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Get this. Democratic candidates Howard Dean and Wesley Clark questioned the credibility of the justice department, as far as doing the investigation. Nikita Dean said the probe should be conducted by the department’s Office of Inspector General, while General Clark known affectionately here as Ashley Wilkes, said that the inquiry should be headed by former Tennessee Republican Senator Howard Baker or former Army general, retired Army general John Shalikashvili, a former head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Why? Folks, who put that idea in his head? I can tell you for a fact, well, I am surmising for a fact that there’s no way that Ashley Wilkes came up with that on his own. Somebody is putting those two names in his head. This “highly respected” Howard Baker, a moderate Republican, not afraid to condemn or criticize Republicans, so they’ll go to him. Shalikashvili was Ashley Wilkes’ mentor in the Army, and Shalikashvili was chairman of the Joint Chiefs during the Clinton administration.

Speaking of which, the New York Sun today has a lead editorial on all of this and they title it, ?Washington Witch Hunt.?
“Washington’s scandals and shameless distilled partisan hypocrisy are often partners, but for what has to be an all time low, check out the latest one brewing over who leaked columnist Robert Novak the name of an employee of the CIA. This one was fanned over the weekend by front page Washington Post report that the CIA has asked the Justice Department to investigate a Bush information leak to Novak that the wife of Joseph C. Wilson works for the agency.”
Then it goes on to quote various people such as Howard Dean, “The American public has been misled. Federal laws appear to have been broken.” Senator Kerry, the French-looking Democratic candidate characterized the situation as “outrageous,” and called for a special counsel to pursue an investigation removed from the politics of the Department of Justice. [more from the Sun] “One place to start might be with the case of senator Torricelli. It was Bob Torricelli, the Democrat from New Jersey, who several years ago disclosed that a Guatemalan intention officer was a paid CIA informant.
The Associated Press reported back in 1997 that The Torch had leaked the information to The New York Times. The AP quoted the Washington editor of The Times, Andrew Rosenthal, as saying the information about the Guatemalan man’s identity came from Mr. Torricelli and was confirmed by two administration officials. ‘We have no intelligence of telling anyone who those sources were,’ Mr. Rosenthal told the wire. The leakers, in that case, were hailed by the left as heroic whistle-blowers.” And that was my point mere moments ago. I mean, normally these whistle-blowers are hailed, they are loved, they are celebrated, they are just trumpeted, they’re the greatest people on earth. In fact, we’ve had to create a special law for these people, the whistle-blowers act of whenever it was, designed to make sure that nothing happened to them when they came and spilled the beans on evil Republicans, which is what it added up to. I’ll tell you, if Wesley Clark is going to suggest John Shalikashvili as a special counsel or Howard Baker, how about this? I’m going to nominate that we have Robert Bork do it, or Prescilla Owens, maybe Miguel Estrada, he’s got some time on his hands, qualified judge, Charles Pickering, some fine legal minds there. I’m sure that the left would have no problem if they assume the role of independent counsel. Wesley Clark. At any rate, people have been waiting patiently in New York here, and one of them is in West Chester, New York. Hello Pete. I’m glad you called, sir.


CALLER: Hello, Rush. You’re amazing, your insight, unbelievable. The biggest thing I had to say was it’s just amazing. Where was the outrage when Clinton, everybody who opposed Clinton suddenly came under an IRS audit, even the girl who questioned Al Gore in his debates was audited by the IRS, and nobody said, hey, we should look into this or this seems kind of suspicious. I just find that absolutely incredible that there’s always this extra degree that Republicans are scrutinized.

RUSH: Get used to it. It’s just the way things are. It really is. I’m not trying to say that to just sweep it under the rug, I’m not trying to be condescending to you, please don’t misunderstand. That’s just the way things are. That’s just the way the Democrats do things.

