RUSH: I want to just close the loop on a couple of hanging curveballs, if you will, from the previous hour on the blockbuster story that’s in The Daily Beast today, written by Eli Lake. “Insiders Blame Karl Rove for Covering up Iraq’s Real Weapons of Mass Destruction.” It turns out that US military found remnants of sarin and mustard gas and also yellowcake, enriched uranium, that was found and was shipped out of Iraq in 2008.
Look, I don’t want to repeat myself, because it would require another half hour. But I would be remiss if I didn’t review some of this, because the effect on the country and the Republican Party because of five years of lies, distortions and undisguised hatred still affects the politics in our country to this day. The short version is that when Rick Santorum informed the White House in 2005/2004 that US military personnel told him they’d found sarin and mustard gas shells while doing their duty in Iraq, Santorum took it to the White House.
They said, “Yeah, yeah, we know. Let sleeping dogs lie. We lost that issue, and these are not the same WMD. These are pre-1991 chemical weapons. This is not why we went in there.” Although it was. See, that’s the thing: It was. It was all Saddam, it was all lies to the UN, it was all violations of UN resolutions. It was all part of the mix, the state of the country and the immediate aftermath of 9/11, the unwillingness to just let threats go idly by without reacting to them.
Saddam was clearly huffing and puffing and threatening to do even more. You can’t, after 9/11, just be lackadaisical and cavalier about that. So we organized the invasion of Iraq, and for five years the people of this country were driven to abject hatred for the Republican Party, for George Bush, for the White House, the institution of the presidency — and in some cases, they were driven to hatred of their country at large!
Because the Democrats and the American media in conjunction worked tirelessly day in and day out to discredit everything that was going on — not just the Iraq war, and not just the War on Terror, but everything the Bush administration was doing. And none of it was replied to. None of it was answered. None of these lies, none of the criticism, none of the defamation. None of it was responded to. It was allowed to stand, and the attitude continues to this day.
I am more convinced than ever that the paralysis of the Republican Party stems from those five years of never-ending defamation that the White House chose to ignore and not reply to. There were numerous reasons why. “Well, you know, we have such reverence for the office that we’re not gonna respond to these political charges. We’re not gonna get down the gutter with these people. We’re gonna maintain the aura of the office above all of this.”
Well, yeah, that is fine and dandy, except you have a bunch of people who voted for you who are being tarred and feathered in the same way. You’ve got the US military as an institution under daily assault. Do they not deserve to be defended as the good men and women they are, who were doing nothing more than following orders? Is there nothing worth defending? Every… For five years we’re all asking ourselves, “What the heck?”
And we learn that the theory behind not responding was, “Just ignore it. The news cycle will produce a news story tomorrow and everybody will forget about this. But if we engage and we start trying to reply to this stuff, it’s just gonna prolong the story. It’s gonna be even worse.” But nobody forgot anything. Everything just ended up being piled on top, one after another. Now, in this article in The Daily Beast, there’s a guy who says that these chemical weapons that have been found, that Santorum found and that Rove and the White House did not want to deal with or acknowledge…
They did not want to use the information to defend themselves, to defend the war effort, to defend… They just didn’t want to use it. One guy in the article says (paraphrased), “There’s no reason to. These chemicals that these troops found in 2004, they’re no more dangerous than what’s underneath your kitchen sink.” There’s another guy in the article who says, “The real reason that the White House did not respond to this is that they didn’t want the Sunnis in Iraq to know the weapons were there.”
How convoluted is that?
We go to Iraq to eradicate weapons of mass destruction that Saddam Hussein’s bragging all over the world about, and every intelligence service in the world says he has. We go there and we don’t find those, but we do some years later find evidence of Saddam’s previous foray into chemical weapons and nuclear, and we said, “No, we better not say we found them. We don’t want the Sunnis in Iraq to know that the weapons were there.”
What are the odds that ISIS got its hands on some of this stuff? What do you think the odds of that are? Look at what happened. The CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, MI5, MI6 — every intelligence agency in the world was brutalized and called out for lying, and then their integrity was called into question. “Well, you know, Bush and Cheney, they made ’em lie! Bush and Cheney made ’em make it up because Bush and Cheney just wanted the oil!
“Bush and Cheney just wanted to get the oil for Halliburton, and Bush just wanted to go in and avenge Saddam’s attempt to assassinate his dad. There was no oil, and no blood for oil, and there wasn’t any weapons of mass destruction.” This kind of hatred and irrational hatred was built up over five years! The intelligence agencies were brutalized. Their integrity was under assault every day by no less than the Democrat Party and the media.
