Commenting on the Senate Judiciary Committee's questioning of Attorney General John Ashcroft about the Bush administration's position on torture as an interrogation technique, radio host Rush Limbaugh ridiculed committee member Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and said the following, in response to a clip of Kennedy at the hearing holding the prison abuse photos: "He's [Kennedy has] got these pictures at home, folks. ... I mean, this is what he's doing at home." Responding to Kennedy's questioning about the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib and the "forced nakedness," Limbaugh said, "[A]re we to believe, here, Senator Kennedy is a stranger to forced nakedness? Ah -- no."
From the June 8 broadcast of The Rush Limbaugh Show:
LIMBAUGH: And Senator Kennedy will not let this [abuse of Iraqi prisoners] go. He will not let this go. He's got these pictures at home, folks. He's got his own set of these things at home. You heard him describe them. Well, listen to him describe them again. I mean, this is what he's doing at home.
KENNEDY: [audio clip of Senator Kennedy] We know when we have these kinds of orders what happens. We get the stress tests. We get the use of --
KENNEDY: -- dogs. We get the forced nakedness --
LIMBAUGH: Yes. Yes.
KENNEDY: -- that we've all seen.
LIMBAUGH: He's really -- really --
KENNEDY: -- on these. And we get the hooding.
KENNEDY: This is what directly results when you have that kind of memoranda out there.
LIMBAUGH: Am -- am I -- are we to believe, here, Senator Kennedy is a stranger to forced nakedness? Ah -- no. That's -- he didn't leave out water torture. That's what the -- the stress test. Well, yeah. He did not mention it under the terms of water torture. That's right. He didn't do that.
As Media Matters for America has noted, this is not the first time Limbaugh has smeared Kennedy while speaking of the Abu Ghraib photos. Limbaugh stated on May 13:
LIMBAUGH: Senator Kennedy, ladies and gentlemen, said that he didn't need to look at any of these other pictures. He can just have Barney Frank and Nancy Pelosi act them out for him. I'm making that up. It's a joke.
[Quoting from unnamed news source], "The images left a searing impression on the Senators and House members. Some described images of Iraqi women exposing their breasts." I guess that's -- you're not supposed to do that outside the Kennedy compound.