Folks, I think it is fair to say that since Watergate the Democrats, look, I often use this analogy. On a purely spontaneous basis, you decide to throw a party on a Saturday night and it’s just one of the best parties you’ve ever had. You didn’t plan it, and you didn’t structure it, it just happened. Everything just couldn’t have been better. It was so good that you want to do it again, and over and over again. But every time you try to duplicate what just couldn’t have been better the first time always falls short. Watergate is sort of like that great party for the Democrats, and they’ve been trying to relive it ever since. They have been trying to manufacture a scandal to get Republicans out of office ever since. In one sense Democrats think that Watergate is one of the greatest things that ever happened to them. I might be of the opposite opinion. I think in the overall picture it may have been the worst thing that ever happened to them because they have now put more effort into sweeping Republicans aside via the Watergate scandal route than they have toward winning elections. These people don’t know how to win elections. They know how to steal them and they know how to, you know, play some games counting votes but in terms of actually going out and ginning up positive, motivational, inspirational support for their candidates and ideas, they just can’t. They don’t. Why, these people won’t even admit who they are. They won’t even admit that they’re liberals. In terms of putting together an affirmative, hey, vote for us type of agenda, they can’t, and they are hamstrung because they won’t even identify who they really are. They have to hide that with new terms like progressive or moderate or what have you. I think they’re stuck. Everything has got to be a scandal. They’ve got to find scandal in everything, and then use their willing accomplices in the press to try to gin up support of the American people to get their power back and asserted in that way.
Well, I’ve just been asked a question in a computer note here by the program observer, Mr. Snerdley, who says, “But isn’t this the typical in-the-trenches dirty politics? The shame is that the Republicans don’t smack them around as hard.” Politics is dirty, it’s in the trenches. There’s all this hand-to-hand fighting, there’s no question about it, Watergate established a new standard. And let me tell you something. I don’t think there would have been a Bork if there hadn’t have been a Watergate. That’s what I mean. I think that there was a Watergate, then there was a Bork, then they tried to do a Clarence Thomas, and it’s never ended. I mean, I’m not denying that politics is a down in-the-trenches, dirty business, always has been. But I think new lows were reached with Watergate, and I think that the incorrect motivation and inspiration has descended upon many Democrats and liberals. I think that’s their sole motivation, that’s it, not sole, that’s where they really expend most of their energy. You can see, they get more fired up during this kind of stuff than they do during elections. They are more fired up right now to get Bush thrown out, they’re more fired up over the independent counsel, they’re more fired up over the potential they think that lurks here than they ever get during a campaign. And they get pretty fired up on campaigns, don’t misunderstand. But I mean I just think that they’ve poisoned themselves. I really do, folks. I think these people are eating poison, sleeping it, drinking it, they’re obsessed with it.


This is the kind of air they breathe every day, water they drink, this is not healthy. I don’t know where it’s going to take them, but this is not the kind of behavior and not the kind of philosophy that great political parties and movements are built on. Those are built on ideas. You know, great political parties, movements all that, they’re built on ideas that are good for the country, that persuade people, you can go out and sell and be enthusiastic and inspirational about. That’s not this. I mean this is last-gasp desperation time. It’s Hail Mary time. Every one of these things is for them. They’ve been slapped around by the Bush team ever since 2001 when Bush was inaugurated, they’ve been slapped around all through calendar year 2002.
They got shellacked in the November elections in 2002. Every time they open a door it goes right into their own nose and here doing it now, too. It may not be apparent to you at this stage because the coverage of this makes it look like they’re totally winning, totally dominating and have everybody on the Republican side on the run. But this is not what the vast majority of the American voters want out of politics. May entertain them for a couple of days, maybe a week. But if they don’t let this go, and if they stay harping on this for too long after Novak has said there’s nothing here, and if they are seen to be literally pursuing nothing and thus trying to make something up or manufacture it, my opinion is that it’s going to come back and haunt ’em, come back and bite ’em.

In fact, justice department lawyers must answer a long list of questions before determining whether to initiate a full-blown criminal investigation into who leaked the name of a CIA official – I’m still struck by the fact that her name is on his bio. There’s so much of this that is laughable. And, of course, the liberals, oh, yeah, Limbaugh, you laugh, but this involves the life and death of a woman! You know that’s how they’re looking at this. You know, Bush administration doesn’t care who they kill! The Bush administration doesn’t care who dies! Look at the poor! You can imagine what’s going on in these people’s heads.

[reading from article] “Despite a growing outcry from Democrats for a special counsel, the justice department had no deadline for concluding its preliminary probe until the Department of Justice reaches some level of reasonable suspicion as to the identity of the alleged leaker, it’s difficult to determine the presence of a possible conflict,” meaning of the justice department investigating the White House. These are the words of Lawrence Barcella, Jr., former federal prosecutor in Washington. In fact, get this, “The CIA complained two months ago that one of its agents’ identities had been disclosed is only one of about 50 the justice department receives every year from the spy agency about leaks of classified information. Very few of them ever get beyond a preliminary investigation, which is handled by justices, counterespionage section.” So how about that? The CIA routinely asks for 50 Department of Justice inquiries into leaks every year.

Now this, obviously, thus is not unique, and it’s something that happens frequently. It’s the first we’ve heard, justice department obviously investigates all of these, and nobody has objected to any of their findings, but wait. We have 50 of them a year, all of the sudden no matter what the justice department says, there will be an objection to it, because the Democrats have their hoped-for, prayed for scandal that has just been dumped in their lap.
END TRANSCRIPT

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