Citing Fox News, Limbaugh demanded Durbin produce FBI emails that are already public

››› ››› JEREMY SCHULMAN

Syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh cited a misleading FoxNews.com article as the basis for demanding that Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-IL) produce FBI memos in which agents vividly describe apparent abuse that they witnessed at U.S. detention facilities in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. In fact, the memos that Durbin cited are already publicly available on the American Civil Liberties Union's (ACLU) website.

Limbaugh referred to a June 17 FoxNews.com article that uses an anonymous source to dispute Durbin's statement. The article is based on a June 16 report by Fox News chief Washington correspondent Jim Angle, who claimed on Special Report with Brit Hume that "a knowledgeable official familiar with this and other memos" said the FBI agent made no such allegation." (The online article uses similar wording.) But as Media Matters for America noted in response to Angle, since the FBI memos are public, analysis by an anonymous "knowledgeable official" is unnecessary. A glance at the public versions of the memos shows that Durbin quoted them directly and accurately.

From the June 17 broadcast of The Rush Limbaugh Show:

So what we have here is a knowledgeable official -- this is from the Fox News website -- a knowledgeable official familiar with the memo cited by Durbin, as well as other memos. He said that "the FBI agent made no such allegation and the memo described only someone chained to the floor. Anything beyond that is simply an interpretation, the official said."

So I think that's why I say we need to see this memo that Durbin read from. We need to see it. He can read from it. He can copy it to a piece of paper and take the piece of paper to the Senate floor, but let's see the actual memo. Let's make him produce it.

Limbaugh, or anyone else, can find the FBI emails cited by Durbin -- including one specifically alleging "torture techniques" -- on the ACLU website.

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