wow. You have just made a stunning admission as an “editor” – you have problems with Debbie’s “journalism”, but still run it front page because it beats up someone whose policies you disagree with.

        I originally thought you were a good source for fact-based arguments and discussions about issues that deserve heavy consideration and legitimate debate. Now just seems like you are a forum for hateful speech. Here’s one fact to consider: I, and my USN husband, will no longer read your rag. You’ve shown that you’re just blabbering hate speech. And, one more note: if you really care about exposing Hannity or anyone else, why make a yellow journalist like Debbie carry your water? Wny not launch a legit, real investigative story about him and Freedom Alliance yourself? Why? Becuase you can’t – you’re no journalist – just a bitter veteran with an axe to grind. And you’re too much of a coward to write something original because you know you will get sued for slander. Better to let a single, lone outsider nut like Schlussel hang alone when she is sued – right? You are high and mighty and get to continue on your way unscathed as she faces inevitable bankruptcy if her story turns out to be false. Too bad, Was so hoping you were different from the Schussel ilk. But you are worse – your publication is a sewage pit for yellow journalism and you have become a coward.

        • Becky,

          The chances of a Hannity fan reading VT is about one in a million. You know what this makes you. Pass this on to your imaginary USN hubby. You can’t be a Hannity fan and a decent American. He and Fox have been at odds with the vital interests of our country all along. Any decent patriotic American knows this.

          g

  11. How do we get the IRS to audit Hannity’s income,perks & all other trappings of
    percentages from this concert series ? It sounds to me like the accountants have been cooking the books for this non-profit outfit for a few years now.
    Operating expenses ? Private jets for family & entourage and luxury suites in expensive hotels are exactly what I would expect from frauds like Hannity.

  12. Are you familiar with how Endowment Funds (the typical form of investment fund used to support scholarships) work?

    Firstly – i’m Canadian… and quite left of either your Democrats or your Republicans, but more importantly, I work in the Charitable sector. If you want to ensure that funds can be available for its charitable purpose, well into the future, you don’t distribute capital. Instead, you invest it in an “endowment fund” and you accumulate large amounts of money and then distribute the interest for your charitable fund.

    You may or may not distribute some portions of the original investment amount and try to continue raising funds to replace (or increase) the endowment investment. In Canada (and I believe the USA) there are minimum requirements – but some charities may choose to disburse more or less of the capital.

    Unless you’ve seen a detailed accounting of their expenses and these funds, I think you may well be making some poor assumptions and false accusations.

    I don’t know who is right or wrong here, but I do know that you’ve jumped the gun on this. You should’ve done much more investigation to review the specific details of these funds and their accounting.

  13. Jeeves

    Very poor attempt at sounding reasonable. You are obviously a neo-con extremist and Zionist. Learn to write better if you are going to attempt to use cheap propaganda tactics. Fox News fans don’t usually have good reading or writing skills….the bar is set rather low for them.

    g

    • Sir: Why cheapen your debate points with groupthink name calling. You’re like the little Wizard of Oz on your stool, typing madly and shouting into your boom box behind the curtain…and then the name calling pulls the curtain back and the Wizard is a Wee-little-zard afterall. Mocking and name calling is very junior high. Get over it and debate like a man/woman.

  14. longwalksinparis.blogspot.com

    This is what happens when you start to equate political beliefs with patriotism. Rightwingers are some of the best con men I know.

  15. This is not just sickening and immoral, but very harmful as it can undermine our trust in all charities at a time when public generosity is most needed. Simply put, this is fraud and should be punishable by law. There needs to be a thorough investigation of Freedom Alliance as well as of Mr Hannity’s role in this (alleged) scam. There’s something particularly reprehensible about taking advantage of men and women who have sacrificed so much for our country.

  16. Isn’t North a convicted felon?

    Isn’t he only out of jail because of a technicality? Didn’t part of that involve taking bribes? Isn’t he also facing drug charges in Costa Rica? Isn’t it true that the group that kept North out of jail was the ACLU, a group he constantly insults on the radio?

    You have to love this guy.

    g

  17. http://www.frumforum.com/

    Schussel totally debunked.

