Joe, you know what a gutless political attack is? It’s making up things and colluding with a network, perhaps, to affect with forged documents a presidential election. That’s what’s gutless. What’s gutless is a candidate such as the one you have, who cannot make up his mind about anything, while his surrogates are out saying he’s got only one position on Iraq. Let’s, in fact, illustrate this one position on Iraq. We’ve got a montage. Grab audio sound bite 6 and 7 out there. This is Kerry in what was a disastrous performance on Letterman from what I’m hearing. He thought he was on the Newshour with Jim Lehrer, treating all this seriously — other than the Top Ten list, which somebody else wrote for him, of course, but here’s a little exchange. Only runs seven seconds. We’re going to follow this with a montage, seven seconds, David Letterman asks Kerry a question, and Kerry has a one-word answer, so listen fast on this.
LETTERMAN: If you had been elected to president in 2000, November of 2000, would we be in Iraq now?
RUSH: All right. If you had been elected president in 2000, November of 2000, would we have been in Iraq now? Kerry says no. Here is a montage of a few of Kerry’s positions on Iraq over just the last year.
KERRY CLIP #1: Left to his own devices, Saddam Hussein will provoke, misjudge, or stumble into a future more dangerous confrontation with the civilized world.
KERRY CLIP #2: Yes, I would have voted for the authority.
KERRY CLIP #3: It’s a wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time.
KERRY CLIP #4: I think it was the right decision to disarm Saddam Hussein.
KERRY CLIP #5: We have traded a dictator for a chaos that has left America less secure.
KERRY CLIP #6: Those who believe today that we are not safer with his capture don’t have the judgment to be president or the credibility to be elected president of the United States.
LETTERMAN: If you had been elected to president in 2000, November of 2000, would we be in Iraq now?
(repeat) LETTERMAN: If you had been elected to president in 2000, November of 2000, would we be in Iraq now?
RUSH: How do we know? Listening to Kerry is like trying to get the news from CBS: You don’t know what to believe when! I mean, this montage — is this not incredible? I told you their
“Former President Carter said yesterday that violence in Iraq could be greatly reduced if the U.S. government set a date to withdraw its troops. The main thing that sustains violence there is the apparent long-term presence of U.S. troops.” Now, stick with me on this. He’s right about the first thing he said. Let’s just take this. He said, “Violence in Iraq could be greatly reduced if the U.S. government…” Well, I’m going to qualify even that, but I’ll stick with my original point. “Violence in Iraq could be greatly if the U.S. government set a date to withdraw its troops.” The reason I think that has some merit is that if we withdraw we lose, and of course the citizens of Iraq are not going to be properly armed to defend themselves against the terrorists who will remain and will reestablish a fundamentalist Islamic terrorist regime. There will be violence as they deem it necessary. Yeah, there will be less violence, but this is a recipe for defeat. Jimmy Carter, who knows defeat well, is suggesting it once again, and then goes on to compound it by saying, “The main thing that sustains violence there is the apparent long-term presence of our troops.” It’s ass backwards, 180 degrees out of phase.
Terry McAuliffe has gone absolutely bonkers, ladies and gentlemen, with the Bush campaign’s “smokescreen to duck questions,” the Bush campaign’s attempt here to link the DNC or the Kerry campaign with CBS and the documents. Last night on Wolf Blitzer Reports, Wolf was talking with The Punk by telephone, and Wolf said, “What was the nature of the phone conversations between Bill Burkett, the guy who gave these documents to CBS, and Joe Lockhart from the Kerry campaign and former Senator Max Cleland, a strong supporter of John Kerry?”
MCAULIFFE: In a presidential campaign we get literally thousands of calls a day. Many people say they have important information, and Joe Lockhart had a two or three minute conversation which did not discuss any documents at all, talked about, you know, that John Kerry needed to fight more and so forth. We have these. Everybody has these, you know, all day, but as relates to these documents there is not a shred of evidence — I mean the New York Post today reports That Roger Stone, an old dirty trickster from the Nixon days, may have been involved in the production of these documents. We were not involved in any shape, way, or form.
