RUSH: We’re going to continue now with the dissection of the smear campaign against me launched by Harry Reid on the floor of the Senate yesterday. Of course, this is in conjunction with MoveOn.org and Media Matters for America, an organization Hillary Clinton admits to founding, and helping start and organize. But I want to go back to this clip from Senator Harkin yesterday on the Senate floor.
HARKIN: What’s most despicable is that Rush Limbaugh says these provocative things to make more money. So he castigates our soldiers —
RUSH: Stop the tape right there. I did not. I have not. I got a book today, out of the clear blue. It’s called Hard Corps: From Gangster to Marine Hero. It’s by Marco Martinez from Dana Point, California. ‘Dear Mr. Limbaugh: I’m writing to tell you how grateful I am for all you do to support my brothers and sisters in arms still in battle in Iraq and Afghanistan. Unlike these liberal whack jobs, you stand up for us, and I can’t say thank you enough. As a small token of my appreciation I wanted to send along an inscribed copy of my forthcoming book. I was honored to have been given the privilege to fight in Iraq and to have been awarded the Navy Cross, second only to the Medal of Honor, for my actions in Iraq. My former life as a gang member still makes me shudder in shame, but I felt I had to be raw and honest about my past and how my beloved Marine Corps saved my life. My book comes out October 2nd. I hope you enjoy it.’ Hard Corps, Marco Martinez. He goes on to tell me his thoughts on some other issues, like illegal immigration and this sort of thing. Anybody who listens to this program regularly knows that we do not ‘castigate’ the troops on this program. In fact, it is just the opposite. Here’s more of Senator Harkin.
HARKIN: — makes more news. It becomes in the news. More people tune in. He makes more money. Well, I don’t know. Maybe he was just high on his drugs again. I don’t know whether he was or not.
RUSH: Stop the tape. Now, with that comment right there, Tom Harkin said something about a private citizen on the floor of the Senate that he could not say about any other member of the Senate. He said something about a private citizen that I could not say were I a witness before some Senate committee in hearings. I could not say something like this about one of these senators. Would he say that to Patrick Kennedy if he disagreed with Patrick Kennedy, for example? Would he say that about Ozzy Osbourne? You can run the gamut here. So what we have, ladies and gentlemen, is not long ago Harry Reid takes a trip to New York on a Monday night; he meets with leaders of the anti-war movement. They were not identified by group. He comes back from that meeting, and I’m sure he got the riot act read to him. He also tried to explain to them the trouble they were having getting things done, because they don’t have 60 votes in the Senate, which is what Pelosi is having to do to her kooks in the House, explain to her fringe base why they can’t get anything done, because they don’t have a veto-proof Congress over there. As such, he comes back and starts this campaign to smear a private citizen, and it is done, I’m telling you, to distract the outraged and disappointed Democrat Party base who expected to be gone from Iraq by now or for the process to get out and defeat to have begun by now.
And so they have to turn this and aim it against me. Now, we don’t have the bite. It’s not important. Elsewhere in Harkin’s speech — this is really surreal — he attributes to me an article about seven soldiers in the New York Times criticizing the war. Two soldiers were later killed. Now, he bizarrely assumes and states that I was talking about them, when he says, ‘You castigate these soldiers.’ He talks about this New York Times article, then says, ‘It is despicable that I say these provocative things.’ Well, I didn’t say it. This is the first time I have mentioned the New York Times article about seven returning soldiers. I have never referenced it on this program. He hangs what I didn’t say around my neck, then accuses me of being deranged because I’m high on drugs. I never mentioned that article. I never mentioned those men. It is irresponsible of someone holding the position of senator in the United States of America to not understand the truth and to blatantly lie, as Senator Harkin did yesterday on the floor of the United States Senate. He took to the floor and accuses me of mentioning something I haven’t mentioned. So if they are going to lie about one thing, is it reasonable to assume they are willing to lie about it all? This is a straw-man deception, folks, plus a slander for good measure.