    • Is this the David Frum that is accused of taking part in the 9/11 coverup? Wasn’t it Frum that inflated the number of Israeli citizens who were said to have died in 9/11? Without Frum, the “truther” groups wouldn’t have as much reason to suspect Israel for complicity. His work as a Bush speechwriter and the purposeful misconceptions…ok…lies…didn’t adequately cover exactly how many companies moved out of the WTC and how many people were mysteriously absent.

      I was surprised to learn that the also “debunked” idea that “Jews were warned of 9/11 attacks” isn’t so debunked anymore.

      Maybe this Frum debunking isn’t so good either.

      We should ask him.

      g

  18. Anna,
    The accounting your are using has no CPA signature. I know much of both, Hannity and Schussel. I don’t care for either. However, I know enough of Hannity and North to warrant that this charity not be donated to.

    The 16m withheld is insane. The accounting is insane. These are people who have wealth beyond imagination, all made at the cost of others now taking more.

    g

  19. take a look at the 2008 990 form.
    http://www.freedomalliance.org/images/pdf_and_largepics/2008_990.pdf

    page 11 line 28 temporarily restricted net assets of $15 million+ dollars.

    this is their scholarship trust fund, nobody is stealing money. the money has been set aside so it will be there when the young children of these wounded soldiers get old enough they will qualify for grants, when they are ready for college. its a 20 year program so of course it makes sense to build up a fund now so the money will be there.

    now if i could figure this out on my own using nothing but research from a freely available website, why couldnt this woman?

  20. two things this article fails to disclose.

    1. Freedom Alliance has accumulated a $15 million dollar scholarship trust fund that will be used for the next 20 years to fund scholarships. you would never know this fund existed if you just went on this article.

    2. scholarships are not the charity’s only program, they also send thousands of care packages to troops overseas, thus the high cost of shipping.

    these accusations of wrong doing are 100% false and i suggest people do their own research into this.

    http://www.freedomalliance.org/

    • If I were to tell you that the sky was green and you used my web site as your reference to prove it, I’d accept your donations! I haven’t looked at any documents and have only today looked at this site. I am a veteran and an independent politically. I can make anything look good or bad, just make a point of what you want to “prove” and down-play what you don’t. I think the IRS documents are the best thing we have to go on right now until an actual audit is conducted and the results made public.

  21. I don’t believe your crock of shit lies for one minute lady- nice try- you are sick for going after people that give not only their time but as well their services to help the most hurt people in the world which are the children that suffer over a loss of a parent or that is wounded in war to protect freedom and democracy & unfortunatley for loser liars like you that make false claims to get hits on their blogs…. lady you need to get on your knees & pray for forgiveness cause you crossed the line- did you ever! You are a LIAR & no good in my book! Thanks for letting me express my opinions of your garbage acusations concerning of all people- Sean Hannity & the true heros of the United States of America such as our military – You know my hubby just returned from Iraq & The Hannity gang were nothing but helpful to me & my children while he was away they made my tuff life & his a little easier so if you want to bash people I would surely step the f- back off him cause you are fighting a losing battle! Michelle Cale

    • Michelle,

      Good to hear from you. Please tell me what Hannity and the gang did for you and your children while your husband was in Iraq. This sounds very curious. I would like to see any record of military service you have for Sean Hannity. Calling him a hero must make your husband seem awfully insignificant. As a veteran, I find the idea of you calling someone a hero who has never served their country offensive.

      I suspect I can compare service records with Hannity or even your hubby any day.

      Easily.

      g

    • I suspect Michelle hasn’t been within a 1000 miles of any war and likely isn’t even married, much less to a soldier. These shills like Michelle can be spotted very easily from the way they attack certain subjects but totally ignore much more compelling problems.

    • Over three and a half cents per dollar goes to our wounded troops and their’s and the fallen’s children’s education. What is wrong with you? Can’t anybody be grateful anymore?

  22. Wake UP and start too think for yourself.Hannity and the fake news show laugh at people like you.

  23. Sorry Jamestee, Debbie is to the right of Hannity.

  24. Gordon,

    I don’t have any dispute with the characterization of how poorly run this charity is. I do, however, have a big problem with your statement, “Anyone who would call someone who has never done a day in the defense of his country a “selfless patriot” is simply full of shit.” Like you, I am a retired veteran and am very proud of my service and the service of all my fellow vets. However, I think the suggestion that you can’t be a patriot unless you were in the military is ridiculous and arrogant. By your account, any disabled person not physically qualified for service can’t be a patriot. Before integration and the inclusion of women in the military, no minority could be a patriot. Does that sound right to you?

