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Rush Limbaugh

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RUSH: Let me get to the Clinton stuff. From his book, My Lie — uh, Life. Remember Dick Morris yesterday. We had the audio from the night before on Hannity where he said (paraphrased), ‘Nobody knows this, we’ve not said this before, but Clinton actually orchestrated the Waco invasion — and Janet Reno went to him shortly before his second term inauguration and said, ‘If you don’t reappoint me attorney general, I’m going to spill the beans on this,” ’cause she was the fall guy. So Clinton didn’t want the truth coming out and reappointed Reno. So that’s the story. Here’s how he writes about it in his book. (Clinton impression) ‘On a Sunday night, April 18, Janet Reno came to White House to tell me the FBI wanted to storm that compound, apprehend Koresh and any of his followers who had taken part in killing the agents or some other crime, and free the rest of them. …

‘When Janet made her case to me, I thought we should try what had worked in Arkansas before we approved that FBI raid. She countered that the FBI was tired of waiting; that the standoff was costing government a million dollars a week, and tying up law-enforcement resources that we needed elsewhere; that the Branch Davidians could hold out longer than the Arkansas people had; and that the possibilities of child sexual abuse and mass suicide were real, because Koresh was crazy and so were many of his followers. Finally, I told her that if she thought it was the right thing to do, she could go ahead’ with the invasion. ‘The next day,’ I’m sitting there minding my own business, and ‘as I watched CNN on a television just outside the Oval Office, I saw Koresh’s compound in flames. The raid had gone terribly wrong.

‘After the FBI had fired tear gas into the buildings where the people were holed up, the Branch Davidians started a fire. It got worse when they opened the windows to let the tear gas out and also let in a hard wind off the Texas plains, which stoked the flames. When it ended more than eighty people had died, including twenty-five children; only nine of them survived. I knew I needed to speak to the press and take responsibility for the fiasco.’ That’s what he wrote. That’s what he wrote. (laughs) It goes to show you nobody read his book. You’re hearing about it for the first time. I remember distinctly when the press went and asked him about it, he said, ‘Janet Reno. Heh-heh. You gotta go ask her. The attorney general approved that operation.’ I mean, he took no responsibility for it whatsoever — and they did fire tear gas in there. Remember the story from Reno was that they were abusing children in there, that the Branch Davidians were a bunch of sickos and that they were abusing the kids.

It was never proven and Reno, you know, child abuse was one of her causes. If there was child abuse anywhere in the country, the fear was that Janet Reno was going to be there with ATF and the FBI and a bunch of tanks to get you and whoever is in there out of there and then the kids as well. So that was the theory: She went in there to protect the kids. But they did launch some tear gas in there and the Branch Davidians did open the windows to let the tear gas out, but I never knew the Branch Davidians started the fire. Had you heard that? The Branch Davidians, according to President Clinton in his book My Lie (Clinton impression paraphrasing), ‘Yeah, the Branch Davidians started that fire. I don’t know why! I don’t know why they want to burn down their own house. But they did. But then we tear gassed them — and I’m watching this on CNN, I can’t believe it’s happening.

‘You know, I’m outside the Oval Office, I’m minding my own business. I’d just waved bye-bye to Monica and all of a sudden I’m watching CNN and I’m seeing this and I said, ‘Whoa, the whole compound is up in flames,’ and I said, ‘I never approved that!’ So then I found out they set the fire and then they opened the windows there to get rid of tear gas, and the winds off Texas Plains roared through there and made that fire even worse. It was a catastrophe! (interruption) Yeah, that’s right! That’s right, Snerdley. They set fire on themselves — and then they opened the windows to get that tear gas out because tear gas was making them tearful and tear gas was choking them up. They had to get the tear gas out of there. The hard wind off Texas Plains then stoked the flames, and, you know, 80 people died — and I knew! I knew I had to speak to the press and take responsibility for that fiasco.’

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: You want to hear more from Clinton’s book? You do? Okay. Okay. So Bill Clinton, he ends up saying, (paraphrasing in Clinton’s voice) ‘I knew that I had to go out there and I had to take responsibility for that fiasco.’ But he didn’t. And he blamed Stephanopoulos for not taking responsibility. Listen to this. (Clinton impression) ‘Now, I knew I needed to speak to the press and take responsibility for this fiasco. So did Dee Dee Myers and Bruce Lindsey. But several times during the day, when I wanted to go, ahead George Stephanopoulos urged me to wait, saying we didn’t know whether anybody was still alive or whether, if Koresh heard my words, he might snap and kill them, too. Janet Reno did appear before the cameras, explained what happened, and took full responsibility for the raid. As the first woman to hold attorney general’s post, she thought it was important not to pass the buck. By the time I finally talked to the press about Waco, Reno was being praised and I was being criticized for letting her take the fall.

‘For the second time in less than 24 hours, I had accepted advice that ran counter to my instincts. I didn’t blame George. He was young and cautious and had given me his honest, albeit mistaken, opinion. But I was furious at myself, first for agreeing to the raid against my better judgment, then for delaying a public acknowledgement of responsibility for it.’ (continuing with impression but no longer reading from book) ‘I couldn’t stop Janet Reno from taking credit for it. She went out there and undercut me. Reno, she accepted full responsibility. I have Stephanopoulos out there, ‘No, wait, wait, Koresh may still be alive, may kill some more people in there. You can’t go out there yet.” So as usual, everyone is to blame except himself. He says this while saying how much he wanted to take responsibility.

It was I, El Rushbo, who criticized him immediately for not taking responsibility, because I’ll never forget the sound bite, I’ll never forget it. I don’t know if we’ve got it in the archives but this is one of the reasons why he went to the White House Correspondents Dinner and told a racist joke about me, because I laughed and I said, (Clinton impression) ‘You’ll have to go talk to Janet Reno about that. She ordered the raid. I didn’t know anything about it. I was in the Oval Office, I said bye to Monica and I’m watching CNN and I said ‘Whoa, damn place is on fire down there.” If you read further in the book he even blames Ken Starr. Listen to this: ‘Perhaps one of the reasons why I didn’t trust my instincts enough is that the administration was being hammered hard in Washington. I was being second-guessed at every turn.’ So it was a vast right-wing conspiracy that kept him from taking responsibility for Waco. But he wanted to, damn it. He really wanted to take responsibility. Stephanopoulos told him not to, and then Ken Starr, being hammered in Washington, shoulda just trusted his instincts out there.

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