Many of you have said, ‘You ought to sue.’ I can’t, folks. I’m a public figure. It’s not doable. It’s part of the process. There are other ways of dealing with this. I was shocked when I heard Senator Harkin say it, and I’ve thought about what he actually said. I’m blown away. He attributes to me referencing seven soldiers in the New York Times story that I had never, ever referenced. I never have done so, until this very moment on this program. Now, there are also some people who are talking about this story. CNN did a story yesterday afternoon accepting the Harry Reid, Media Matters (founded by Hillary Clinton) premise. There have been others who have done so, and not one of them has gone into detail about Jesse MacBeth, the man I was referring to and others like him as ‘phony soldiers.’ So let me again detail for you Jesse MacBeth, because this is the celebrity the anti-war left props up and loves. Army Ranger, he said, a 23-year-old corporal. He said he won a Purple Heart. He said he was afflicted with post-traumatic stress disorder from tours in Afghanistan and Iraq — and what made Army Ranger Jesse MacBeth a hero to the left is his ‘courage,’ in their view, off the battlefield. Without regard to consequences, MacBeth told the world — and his remarks were printed and reprinted in Arabic all over the Middle East and the Internet.
He told the world about abuses he had witnessed in Iraq: American soldiers killing unarmed civilians; hundreds of men, women, and even children; hanging them in mosques. In one gruesome account translated into Arabic, spread widely across the Internet, MacBeth described the horrors this way: ‘We would burn the bodies and we would hang the bodies from the rafters in the mosque.’ This is who I was discussing, and everybody in the Drive-By Media reporting on this knows this is who I was discussing. ABC reported on this man two days before I began this very commentary a week ago yesterday, a week ago Monday ABC World News tonight did the story. And still the Drive-By Media who are talking about this do not detail for anybody who Jesse MacBeth is. Well, here’s the grand finale: Jesse MacBeth — a poster boy of the anti-war left, heralded as a hero — had his day in court. He was sentenced to do five months in jail, three months probation for falsifying a Department of Veterans Affairs claim and his Army discharge record as well. Yes, MacBeth was in the Army — for 44 days. He washed out of boot camp. He is not an Army Ranger. He is not a corporal. He never won the Purple Heart.
He was never in combat to witness the horrors he claimed to have seen, but don’t look for any retractions from the left. Don’t look for any TV ads about this guy from the left, not from the anti-war left, the anti-war Drive-By Media, or the Arabic websites that spread his lies about the troops, because fiction — fiction, ladies and gentlemen, fiction — is what serves the purpose of the anti-war left, from Tom Harkin to Harry Reid, to these groups that prop up phony soldiers, like Jesse MacBeth, groups like the New Republic, which run phony accounts from soldiers in Iraq lying about what they’ve seen, these are the heroes to the anti-war left. Fiction is what serves their purpose. The truth is just too inconvenient. The next ruse the left is saying: ‘He couldn’t have been talking about MacBeth because he used the plural. He said ‘phony soldiers.’ He didn’t say phony ‘soldier.” Again, this is a willful and missing of the context of this program. We have discussed many of these phony soldiers over the course of the past few months. We discuss them constantly. MacBeth was just the latest. I have a press release here from the United States attorney’s office, the Western District, State of Washington, September 21st of this year. Headline: ‘Northwest Crackdown on Fake Veterans in Operation Stolen Valor — Phony vets scam more than 1.4 million and damage image of honorable veterans.
‘U.S. Attorney Jeffrey C. Sullivan today announced some of the results of ‘Operation Stolen Valor,’ a year long effort to investigate and prosecute those who lie about their military service for financial gain or other reasons. Sullivan and Doug Carver, Special Agent in Charge of the Veteran’s Affairs Office of Inspector General detailed eight prosecutions in the Veteran’s Affairs Northwest Region in 2007. ‘As a Vietnam Veteran, and the father of a decorated Army officer currently serving, I feel very keenly the damage done by Jesse Macbeth and these other fakes,’ said Jeff Sullivan, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington. ‘Macbeth’s lies fueled hostility to our servicemen in Iraq and here at home. Those who falsely claim medals for heroism, cheapen the recognition of our true war heroes.’ ‘The ‘phony war hero phenomenon’ plagues the American landscape and tarnishes the service of thousands of veterans who have served honorably. It strangles VA resources from providing critical care and benefits to deserving veterans returning from war,’ said Douglas J. Carver, Special Agent in Charge of the VA Office of Inspector General, Western Field Office. ‘It all boils downs to this: these phonies submit claims to the VA for compensation and medical benefits they are not entitled to, and it takes away valuable resources from those who are entitled.”
