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Panetta Confirms Waterboarding Led to Bin Laden, Left Freaks Out

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I gotta tell you what I did. I haven't watched MSNBC in, gosh, I don't know how long. And I decided I wasn't gonna eat dinner last night, but I caved. I left my "liberry" (for those of you in Rio Linda), and I walked about a quarter of a mile to my kitchen, and I was really hungry after that. The chef had left some pasta and stuff in the fridge so I got in there and I nuked it.

Now, normally when I eat quickly I just grab a newspaper and thumb through it for areas of the paper I don't read during show prep, you know, like wedding announcements and that stuff just to have something to do while chowing down. I decided, you know what, I'll turn on the television. And I turned it on, and the Ted Baxter show came on, so whoever was watching that TV had been watching Fox. I said, well, let me switch over and see what's happening at PMSNBC, and Lawrence O'Donnell was on. My friends, I'm watching that show, and I literally feel like I'm in a hotel room in a foreign country watching local news in a foreign country. It was just mind-boggling. And what Lawrence O'Donnell was all upset about, he was in damage control over the fact that all of these Bush policies had been used to successfully pull off this operation. They're doing damage control and one of the things they were doing damage control over was Panetta saying that waterboarding had been used. Here, let's go to the audio sound bites and start at number six. This is last night on the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. Williams said, "Are you denying that waterboarding was in part among the tactics used to extract the intelligence that led to this successful mission?"

PANETTA: No, I think some of the detainees clearly were, you know, they used these enhanced interrogation techniques against some of these detainees.

WILLIAMS: Enhanced interrogation techniques, which has always been kind of a handy --

PANETTA: Right --

WILLIAMS: -- euphemism in these post-9/11 years, that includes waterboarding?

PANETTA: That's correct.

RUSH: Yeah. There you have it. I mean Panetta said waterboarding. He had said it before last night with Bri Wi on the NBC Nightly News. Brian Williams. He'd said it before that. Now, there were three people. We waterboarded three guys. One was Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. One was Abu Zubaydah and I forget the other, but they were not waterboarded at Gitmo. They were waterboarded elsewhere. It doesn't matter who it is, Snerdley. Your al-Libi is my al-Hayat, it doesn't matter. There were three guys and they were all waterboarded at the black site prisons, the CIA prisons, before they got to Gitmo. Rumsfeld has admitted this. So here you have Panetta who I actually think, folks, the more things spill out, the aftermath of this story we're getting, it's getting more and more confused, there's more and more contradictions about what happened, what didn't happen, why what happened happened and why what didn't happen didn't happen. It seems like Panetta is really at the helm here. So there he is, he says waterboarding was used.

Folks, I mean this ruins everything! I mean it's like Ronald Reagan coming out and saying, "No, I was never for tax cuts. Tax increases are the way to go." I can't tell you the utter devastation Panetta's statement caused everybody on the left. That takes us to PMSNBC and Lawrence O'Donnell The Last Word. When I tuned in I felt like I was watching a local news show in a foreign country in a hotel. O'Donnell had as his guest the deputy national security advisor, Denis McDonough. And here's the question. O'Donnell said, "Candidate Obama spoke strongly against waterboarding. Director Panetta has now confirmed to Brian Williams that some of the detainees who provided some of the info that had created the chain of information that eventually led to the killing of Bin Laden, let me ask you this. Did any useful information that led to this mission come from waterboarding?" So Panetta has just said it two hours earlier on the NBC Nightly News. Two hours later the AAA team, MSNBC, Lawrence O'Donnell has gotta do something here to do damage control. So he asked this guy, McDonough, the deputy national security advisor, come on, was waterboarding really used?

MCDONOUGH: I don't think that's right. I just took a look at the transcript. I think that's an overstatement. He did not say that. It's very clear that this is the result of an intense and very complex, very effective intelligence operation over the course of many, many, many years. I'm not gonna stand here and tell you definitively or categorically what every piece of that information was.

RUSH: Okay. This guy, by the way, looks like he is just recently off the cast of the Addams Family. So let's go back and grab soundbite number six. Up in the major leagues, NBC Nightly News, Leon Panetta told Brian Williams this.

PANETTA: No, I think some of the detainees clearly were, you know, they used these enhanced interrogation techniques against some of these detainees.

WILLIAMS: Enhanced interrogation techniques, which has always been kind of a handy --

PANETTA: Right --

WILLIAMS: -- euphemism in these post-9/11 years, that includes waterboarding?

PANETTA: That's correct.

RUSH: Right. So just heard it. Panetta confirms enhanced interrogation techniques, waterboarding, and the question, "Was waterboarding a key part, intelligence gathering, successful mission." Panetta: Yeah. You heard it. I mean it's unambiguous. Right? So two hours later at AAA, PMSNBC, damage control, a lesser member of the regime asked to comment on what Panetta just said.

MCDONOUGH: I don't think that's right. I just took a look at the transcript. I think that's an overstatement. He did not say that. It's very clear that this is the result of an intense and very complex, very effective intelligence operation over the course of many, many, many years. I'm not gonna stand here and tell you definitively or categorically what every piece of that information was.