RUSH: (Laughing.) Yeah, I go back to this. Oh, yeah, you just take calls from aggrieved Democrats all day long, huh? Just aggrieved Democrats all day that can get through there and give the campaign strategists for John Kerry advice. We all know what happened here. We all know what happened. Well, no, we don’t know what happened. That’s the point. We’re being told the latest is that Burkett being given access to Lockhart was the price Burkett demanded for giving documents to CBS, something convoluted like that. But, of course, there was no discussion of the document, no discussion of the National Guard. Nooooo, there wouldn’t have been, and why would anybody make such a harebrained conclusion? No, my friends, not possible. It’s only the crazed, paranoid, right-wing, partisan media that would come up with such dastardly conclusions and think such evil thoughts. So I guess Karl Rove is off the hook. Now McAuliffe is trying to pin it on Roger Stone, eh?
Well, Roger Stone has issued a press release mere moments ago: “Veteran Republican Operative Denies Link to CBS Documents, Tells McAuliffe to ‘Put Up or Shut Up,'” is the headline. “From Miami — Republican strategist Roger Stone responded today to a charge by…” Can you believe the Democrats throwing “dirty tricks” out in the midst of this story? Calling somebody a dirty trickster? Let me tell you something, Safire is right. I’ve been making this point all week. This is not a dirty trick, folks. This is a full-fledged 100% crime, and it is of Watergate style proportions. It really, really is. I mean, you’ve got to go look at the U.S. criminal code and take a look at the punishment for forgery, or wire fraud, or transmitting forgeries via wires like e-mail faxes or what have you. You’ve got a fine that’s unstated combined with a possible 20 years in jail for doing this. This is no five-month stint in Danbury that Martha Stewart is going to get.
This is a potential 20-year jail term for this, and you’ve got collusion and you’ve got people who knew these were forged documents along the trail, along the timeline here, and CBS tried to make it sound like they were “misled.” They were not “misled.” They were not misled by anything. Turns out Bill Burkett has been a long time source for Mary Mapes and Dan Rather. Told you all roads lead to Travis County. By the way, I’m given to understand that the Travis County Democrats are upset that I say that, that all roads lead to Travis County. I’m going to keep saying it, then. Nothing more fun than upset Democrats out there during a presidential race. All roads lead to Travis County. But, of course, there are many, many roads to Travis County, and where those roads start is another question. They may end up in Travis County or the route may start in Travis County and branch out and go to a number of different places, but all roads end up there.
You know, we’re not talking one of these three-letter interstate numbers that go around Travis. We’re talking two-letter interstates that go right in there, in terms of these roads. You know what I mean. Beltway interstates have three numbers, like I-270 circles St. Louis. But I-70 goes right through the heart of it. Well, we’re not talking about three-letter, three-number interstates around Travis County. At any rate, Roger Stone responded today to charges by The Punk, Terry McAuliffe. He made his charges. Well, McAuliffe made his charges in a press release and on CNN yesterday. Stone said, “Terry McAuliffe’s accusation is irresponsible and baseless. It’s a naked attempt to distract attention from Kerry campaign officials Joe Lockhart and Max Cleland’s involvement in moving this discredited story. I am a known practitioner of hardball politics, but I draw a line at forged documents,” said Roger Stone. (Laughing). “If Mr. McAuliffe has any evidence whatsoever linking me to this entire sordid affair he should put up or shut up.”
RUSH: I want to go back and play one, maybe a couple sentences here of the sound bite we played from The Punk, Terry McAuliffe, appearing yesterday on Wolf Blitzer’s report on CNN. Blitzer asks him the nature of the phone conversations, asks Lockhart the nature of these phone conversations between Burkett and Max Cleland and all this. Remember, now, this is what The Punk said just the first couple sentences.
