Purporting to describe "how this thing started," North mischaracterized Limbaugh's "phony soldiers" conversation


On the October 5 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, during a discussion of Rush Limbaugh's September 26 "phony soldiers" comment, Fox News military analyst Oliver North asserted: "What's important ... is people remember how all this started. Back on September 16th [sic], a caller describing himself as Mike, who said he was a soldier, was complaining about, quote, 'soldiers who come up out of the blue and talk to the media like this.' And Rush says, 'Phony soldiers,' and Mike says, 'Right, the phony soldiers.' And then they go on to talk about phony soldiers like those who were prosecuted out there in Washington state for falsifying their military records, claiming to be things that they weren't." In fact, after Limbaugh made his "phony soldiers" remark, he and the caller did not "go on to talk about" soldiers who were prosecuted in the state of Washington. The caller went on to discuss the purported presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, with Limbaugh responding. Limbaugh then thanked the caller for calling, and the caller is not heard again on the broadcast. Only after this did Limbaugh bring up Jesse MacBeth on his September 26 radio show, 1 minute and 50 seconds after making his "phony soldiers" comment. MacBeth pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for pretending to be an injured Iraq war veteran.

From the September 26 broadcast of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:

LIMBAUGH: Another Mike, this one in Olympia, Washington. Welcome to the EIB Network. Hello.

CALLER 2: Hi Rush, thanks for taking my call.

LIMBAUGH: You bet.

CALLER 2: I have a retort to Mike in Chicago, because I am a serving American military, in the Army. I've been serving for 14 years, very proudly.

LIMBAUGH: Thank you, sir.

CALLER 2: And, you know, I'm one of the few that joined the Army to serve my country, I'm proud to say, not for the money or anything like that. What I would like to retort to is that, if we pull -- what these people don't understand is if we pull out of Iraq right now, which is about impossible because of all the stuff that's over there, it'd take us at least a year to pull everything back out of Iraq, then Iraq itself would collapse, and we'd have to go right back over there within a year or so. And --

LIMBAUGH: There's a lot more than that that they don't understand. They can't even -- if -- the next guy that calls here, I'm gonna ask him: Why should we pull -- what is the imperative for pulling out? What's in it for the United States to pull out? They can't -- I don't think they have an answer for that other than, "Well, we just gotta bring the troops home."

CALLER 2: Yeah, and, you know what --

LIMBAUGH: "Save the -- keep the troops safe" or whatever. I -- it's not possible, intellectually, to follow these people.

CALLER 2: No, it's not, and what's really funny is, they never talk to real soldiers. They like to pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and talk to the media.

LIMBAUGH: The phony soldiers.

CALLER 2: The phony soldiers. If you talk to a real soldier, they are proud to serve. They want to be over in Iraq. They understand their sacrifice, and they're willing to sacrifice for their country.

LIMBAUGH: They joined to be in Iraq. They joined --

CALLER 2: A lot of them -- the new kids, yeah.

LIMBAUGH: Well, you know where you're going these days, the last four years, if you signed up. The odds are you're going there or Afghanistan or somewhere.

CALLER 2: Exactly, sir. And -- and my other comment was -- and the reason I was calling for -- was to report to Jill about the fact that we didn't, didn't find any weapons of mass destruction. Actually, we have found weapons of mass destruction in chemical agents that [inaudible] been using against us for awhile now.

I've done two tours in Iraq. I just got back in June and there were many instances of -- since [inaudible] not know what they're using in their IEDs [improvised explosive devices]. They're using mustard artillery rounds. The vx-artillery rounds in their IEDs.

Because they didn't know what they were using, they didn't do it right, and so it just kind of -- it, it didn't really hurt anybody but there are -- those munitions are over there, it's just -- it's a huge desert. If they've buried it somewhere, we're never gonna find it.

LIMBAUGH: Well, you know, that's a moot point for me right now --

MIKE: Rush --

LIMBAUGH: -- the weapons of mass destruction. We gotta get beyond that. We're, we're there. What -- who cares if, if -- we all know they were there and, and Mahmoud [Ahmadinejad, Iranian president] even admitted it in one of his speeches here about -- talkin' about Saddam using the poison mustard gas or whatever it is on his own people -- but that, that's moot, right? What, what's more important is all this is taking place now in the midst of the surge working.

And all of these anti-war Democrats are getting even more hell-bent on pulling out of there, which means that success on the part of you and, and your colleagues over there is, is a great threat to them. It's just, it's frustrating and maddening, and it is why they must be kept in the minority.

Look, I want to thank you, Mike, for calling. I appreciate it very much. I gotta -- let me see -- got something -- here is a "Morning Update" that we did recently talking about fake soldiers. This is a story of who the left props up as heroes. And they have their celebrities.

One of them was Jesse MacBeth. Now, he was a "corporal," I say in quotes - 23 years old.

[reading from "Morning Update" (subscription required)]

What made Jesse MacBeth a hero to the anti-war crowd wasn't his Purple Heart. It wasn't his being affiliated with post traumatic stress disorder from tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, though. What made Jesse MacBeth, Army Ranger, a hero to the left was his courage in their view off the battlefield.

Without regard to consequences, he told the world the abuses he had witnessed in Iraq: American soldiers killing unarmed civilians, hundreds of men, women, even children. In one gruesome account translated into Arabic and spread widely across the internet, Army Ranger Jesse MacBeth describes the horrors this way:

'We would burn their bodies. We would hang their bodies from the rafters in the mosque.'

Now, recently, Jesse MacBeth, a poster boy for the anti-war left, had his day in court, and you know what? He was sentenced to five months in jail and three years probation for falsifying a Department of Veterans Affairs' claim and his Army discharge record.

He was in the Army. Jesse MacBeth was in the Army, folks, briefly -- 44-days before he washed out of boot camp. Jesse MacBeth isn't an Army Ranger. Never was. He isn't a corporal. Never was. He never won the Purple Heart and he was never in combat to witness the horrors he claimed to have seen."

You probably haven't even heard about this, and if you have, you haven't heard much about it. This doesn't fit the narrative and the template of the drive-by media and the Democrat Party as to who a genuine war hero is.

Don't look for any retractions, by the way, not from the anti-war left, the anti-military drive-by media or the Arabic websites that spread Jesse MacBeth's lies about our troops, because the truth of the left is fiction, is what serves their purpose. They have to lie about such atrocities 'cause they can't find any that fit the template of the way they see the U.S. military.

In other words, for the American anti-war left, the greatest inconvenience they face is the truth.

From the October 5 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:

GRETCHEN CARLSON (co-host): The latest wave of protests against conservative radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh, there's now threats to take him off the Armed Forces Radio Network.

BRIAN KILMEADE (co-host): That's not going to make many people happy. Joining us right now from Washington to discuss this is War Stories host and a good friend of Fox & Friends, Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North. Colonel, how do you think the men and women that you deal with in all your visits into the theater and that you see stateside would feel about not hearing Rush on the network, the radio network?

NORTH: Well, Armed Forces Network has a number of very popular radio and television shows. Mine's on TV over there. I suppose [Sen.] Harry Reid [D-NV] will want War Stories off. The fact is it's not going to come off. Harry Reid's grousing about this is not going to change a thing. What's important, Brian, is people remember how all this started. Back on September 16th [sic], a caller describing himself as Mike, who said he was a soldier, was complaining about, quote, "soldiers who come up out of the blue and talk to the media like this." And Rush says, "Phony soldiers," and Mike says, "Right, the phony soldiers." And then they go on to talk about phony soldiers like those who were prosecuted out there in Washington state for falsifying their military records, claiming to be things that they weren't.

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