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RUSH: I want you to listen to how James Lewis at the AmericanThinker.com characterizes the National Intelligence Estimate. ‘Suppose you’re a cop, and you have to stop a well-known Mafia hit man on a dark night, driving his Cadillac. You know he’s recklessly dangerous — he’s threatened you every day, in public, for the last 30 years. (What do you think ‘Death to America!’ really means?) So you call the dispatcher and ask them to tell you as much as they know about the suspect. Specifically, does he carry a loaded gun? You tell them it’s urgent. This is not a normal traffic stop. This is a nerve-wracking business. You call for backup, to be able to hit the suspect with overwhelming force if you need it. But you know the lawyers will be after you if you overreact. It’s damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Headquarters calls back. To the best of their intelligence, they tell you, the chances that the suspect has a loaded gun is ‘plausible but unlikely.’

‘What do you do? That’s exactly what President Bush is facing today. Our Intelligence Community has labored mightily and brought forth a camel — a Cover-Your-Ass committee judgment on the most dangerous rogue regime in the world today: The Khomeini cult and its mouthpiece Ahmadi-Nejad. A’jad has been completely clear about his murderous intentions. He means to kill and blackmail you and all your allies, not just Israel but the Arab states as well, notably Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, sitting on the oil faucet for half the world. Just for good measure, he has directly threatened Britain, France and Germany, as well as the good ole USA. The UN agency, the IAEA, says that with 3,000 centrifuges running the Natanz plant can produce enough fissionable material for a nuclear Bomb in one year. The US intelligence community puts it at three to eight years. But the Iranians have consistently lied about their nuke acvities, so the chances are near-perfect that they are lying and understating their programs today.

‘Israel just bombed to smithereens a secret joint Syrian-Iranian-North Korean plant on the Euphrates river, which is believed by one of the foremost Israeli authorities to have imported plutonium from North Korea, ready to be molded into a Bomb. What does the fresh National Intelligence Estimate tell us? A secret Iranian nuclear project, one that we don’t know about, but which may already have produced a bomb, is ‘plausible but unlikely.’ As Michael Ledeen just wrote, this is exquisite CYA. If Iran already has a nuke, the spooks can’t be faulted, because they said it was ‘plausible.’ If it doesn’t have a nuke, they can’t be criticized either, because they said it was ‘unlikely.’ By God, it’s good to have a 100 billion dollar intelligence bureaucracy that can really protect us. Isn’t it, though? Here’s the kicker: If Iran already has fissionable material, they are invulnerable to attack. So the spooks have thrown their hot potato right back at the White House and the Pentagon. Our soldiers’ lives are on the line, right next door in Iraq. ‘Plausible but unlikely.’ I bet the Pentagon is really grateful. No wonder [Ahmadinejad] is laughing.’ That’s right. It’s a CYA report. The whole thing is a cover their rear ends regardless what the truth ends up being.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Adam in Tampa, welcome to the Rush Limbaugh program. You’re next.

CALLER: Thank you, Rush. Good day. I just wanted to give another take on the announcement of the NIE. What I think most people are missing — I’d like to have your comment on it — if anything, I think this would force Israel to become more proactive and preemptive. They didn’t need any justification to take out the Syrian installation recently. Now, all of a sudden, their biggest ally who they thought was going to carry the water, all of a sudden, is apparently taking military offense off the table, right before the festival of Hanukkah tonight? They’ve always had a fortress mentality. I can’t see how this is going to do anything but even reinforce that, and possibly prompt further military action in the Middle East.

RUSH: They’re going to have to. It’s always going to fall on the backs of the Israelis in that part of the world, because the intel community here is just trying to have it both ways, to, you know, CYA, get a bunch of people off the hook on it over here. I read the Jerusalem Post this morning. The Israelis don’t believe this. The Israelis think that this is not a correct assessment. So there is not a ‘consensus,’ ladies and gentlemen, in the intelligence community. Frankly, I’d more trust what the Mossad had to say about this than I would trust the 16 agencies. The NIE is a wild guess, a snapshot of time of 16 intelligence agencies, and just because there’s a little fog out there and you can’t see through the fog and not know what somebody’s doing, doesn’t mean they’re not down there doing it being hidden by the fog. And every nuclear power, aside from us, has reached its nuclear objective under the cover of darkness. They have done it in secret. They’ve not done it out in the open. So for them to conclude — which they didn’t do, by the way: ‘It’s plausible that they’re working on it, but it’s unlikely.’ Well, that doesn’t help anybody, and it certainly is not going to be enough for the Israelis to say, ‘Oh, okay. We can relax. Iran’s actually not doing anything? Fine. Let’s go on and live our lives.’

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: St. Joseph, Michigan, this is Bill. Welcome to the EIB Network. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Rush. How you doing?

RUSH: Just fine, sir. Thank you.

CALLER: I want to suggest that the price of gasoline is going to be a big factor along with immigration, in the next election, and the way to start is to start by talking about the price of gasoline, and when you get traction in that, then you start talking about the oil that we should be digging here — and then about the fact that we’re sending a lot of money to our enemies, and I think it’s really tearing into the American economy. The price of oil is affecting the price of everything, and I believe the price of gasoline, the first person that picks those up and doesn’t overdo it, just talk about the gasoline price, and then when you get traction in that, start talking about the need for oil.

