RUSH: Let me translate all of this for you. It's very simple. Pelosi is out there flailing around with version 5.0 on torture and what she knew; when she knew it. You can't look at that as an isolated thing. You got Pelosi flailing around on torture; you got Obama doing a 180 on the interrogation photos, and now you've got Obama doing a 180 on detainees. We may keep 'em indefinitely and we may not try them. So Obama has employed the Bush policy. Can I translate all this for you? Very simple: Dick Cheney gets results.
Greetings, my friends, and welcome. It's the Rush Limbaugh program, this the EIB Network and the Limbaugh Institute for Advanced Conservative Studies.
The headlines tell the tale. Pelosi says she's not complicit version 5.0, Wall Street Journal and the New York Times: "Obama Considers Detaining Terror Suspects Indefinitely Without Trial." New York Times: "Unease Grows for Democrats Over Security." This story is about the left losing its will on Afghanistan. Jack Murtha saying, (paraphrasing) "We're still waiting for a plan here from President Obama." Chris Cillizza, DC Post: "The Left Rises up Against Obama," coming to grips with Obama not being the liberal hero people thought that he was. Of course, a little aside there, if this was such an overwhelmingly liberal nation, why is Obama making all of these changes from his campaign to governing? I'm going to get into that as the program unfolds, because there are answers to this. Then the next story, "Why doesn't Obama want us to see what's in the photos?" That's from McClatchy. And then this, the LA Times: "Democrats' Bill Would Bar Guantanamo Transfers to the United States"?
Dick Cheney gets results. This is why the Drive-By Media is begging and demanding and making fun of Cheney: shut up, Dick, shut up, go away, don't you understand you're hated? Don't you understand you have no credibility, Dick? Don't you understand you're destroying the Republican Party? Go away, Dick. They say the same thing to me. Dick Cheney gets results. This starts on Sunday. Here we are at Thursday. And the Bush policy on dealing with interrogations, and dealing with photos of interrogations and dealing with detainees is still in place. Dick Cheney gets results.
RUSH: Dick Cheney gets results. There's a headline in the Washington Post today, a story by Dan Balz, and I want to read the headline to you: "As Cheney Seizes Spotlight, Many Republicans Wince." Really? Looks to me like it's Pelosi and Obama who are the ones wincing. This headline needs to be rewritten: "As Cheney Seizes Spotlight, Many Democrats Wince." Let's get on with that news from the Wall Street Journal. "Obama Considers Detaining Terror Suspects Indefinitely -- The Obama administration is weighing plans to detain some terror suspects on US soil -- indefinitely and without trial -- as part of a plan to retool military commission trials that were conducted for prisoners held" at Club Gitmo.
"The administration's internal deliberations on how to deal with Guantanamo detainees are continuing, as the White House wrestles with how to fulfill the president's promise to shutter the controversial prison." Now, there are a lot of things happening here. Obama campaigned to shut down Gitmo and release the pictures. He apologized for America, and then all of a sudden gets into office, and says, "I'm going to close Gitmo January 2010," but they didn't figure out how. He didn't know how. They had to come up with a way to do it and so Eric Holder goes over to Germany and starts asking our allies, "Hey, we're going to get rid of some of these terrorists. We're going to keep some ourselves. How many would you take?"
And our allies said, "The hell with you! We're not taking any of them."
"Well," Holder says, "you wanted us to get rid of them to say you would love us again!"
"Well, yeah, but we don't want 'em here."
So they don't know what to do. So now they're going to have to hold them "indefinitely without trial." The American left is on fire today because this is the Bush policy, this detaining terrorists without trial! What is known is, by the Obama people now, these are deadly people. These are deadly, dangerous people. And they just can't release 'em. The rest of the world doesn't want them. Now, this is the story that I think Pelosi leaked. Rank-and-file Democrats "are growing uneasy over the Obama administration's national security policies." I think this is Pelosi fighting back, 'cause she knows she's in the crosshairs now. When Steny Hoyer went out there and said, "Oh, yeah! We need to have hearings on Pelosi. Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah!"
The Democrat infighting is on display now. This story is in the New York Times: "Congressional Democrats are voicing growing unease over the Obama administration''s national security policies, including the seemingly open-ended commitment in Afghanistan and the nettlesome question of what to do with prisoners held at" Club Gitmo. David Obey "said he would give the White House a year to demonstrate progress [in Afghanistan], just as he gave the Nixon administration a year to show progress in the Vietnam War inherited from the Johnson administration." I read that this morning -- well, actually I read that last night. I was up late doing show prep. David Obey from Wisconsin has been in Congress since the Vietnam War! He was sworn in in 1969! It's 2000. These people are there way too long. And he's saying, "Just as I gave Nixon a year, I'm going to give The Messiah a year and get his act straight in Afghanistan!"