RUSH: Yeah. So now, Rumsfeld, let's just be fair here, Rumsfeld has said the information that led to the killing of Bin Laden was obtained through normal interrogation approaches, and the notion that the suspects were waterboarded at Gitmo is a myth. They were waterboarded, these three guys, but at the CIA black prisons, the black sites and so forth. So they've made Panetta look like a hawk, for crying out loud. Leon Panetta, they've made him look like a hawk. He's running this show, or he's very near the upper echelon of this show. But a member of the regime had to go out and say, "No, he didn't say that." So they don't know what they're doing. They're not coordinated in their portrayal here of this event. Clearly the stories that make up the aftermath of this are all over the ballpark.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Speaking of photos, this from TheHill.com: "President Obama will participate in a wreath-laying ceremony and visit with 9/11 families and first responders during his visit Thursday to New York City. The president will lay the wreath during a ceremony at the 9/11 Memorial located near Ground Zero, the former site of the World Trade Center twin towers destroyed during 9/11." Now, it has been reported (I've read it) that the 9/11 families have been selected to participate, also that President Bush was invited to appear but he declined. Why, Snerdley? Why do you think George W. Bush declined?

You don't know. You don't know, do you? You're stumped. You don't have a... (interruption) All right, Snerdley says that George W. Bush does not want to be co-opted. "Used," is that what you mean? I think there may be a grain of truth in it. I think the real reason is that Bush does not want to participate in politicizing any of this. He never made this about himself, and he doesn't want to participate in something that is a made-to-order photo-op about politicians. I don't think he wants any part of something like that. Plus, he says, "Look, I'm out of the limelight now. I'm an ex-president. This is not my gig."

But just knowing him as I do, I don't think he wants to be part of anything that might appear to be politicized, especially about this. Because, remember, he never made this about himself (contrary to what everybody wants to think), and yet this regime and its State-Controlled Media, it's all about Obama. Even though the stories remain that way. Every column in the news media, every story practically about this, it's related to Obama in some way. Will it benefit him? How much will it benefit him? Will it not benefit him? How long will it last if he gets a bump? Is there a bump? Why is the bump so small?

Yeah, yeah, yeah. (laughing) You know, they still report Rush Limbaugh said, "Thank God for Obama."

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: You know, everybody's talking about the gutsy call. The media is going overboard here in how gutsy the call was that Obama made, and we've said earlier today that it really wasn't that gutsy because hundreds of people knew that Osama Bin Laden had been tracked to that location, and if nothing was done about it, that's a huge political problem for the president if everybody knows that Osama's in there and we don't do anything about it. And hundreds of people knew. So it was almost like he had to. He had to act 'cause if he hadn't there woulda been a lot of people really ticked off, and it would have leaked and he woulda had a situation just like The Path to 9/11, which was a movie that was made about how we got to 9/11 and how it could have been stopped if the Clinton administration had dealt with some things seriously. And that led the Clinton administration, and actually Clinton himself, leaning on Bob Iger at ABC not to run the whole thing. They cut about a minute and a half out of it and did run it, but no DVDs have been made available. It would have been political heck.

Later, as the week has unfolded, we have learned how close to the top of the decision-making process Leon Panetta was. And one of the things that I want to say here is that I, frankly, have been pleasantly surprised by Panetta during all of this. Panetta was Bill Clinton's chief of staff for many years, and forgive my saying it this way, but he was a pure political hack, but he's not engaging in political hackery here. (interruption) Well, that's what I was gonna say, he's a-grown-up. That's why I've been pleasantly surprised by Panetta because somebody in that shop is an adult. Somebody in that shop's got experience and somebody in that shop is inserting himself.

I think, if you want to talk about gutsy calls -- get ready, media, here comes your Tweak of the Day, and there have been so many for you to choose from. He-he-he. The Tweak of the Day, the real gutsy call was Panetta even presenting Obama with the decision. The real gutsy call was Panetta going to Obama, or calling him on the golf course and saying,

"Hey, we got Bin Laden." That was the gutsy call because after that you don't know what's gonna happen with it. (interruption) Yes, he had to, going into Pakistan, but the point is he still did it. We don't know what kind of secrets are kept from presidents by top aides. We just don't know. But Panetta presented this knowing full well -- look, how long did Obama dither on Afghanistan? How long did he dither on Egypt? How long did he dither on Libya? And then once we went to Libya, does anybody know what we're doing there? So it was a gutsy call on the part of Panetta to even present Obama with this option or this decision.

Now, we had a caller in the last hour who was really flummoxed by all the publicity that we are giving to the results of this operation. And the caller's point was that we're releasing so many details, the attempts to get satellite photos of Bin Laden, we should never have heard about any of this. In the normal scheme of things the public shouldn't have learned of any of these secrets of spy craft, but they're all out now. Some of these things are really the most highly classified of all secrets. Panetta has been one of the biggest blabber mouths out there about this even despite what I just said about him. It's just too bad for Bin Laden. Apple fixes their location service problem a week after Bin Laden gets blown out of the sky. If they'd only done this earlier. But it's the way things are.

END TRANSCRIPT

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