RUSH: I was called on the carpet and criticized last night at PMSNBC for my take on the NIE. Dan Abrams all upset that I am attacking the bureaucrats who wrote the NIE, because suddenly now, see, when the intelligence comes out and it fits their worldview, fits their political view, what they want things to be, then it’s unquestionably accurate, and it’s just not right to assail it. Here’s a portion of Dan Abrams and my take on the NIE.
ABRAMS: So upset by the finding of the 16 US intelligence agencies and knowing how much that undermines the administration’s credibility and the case for war against Iran, there’s now a growing course from the right attacking the messenger. The Wall Street Journal editorial board cites an anonymous official who criticized the three former State Department officials who coauthored the National Intelligence Estimate as hyperpartisan anti-Bush officials. Rush Limbaugh saying, ‘You gotta examine motives and the intent of the people at the NIE,’ and conservative commentator Norman Podhoretz wrote, ‘It’s calculated to undermine George W. Bush.’
RUSH: Okay, so how is Abrams going to deal with this? How is Dan Abrams of PMS going to deal with this building controversy? Well, he went out and invited on his show well-known defense strategist and intelligence expert Arianna Huffington to whom he asked, ‘Some of these far right-wingers seem to be saying, ‘Oh, well, you know what? We just can’t trust the NIE at all.”
HUFFINGTON: It is absolutely unbelievable, Dan, because here you have 16 agencies — this is not just one isolated individual — this is the agencies that compromise our main intelligence apparatus, and the Wall Street Journal, of course, refers to them constantly as bureaucracies because that immediately implies that they are wrong. To attack them in that way is simply unbelievable.
RUSH: I needed a Greek translator for some of that. Really? Sounded like Green Acres — oh, Zsa Zsa Gabor. We’re watching Green Acres. That’s right, Eddie Albert and the pitchfork. Exactly right. Anyway, that’s noted intelligence expert Arianna Huffington explaining away the far right-wing doubts of this. And now here is Abrams back in another excerpt.
ABRAMS: Here’s Rush — speaking of unreality, here’s what Rush Limbaugh said about it today.
RUSH ARCHIVE: Exactly what a number of people have suspected is certainly true here. You have some disgruntled State Department people, one of them actively pursuing a program of allowing the Iranians to enrich uranium sabotage — unhappy with the Bush administration. It’s exactly the kind of thing that I suspected and feared yesterday.
RUSH: Unreality, he said? We know who the three people that wrote the NIE are. You can check on their activities. One of them has a grudge, particularly that his Iranian recommendations haven’t been listened to. Unreality? This is what you get on a show with an audience of 180,000.
One more sound bite, ladies and gentlemen, on the EIB Network here from Live With Dan Abrams last night. It was during a roundtable on PMSNBC. He spoke with Cliff May, who is president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Cliff May also contributes at National Review Online. Abrams said, ‘See, Cliff, this, to me, is where we get the difference between honest conservatives and dishonest conservatives, okay? To me, you can have a consistent position which is, ‘You know what, I believed the NIE when we went into Iraq; I believe the evidence that we’ve gathered, et cetera.’ To me the dishonest ones are the ones that pick and choose what they like and what they don’t like.’ Before I play Mr. May’s answer, do you realize the hypocrisy contained in the question? I believed the NIE when we went into Iraq? Do you still, Mr. Abrams? You believed the weapons of mass destruction intelligence back then but now we’ve learned that there wasn’t any to speak of to be found (in Iraq, anyway), you still believe it? You have no reason to be… (interruption) Excuse me just a second, folks. Is it getting worse in there for Snerdley? I told you: You know in five seconds if it’s going to work or not. Don’t argue with them. Just zap ’em and move on to the next call. He’s taking off the jacket.
It’s getting serious in there. (chuckles) Poor guy. I knew when the subject of religion came up, what was going to happen. Don’t argue with them. It isn’t worth it. Just say, ‘Thanks,’ hang up, and move on to the next caller. Ladies and gentlemen, I’m sorry to have to conduct the behind-the-scenes aspect of the program on your time. We need a Dittocam on Snerdley so people can see this. It’s impossible to hook up. All right. I have not lost my place. That’s good. Just keep drinking the water and don’t answer the phone for a couple minutes. I can handle it in here. He believed the NIE when it said there were weapons of mass destruction. Now we’ve been told that there were no weapons of mass destruction, at least in Iraq. Does he still believe the NIE? He wants to say he’s consistent because he believed it then and he believes it now. But they were wrong, once, way back, and, by the way, after that, that’s when Bush became a ‘liar,’ and Bush and Cheney were cooking the books! In fact, it wasn’t the NIE’s fault at all. It was Bush and Cheney, those dastardly, Snidely Whiplashes, who are out there making these brilliant, brave, and courageous intelligence people…lie! Here’s what Cliff May said in response to Dan Abrams’ question.
MAY: Let me take a position; you tell me if it’s honest or dishonest. ‘The intelligence community was wrong about the nuclear weapons programs so far of Iraq, of North Korea, of Libya, also of Syria. So maybe, maybe, they’re wrong on this.’
ABRAMS: (snorts) Ugh. Yeah.
MAY: I am worried that once again we’re getting this wrong, and I don’t want to be complacent —
ABRAMS (squeaking): I don’t want to be…! Look…
MAY: about the worst regime getting nuclear weapons.
MAY: I’m more worried about Ahmadinejad than President Bush. I’m a minority in this crowd, perhaps.
ABRAMS: I’m very worried about Ahmadinejad —
ABRAMS: — and Arianna, to me, that’s not the question, though. I’m worried about Ahmadinejad. I don’t know… I — I would assume that you would say you are, too. I view him as a threat to this country.
RUSH: Why? If he shut down his nuclear program, Zsa Zsa, why in the world are you worried about him? And Abrams, why are you worried? They just shut down the nuclear program, and you believe the NIE! Why are you worried about Ahmadinejad? He’s just this little guy that needs a stepladder to get to the urinal. Who could he possibly threaten? He’s just got a little country over there just trying to survey in the Israeli-US infested, Zionist world. Everybody is putting out contracts and hits and so forth. He’s just this little guy trying to bring his nation from the Third World into modernity. I mean, why do you fear Ahmadinejad? See, May caught ’em. Look, you guys, I’m more worried about Ahmadinejad…. Oh, oh, oh, yeah! We are, too. Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. I’m wrong about the audience of 180,000. The audience Abrams’ show is 15, five of whom are family members.