    • Justin,

      When I attack a paid liar who never served his country for portraying himself as a patriot, a liar paid by Israel, a country currently “screwing” the US 24 hours a day and you try to tie this to women and minorities, it gives me thought. Your comment is an insult to every person who has served in the military, fought for their country and sacrified themselves for real freedoms, not an extremist blowhard and liar who serves the rich, serves our enemies and does so for millions of dollars a year.

      If Debbie is right, and stealing from veterans isn’t out of character for Sean Hannity, he deserves life in prison and I will do everything I can to see he gets it.

      g
      Senior Editor
      http://www.veteranstoday.com

    • Gordon didn’t say anything about minorities. Where did that come from? You got a problem with minorities?

      Kevin Nedd
      USCGA Class of ’84

  25. Have you ever heard the expression, “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth?” You’re complaining that students who wouldn’t have gotten $800,000 in scholarships at all had it not been for the Freedom Alliance should have gotten more? This charity is GIVING people money they wouldn’t have had otherwise, and you’re telling them it’s not enough? We all abhor the travesty of war. And yes, charities should be run efficiently. But it’s a CHARITY, it is not an entitlement program.

    Speaking of charities, my tax dollars are being treated like a charity. When you add up all the costs of the bribes and pay-offs that the Democrats are shelling out from the taxpayers’ pockets to pass a bill opposed by over 56% of the people, what’s the cost of the tax funded charity that probably will be passed to provide coverage for a very small percentage of uninsured? We’d be better off just paying for everyone’s trip to the emergency room.

    • I have a deed to the Brooklyn Bridge I’d like to sell you- $50 it’s yours. You can charge people tolls and make a lot of money!

      I guess your too slow to realize what’s going on so you probably need some help. The charity is NOT A CHARITY. It’s a scam! They are tricking people into donating money to them so they can skim it all as “consulting fees” and enrich themselves. As long as idiots like you exist, they can give some token money out and be looked upon as heroes at best or at worst just some disorganized charity trying really hard to make a difference but gosh dern one of these days they’ll get it right. Pull your head out. I really need to start a neo-con charity. These people are right for the pluckin’.

    • Pat,

      I think North and Hannity should pay all the expenses for the charity themselves. The accounting looks like money is simply flying away. You seem to have a warm spot for criminals.

      You must be a republican.

      g

      • Gordon,

        I also think Hannity should pay for all the expenses, but have you actually examined the accounting? Are you a CPA? Reread my statement. I wasn’t defending the charity or the people that run it. I was commenting on the entitlement attitude of people who receive funds from donors (talking about the generous donors, not the charity itself) and then say, “Why didn’t I get more?”

        I am not stupid, nor do I stoop to name calling when I disagree with someone. However, I make make an exception for you.

        • Pat
          Frankly, I don’t like any of these folks. Whenever a question comes up on a military charity…so many are ripoffs….we advocate full open accounting. No, not a CPA but do have an MBA and worked for years in banking.
          I know a tax form is useless…but so is accounting without a CPA signing the P and L.

          There are some strong questions to answer according to the accounting they do give.

          g

  26. Thanks Debbie. It isn’t often that both sides agree but I think we all agree this is low. Thanks again.

  27. Reviewing the 2006 Form 990 I notice on page 6, Part VI, Line 8b that Freedom Alliance lists Team America as a related organization. On 990 Schedule A, Part IIA payments are listed to Richard Norman Co. at 44084 Riverside Pkwy, Ste 350, Landsdowne VA.

    I googled Team America and came up with Team America PAC, a Tom Tancredo outfit, and all that relationship implies. On that site’s page 1 under the listing for Vickie Norman, VP there is the entry: Robertson Mailing List Co, 4084 Riverside Pkwy, Ste 350, Landsdowne VA (note one digit address difference). On page 2 under the heading “12 Month Usage” is listed Freedom Alliance.

    Perhaps the only connection is the purchase/use of a mailing list. Just a couple of interesting bits of information.