I'm going to send David Obey a note, "How much time did you give Lincoln on the Civil War?" So anyway, the wheels are starting to come off here a little bit, because these were fundamental elements of Obama's identity during the campaign. These are the fundamental elements that attracted the left and emboldened them. Anti-American military: embarrass them, humiliate them, make them lose. Terrorists are the good guys! We shouldn't be capturing them. We are the reason they are terrorists. Now Obama is not releasing the pictures -- although that, folks, there's more to that than meets the eye, too. He could have done this with an executive order. Instead, he has decided to oppose it at the Second Circuit, and I'll guarantee you that his buddy, Greg Craig, is going to file a half-assed brief and that these pictures are going to come out in about a month.
RUSH: Back to this New York Times story: "Some liberal Democrats are expressing outright opposition to continuing the operations in Iraq or Afghanistan, and are planning to vote against the spending bill" to keep the operations going." Jack Murtha has a quote in this New York Times story: "We keep asking for a plan [from the administration]. I think the Democrats are nervous just because they haven't seen a plan yet." The Murtha quote in this is, to me, a further indication that this story is a Pelosi leak, fighting back against the administration. Now, here's Chris Cillizza. "The Left Rises Up Against Obama" is the headline. Here's one of the key pull quotes from Cillizza's piece in the Washington Post:
"To be clear: it's not immediately clear that liberals are abandoning the president in droves. Rather, as happens with almost every president, elements of the base are coming to grips with the idea that Obama may not be the liberal hero that people thought he was when he was first elected," and they're rising up over the photos; they're rising up over detainees being held without trials. They're rising up over expanding operations in Afghanistan. Tad Devine, a Democrat media consultant, says, "Politically, not reversing course could have had much worse consequences. I think it is the right move, and that makes it a smart move politically." So once again the Democrats talking about the photos here, and they're looking at all of this within a political context, and everybody is saying, "What happened? What happened to change Obama's mind?"
I'll give you a couple possibilities in just a couple seconds. But I want to make an objection. Cillizza's piece here, "The Left Rises Up Against Obama," "[E]lements of the base are coming to grips with the idea that Obama may not be the liberal hero that people thought he was when he was first elected..." If this was a 60% liberal nation, if all of this personal approval for Obama, this job approval, these 60% numbers, if all of it was based on liberalism and ideology, he wouldn't have a problem. He could do whatever he wanted to do here. I mean, we're being told that conservatism is dead and this is more evidence that it is not, and this is why I continue to implore people to start drawing contrasts between themselves, the Republican Party, and Barack Obama.
Now, as to these pictures, these 44 photos that the ACLU is just up in arms about and that Obama has decided not to release, there are a bunch of theories about this. One is, "Well, Rush, you know, he can't release them 'cause he's got this trip to Egypt coming up soon, and he doesn't want to inflame the people in that part of the world, and he doesn't want to make it any more dangerous for him when he goes over there." The other theory is that somebody (some adult somewhere) got to him and said, "Mr. President, you're not campaigning anymore. You yourself, Mr. President, pointed out when the photos of Abu Ghraib were released, how horrible this made America look and how at risk, at greater risk this put American soldiers on the battlefield, and that's why you wanted to bring 'em home and so forth. If you release these pictures, you are engaging in the same behavior you condemned."
That's another theory that's out there. The political theory is, "I gotta do this. I gotta be seen as protecting the troops! I mean, they're mine now. Afghanistan and Iraq are mine," and like I told you during the campaign: these people are not going to saddle themselves with defeat here, folks. They're not going to lose this when they're in charge. They're not going to lose in Iraq when they're in charge. They're not going to lose Afghanistan when they're in charge. Not on purpose. They may lose it, but they're not going to do it on purpose. They're not going to saddle themselves with defeat here. But the third answer, the third possibility is the one that I like the best. The miniature timeline of these photos is that the US Second Circuit Court of Appeals, in the midst of a lawsuit, ruled that these 44 pictures must be released.
When that happened a short time ago, the Eric Holder-led Justice Department did not object, and many people are asking, "Why the hell not? Why did the department not object?" And the reason for that is that the top leadership of the Department of Justice is nothing but a bunch of radical leftist ideologues. Holder didn't object -- and a lot of people start asking, "Why didn't these guys...?" You know, they represent the United States of America. Their client is the United States of America! That's who the Justice Department represents. They represent the government. That's their client, and they're not looking out for their best interests to have these pictures released.