Our own national security institutions were brutalized to the point nobody was trusted about anything, and that survives to this day. Think about the soldiers! Think about the uniformed military people. They sign up. It’s a volunteer force. They sign up to defend their country. I had a troop visit in Afghanistan. I heard them say that. I asked them a simple question. I had a unit of the Texas Air Guard flying our group around on a C-130 in Afghanistan.
I asked a young guy, “What are you doing here?”
“It’s how I defend my country, sir.”
And they meant it.
There wasn’t any PR; they weren’t trying to impress me. They meant it. That’s why they were there. That’s why their families were home and why they were there. Imagine those five years, when everything they’re doing is called into question. Their own integrity is called into question. They’re being accused of terrorism. They’re accused of terrorizing Iraqi women and mothers and children in their homes at night and John Kerry’s out there with John Murtha saying, “Yeah, yeah, yeah! This is horrible for our troops to do this.”
Before there was ever any evidence, and those troops ended up being exonerated. But who knew about that, it was so many years later. I think that survives to this day. Just a giant dispiriting of all of these great institutions brought to us by the Democrat Party and the American media, and allowed to happen by a Republican White House that chose not to respond to any of it. Again, for political purposes. The political purpose, the political calculation was, “We need to put this stuff behind us, as we go into an election cycle.
“We need to get this stuff buried, need to get this stuff off the news. We don’t want the media talking about this stuff anymore, and the only way to get the media to shut up about it is for us not to talk about it.” That was the ongoing theory. “If we talk about it, if we engage, if we react, it’s only gonna prolong the story and keep it on the front page. We don’t want it on the front page. We lost the battle, weapons of mass destruction. There weren’t any,. So let’s just let sleeping dogs lie.”
Miscalculation. Because with all of these lies that succeeded, the Democrats were more emboldened than ever; and it led to people like Dick Durbin going to the floor of the Senate and comparing our troops at Abu Ghraib to people that ran the Soviet gulags and the Nazi stalags. Oh, not to mention all of this crap about torture. “Oh, we were torturers! We were torturing everybody. We had black sites. We were renditioning the innocent all over the world and just torturing them!
“We were waterboarding them and we were being mean to them. We were cutting out their fingernails, we were connecting electrodes to their eyebrows — and, yeah, it was horrible.” All of this for five years unanswered, all because it was thought this was a loser issue. My point is, folks — and I think it’s crucial. I think it’s pretty important. This attitude continues to this day, this attitude, “No, no, no! Let’s not talk about it. No, let’s not respond! No, let’s not reply. That’s just gonna keep it in the news.
“Let’s forget about it; let’s move on to the next story; let’s hope they forget it.” It’s the same thing every time there’s a big budget fight. What do the Republicans do? They threaten to engage the Democrats on it; at the last minute they don’t. They kick it down the road and promise to do it the next time. So what we have here is an attitude in the Republican Party that’s scared to death of the media, scared to death of the left because of those five years the Democrats and the media showed what they’re capable of.
The Republicans don’t want to go through that again, “So don’t make ’em mad, don’t engage ’em, don’t call ’em out. Just hope! Maybe even agree with them on things like amnesty and maybe they’ll stop doing this kind of stuff.” I’m convinced we are totally defensive because of what happened between 2003-2008. We have an attitude, the GOP, that wants to persuade the American people Republicans are as nice and as compassionate as Democrats are.
“For that reason we gotta get rid of the Tea Party.” You know why? Because an attitude that also survives to this day is that conservatives and people that believe in limited government? “Well, they come off as mean, they come off as extreme, they come off as hostile — and we in the Republican Party can’t afford to come off like that. So we have to publicly denounce the Tea Party and conservatives and limited government people and the NRA, because they come off as mean!”
Rather than defending, rather than embracing, rather than joining forces to beat the left, we’re still cowering in fear. And I think this: I think there is an attitude at the upper levels of the Washington Republican establishment that assumes the country is already lost to the liberals; that the left has won. They’ve won the culture, and they’re winning politics. There’s an attitude that the left has won and that we can only occasionally expect to run the government.
And when we occasionally run the government, we’re gonna make the most of it. We’re gonna get those committee chairmanships, we’re gonna be in charge of money, and we’re gonna take care of people we need to take care of. We’ll lose the next time, but we’re gonna win occasionally — and when we do, we want to be in charge of the money, too. It’s defeatist, and it’s no way to build a party or a movement. And all of it stems — I’m convinced all of this stems — from a political decision in 2005 at the White House, from 2003, actually, to 2008, five years, to let this stuff go un-commented on.
RUSH: We’ll start Saratoga Springs, New York. This is Jim. Thank you for waiting, sir. I appreciate it. Hi.