  28. Brad,

    You do know that Debbie is well to the right of Hannity? You don’t seem to keep up with such things.

    g

  29. I am so ashamed of Mr. Hannity and Mr. North. How can they look themselves in the mirror or sleep at night?

    These honorable young men and women risked their very lives for our freedom and they are being used as a ‘gravytrain’ for Mr. Hannity and North.

    At first I didn’t believe your story, but I read the documents and now am just so very, very saddened (and angry)that our brave and injured heroes are being used as pawns.

    Sigh—how could Mr. Hannity stoop this low? I’ve watched him for 2 yrs now and believed he truly cared. I feel like such a fool.

  30. Just totally AWESOME reporting. Thanks SO much Debbie, for exposing this Hannity & cronies awfulness, greed, lies & hypocrisy. ANY help you need, please call on me.
    I am sooo utterly disgusted by the powers that be, I have to do something to fight against it.

    DLH, Esq.

  31. This is shameful and the IRS should get our money back and give it to who we thought it was going to. How disgusting this is. Doesn’t he have enough money already? He needs to dip into this charity to be treated like royalty. You are no great american sean hannity. You are a scumbag thief.

  32. Go read the tax returns, Mr. Edgren. The “Program Activities” are full of expenses, and very little actual payouts to charity. On page 25, it shows that in 2008, the fund donated 800K in scholarships and 266K in cash assistance. That seems pretty paltry when compared to revenue of almost 9 million. And why is the alliance sitting on 16 million dollars in securities investments? When we donate our money, we want it to be used for the purpose for which it was solicited. Not to sit in a Goldman Sachs account.

    • Freedom Alliance has a $15 million dollar scholarship trust fund that this article makes no mention of. also, scholarships are not this charity’s only program.

      Freedom Alliance sends out thousand of care packages to soldiers overseas, this explains all the money that goes to shipping but you would never know that reading this article.

      http://www.freedomalliance.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2355&Itemid=22

      The “Gifts From Home” shipments include hand-held games, toiletries, wet wipes, pre-paid international long distance calling cards, DVD movies, candy, magazines, books, non-perishable treats and so much more. We also include cards and letters from Americans all across the country who have written a note to our troops.

  33. Looking at the HUGE phony expenses under the headings of Travel, postage and shipping, Consultancy and so called business expenses, it looks like that this was a HUGE scam by Ollie North and Hannity. A complete audit will likely show that money was being siphoned by these crooks through phony shell companies which were being paid under different expense heads.
    A total of more that 49 million was collected by Crook Hannity and criminal North under this Freedom Alliance Concerts and less that 10% has actually been paid to the troops and their families. These criminals who emotionally blackmail hard working Americans to part from their money under the garb of helping our brave soldiers need to be dealt with very harshly by our public and law enforcement agencies and should be locked up for the rest of their life. FOX NEWS and CLEAR CHANNEL should immediately take Hannity off air and let law enforcement do its job.

    • Pleasesayitaintso

      Palin is doing the same, she spent donations from people looking for change to purchase her own book. Now how right is that?

      I wouldn’t buy anything sold by those on the Fox Channel, who’s only goal is to exploit the working man, so that they can become richer.

  34. I guess Hannity will be given the same pass Limbaugh did with his drug use. I really despise you Conservative wackos…

    S.3081 – Enemy Belligerent, Interrogation, Detention and Prosecution Act of 2010 proposed by Senators Lieberman and McCain “…removes the right to trial for American Citizens and gives government the AUTHORITY to detain Americans INDEFINITELY for SUSPECTED TERRORIST ACTIVITY…”
    WHAT?

    The really IMPORTANT thing about this Act is just WHO defines SUSPECTED ACTIVITY? I’m sure the CRIMINALS and CONS who oversaw the most recent economic meltdown (or what I like to call greatest looting of a nation’s wealth and resources in the history of mankind) FEEL THREATENED by those who would CALL for JUSTICE. Republicans know DEMANDS for ethics, responsibility and accountability are going to come down HARD on them. Especially McCain/Lieberman who’ve been covering up Banking/Financial/Wall St SCANDALS since the 80’s. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what comes next…

    Like wealthy Aristocrats have been saying all through history: “We can hire half the POOR PEOPLE to get rid of the rest, especially the boat-rockers”. So LAW ENFORCEMENT will be protecting those who ravaged and expatriated most of our nation’s wealth and resources from punishment for their crimes… It’s like these GOP elitists are telling Americans to “EAT CAKE”.

