What did Rush Linbaugh say?

(mods and admin - I really have thought about where to place this. This really is a GQ thread [I think]. I don’t what to discuss it or make any points about it so it doesn’t belong in Cafe Society. And I don’t want to take a stand about the rightness or wrongness of the pronouncement. I just want to know what he said.)

A friend just asked, “Do you believe what Rush said about the torture thing in Iraq?”

I said that I had not heard and he said that Rush said it wasn’t that bad a deal. You can find worse things on the Internet.

I said I found that hard to believe. I am not a Rush Linbaugh fan, but I cannot believe that he would say that far of base. I tried to do a search, but could not find the referred to item.


A quick search on “Rush Limbaugh” and “Iraq Torture” came up with a number of quotes, including:


Rush Limbaugh, the voice of conservatives across America, claimed the torture at Abu Ghraib was “about people having a good time” and that the perpetrators just needed to “blow some steam off.” Displaying his trenchant understanding of geopolitics, Limbaugh later claimed, “Maybe the people who executed this pulled off a brilliant maneuver.”

Rush Limbaugh compared the prison torture to “a college fraternity prank,” like a Skull and Bones initiation.


Rush Limbaugh manages to tie it to Jayson Blair, Jack Kelley–and John Kerry:

"About as many soldiers are said to be involved in these outrageous acts of torture against the Iraqi prisoners as there have been plagiarizing and fabricating reporters working for the New York Times, USA Today, and other papers around the country. We have as many indecent acts by these soldiers as we have plagiarist reporters working for mainstream media, partisan media institutions here. I mean it’s awful when it happens, don’t you just hate it when it happens? But it doesn’t mean the entire institution is disreputable. It doesn’t mean the military is all bad and it doesn’t mean that the media is all bad just because you’ve got some plagiarists out there making things up, making up quotes, making up people, saying they were places where they weren’t. You know, torture is torture. Plagiarism is plagiarism.

“But I think that we need somebody with expertise to get to the bottom of this. And I think we should send Kerry over there. John Kerry, who has lots of experience in war atrocities. He admitted to committing them. He came back from Vietnam, and he’s testifying there before the Senate, he says I did this, and I did that, and what Kerry said he did, is far worse than what’s depicted in these pictures. I mean can we be honest here? What Kerry said he did, and what Kerry said other people, other soldiers did in Vietnam – and, by the way, we need to point out again that he did not report these atrocities when he saw them.”


Listen to an audio clip from the comments Revtim posted above.

If Rush is convicted of doctor shopping, perhaps he will be the object of such “pranks” in prison. Oh, the irony!

This is still within the bounds of the OP; part of the Limbaugh quote is:

*It doesn’t mean the military is all bad and it doesn’t mean that the media is all bad just because you’ve got some plagiarists out there making things up, making up quotes, making up people, saying they were places where they weren’t. You know, torture is torture. Plagiarism is plagiarism. *

What does the Iraqi prisoner story have to do with plagiarism ?

It would appear that his contention is that since the American media did not shrivel up and die at the discovery of a half-dozen plagiarists in the last few years, the U.S. effort in Iraq should not shrivel up and die due to the actions of a half-dozen low-ranking soldiers.

Discussions of the quality (accuracy, appropriateness, etc.) of his analogy should probably be left to other venues.

In the Kerry/atrocities quote, Rush is mixing up his Kerrys. Bob Kerrey, not John Kerry, was associated with atrocities in Vietnam. It could have been a damnfool mistake on Limbaugh’s part. However, he makes his living in politics and commentary, and I believe he knows the difference between the two men. It would seem to be an intentional lie.

As for the rest of it…Mr. Limbaugh has defined himself much more eloquently than I ever could.

No, it’s not a mistake. When testifying about Vietnam atrocities in the early 70’s, John Kerry said he was included in the things that went on.

I wouldn’t say that. You can read his 1971 testimony here:

He pretty much said the entire Vietnam war was an atrocity and that “we” – meaning himself as well as all Americans and particularly the top brass of the war and President Nixon – were guilty of allowing it to proceed.

I suppose that “we” could be a bit ambiguous. What makes me think he’s including himself is his reference, in the first paragraph, to “crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command.” He was a lieutenant, was he not?

I’m not trying for some kind of “Gotcha” here, just that I’m pretty sure that Rush (idiotic though his minimizing the badness of the Iraq malfeasance may be, and I’m generally a fan) was not accidentally mixing up Bob Kerrey and John Kerry.

Limbaugh has a history of lying about John Kerry, all the way back to a previous run at the presidency. He has no qualms about smearing Democrats. Maybe he sees it as “blowing off steam” and “having fun.” He revels in being a “cyst on the butt” of American politics.

Even more interesting: if these folks are “making things up”, how on earth can that be plagiarism??

Guess we oughta send Rush a dictionary this Christmas.

Anti-war activist John Kerry on NBC’s Meet the Press, April 18, 1971:

I’m guessing that he means perjury, not plagiarism.

That makes sense.

Why can’t he make speeches like this anymore? The rhetoric and rhythm of this one is far better than anything he’s doing today.