RUSH: Leon Panetta is now out publicly doing two things. He’s ripping the Regime and distancing himself from it. He’s actually doing three things. He’s doing those two things and circling the wagons around Hillary, which a lot of Democrats are doing as they shape up for 2016.
Leon Panetta is actually saying that Obama’s bad decisions on Syria and Iraq led to the rise of ISIS. Leon Panetta is saying it was a mistake not to leave a residual force in Iraq. Now, Panetta is a Clinton toady. He’s a Santa Cruz, California, Santa Cruz liberal Democrat. They don’t come more leftist. He lives in Carmel, and he’s got a think tank out there. He presents as a Democrat Party adult.
But he is, despite all that, as rock-solid leftist as any of them. He really has pulled this off. He comes across looking as an adult moderate, almost a father figure that knows the kids are going off the path now and then but is doing his best. He is one of the kids going off the path. He just looks like a mature adult. He was, as I say, totally slavish to the Clintons. He was Clinton’s chief of staff.
I will never forget his retirement speech when he was leaving and the suck-ups in that speech to Bill Clinton. Oh! My mouth is still sweet just from hearing what Panetta said. Now, Panetta was on CBS with Scott Pelley, and I think… Let me check and see. I know I’ve saw these in the sound bite roster.
Right, grab 13 and 14. Rather than reading all this in little detail, here are the sound bites. On 60 Minutes, Scott Pelley says to Panetta, “With virtually his entire nat…” Well, this is narration. “With virtually his entire national security team unanimous on arming the moderate Syrian rebels, that’s not the decision the president made.”
PANETTA: He had a fear that, uh, if we started providing weapons, we wouldn’t know where those weapons would wind up. My view was, you have to begin somewhere.
PELLEY: In retrospect now, was not arming the rebels at that time a mistake?
PANETTA: I think that would have helped. We paid a price for not doing that in what we see happening with ISIS.
RUSH: Wow. This is about Syria last summer and pulling out of Iraq and not leaving a residual force. I haven’t paid much attention to Drive-By Media news today. I don’t know how much play this is getting, but this is big. I mean, this is a prominent Democrat — even though a former Clintonite, current Clintonite — really throwing Obama under the bus here.
We haven’t seen this in six years. I mean, this is tantamount to blaming Obama for the ISIS situation, ’cause Obama’s trying to blame Bush. Obama and the Democrats blame Bush by claiming that we should have never been in Iraq in the first place because we went there with no reason. We simply created a world of terrorists.
Obama was gonna make the world love us again by immediately pulling out of there and admitting to the world we shouldn’t have been there and then apologizing to the world for what we did there, the torture and all that. And here comes Panetta blowing that all up. Here comes Panetta saying, “No, no, no. I think that not arming the Syrian rebels last summer, that was a big mistake.” It would have been folly if we armed ’em then.
The pretense back then was that Assad was doing all the dirty work and murdering innocents in Syria, and it’s later been learned that it was not Assad. Or it’s a good bet that it was not Assad. The next thing Pelley said: “Back when you watched the Stars and Stripes being lowered for the last time in Baghdad, were you confident in that moment that pulling out was the…?”
Who in the world? 60 Minutes is all-in for the Clintons here! (laughing) What kind of question is this? You talk about a softball setup question. So Scott Pelley says to Panetta, who is on 60 Minutes to sell out Obama, “Back when you watched the Stars and Stripes being lowered for the last time in Baghdad, were you confident in that moment that pulling out was the right thing to do?”
PANETTA: No, I wasn’t! I really thought that it was important for us to maintain a presence in Iraq. The decision was that we ought to at least try to maintain eight to 10,000 US troops there, plus, uh, keeping some of our intelligence personnel in place to be able to continue the momentum in the right direction. And, frankly, having those troops there I think would have been given us greater leverage on Maliki to try to force him to do the right thing as well.
RUSH: Well, where were you back then?
Everything I remember was that every Democrat was trying to get on board with Obama to get us out of Iraq yesterday. Now, my memory could be failing me here, but you all know what Iraq became in terms of its political value to the Democrat Party. They spent five years — the last five years of the Bush presidency — impugning the Iraq war and the military conducting it from the leaders on down to uniformed troops.
They spent every day for five years trashing the entire premise, saying that it was uncalled for, that it was unnecessary, that it was unjust, that we had done nothing but engage in torture, that we had abandoned our values. All of that crap that was coming out of every Democrat’s mouth. I don’t remember a one of them back then warning Obama, “Hey, pal, you better leave a residual force in there.”
Now, I will acknowledge is that there may have been some. Panetta may have been one who was saying, “Hey, it’s a mistake to pull totally out of there.” I don’t recall. But I think I would recall it if it had been loud, if it be a loud and forceful disagreement with the pullout. But I would have found it strange because the Democrats were so invested. Politically, they were so invested in just getting everything out of there.