    If Republicans take back Congress there’s definitely going to be some kind of revolution not long after. The Concerned Citizens of America have seen the light…

    I’m going to make sure future generation know about dolts who vote Republican Party so THEY don‘t make the mistakes. Republicans/Conservatives have PROVEN THEMSELVES to be the worst kind of human beings. And suckers too, these so-called great Americans allowed themselves to be LIED TO over and over. Paranoia, misinformation, fear mongering, racism, hypocrisy and hysteria on a level not seen since the McCarthy Era.

    Conservative wackos are NOT well-informed or smart enough to recognize the CON… these right-wing reactionaries got PLAYED FOR FOOLS, bigtime! Bush/Cheney, NEED I SAY MORE? SO WHY SHOULD ANY AMERICAN CITIZEN TRUST THEM NOW?

    THE PLEDGE:
    I’m going to shout IT from the hills and preach IT in the valleys. I’ll post IT on the message boards, tell IT in chat rooms and tweet IT on Twitter. Cold call, register voters, circulate petitions… I’ll get up on the soapbox and speak to ANYONE who wants to LISTEN! I’ll organize MASSIVE letter/email writing campaigns to CONCERNED CITIZENS everywhere. You LOVE the USA? Then the ONLY reasonable, rational, common sense thing to do is GET RID OF REPUBLICAN PARTY. Kick the vain, corrupt, lying silver spoon ******’s down to 3rd Party status… You Republicans are NOT even a political party anymore… MORE LIKE A CULT!
    AMEN
    lol

    Here’s an example to make my point obvious:
    consciousmc.blogspot.com

    • I cancelled the reply to this narrow minded bias clown. You are as sick as the group you are bitching about.. The ONLY thing you say with any cense is the news media is a pitiful source of what we need for information.
      You want your revolution ? Lets make it with three factions… 1 – Democrats 2 – Republicans and Real Americans 3 – Constitutionalist … there is no doubt in my mind the radicals of the D’s & R’s will lose …..

      • My first response was meant for SPO101, I think Hannity does need to respond with some true documented facts.

  35. Gordon (as we’re on a first name basis, I guess)

    [q]End of story.[/q]

    Well, certainly, as long as you can delete posts like mine that attempt to show that the other side has something to say about this as well. Like I said, someone here is wrong. Removing the detailed Freedom Alliance response, whether it’s complete or not, from this thread does not promote the discussion. Folks should be able to read what both sides have to say for themselves, then make up their minds- apparently not here, though.

    D. Edgren

    • Pleasesayitaintso

      Why would we to read their spins, when we can see for ourselves their tax forms?

      No, what we want to know is when will they man-up and give back the money to those that rightfully deserved.

    • David,

      At least you don’t have a phony email address. However, do become familiar with terms of service.

      g

    • I have never run into anyone from Wasilla, Alaska before. Curious.

      g

  36. David,

    This is not an audited accounting. The term “program activities” is not an accounting term and needs to be broken down for us to see. In fact, it sounds extremely fishy. I had heard about problems here long before Debbie broke this. Anyone who would call someone who has never done a day in the defense of his country a “selfless patriot” is simply full of shit.

    End of story.

    g

    • Phony accounting when placed next to tax filings isn’t going to fly. Hannity gets hours a week of TV and the multi-billion dollar News Corp to lie for him. North, himself, is a convicted felon.

      g

      • Yup…Brad…you are partically right. However, charities have a different form of accounting that they know they have to present to be certified, not a P and L.

        Instead..they tried bullshitting their way thru.

        The best doc is the tax form until they turn in something a bit better…like audited accounting.

        Without the signature of a CPA, an audit is worthless…a fabrication. They gave us fabricated documents.

        g

  37. “Who do you think, folks, is telling the truth?”

    No. I checked out the docs that Debbie provided along with the 909’s. Hannity is lying.

    • Pleasesayitaintso

      We should stand as a people and not allow Sean Hannity, Oliver North and the Freedom Alliance to spin with the help of Fox News, to get away with this betrayal.

      So tired of their lies and mad enough to spit knowing these rich chumps took money from those that have fought (with many injured and dying) for our country!

  38. But will Fox choose to distance itself from this schiester and cancel his show? Will Ollie North choose to condemn this crook or is he just as implicated?