CALLER: Hello, Rush. I just wanted to reiterate, everything you were saying is so true. I mean, I knew this back in 2006. I can remember the liberals, the pathetic media, putting posters up saying, “WMD: 0, American soldiers: like 4,000.” This whole thing is coming out now because of a few things going on, like the New York Times article, Rick Santorum, I don’t know why he doesn’t come out stronger and defend this. But this is why we have eight years of Marxism in the White House and liberal politicians is because the administration — it’s pains me to say this about my own president I used to support vividly about everything, but I don’t know why they would not defend finding these weapons.
It’s the whole thing about not articulating conservatism. I think establishment Republicans have the genetic flaw that they cannot stand up and fight for what their gut principles are. And I think they knew this all along, but Karl Rove decided not to continue on because they thought that would lose their possibly lead in the 2006 election, which it did. They got blown out of the water. So it was a waste of time. I think Karl Rove made a huge error, and the advisors that were advising President Bush.
This is so irritating to me, and I think that the country needs to come out and say, “You know what? President Bush, we did find these weapons.” Do you remember that White House Correspondents Dinner when Bush made a fool of himself looking around the podium for weapons of mass destruction, and goes, “Well, I don’t see any here. I don’t see any there,” and the audience was all laughing hysterically. Do you remember that?
RUSH: I do.
CALLER: It was so sad to see that, and we all knew there were weapons there. Saddam Hussein killed his own people. The Kurds were killed by chemical weapons. And yet nobody said a word because the liberal media and these leftists that run Washington, DC, are disgusting. And this is so good that you bring this up, and I just wanted to express that point, why we have the administration we have today.
RUSH: Well, I think you’re on the money, and if you note, the same philosophy exists today. Don’t respond to any of it. The racism, sexism, bigotry charge, the War on Women, all of this crap, just let it go.
RUSH: This is Jeremy in Minneapolis. Welcome, sir. Great to have you on the EIB Network. Hi.
CALLER: Yes, sir. Thank you very much. Maybe from the other angle, maybe they felt that they didn’t have to be vindicated in the press to be a patriot. By keeping stuff quiet and not letting other people know where the chemical weapons were at, kept them out of getting in the wrong people’s hands. And here with the press and everything, I mean, we have one station, and we have talk radio that actually tells us the truth. And no matter where they let that out about the chemical weapons, it would have been spun the other way. I mean, a local politician here that ran against Michele Bachmann, Jim Graves, he says that it’s the Americans that made the chemical weapons so we’re still at fault. So no matter which angle they go we’re still in trouble.
RUSH: Okay, now, there are a lot of people that have that viewpoint, that no matter what you do, the left is gonna attack it. No matter what you say, the left is gonna try to discredit you. The problem is, if you simply let that dictate your behavior, you’re always going to end up losing, if you ask me. That attitude concedes we cannot beat the left. Which is, sadly, where I think a lot of Republican Party thinking is today. We can’t beat the media, we can’t beat the left, and therefore we need to make of ourselves the smallest targets we can be. The conservatives make us too big a target, and the Tea Party makes us too big a target. They’re too loud. They’re too anti-establishment, and they come off as extremists, and it affects the way people think about us. So discredit the Tea Party, disavow conservatives, and just slink along trying to be as unnoticed as you can.
Is there any better example of the philosophy than this election? They’re going out of their way to be invisible. The Republicans are. Because they think the Democrats are imploding. They think to engage and to take an opportunity here to build a coalition, to build a connection, the American people are fed up with this, build a connection, tell ’em why, join them, present yourselves, the Republicans, as their champion. No, no, no, the media will eat us up. Oh, no, we’ll just sit by and let the other guys commit suicide, we hope. Political suicide, of course. That’s what I mean. This attitude survives to this day. Well, look, you can say that you understand it, and I do, but I don’t agree with it.
They think it’s gotten them survivability. Boehner is still the Speaker. They’re still in office. Individually they’re still in office. They may not run the Senate. They may not have the White House, but they’re still in office. They still have their power, whatever it is. I’ve described it, all of this, in previous efforts to characterize it as PTSD, shell shock, what have you. And as I learn about this WMD incident, I’m more convinced than ever, not only did the media, the Democrats in those five years, make their own rabid supporters insane with hatred. It also had a profound effect on the way Republicans deal with the public as well. I mean, they’re literally afraid of their shadows, like groundhogs. Well, I don’t know if groundhogs are afraid of their shadows, but they don’t want to get noticed. Anyway, there are exceptions to it, of course. I’m talking about general party wide philosophy.