MCAULIFFE: In a presidential campaign we get literally thousands of calls a day, many people say they have important information, and Joe Lockhart had a two or three minute conversation which did not discuss —
RUSH: That’s enough. That’s enough. That’s enough. Look, Punk, you’re trying to pass this off as this guy is one of 60,000 people calling the DNC every day, and accidentally one of these guys got through to the top man. Not what happened, Punk. Joe Lockhart doesn’t get thousands of calls a day. (Laughing.) Even that number is a bit inflated. Thousands of calls a day from a senior producer with CBS asking him to call somebody back, which call he makes at her request. This does not happen thousand times a day, Mr. McAuliffe. Take that back. We really don’t know that this doesn’t happen thousands of times a day. That’s the real question, isn’t it? Just how many calls from producers at ABC, CBS, NBC, anywhere else is Joe Lockhart getting? Is that not the question? It could well be that McAuliffe is telling the truth. “We get thousands of calls a day from the media, asking us to go talk to their sources.” (Laughing.)
All right. Let’s go to more audiotape. Here’s Lockhart. He was on the Today Show today with Matt Lauer, who asked Lockhart, was it routine, though, Joe. Did somebody tip you off that this was going to be part of a huge story coming out the week later? Listen to this.
MCAULIFFE: Oh, listen, listen. I don’t think there was anybody in Washington, and I think if Mr. Bartlett was telling the truth here. He knew this story was in the works. Everybody in Washington knew the story was in the works. So I didn’t see this as anything special. You make calls, some things pan out; sometimes you just get some advice. That’s what happened here.
RUSH: Oh, now, we’re getting closer here. Oh, everybody in Washington knew the story was coming out? Everybody knew this story is coming out? How can everybody in Washington know it other than the fact that the media has been working on it for five years? Everybody knows the story was in the works? Everybody in Washington knew it was in the works? I didn’t see this as anything special? Maybe he’s in the know, that it wasn’t anything special, that he would get the call from a CBS producer asking him to call and talk to Bill Burkett. He says “You make calls. Some things just pan out. Sometimes you get some advice. That’s what happened here. You make calls and sometimes things pan out, and sometimes you just get some advice?”
That’s what they’re claiming they got from Burkett, was advice. But sometimes you make some calls and things pan out. What is this? You know, here’s the thing. You gotta keep these people talking about this because the more they talk about it, the greater the odds they’re going to slip up. It’s hard to be consistent. Look at how hard it is for Kerry. Kerry can’t be consistent from day to day on something as relatively simple to have a policy on as Iraq. Imagine these guys trying to manage this story now. By the way, “A top advisor to John Kerry says he talked to a central figure in the controversy, over President Bush’s National Guard service.” This is Joe Lockhart. “But, Kerry advisor Mike McCurry said that Lockhart recently told campaign manager Marybeth Cahill about his conversation with Burkett. Cahill told Kerry, and Kerry saw it just as Lockhart simply responding to the CBS producer’s request to call her source.”
So McCurry says that Lockhart told Cahill of the Burkett call. Cahill told Kerry. Kerry thinks it’s just Joe calling a CBS source. A CBS source of what? Lockhart said he was sure he had not talked to Burkett about the Guard documents. Oh, now he says he was sure he had not talked him. That’s a strange thing, yeah. I’m sure I didn’t talk about the documents — as though you’re still thinking about it? But if this call is so meaningless, that’s exactly right. If the call is so meaningless, why would everybody in the chain pass this all the way up to Kerry? If this call is so meaningless, so routine, one of those thousand a day that they get at the DNC and the Kerry campaign. Why, then, would Lockhart tell Cahill, Cahill would tell Kerry, and Kerry would go, “Ah, it’s a ho-hummer. We are asked to talk to CBS sources every day.” If it’s no big deal, how come this got passed all the way up the chain to the candidate himself, my friends?
RUSH: Joe Lockhart goes ballistic here, just about explodes spinning out this answer to Matt Lauer on the Today Show today, while Matt Lauer said, “On the other side of the coin, Joe, the Republicans are saying that the Democrats are staying on this National Guard story so long because they’re failing to make any headway on the economy, on Iraq, and the war on terror.”