So then Obama says he's thinking seriously about releasing the pictures, and the left goes (applauding), "Yay! Dude, way to go! Right on, right on, right on!" The adults in the country say, "No, this is not good. We're still on the battlefield, and these are not going to help our efforts in Afghanistan," and they point out to Obama, "You own them now." So what Obama did -- and this is classic Obama -- is Obama yesterday goes out... Let me get the sound bite on this, because it's later on in the roster. Grab, let's see, eight and nine. Let me see if we go to number ten. No, just eight and nine. Here's the first of two sound bites yesterday afternoon at a press conference, Obama talking to reporters about a flip-flop on the photos.
OBAMA: The publication of these photos would not add any additional benefit to our understanding of what was carried out in the past by a small number of individuals. In fact, the most direct consequence of releasing them, I believe, would be to further inflame anti-American opinion and to put our troops in greater danger.
RUSH: Now, that's an interesting statement, because the left -- you know, his base -- has anti-American opinion. They don't like this country. Obama's militant base doesn't like this country and they thought he was one of them. And he may be, but his own political survival and instincts are going to trump that. He owns Afghanistan. His base wants anything that will inflame anti-American opinion out there. They thought that was what he was about. So he still has to placate these people. Now, yesterday instead of doing this flip-flop -- here's the second sound bite, by the way.
OBAMA: Let me be clear. I am concerned about how the release of these photos would be, uhh, uhhh, uhh, -- would impact on the safety of our troops. Uh, I have made it very clear to all who are within the chain of command, however, uh, of the United States armed forces that the abuse of detainees in our custody is prohibited and will not be tolerated.
RUSH: Yada yada yada yada yada. Okay, so, what he did is he instructed the Justice Department to appeal the Second Circuit Court of Appeals decision to release the photos. He didn't have to go to the Justice Department. He could have issued an executive order. This is key. This is important to understand. The fact that he opposes the release of the photos means nothing, because all they have to do at the Justice Department -- let me tell you how these things work. His legal counsel is Greg Craig, the lawyer representing Fidel Castro and the father down there in Cuba in the Elian Gonzales story. All they have to do is write a pitiful brief. All they have to do is instruct the Justice Department lawyers or even Greg Craig himself, in their appeal, to write a half-assed brief.
When you write a half-assed brief, an incompetent brief, or one without passion, you're sending a signal to the judges that you don't care how they rule. So we'll see. If they file a half-assed brief on this and send a signal to the justices on the Supreme Court to uphold the Second Circuit, then the pictures will come out. I don't know how soon the appeal will be heard, but the bottom line here is that opposing the release. This is what's incredible. He says, "I oppose it!" He's acting like an innocent bystander here. He's acting like members of Congress after the subprime crisis: "Whoa, wha' happened? Well, we're not going to let this happen again! We're going to get whoever is responsible for this, and we're gonna nail 'em to the wall." Obama is acting like, "I -- I -- I oppose the release of the pictures. I'll do what I can. (mumbling)"
He could prevent this with an executive order. The statute in this case permits it. But he's not doing executive order. He's letting the Justice Department object and appeal all the way to the Supreme Court. If they file a half-assed brief, the judges look at the government's brief and say, "They really don't care about this. Okay, we'll side with the Second Circuit," and the pictures will come out. So therefore, just because he opposes the release of the pictures does not mean they will not be released. So he's gonna, I think, get two birds with one stone here. And when the pictures come out, when the court rules against the government, he's gonna go on television and say, "I tried everything I could," whatever the teleprompter tells him to say. But he's going to have it both ways, his buddies on the left are going to get what they want: the pictures released. And he's going to be able to say, "I stood up and opposed it," when the truth is, an executive order will take care of this hook, line, and sinker once and for all right now, but he's not going that route.
RUSH: Yvonne in Tampa, Florida, you're next on the EIB Network. Hi.
CALLER: Thanks, Rush. I just had a question. Do you think it's possible that President Obama came into office with a liberal mind-set that he was fed for years in the academia, no real-world experience, and he comes in with an agenda, and then all of a sudden he's confronted with the real world, good and evil?
RUSH: Well, there are two answers to this. Let me answer this as David Brooks, David Frum, or others might answer it. We have to give Obama credit. When he does the right thing, we have to give him credit. This is the absolute right thing to do and we've known all along that Obama was not the liberal crazy that everybody thought, he's a modern centrist governing from the center and therefore, Obama, this is a wonderful and great thing to do. We've gotta lead the charge, Obama did the right thing. That's the pseudo-intellectual conservative view. The truth is he's incompetent. He is every bit the radical leftist he's always been. This isn't changing his mind about anything. What is happening, if anything, is that the import of his job, you know, he's got a very fine line to walk. I was just talking about this. His base loves anything that inflames anti-American opinion. During the campaign he inflamed anti-American opinion. As a senator he voted to inflame anti-American opinion. In his early days as president he ran around the world apologizing, inflaming and encouraging anti-American opinion.
