Last week, on ABC World News Tonight Charlie Gibson and Brian Ross, their investigative reporter, did a story on phony soldiers. The segment was about Jesse MacBeth, a guy who went on video testifying that he had served as a Ranger and Special Forces soldier in Iraq. MacBeth claimed he had been wounded several times and received a variety of medals. After he supposedly returned from Iraq, MacBeth started working with a group in Tacoma, Washington known as “Iraq Veterans against the War.” MacBeth was very vocal in his criticism of the Bush administration and the war in Iraq. He said he had killed hundreds of innocent civilians during his tour. But when the Army checked out the service history of "Jessie MacBeth", aka Jesse Adam Macbeth, they couldn't find any record that he'd served in the Army a day in his life. MacBeth made the whole thing up. MacBeth was a “phony soldier.”
Last Wednesday, conservative radio talk show host, Rush Limbaugh talked about MacBeth and his con game on his popular show. During his ten-minute monologue on the “phony soldier” Rush stated that soldiers who were opposed to the Iraq war were “phony soldiers.” Sometimes Rush lets his mouth overload another part of his anatomy, but taken in context, the remark was not as bad as the Democrats have spun it, but the remark has created a firestorm in Washington. In the House, a Republican Congressman presented a resolution supporting Limbaugh. Meanwhile, over in the Senate, the Dems are reading condemnation into the Congressional Record.
U.S. Senator Harry Reid, (D-NV), the Senate Majority leader, wrote a letter to the CEO of Clear Channel Radio condemning Limbaugh and demanding an apology from El Rushbo. Reid read the letter on the Senate floor the same day. Limbaugh responded on his show Monday. He blasted Democrats for their criticism, saying it is part of a smear campaign aimed at discrediting him. “If anybody in this country has been trying to demoralize the troops, it is you, sir, (speaking of Reid) and your members of the Democrat Party,” Limbaugh said. “You have waved the white flag of defeat.” Reid stated that he is confident that “Republicans will join with us in overwhelming numbers,” arguing that “anything less would be a double standard that has no place in the United States Senate.” The “double standard” is something Reid and the Democrats invented.
Senator Tom Harkin, (D-Iowa) said on the floor of the Senate, “Well, I don’t know.” “Maybe he (speaking of Limbaugh) was just high on his drugs again.” “I don’t know whether he was or not.” “If so, he ought to let us know.” “But that shouldn’t be an excuse.” If a Republican Senator would have made that statement concerning a private citizen on the floor of the Senate, the member would have faced censure. Talk about a “double standard.”
Just two weeks ago, General David Petraeus was smeared by moveon.org- a 527 political organization- with an ad in the New York Times. The ad called the decorated military leader General Betray Us. Moveon. Org’s ad was a shameful-over the top- stunt that should have been condemned by both parties, but Congressional Dems were strangely silent. Talk about a “double standard.”
One of the biggest critics of the war is Congressman John Murtha, (D-PA) who is a decorated war hero. Murtha has served in Congress since 1974. He has two purple hearts and is an Eagle Scout. But John Murtha is no saint. Murtha was an unindicted co-conspirator in the Abscam scandal, an FBI sting operation that targeted members of Congress from 1978 to 1980. In the scandal one Senator and five House members were convicted of bribery and conspiracy. More recently Murtha has been the subject of conflict of interest inquiries because his brother Kit Murtha is a big time defense contractor lobbyist. And guess who gets more campaign contributions from the defense industry than any member? That’s right- John Murtha. Tom Delay was forced out of office because of his close ties to lobbyist Jack Abramoff, but little has been said about Murtha and his brother. Once again, it’s an example of a “double standard.”
Senator Reid and the Democrats know Rush Limbaugh is no “troop basher.” Rush has made numerous trips to Iraq to visit the troops. His radio show is broadcast on Armed Forces radio and is one of the most popular programs on AAR.