LOCKHART: There’s a point I’d like to make about this White House, and I think the contempt they have for the public, and for the truth. In the last two months as a wartime president, we’ve been at war. We see these terrible things happening every day. This White House has had two briefings. The White House press secretary twice has gone before the cameras. But all of a sudden when the CBS story came out and it looked like these might be forgeries the White House press secretary for the first time in a month found a camera to talk to. I went through some pretty tough times in the White House, went through the impeachment of the president. There were days that I didn’t want to go down to the briefing room and answer questions, but I hauled myself down there every day because I thought the public had a right to know. This administration has contempt for the public, they don’t think the public has a right to know, and I think we should take with a grain of salt any real concerns they have.
RUSH: It’s getting personal now! Now it’s a battle between press secretaries. Lockhart forgetting the job he’s in. The job he’s in is to get Kerry elected. You know, there have been stories throughout the media about the war room. There have been as many stories about who’s running the Kerry campaign as there have been about Kerry in the past week. There are arguments exactly as I predicted. You’ve got the Kennedy clan in there, which is Marybeth Cahill and Shrum, and they’re trying to claim credit for what they’re doing, and then you’ve got the Clinton people in there, which is McCurry and Lockhart and all the rest of them, and they’re arguing and getting to show you their symbiotic relationship with the Washington-New York press axis. There are stories, both camps are getting stories in these newspapers about themselves. About themselves, and who’s running the campaign and who’s screwing up and who’s doing well.
It’s the height of ego and the height of — you can always, folks, when people think things are about them, when they’re not about them, you know that you’re dealing with somebody who’s got some perception problems. And for Lockhart to go out here and make up an argument between himself and Scott McClellan over who goes out and talks to the press corps. You know, who cares? I mean, how many people watch the press secretary briefing? The fact that news is never made in these things is something that’s known. Those things are daily exercises in cover-ups. They especially were during the Clinton campaign. You know, Lockhart was a cover-up artist. He wasn’t a press secretary. That’s why he’s running the Kerry campaign. I mean, let’s be honest here: What would a press secretary be doing running the Kerry campaign, for crying out loud?
So they’re just trying to distract everybody’s attention from this, but they can’t and they’re not going to be able to. It’s called: forgery — and let’s take another look at this Bill Burkett call. Here’s Burkett. Now, Burkett’s got these documents and he’s been told they’re real and he wants to nail Bush and he’s got an in with both Dan Rather and this Mary Mapes babe. But before he’ll play ball, he’s demanding an audience with somebody in the Kerry campaign, so Mary Mapes sets it up. Now we’re being asked to believe that, A, this happens thousands of times a day, that a CBS producer will call the Kerry campaign and say, “Hey, we got a donor, a contributor, a source that we want to you speak to out there,” and of course thousands of times a day the Kerry campaign said, “Fine, give me the number. We’ll call ’em back.” Now, if you’re Bill Burkett and you’ve got this, your butt’s blistered for Bush.
You’re fit to be tied. You’re out there. You’re angry as can be, and you finally — you’ve nibbled around the edges with Cleland, but you finally get an entree to the Kerry campaign. Your pal at CBS has just agreed to put you in touch with the head honcho of the campaign, Joe Lockhart. This is your lucky day. This is nirvana! This is your ship came and you were at the dock, and after all this we are to believe that he’s not going to mention these documents to Joe Lockhart? That the only reason he wanted to talk to Lockhart was to express his frustration overt success of the swiftvet ads and to tell them how unhappy he was with the Kerry campaign’s lack of response to this? (Laughing.) My friends, simple logic. No, we’re not making assumptions here, not assuming. We’re asking questions. I’m not flatly stating what happened.
Look, I’m just an inquiring mind, and I’m an American people and I have, as an American people, the right to know. Isn’t that what the journalists always say? American people have a right to know. The idea that CBS has to even appoint an independent commission, what does that say about it? Stop and think of that. CBS is admitting that we can’t trust them to investigate themselves, to find out how all this happened. Well, then, if we can’t trust CBS to investigate themselves, can’t figure out who to fire, can’t figure out whose head’s going to roll and can’t figure out how to make sure it doesn’t happen again, how can we trust them when they investigate anybody else? They’re certainly not going to know anybody else as well as they know themselves. Why is this Mary Mapes babe going to open up to Thornburgh any more than she would open up to, say, Andrew Hayward?