But now, I'm telling you, somebody got to him, because, look, he followed his instincts. His instincts were to release the pictures. His instincts were to let terrorists go in the United States on the street. Somebody somewhere said, "Wait a minute, for your own self-preservation, you can't release these pictures. You're in the Senate, you're on the presidential campaign talking about how all this torture has ruined our image. Well, you're America now, pal. If you release the pictures, it's going to hurt you politically." Don't mistake a political calculation -- Karl Rove said the other night that this bunch spends two hours a night in the White House going over the day's polling results, to figure out what to do and where to be and what language to put on the teleprompter for The Messiah to repeat, two hours a night. So what has happened here, somebody said it's going to harm you. Remember, everything's about him. These pictures are gonna harm you. You want to harm America, you're taking care of that domestically. If you want to harm America, just keep doing your domestic policy and save your butt with these pictures. And don't release these prisoners. The Germans wouldn't take 'em, the French, Spain. No, to answer your question, he's not learning the truth. He's having to set himself aside in one area, and it's gotta be painful. I'm sure Michelle is giving him grief up there in the residence like you can't believe.
RUSH: We're gonna go back here to the archives of our audio sound bites, and this is about the Gitmo detainees. Do you remember two days after Obama was immaculated, he had all these executive order signings, and one of them was about an executive order calling for the closure of Club Gitmo within one year? See if you remember this.
OBAMA: What we're doing here is to set up a special interagency task force on detainee disposition. They are going to provide me with information in terms of how we are able to deal with the disposition of some of the detainees that may be currently at Guantanamo, that we cannot transfer to other countries, who could pose a serious danger to the United States but we cannot try because of various problems related to evidence in an Article III court. So this task force is going to provide us with a series of recommendations on that. Is that correct, Greg?
CRAIG: That's right, and detainees policy going forward.
OBAMA: And detainee policy going forward so that we don't find ourselves in these kinds of situations in the future.
CRAIG: And (unintelligible).
OBAMA: And that we are providing clear guidance to our military in terms of how to deal with it.
RUSH: No teleprompter that day, so Greg Craig was the teleprompter, telling Obama what to say. So okay, we're going to close Gitmo, we're going to figure out how it never happens again, just like we're going to make sure there's never an economic boom again, we're going to make sure these kind of detainees are never detained again, we're going to have a policy going forward so we don't find ourselves in these kinds of situations in the future, then Greg Craig says, and there is clear guidance for the military as well, and that we are providing clear guidance for our military -- what happened to that executive order. What happened? (laughing) Well, obviously still in force.
RUSH: Jeff in Minneapolis, you're next on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Good afternoon, Rush.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: You know, I'm just a truck driver, too, and I've got an observation. This photo deal was done by a three-judge panel -- or three-dud panel -- on the circuit court. Isn't there nine on there? And if Obama was really serious about this, couldn't he appeal to the whole panel?
RUSH: Yeah, you could ask for what's called an "en banc," and you could ask for the entire panel to review it. And they may. They're going to file an appeal. Well, maybe they're not going to ask. I'm going to have to check with my legal buddies to find out exactly what legal procedure they're going to do. All I know is, the Justice Department is going to appeal it. But the point is not which court hears it next. The point is, no court needs to hear it next. Obama could prevent the release of these photos with an executive order. And in fact, somewhere up on Capitol Hill today -- I just got a brief glance at this earlier in the program -- they were interviewing Lieberman.
The crawl at the bottom of the screen, the Chyron graphic said that an amendment is being proposed to keep these photos from ever being released. So somebody somewhere in Congress, in the House or the Senate is very much up to speed on the possibility that these could eventually come out and they proposed an amendment to keep them locked up. None of this is necessary. Obama could keep those photos under lock and key with an executive order, and he didn't do that. So, you know, you could ask for the whole nine or 12-judge panel on the Second Circuit to hear it, but no court needs to hear it.
RUSH: You ask and I get the answer. We had a caller who wanted to know, "Couldn't Obama, the DoJ, ask for the Second Circuit to have the whole panel hear the appeal?" That would be en banc. The ruling of the three-judge panel was on September 22nd, last year. The Bush Department of Justice did seek an en banc review of the Second Circuit. That was denied. They denied that application March 12th this year. So the Bush administration did appeal. That was when on March 12th, shortly after that, when Obama, Holder, and the Department of Justice, decided not to appeal after the en banc hearing. So now the DoJ, they're probably out of time to ask the Second Circuit to reconsider, since it's already been two months since the Second Circuit denied reconsideration. And, you know, Gibbs said yesterday the new argument Obama supposedly thought up was actually already presented to the Second Circuit, or rejected. Gibbs said that yesterday in his press briefing, so now they have to go to the Supreme Court and they have to do that within 90 days of March 12th, which means they have to do that by early June.