Just a few Rush lies
OLBERMANN: But tonight's winner: the indescribable Rush Limbaugh. He has now defended the president bypassing the foreign intelligence surveillance courts to authorize those NSA wiretaps by explaining to his audience that it was one of those FISA court judges who wouldn't let the FBI examine the laptop of the so-called 21st hijacker [sic], Zacarias Moussaoui, which perhaps might have allowed them to discover the 9-11 plot in the summer of 2001. Of course, in fact, the FBI never even went to the court in that case; they never even asked a judge to let it read Moussaoui's computer. The FBI's own lawyers decided the bureau did not have the right to examine the computer. A later investigation suggested the FBI lawyers were wrong, and if they'd only gone to one of the FISA judges, the judge would have granted access to Moussaoui's computer. But of course, that's not the kind of story Rush Limbaugh wants you to know, so he lied about it, told it backwards. Which is why his listeners live in ignorance and why Rush Limbaugh is once again today's Worst Person in the World.
As Senate Democrats pressured Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) to complete an investigation into whether the Bush administration misused intelligence in the run-up to the war in Iraq, The Wall Street Journal editorial page, nationally syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh, and Fox News correspondent Major Garrett falsely claimed that various government reports had already done so. In fact, "phase two" of the Senate Intelligence Committee report would mark the first assessment of whether proponents of the war exaggerated the threat posed by Saddam Hussein's regime.
Rush Limbaugh cropped remarks by Rep. John Dingell to falsely claim that Dingell "refuses to condemn" Hezbollah. In the portion of Dingell's remarks that Limbaugh omitted, Dingell said "I condemn Hezbollah, as does everybody else, for the violence."
Aired on Rush:
DINGELL: First of all, I don't -- I don't take sides for or against Hezbollah or for or against Israel.
SCILLIAN: You're not against Hezbollah?
DINGELL: I happen to be -- no –
DINGELL: Well, we don't -- first of all, I don't take sides for or against Hezbollah or for or against Israel.
SCILLIAN: You're not against Hezbollah?
DINGELL: I happen to be -- no, I happen to be -- I happen to be against violence. I think the United States has to bring a resolution to this matter. Now, I condemn Hezbollah, as does everybody else, for the violence. But I think that we've got to talk to them, and if we don't -- if we don't get ourselves in a position where we can talk to both sides and bring both sides together, the killing and the blood let [sic] is going to continue.
Rush Limbaugh downplayed President Bush's low approval ratings by falsely claiming that former President Bill Clinton "was down in the 20s at one point" and suggesting that Clinton had "parallel poll results" to Bush during the equivalent point in his second term. In fact, Clinton's approval rating never dropped below 36 percent, and remained above 58 percent in the Gallup poll throughout 1998, the equivalent year in his presidency to 2006 for Bush.
Rush Limbaugh falsely claimed that after "the left-wing fringe threw a hissy fit" about The Washington Post's hiring of Ben Domenech to write for a conservative weblog on the newspaper's website, the Post "concocted some phony excuse that the guy that they had hired was a plagiarist" and "he was gone inside of two weeks." In fact, on the day of his resignation -- four days after his blog for the Post began -- Domenech admitted to using other writers' work "inappropriately and without attribution."
Rush Limbaugh falsely claimed that Rep. Dennis Kucinich's proposal for a cabinet-level Department of Peace and Nonviolence would "[g]et rid of the Department of Defense." In fact, Kucinich's proposed Department of Peace would operate in addition to the Department of Defense to "develop policies that promote national and international conflict prevention, nonviolent intervention, mediation, peaceful resolution of conflict, and structured mediation of conflict."
Rush Limbaugh suggested that Schumer and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton had only recently emphasized port security. In fact, Schumer, Corzine, and Clinton have all sponsored or co-sponsored port security legislation and have also frequently spoken out on the subject.
Rush Limbaugh falsely claimed, "[Sen.] Pat Leahy opposes NSA [National Security Agency] intercepts of the enemy," referring to the NSA's warrantless surveillance program secretly authorized by President Bush in 2001. In fact, according to his statement before the Senate Judiciary Committee on February 6, Leahy "agree[d] that we should be wiretapping Al Qaeda terrorists."
For the second time in a week, nationally syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh falsely claimed that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court denied the FBI a warrant to search the laptop computer of Zacarias Moussaoui. But in fact, the FBI never petitioned the court for a warrant after bureau attorneys determined they did not have sufficient evidence.
On his radio show, Rush Limbaugh falsely claimed that "[t]here is no evidence that we could destroy ecosystems." In fact, there is ample evidence that humans can -- and do -- devastate ecosystems.
Rush Limbaugh twice falsely claimed that Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) had "admitted that torture worked on him" during his five years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam. The false assertion originated in a NewsMax.com article and is not supported by McCain's version of events.
On his radio program, Rush Limbaugh falsely suggested that the "9-11 Commission didn't say anything" about "[t]his whole picture of the U.S. as a torturous, torturing, barbaric institution." In fact, the 9-11 Commission's final report called for the U.S. government to "engage its friends to develop a common coalition approach toward the detention and humane treatment of captured terrorists."