There are phony soldiers. Eight of them have been prosecuted successfully just in the state of Washington by the US Attorneys office for the western district. We have all known of these cases, and we have all known of these various phony soldiers. So does Harry Reid. So does Tom Harkin. So does MoveOn.org. Now MoveOn.org and this Vote Vets group are bringing forth some genuine heroes, wounded in battle, who disagree with the policy in Iraq and Afghanistan, telling them a bunch of lies about what I have said about them, when I have never discussed them. I have never impugned them. I have never impugned any military person who’s retired or active duty, in or out of uniform, for their service to this country. Yet that is the lie and the smear that is taking place, of all places now, on the floor of the United States Senate. It’s all ginned up, a lying smear by an organization founded and started by Hillary Rodham Clinton, whose job it is — this organization, Media Matters — to make sure that anybody gets in her way is dealt with.
I again extend my invitation to Senator Reid: Come on my program and say to my face what you said about me on the floor of the United States Senate and let’s discuss it man to man. It’s unconscionable what Senator Reid and Senator Harkin and these other Democrats are doing. Again, I want to apologize today to all of you in the United States military, active duty and retired for this smear. I am not apologizing for myself. I’m apologizing for MediaMatters.org, for Hillary Clinton, for Harry Reid. I’m apologizing for all of these groups who are undertaking efforts to demoralize you. They will not apologize to you for their actions, nor will they apologize to me, but I want to apologize to you on their behalf for this storm having been created out of thin air, out of a total lie. It breaks my heart. But I know you’re tough enough to deal with it, much tougher than they are, and you deal with it honestly, up front, and facing bullets — real results. The rest of us are just facing words. You all are the real heroes. Your work is being besmirched and impugned — and several in this country are seeking the defeat of you and your mission. We will not let it happen.
RUSH: Their case is starting to fall apart. First they tried to say, ‘Hey, Limbaugh was speaking in the plural, ‘phony soldiers.’ He couldn’t have been talking about MacBeth.’ Now what they are saying is, ‘He didn’t bring up MacBeth until after the phone call on Wednesday with the guy where he used the term phony soldiers.’ You people on the left at Media Matters had better be careful. I would think after all this that you would have finally learned that you cannot spread lies about me and get away with it. The Jesse MacBeth story was done early morning on Tuesday, September 25th on our 600-plus radio stations around the country as a Morning Update, we call it. The video podcast of that update went out Monday afternoon to our subscribers at RushLimbaugh.com. The Jesse MacBeth story and all the other stories, Scott whatever his name was from the New Republic, and there are any number of them — had been told on this show for weeks and months prior to this phone call on Wednesday where you lift the term ‘phony soldiers’ and try to create a smear out of it.
The Jesse MacBeth story was told on this program the day before this happened, not after, as they are now claiming, which is evidence their whole little plot’s falling apart on them. As well was it told on ABC’s World News tonight on Monday, September 24th, in a special investigative series by Brian Ross. Now, I wonder if the MediaMatters.org people and the MoveOn.org are going to demand a Department of Justice investigation of the US Attorneys office for the western district of the state of Washington for referring to these frauds as phony soldiers? If they are going to be legitimate with demanding action against people calling legitimate troops phony soldiers, which didn’t happen here, then they gotta be consistent. Long before I used the term, a Fox News headline in May, I think May 20th, on their website: ‘Phony Soldier, Jesse MacBeth Story.’ Isn’t it interesting the Jesse MacBeth story did not enter the public domain in large numbers until I did it on Tuesday morning and Wednesday of last week. That is another real story.
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