    Where is the IRS in all of this investigating donations converted for personal use….

    Our soldiers took plenty of bullets…..Hopefully there’s a bullet out there with Hannity’s name on it….His just rewards…..

  39. John in St. Louis

    Hannity has been proven a shameless liar over the years. So, I can’t say I’m surprised by this. If the crime is true and he’s found guilty, may he rot in prison.

    John Molina
    O’Fallon, IL
    Retired USAF – 1993

  40. the sickening part of this story is how vannity and fixed news will probably completely ignore the story. if they do acknowledge it they will attack the messenger and steal a play book right from pelosi. debbie has done great work and attacks anyone whether conservative or liberal who needs to be attacked or actually investigated. i lost all respect for talk radio and main stream right wing web sites after the four cops in tacoma wa were killed. i live a few miles from there and it was all because the shooter was paroled by mike huckabee. main stream conservatives bent over backwards to defend huckabphony it was disgusting. debbie is going to need our support because she is going up against a gigantic monster. she is very brave and has a lot of courage.

  41. Thank you for this. And I hope the harrassment doesn’t get any worse for you after going public with this! Keep this story out there! I hate to say it, but I have always suspected Mr. Hannity of having some sort of dark side I couldn’t put my finger on… as a wavering Republican, I have tried to like him but have never fully trusted him, or his reporting. This story is a real shame, and every single American could help support our veterans by calling our local veterans’ organizations and making donations or asking to volunteer. It’s small, but it’s something. Thank you again.

  42. Debbie,

    Thank you so much for uncovering and exposing the truth. Sean Hannity has no honor so all this is not surprising.

    Kevin M. Nedd
    USCGA Class or ’84

    “He who lives here reveres honor, honors duty.”

  43. I am shocked that Hannity would take money intended for veterans children and spent it on fancy private transportation for he and his family. I used to watch his show every nite – – never again.

  44. jesse at ft. richardson, ak

    Thank you Debbie for bringing this story to light. They just had a segment on your reporting on MSNBC.

    You are truly a hero!

  45. If true, this is truly sickening & needs to be investigated.

  46. Pleasesayitaintso

    Shame on you Sean Hannity, Oliver North and the Freedom Alliance for proving the fact that if a man lies, so will he cheat, what schemers !!!

    Bet that they will continue to lie and not repay a dime.

    • Pleasesayitaintso

      I also question the motives and relations of WorldNetDaily, that has post a rebuttal (http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=129553) defending Hannity and the bunch, but doesn’t allow comment from their article.

      Media Matters and Political as well. Debbie if give the time, perhaps you can determine the link between the three above FoxNews, Sean Hannity, Oliver North and the Freedom Alliance.

      If we are to survive as a Country, we must learn the identity of the group(s) developing the lies, reject them and prosecute when there is merit. I am so tired of liars!

      • Worldnet Daily is a front publication for Hannity and his group and is, thus, not credible. It has been shown to be inaccurate and highly biased by media watchdog groups. It is not a news source but is a publication financed by political lobbyists.

        g

    • Gee if true then I’ve been scammed since I bought tickets to this event. But I have to ask, where has this investigative effort been for things like ACORN, SEIU? If this is true, Hannity will go down in flames. But if you don’t focus attention on ACORN, which is taking tax money, then you appear to be nothing more than a political hack out to get conservatives.

      • Acorn was investigated multiple times. It was found that nothing illegal was done. Furthermore its been proven that James O’Keefe manipulated and edited his “undercover” videos to try and make Acorn look like criminals, when in fact they didn’t do anything wrong.

        A federal judge ruled last week that Acorn had been cleared of any wrongdoing and that their funding must be restored. Enjoy!

        • Acorn was clean and Hannity failed to apologize. That makes Hannity dirty.

          End of story.

          g

    • What kind of a man is vannity? Not much of one, that coward still hasn’t said one word about this scam. He can’t because hes wrong. He thinks his core audience will never hear about it which is probably true. You would think that a so called patriot would defend himself immediately against these type of charges. For all you wackos who think fox news is different than the rest how come not one major tv station or newspaper has reported on this story? There is twleve thousand hits on google about this and not one from nbc, cbs or abc, not one its all blogs. It just goes to show you that all these elite media personalities all sleep in the same pathetic bed.

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