Why is anybody going to open up to these independent investigators? Stop and seriously think about this. This is a news organization. These programs are investigative news shows. These are shows that are born of investigative journalism, and CBS has asked us for years to trust them on these investigations. 60 Minutes I, 60 Minutes II, 48 Hours, the CBS Evening News, we’re supposed to trust every investigation they get involved in. Well, they can’t possibly get closer to a situation than one in which their own people are involved. That’s one of the things that’s amazed me. I pointed this out the other day. You go to the CBS website and they’re quoting the New York Times and the Washington Post in a story about what they are going to do, meaning CBS. Here’s a CBS News website. If anybody would know what they’re going to do, they’d know.
No, no. They leave it up to the New York Times and the Washington Post to say what they’re going to do. They act like an uninterested, disinterested third party. “Well, we’re too close to the story. Who would believe us?” Exactly right. So the very idea that they cannot investigate themselves with anybody trusting the result, to me is the death knell of CBS, if we can’t trust any investigation. They’re journalists. They’re objective. They have no bias. No bias toward themselves, no bias against Bush, no bias in favor of Kerry. That’s what they want us to believe, so why can’t they investigate themselves? Hell, it’s their outfit. This is what they do. Am I off base on this? I mean, this is just so common sense to me. They’re a news organization. This is like asking a bunch of detectives not to investigate who stole something in their office.
No, gotta go get some detectives from another precinct. We’ve got to get independent detectives. “But, Rush! But, Rush! You know people don’t investigate themselves.” Well, wait a minute not everybody at CBS is involved in this. You’ve got a whole management team over there. You’ve got other investigative journalists that don’t work on this show. Let them do the dirty work. Let them treat themselves like they treat us. Let them start digging into these people’s lives like they dig into everybody else’s lives and whoever gets destroyed gets destroyed. Whoever gets lied about gets lied about. Whoever gets besmirched gets besmirched. Let CBS get the same treatment by themselves that they hand out to everybody else. Let CBS find out what it’s like when CBS comes calling. Let CBS find out what it’s like when you get a knock on the door and on the other end of it is a CBS reporter and camera. Let CBS find out what that’s like.
Yeah, look, CBS can’t get over this. This whole idea of an independent commission to investigate this is just another smear, smoke screen, is designed to delay this and try to get this taken off the front pages. And there will be an investigation in the midst of the election and afterwards when nobody cares and the results will be posted and nobody will care by then anymore and it’s silly. The New York Times, to its credit, did not go get an independent panel. That Little Pinch got in there, rolled his sleeves up, talked to some friends, I guess. They told him what to do, and, “Bye-bye! Bye-bye!” Howell Raines and Gerald Boyd. Well, that’s what happened. At NBC, remember when they faked the truck blowing up to show that GM trucks will kill you if you get in one? Well, that was faked, and Michael Gartner, who was the president of NBC, resigned. He went to Iowa, went back to his newspapers in Iowa.
He and Geneva Overholser, big news buddies. Well, that’s another story. The point is these are journalists. Folks, this is their stock-in-trade. It’s like Scotland Yard saying, “We can’t investigate what’s gone wrong in our office. We need to go get Interpol to do it.” You know, this is their business! This is what they want us to trust them on the most, when they go out to destroy a business or to destroy a person, that we can trust that these people need to be destroyed. When Richard Nixon needs to be destroyed, because CBS says so, we’re supposed to trust CBS on this. But no, CBS is unwilling to give itself its own treatment. CBS is unwilling to bend over, grab the ankles, and have itself get probed just like they ask everybody else to bend over and grab the ankles when they come calling to investigate us or them or whoever. I think it’s just a smoke screen. It’s a delay tactic. That’s what it is.
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