RUSH: Well, the two may not be linked. The problem is nobody knows what’s going to happen to the price of oil throughout the next year. Nobody knows what, therefore, the price of gasoline is going to be. So if you stake your campaign to a high price, and say, ‘This is too high and oil is too high,’ because of the problems you mentioned and the price starts coming down, it wouldn’t be that big a problem. It would only work… But it would really help if the price went up. I understand what you’re saying. You’re basically saying energy independence, and whoever can end up owning the oil issue is going to have a big leg up. One observation about this: The Democrats, every time there’s a spike in the gasoline price, have gone on the warpath against Big Oil, and they want to conduct investigations to find out if there’s been collusion and price fixing. No investigation has ever found any price-fixing or collusion with Big Oil involved. It doesn’t stop Democrats from accusing them and wanting to tax ’em. But I don’t see it helping them. So you gotta be careful how you do it. But you’re right: There are any number of issues here just waiting to be grabbed and owned by Republican candidates.

RUSH: B. J. in Millersville, Pennsylvania, welcome to the EIB Network. Hello.

CALLER: Hello. Mega dittos.

RUSH: Thank you.

CALLER: I’d like to make an observation about the media and the National Intelligence Estimate of Iran in halting the nuclear weapons program in 2003, but they’re still continuing to enrich uranium. So far the media has failed to link 2003 being the same year that AQ Khan was busted selling nuclear components and secrets all over the world, including Iran.

RUSH: Right. That’s a good point.

CALLER: I mean, Iran may already have the blueprints, parts, and technology to build the bomb. They just may not have the enriched uranium.

RUSH: That’s what this idiot report says. Everybody is harping on the fact that they supposedly ceased their development in 2003, but they still are seeking uranium. They still have all the centrifuges — and, you know, that’s not to produce gasoline or electric power for the people of Iran. It would be silly to take this report and say, ‘Oh, sweetness and light! They’re not a threat anymore,’ just as it’s silly for Mrs. Clinton to say, her diplomacy — which there hasn’t been any diplomacy she was involved in, her idea of diplomacy — is what’s brought about the success here. We’re foolish to accept that. This whole thing is being looked at in the wrong way. It’s being looked at through the prism of Democrat Party politics, which is exactly how the media wants these things looked at, and the prism of Democrat Party politics is about the presidential election in ’08 and how we can destroy Bush. Pure and simple. That’s all this report’s worth to them. That’s all that matters to them about it, and they cannot be trusted with the defense of this country at their feet. They cannot be trusted. It’s not just a lack of maturity on this. These people are just dangerously wrong in their entire worldview — and I would suggest also their view of this country is offensive to me.

RUSH: Here’s Bob in Tampa. Welcome, sir, you’re on the EIB Network. Hello.

CALLER: Hey, Rush, mega dittos.

RUSH: Thank you.

CALLER: I’m an original listener from Sacramento, and I need an answer from you on why in God’s name do we have 16 different intelligence agencies, and does anybody know the names of them?

RUSH: Well, the names are known. I just can’t recite all of them off the top of my head. There, of course, is the CIA; there is the DIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, a Pentagon unit; and there are a bunch of ancillaries to both, but there are 16 different intelligence agencies, and the NIE comprises the best guesses from those 16.

CALLER: Well, do all 16 have information on Iran?

RUSH: Do all 16 have information on Iran? Yes.

CALLER: Yeah.

RUSH: They all gather it, and then they cross-check it and they compare notes. When they put it all together, it amounts to the best guess. It’s not a wild guess, but it’s the best guess that they can come up with. The best way to think of the NIE is this way. It’s a snapshot of a battlefield shrouded in fog. Just because the snapshot doesn’t show the enemy down there, doesn’t mean they’re not hiding in the fog, and that is why intent must be considered. Virtually every nuclear power developed their weapons program in secrecy right under the noses of the Internet community, just as Iran is doing, or has been doing, now. Now you have to look at the intent of the Iranians, not our hopes and dreams for the Iranians. When I read this business that the NIE report suggests we must ‘find alternative ways for establishing and maintaining the Iranians’ prestige,’ i.e., their self-esteem in that part of the world and so forth, I wanted to puke! What about our prestige? What about our national security? We can’t ignore what this nut job is saying. He’s clearly articulating his intentions and his desires regarding the United States, Israel, and the rest of the world.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: All right, here are the 16 members of the United States intelligence community that comprise the National Intelligence Estimate. You got two overseers, you’ve got the director of national intelligence, the undersecretary of defense for intelligence, but the organization, the agencies are: Air Force Intelligence, Army Intelligence, the CIA, Coast Guard Intelligence, the Defense Intelligence Agency, or the DIA, the Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, Department of State, Department of the Treasury, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI, Marine Corps Intelligence, National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, the National Reconnaissance Office, the National Security Agency, and Navy Intelligence. Those are the 16 bunches that comprise the National Intelligence Estimate.

So when you hear Department of State — what’s the other one that sticks out to me here, CIA. Of course, we knew they were in there. You put the Department of State in there, I guarantee there’s more sabotage coming out of that place regarding the Bush administration, and in certain elements and certain rings of the Pentagon, you have to examine not just the motives of Iran and the intent of Iran, you gotta examine motives and the intent of the people at the NIE who put together this best guess of all of their estimates.

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