They had to do that to validate the votes of their base from 2008. I can’t stress to you enough. Over five years, they turned their base literally inside out insane with hatred for anything to do with Iraq, ’cause they bashed it all the time. They bashed Bush, they bashed the generals, they bashed Petraeus, they bashed the policy, the surge. Everything! They tried to undermine it.
Harry Reid was all over television, “This war is lost! This war is immoral!” The last I remember was every Democrat trying to climb on board to also participate in the political victory of pulling out of Iraq, a place we should never have been in the first place. Now Panetta’s out saying it was a mistake, and now Panetta says that we’re paying a price and pulling out of there is why we have ISIS?
He’s right about that. I just can’t believe he’s saying it and undermining Obama. But that is what is happening. It’s fascinating to see. Let’s keep going. Audio sound bite number 15. We’re gonna go back. This is June 20th of this year. CBS This Morning, the cohost Norah O’Donnell was interviewing Obama about the rise of ISIS, and she said, “Would that vacuum that ISIS rose up in exist had we backed the moderate rebel forces in Syria?”
OBAMA: This notion that somehow this was this ready-made moderate Syrian force that was able to defeat Assad is simply not true. The notion that they were in a position suddenly, uh, to overturn, you know, not only Assad, but also ruthless, highly trained jihadists if we just sent a few arms is a fantasy.
RUSH: All right. Putting this in perspective, that means that Obama is on record back in June 20th of this year saying that what Panetta and Hillary and Bill Clinton are saying today is a fantasy. Because you just heard him. “The notion that somehow there was this ready-made, moderate Syrian force and all we had to do was arm ’em and help ’em out and Assad was… That’s childish, that’s silly, that was a fantasy.”
So this is even more interesting, because they know Obama said that, and they know people like us are gonna go find the sound bite of Obama saying that. So we’re gonna play Obama saying, “It’s a fantasy that what I did created ISIS. There’s no freaking way!” Here they come today saying what Obama did created ISIS.
That means, folks, it’s official that the Clintons have turned the page. Obama’s in the rearview mirror, and it’s all speed ahead for Hillary 2016. This is just fascinating to me, to watch this, ’cause now all these people — the Clintons — want to come in, what, years later and claim they knew all along, and yet where were they when they claimed to know it all?
RUSH: Now, you want some real irony, ladies and gentlemen? We pointed this out a couple of weeks ago. It’s hard to keep up with all this stuff, so you just have to trust me and don’t doubt my memory about this, ’cause we talked about this two weeks ago. Hillary said, in 2012… Remember, Panetta’s out there throwing Obama overboard. “Hey, it was a mistake to pull out of Iraq!
“Hey, arming Syrian rebels? We should have done that. If we’d have done those two things, there wouldn’t be an ISIS today.” Well, in 2012, Hillary Clinton said that arming rebels would be arming Al-Qaeda. She said it was not viable. I’ve got the YouTube clip if you want to see it. She said that to 60 Minutes’ Scott Pelley, the same guy that Panetta’s talking to two years later!
Well, Panetta last night told Pelley, “Hey, it was the right thing to do, we should have done it, and because we didn’t do it today we’ve got ISIS.” Two years ago Hillary told Scott Pelley, “Oh, no! No. Arming those rebels would be like arming Al-Qaeda. That’s not viable.” Here’s the transcript of what Hillary told to Scott Pelley. “‘What are we going to arm them with and against what?’ she said, when pressed in a CBS interview about why the Obama [Regime] wasn’t giving the Syrian rebels weapons to help them in their fight against Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.
“‘You are not going to bring tanks over the borders of Turkey, Lebanaon and Jordan — that’s not going to happen. So maybe at the best you can smuggle in, you know, automatic weapons. And to whom are you delivering them?’ she continued. ‘We know that al-Qaeda [leader Ayman al] Zawahiri is supporting the opposition in Syria. Are we supporting al-Qaeda in Syria? Hamas is now supporting the opposition. Are we supporting Hamas in Syria?'”
So two years ago, the woman who wants to be president says the most stupid thing in the world is to think about arming these people. Last night Leon Panetta said it was the biggest mistake that we didn’t, and he’s attempting to speak for all the Clintons. The Clintons are all out there saying, “Oh, yeah, we should have done it. We should have never gotten out of Iraq. We should have left a little bit of a force there.”
I wonder how long it’s gonna take… I’m surprised this is not front page everywhere today. Maybe I’m misreading it. Maybe I’m attaching more importance to this than there is, but this looks like a giant split. I mean, it is what it is. It’s a huge split. It’s clearly the Clinton wing abandoning Obama now and moving forward for themselves 2016. They’re contradicting themselves even from two years ago.
But the very fact that this is the first real serious break within the Democrat Party from Obama… Maybe that’s why it’s being covered up — or not covered up, but ignored. You can’t say it’s being covered up ’cause it’s on 60 Minutes. But it’s nowhere else. I mean, Fox News has dipped their toe in the water on this a little bit, but hardly anybody else has. Maybe they will when they finally realize it, when they catch up to it.
We will find out.