By Tank Murdoch
(TNS) Conservative talk giant Rush Limbaugh blasted reports Friday by The New York Times and other outlets that Mother Russia is once again working behind the scenes to help President Donald Trump in the 2020 election because Vladimir Putin really wants him to win.
Noting that the story in and of itself is little more than a rehash of the ‘Russian collusion’ hoax the ‘mainstream media’ helped Democrats and the Deep State spread during the 2016 election cycle, Limbaugh went on to make a larger point: That Americans should take such ‘intelligence reports’ with a grain of salt anyway because they are seldom accurate.
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And why? Because in the modern era, at least, many of the so-called assessments are politically motivated.
As a point of reference, Limbaugh revisited the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, directed by then-President George W. Bush, another Republican who was elected under less-than-ideal conditions.
Bush, recall, was essentially declared the winner of the 2000 election over then-Vice President Al Gore after the recount mess in Florida left no clear electoral winner. Weeks after the election, and amid a perpetual cycle of court-challenged recounts, the Supreme Court stepped in and ruled that based on the available evidence, Bush narrowly won Florida, giving him a narrow electoral college victory.
Enter a ticked-off deep state, though as Limbaugh admits, no one was calling it that back then:
Who are we talking about? These intelligence agency people, who are they? This is the deep state. These are the people that told us there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. And you know my theory about this…
Let’s go back to the Iraq war, 2003. George W. Bush spends a year and a half traveling the country, preparing everybody, lobbying the American people to support it. He goes to the United Nations, has satellite photos, all kinds of stuff. Colin Powell was up there showing the photos supposedly of weapons of mass destruction installations in Iraq of Saddam Hussein, and the Europeans — our allies in the intelligence community — all support this.
Now Bush, as a Republican, was probably not popular with the deep state particularly after how he was elected. You know, there was outrage with the Florida recount in 2000. A lot of Democrats, a lot of deep staters think that Gore should have been president. He won the popular vote. They think the Supreme Court unfairly put Bush in there. I think there was as much resentment in the deep state (we just didn’t call it that then) for George W. Bush as there is today for Donald Trump — and if not the same, it’s close.
I think, “How could so many different intelligence agencies get something so wrong as weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?” And remember, they gave Bush mounds of satellite photo evidence, documentation evidence. Colin Powell was dispatched to the United Nations to present this evidence — and it was all bogus, because we went in there. It was the pretext for invading Iraq after 9/11. We get in there, and there are no weapons of mass destruction.
It was one of the most embarrassing things. The Bush administration had to scramble; everybody had to scramble. What I have seen this bunch of people in the intelligence community be capable of… What they’ve tried with Trump here, this whole Russia meddling, Trump colluding? This whole thing is a gigantic lie, a totally bogus hoax, a silent coup. That’s when I began to think the weapons of mass destruction thing was a setup against Bush too.
My point is this: Why should we believe these people? They haven’t been right about anything in the last four years. They were wrong about weapons of mass destruction. They didn’t get Benghazi right. Why should we believe them? We shouldn’t. It is a continuation of an insane mind-set that the deep state and the Democrat Party are in because they can’t find a way to defeat this guy. They’re almost insane with their inability to land a punch on Donald Trump.”
There were reports shortly after the Iraq invasion claiming that Saddam did have weapons of mass destruction, but that they were secreted out of the country to neighboring Syria before the invasion.
And who actually said that? Does the name James Clapper ring a bell?
As The Chicago Tribune reported, the man who would become President Obama’s director of national intelligence sure thought so at the time, or so he said.
The official, James Clapper Jr., a retired lieutenant general, said satellite imagery showing a heavy flow of traffic from Iraq into Syria, just before the U.S. invasion in March, led him to believe that illicit weapons material “unquestionably” had been moved out of Iraq.
“I think people below the Saddam-Hussein-and-his-sons level saw what was coming and decided the best thing to do was to destroy and disperse,” Clapper, who leads the National Imagery and Mapping Agency [Editor’s note: This is now the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency], said at a breakfast with reporters. He said he was providing a personal assessment. But he said “the obvious conclusion one draws” was that there “may have been people leaving the scene, fleeing Iraq, and unquestionably, I am sure, material.”
The Washington Examiner added:
Clapper wasn’t alone. Other credible reports from international officials and a well-regarded Syrian journalist and many other sources said that Iraqi WMD ended up in Syria as well. In 2005, the CIA’s final report on the absence of WMD in Iraq called the transfer of chemical weapons to Syria ” unlikely,” but couldn’t rule out the possibility that this is what happened.
This is Bay of Pigs stuff. JFK stuff. He, reportedly, wasn’t given good intelligence before he authorized that fiasco, either. But then, JFK wasn’t a ‘go-along-to-get-along’ president, either. He wanted to break from what his predecessor, President Dwight Eisenhower, warned was the outsized influence of the “military-industrial complex,” which, of course, included the intelligence community.
As for Clapper, we now know that he was not just a deep stater but also a Democrat sycophant who has loathing for Republican presidents. Would he have helped set up George Bush? Well, we know that he played a huge role in attempting to depose Donald Trump, so the question sort of answers itself.
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As for Saddam’s chemical weapons, it’s possible they were real and did wind up in Syria, just like Clapper said, because Trump attacked the Syrian regime for possibly using some of them against Syrian civilians. But even those reports were questioned, including by a 2020 Democratic presidential contender, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii.
So, Limbaugh’s larger point that we simply can’t trust what’s being leaked to media by the deep state intelligence community stands: It’s all politically motivated to elicit a certain response, create a desired narrative and, as Clapper proves, to try and effect a desired outcome.
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